For the One Who Married Young

My husband Andrew and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary tomorrow. We got married when I was barely 20 and he was barely 22, and everyone shook their heads and smiled knowingly.

Of course, I had to write something for the occasion.

This one’s for the completely smitten college kids – the ones who got married at 19 in the church basement. It’s for you who sat on your parents’ couch, hand in hand, while they looked at you, completely panicked.

For the young lovers – and for the older ones – who figured out marriage is much more beautiful and terrible, simple and complicated than you ever could have imagined. This one’s for you.

andrew and addie zierman wedding

You should know – first of all – that you will regret those light-pink bridesmaid dresses. The ones with the sequins on the bodice that seemed exactly perfect at the time. You’ll also wish you’d hired an actual wedding videographer instead of just asking a buddy to do it.

You’ll remember exactly two of the things on your plate at the reception. You won’t remember, probably, what you eventually settled on for centerpieces, unless you stayed up all night making them with your Mom.

You’ll choose friends to stand next to you who are incomparably significant to you in your life right now. They will be there, sequined and smiling. They will be elbowing each other in their black tuxedos and grinning wide.

And maybe they will stay in your life for all the years ahead, bolstering this marriage with their friendship and love.

But maybe they won’t.

Maybe they’ll move away or move on. Maybe your friendship will change, drift apart, fall quietly away. And if that happens, it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that their witness of this moment, this marriage, didn’t matter. It does. This is all just part of growing up.

Maybe your friends will stay but will move into their own Hard Times, and they won’t always know how to be there for you. They won’t know what it’s like for you as you navigate the narrow waterways of your own married life. They’ll nod and listen as best they can, but they won’t be able to really understand.

Marriage is like that. In some ways, it’s so universal – all of us battling the same basic struggle as we try to communicate across the threshold of our vows and between the boundaries of our souls.

But in so many other ways, it’s not universal at all. Each marriage is as different and unique as the people who join their hands together.

zierman bridal party

When you marry young, you’ll know the delight of building a life together out of garage-sale coffee tables, relatives’ old couches and thrift store mugs. You’ll stop your car in the middle of the road and reverse half a mile to pick up an old, falling-apart-desk marked Free. You’ll laugh all the way home, high of the unexpected treasure of all of this.

There’s a good chance neither of you will really know how to cook, and you’ll make the journey together from Macaroni and Cheese to Betty Crocker’s corn flake-crusted chicken. When the apartment fridge starts reeking for some mysterious reason, you’ll have to tackle it together. You’ll learn how to keep track of your bills and stay in a budget and make your own space.

The car will break down. The rent will go up. You’ll have to figure out whose parents’ house you’re going to for Christmas. You’ll both be entirely sure it should be yours. Your arguments will burn red-hot, and then you’ll learn the slow love of making it right. You’ll learn, together, what it means to be grown up.

icicles

When you marry young, you’ll change and he’ll change, and in the midst of all of this growth you’ll realize that you can’t change each other. There will be moments and days and seasons that are really hard. And you’ll be tempted to think it’s because you got married young, but really, it’s just because you got married.

Some nights, you’ll turn the lights out and you’ll turned away from each other in bed, and you’ll wonder about this life you’re living. You’ll stare at your wedding photo hanging on the wall, and you’ll think about how young the two of you look there – all dressed up and playing at love.

You’ll feel so far from the person you were then. You felt so grown up, but now you know you were still so much in process. Your mind will drift to the other twenty-somethings, the imagined glamor of their unencumbered lives. Apartments downtown without his giant TV-Playstation combo. A bachelor-pad where no one leaves the bathroom sink strewn with makeup or clogs the drain with long, blonde hair.

You’ll be tempted to invent an alternative life for yourself, the one that you might have had if you hadn’t married young. It will look simple and glittering from where you sit, surrounded by laundry and all the other miscellany of normal life. But this is a mirage; a trick of the mind.

Life is hard no matter where you live it, no matter who you live it with.

If you are to keep it, you’ll have to work hard for this love. You will have to fight for it. Some nights, you’ll have to choose to sit there on living room carpet in the silence of a dragged out argument instead of walking away.  You’ll have to sit there while the night grows dark and you both get tired, and you’ll have to chip at the barrier of misunderstanding one bit at a time.

If you hit a snag that you can’t untangle by yourself, don’t be afraid to get help. Go to counseling – together and alone. Do your own work, and then do work together.

When you get married young, you’ll be tempted to hold onto decades’ worth of careless words, hurtful actions, and missed opportunities. During the lowest moments of your marriage, it will be easy to stack them up in a con column and use them to excuse yourself from the daily work of love.

Don’t.

You hold in your heart each other’s worst and best, the awkward movement from child to adult. You are the witnesses of each other’s most sacred lives. Be careful with one another.

andrew and addie zierman

Every year on your anniversary, go out. Even if all you can afford is McDonalds. Remember it all. The honeymoon trip to Mackinac Island, where you wore your prettiest dress and sipped demitasse at the Grand Hotel. The white canopy over your garage-sale bed frame and the giant speakers he hauled from his parent’s house – your first “sound system.”

Remember the random moments, the funny ones, the hard ones, the precious ones.  Line them all up on the table between you until suddenly you find yourself remembering toward the future.

Talk about it all over again until you’ve closed down the place and the guy comes by with the broom and the bottle of cleaner. Then take each other by the hand and go home.

watching reception

Author’s Note: I publish this post with humility and care, knowing that sometimes a marriage is too fragile to hold together. There are instances when, no matter how hard you fight, you can’t seem to save it from that hard, inevitable crumbling. If this is your story, your experience — grace and peace. May you find beauty and redemption in the hard journey toward wholeness.

  • Chad Thomas Johnston

    You always spin gold with your words, Addie Zierman! :) Thanks for this. It’s too true. And you don’t have to marry young to relate to this either. I married at thirty, and I certainly relate.

    I wish you and your husband—who had astonishingly humongous hair, by the way—the happiest of happy anniversaries today. May this day outshine all the previous ones.

    Warmest blessings to you both, my friend.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      He did have astonishingly humongous hair. It was kind of out of control, and I loved it. ;-)

      Thanks for the kind words and the blessings.

  • http://www.tanyamarlow.com/ Tanya Marlow

    I was 21; he was 24. I didn’t like the flowers. The food was terrible. My dress was huge.

    And we were SOOO happy. So happy. We were giddily delighted to be married.

    Now – it’s over a decade later. ‘In sickness and in health’ has been the vow that has defined the past seven years. There’s less blossom, but our roots are entwined together.

    I love that you say it’s not about being married young but being married. It’s true. Marriage is delicious and marriage is hard. That’s my story too.

    • Mark Allman

      Tanya has a great story about her marriage here http://tanyamarlow.com/the-dress/ She said in this post “There was something in me that wanted to run down the aisle in a hoody and just grin and get married. “

      • http://www.tanyamarlow.com/ Tanya Marlow

        Thanks, Mark! I’d forgotten all about that piece!

      • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

        I remember that one! Yes!

      • Janice

        I love that post of Tanya’s too! And Addie, this was good. We married young too (22&23) and just celebrated our 15th anniversary on Thursday. (We celebrated by being in the car for 7 hours with our kids because we had an emergency house-hunting trip to take then sharing a room with them in a hotel :) We did order wine and cheesecake, though. Not exactly the world’s idea of celebrating a 15th anniversary, but it did remind me how incredibly blessed I am that after 15 years I really still enjoy doing whatever with him. Even long drives across eastern Washington.)

        • Mark Allman

          Happy Anniversary Janice…. I think doing anything with the one you love is almost always enjoyable.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Delicious and hard. Well said. I remember being giddy too. And I also had a huge dress. My wedding would look SO different it I did it today. :) But I suppose that’s kind of the point.

  • Lauren Gamache

    So sweet. I was 22 and he was just barely 22. We never could of imagined the things that we have been through – both amazing and earth shattering, but you said it beautifully. We grew up together. We have and will navigate so many things together.

    Marriage is hard. Marriage is beautiful and you wrote about it beautifully.

    I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I saw you walk down the aisle looking so happy and gorgeous…and Kim and Alissa (and your other bridesmaids) in those pink dresses :-) Your wedding was beautiful. I wish you and Andrew a wonderful anniversary and pray that you continue to grow together and share many, many more happy memories and years! So much love to you both!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “both amazing and earth shattering” — yes. Thanks for the love and the memory. It’s crazy how much happens in a decade.

  • Patricia

    This is really beautiful. :) My husband and i will be married 5 years in February, and we didn’t get married young, but i still found myself relating to some of the experiences you described. The day-to-day living out of two becoming one can be fun, beautiful, and special. But, it also can be maddening, frustrating, and very humbling. I love the picture you offer of love-as-process. Blessings, and Happy Anniversary!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Yes, love in process. Love that. Thanks Patricia.

  • Mark Allman

    Happy Anniversary Addie and Andrew!

  • Traci Davis

    I love the way you describe marriage Addie! I always tell people that it is the best and hardest thing I have ever done… but you descirbe the goodness and the hardness so beautifully! Thank you for your words today and Congratulations on the Anniversary! We love you!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Yes. Although I would say it ties with having kids for the “best and hardest” designation. Thanks Traci.

  • Jen

    Lovely, Addie, and your story echoes a lot of my “married young” own story… hard, but oh so good.
    Happy anniversary!

  • http://www.bethanysuckrow.com/ Bethany Suckrow

    Love that you posted this today, as it is my fourth wedding anniversary and we got married when I was 21 and he was 23. So much here mirrors my own marriage journey, and my own journey of growing up. Happy anniversary, friend. May you be blessed with many more. <3

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Happy anniversary back. Quite the journey.

  • http://www.behindthegateblog.com/ Gayle

    Oh what a gift you have with words.. You described perfectly our lives all the way down to the pink bridesmaid dresses! This year we will be at 35 years. It has been grace, all grace…

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      All grace. Yes. Thank you so much Gayle.

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    So beautiful and wise, Addie. We got married at 24 (five years ago) but have been together since we were 20 – and a lot of this resonates. Happy anniversary to you.

  • Corrie Aw.

    ” It doesn’t mean that their witness of this moment, this marriage, didn’t matter. It does. This is all just part of growing up.”

    I needed this today. Thank you.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks Corrie. So glad it helped today.

  • Nancy Crawford Mallon

    Thank you for this! My 12 year anniversary is on Sunday and I was almost 22 and he was 22 when we got married. It has been a fun and complicated journey so far! I love your author’s note at the end. I have a close friend going through divorce and there’s little grace or peace from other Christians.
    Happy Anniversary to you!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Happy anniversary this weekend, and thanks for the kind words. I’m so sorry for your friend — such a brutal, earth-shattering time. We desperately need grace and peace from one another, particularly in those fragile places. Glad she has you.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    We got married around the same time at the same age and I can relate to a lot of this. Gosh. And yes, the part about not trying to change the other person is something I need to constantly remember. Our 11th anniversary is this September.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks Ed. Yes, the not changing each other, I think, is a lifetime lesson.

  • http://www.transformingwords.org/wordpress Don Sartain

    You need to add a disclaimer at the top saying “Known to induce tears while at work.”

    Beautiful, Addie, just beautiful.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Don.

  • Amanda

    This is so beautiful. A very happy anniversary and happy marriage to you! We were young, too… 20 and 21, and I relate with so much of this. Blaming getting married young for things being hard, the hand-me-downs, the growing up together, the hard glorious work of loving… It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been good. :)

  • Tamára Lunardo

    This is sort of killing me today, maybe in a good way. xo

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thank you Tamara. Hopefully in a good-ish way. Love.

  • Katie Swan

    Love this Addie! I remember coming out to celebrate your marriage a short 10 years ago. I even remember back to your first date. Seems like a different lifetime. I love reading your words. Cannot wait for the book.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      It does seem like a different lifetime, doesn’t it? Thanks for the kind words, friend.

  • http://www.gracebiskie.com/ Grace Biskie

    good words here, Ad. Especially the part about letting go of ‘ish. So hard but GOOD to do. & Love the pics!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Way hard. Thanks for the love.

  • http://1t412.wordpress.com/ Christina

    “When you marry young, you’ll change and he’ll change, and in the midst of all of this growth you’ll realize that you can’t change each other. There will be moments and days and seasons that are really hard. And you’ll be tempted to think it’s because you got married young, but really, it’s just because you got married.”

    Love this. Happy anniversary! My husband and I also married at 20 and 22, just two years ago.

  • http://bookwi.se/ Adam Shields

    Happy Anniversary. We were 24 and 23, so a little bit older, both graduated from college (I in grad school). Not really that much different I don’t think. But 16 years later I still encourage people to understand that marriage is not perfect (or perfectible) and neither are you or your spouse. But still it can be a very good marriage.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Not perfectible. Yes. Well said.

  • SortaCrunchy

    It was three days before my 21st birthday and he was 22. I think we stayed at our reception (in the church basement, cake and punch and wedding mints) for 20 minutes. :)

    All of this, the good and the bad and the hard, we know it all so well. We celebrated 15 years last month! Happy, happy tenth to y’all. XOXOXO

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Wedding mints!! I’d forgotten! Congrats on 15 years, lovely.

  • Loren Rugen

    This is all quite accurate. We were married at 20 and can empathize with all of it. By marrying young we certainly did have to ‘learn how to grow up together.’ Thank you for sharing your story so that others can see the benefits of perseverance through the toil.

  • DeborahPenner

    My favorite part of this is the author’s acknowledgement of how fragile it can be and that no matter how much you want and try to hold the marriage together, it cannot be done … Thank you for that.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks Deborah. I have seen friends struggle at that place, and I know it’s brutal. We need to take care of each other, particularly in those heart-shattering places.

  • Melanie Hardacker

    Thank you for this. A wonderful expression of what it is to be married young. My husband and I will be married 23 years in a couple weeks. We were married at 19 and 20. We have been blessed with a wonderful life full of adventure. We didn’t necessarily choose the easiest path and things haven’t always gone the way we planned but we are in it together. No regrets. I would do it again, I have loved growing up with John. We didn’t have a lot of supporters at the time. I was assured the statistical probability that we would divorce was significant. But we put God in the center of our lives and with that rock to guide us we are more in love 23 years later than we were when we walked down the aisle. Of course God has a sense of humor…our oldest is 19 and wants to get engaged. Now we are the parents looking at this little boy sitting across from us and worrying that he isn’t quite ready, fearing he might make a mistake. And yet, part of me is so excited remembering those years…the adventure continues.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I guess I’m not sure that there is an “easiest path.” Honestly. There are hard things about every stage of life…though there’s definitely a more fragile feel to it when your decisions and actions affect another person so intimately. Yes. So funny about your 19 year old. Love it!

  • woman4life

    I love this. :) This is so true…. “When you marry young, you’ll change and he’ll change, and in the midst
    of all of this growth you’ll realize that you can’t change each other.
    There will be moments and days and seasons that are really hard. And you’ll be tempted to think it’s because you got married young, but really, it’s just because you got married.”

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ Leigh Kramer

    Beautiful, friend. Happy anniversary!

  • http://www.caramichelestrickland.wordpress.com/ Cara Strickland

    As one of the unmarried twenty-something, whose glittery life ends up looking like living, with joy, with my parents, working full-time and snatching moments to write, I love this piece. It’s so good to be able to be present, in a way, and see the beauty, and the difficulty in all of our lives, specific and unique, but in some ways, held by all of us.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Addie, as always.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Yes. Beauty in all the places. Thanks Cara.

  • http://www.abehunin.blogspot.com Anjie B.

    I don’t know how the link to this post ended up in my FB news feed but I am glad it did. My husband and I got married young, I was barely 21, he was 22 almost 23. TODAY is our 15 year wedding anniversary and I cried while reading this post. It brought back a lot of memories and a lot of the feelings of love from way back then. What perfect timing. Thank you for your words!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love that this came to you on your anniversary! Thanks for the kind words, and may your next years be rich and full of wonder.

  • John dS

    Wonderful and powerful! Thank you Addie! When we got married she was 17 and I was 18 going on 12. It shouldn’t have worked. But we got saved, and then mentored in a loving church of dear people. And here we are 36 years later with 2 daughters and six grandchildren, and grateful beyond words. The first years were hardest on our relationship. The last few have been hardest in our circumstances. But we now know true love, because we have come to know the True Lover.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      18 going on 12. That’s amazing. :) “It shouldn’t have worked.” What a profound statement about so much of life. Thankful for grace.

  • Skerrib

    I was 20 and he was 22 as well, and here we are 15 years later. It seems like several lifetimes ago, and it has been so difficult at points (still is), but somehow we’ve built a beautiful, vibrant, hilarious life. And holy cow, we’ve added 3 crazies to the mix too. I need some sleep…

    Congrats on all you’ve built and fought through/for. :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I hear you on the sleep. And all the crazy. Thanks!

  • Bshea

    Beautiful

  • pastordt

    Lovely, Addie. I was 20 when we got married, he was 23. And we pretty much grew up together. And yes, we had help at about the midpoint and yes, we can drive each other crazy at times. But I would not trade it and I thank God for us. (I loved your gracious postscript – thank you.)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love hearing about your journey Diana. Thank you.

  • Gigi

    “it’s not about being young but being married.” bingo. I’m 21, not married, and don’t plan on being for a while, however, many of my friends are or are about to be right after they graduate college. I can’t stand when they get a bad rap. Society likes to pin marital issues on things people “should have known better about,” whether it be marrying a single mom, a divorce, or marrying young. I think that for the most part many people excuse their own inability to commit so whole heartedly at a young age by pronouncing that nobody can. People marry in heat, passion, and naivety at 19 and 59.For the most part I have so much respect for my friends who’ve married young because they really seem to require the selflessness that is suppose to guide marriage. Like many on here have mentioned, they forewent fancy receptions, designer gowns, even honeymoons, because they placed another person, whether their future spouse or their family, above it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I really love this comment Gigi. So well-said. Thank you.

  • Nicole

    Im so glad that I came across this. My husband and i got married young, we are still young. Today we are 19 and 21. I hope to be like these couples, 15, 20, 30 years from now we are still going strong. Its only been 1 1/2 years married and 2 1/2 together but it already feels like a lifetime. This year has been hard for us, especially the past few months. Our biggest test started today, i dropped him off at the airport this morning for a deployment and we dont know when we will see one another again. The fact that i can relate to everything that was said already just proves to me that we do have to work for this. We have to even work harder to communicate with one another being over 2000 miles apart, having an 8 hour time difference, not always being able to even talk because of a bad signal or work schedules, not even knowing when we will physically be together again. This life that we are living, that we want to have together isnt going to come by itself we do have to work at it every day.. and that is normal.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I can’t imagine how hard that must be, Nicole. Peace and grace to you both in this next deployment.

    • Skerrib

      Hi Nicole, fellow mil-wife here to offer some solidarity. Deployment is hard for sure. I echo what Addie said–grace and peace to you both as you work thru this!

  • MarineWife

    I was 16 when I got married and still in high school (no i was not pregnant) he had just turned 19 we opulent afford a big wedding it was at the court house same day we both had to go back to work! He was (is) a Marine. Everyone told us it wouldn’t last a year and I would drop out of high school, I am now a high school graduate and in two months a certified health coach a mom of two and a wife of 5 years! That may not be long but it’s way better then the year people thought we would make it! It hasn’t been easy we have been through night long fights disagreement on major issues distance and two combat deployments and we are still going :) it may or may not be easier or better or worse later on but even so our young love and young marriage will overcome and last through it all!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Oh my goodness. 16! That’s a great story, and it’s great to hear about how you’ve overcome the odds. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Krista Dalton

    Thank you for sharing your story! I was 20 and my spouse 23 when we for married four years ago, and your story really resonates with me. I love how marrying young allows one to witness each others transformation to adulthood. It really is sacred!

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  • Patrick R

    I had just turned 20 and she had just turned 18. We have been married 13 years. Greatest decision of my life.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love.

  • Domestic penguin

    Very good article! We also married very young. We weren’t planning on it but he joined the army. I had a courthouse wedding as my family was against it at the time and we had little time. it will be 4 years in October. planning a trip to Mackinac Island this month as well. Happy anniversary!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Stay at the Grande Hotel for a night at least! And rent a bicycle-built-for-two because of all the awesome, romantic, cheesiness!

  • Manda

    We were both 20. Only about 25 people at my Rev. house. All our wedding money went to buying him gear needed for an upcoming deployment, and that night we staying in a Sleep Inn and moved into my parents upstairs. 4 years later we’ve had 2 duty stations and 3 beautiful, healthy little boys and our fair share of rough patches, we’re still going strong and very much in love. :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Beautiful story from such an un-glamorous beginning. Love.

  • Valinda

    I was 19…he had turned 18 just 5 days before. The year was 1969. Styles were hideous, hair was big, and wedding gowns were bigger. The ladies of the church served our reception, the cake was decorated with inedible sparkly things, and we had friends taking pictures and video. Our wedding flowers cost 96.00, and we paid for them out of money we got at the reception! It was the happiest day of my life…and a turning point for both of us. We grew up together, starting on that day. Children came 3 years later, in rapid succession, except for the last one, #4…our surprise blessing. We’ve endured much, lived through much, thought we wouldn’t live through some of it, but we did it all…together. He was my best friend then, and is to this day. We will celebrate 44 years of our journey on the 23rd of August, and I love him more today than I did then! Oh, and I was told (to my face)…that we wouldn’t last, we were too young, it was a mistake. Here we are…standing strong together, facing whatever life continues to throw at us. And we still haven’t really grown up! We hike, zipline, raft and just have fun together. My advice to couples…work harder on the marriage than you do the wedding. A wedding is for a day…a marriage is for a lifetime!

    • Valinda

      And, I might add…we have 11 grandchildren! :) We are blessed!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love this. Particularly the bit about the flowers. So fun.

    • Mary

      I absolutely love this. Especially the ending, “a wedding is a day but a marriage is a lifetime”. I’m currently planning my wedding & it’s so easy to get caught up in everything. It’s great knowing I have a wonderful man to help me with it all. All of these stories are so inspiring.

    • Leah White

      Our story is similar, but we’re still at the beginning. I was 19. He was 18. We were told we were too young. But it was a beautiful wedding, and we went whitewater rafting and camping for our honeymoon. Three years later, we welcomed our firstborn. It has now been 7 years, and we are still very best friends. We have worked hard and struggled, but we are a happy family. Someday, our story may sound even more like yours. So far, it’s been a great one!

    • Christine Lyon

      I got married at 19. Almost 12 years now. Our son was born 2 weeks before our first anniversary. We have travelled the world together, flipped a house and graduated from college together. We have grown up and grown closer and look forwa
      rd to the next 12 years!

    • BriannaW

      This has been an inspiration. My husband and I met 6 years ago over the internet and started dating at 12 and 13 we never thought it would end in marriage but 4 months ago we decided we were tired of waiting we made it all through high school and through our first year of college, and decided randomly to just go to the court house. I wouldn’t change it for the world the ones that we’re there were a blessing. We plan on having a wedding later when it is affordable for us. Now married and living on our own at 18 and 19. We have been told by so many that what we are doing is stupid, everyone still trying to control our life together. But they Haven’t realized that we havent listened yet so why start. I love stories like this because you don’t hear about them much you only hear stories about divorce and how marriages don’t work.Thank you for this and I also love the last part. God bless you! Thank you.

      • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

        “I love stories like this because you don’t hear about them much you only hear stories about divorce and how marriages don’t work.” — it IS so cool to hear everyone’s stories. Certainly it doesn’t change the fact that marriage is hard and often ends cruelly, but it is great to celebrate the beauty of fighting through it and finding a way.

      • Kat

        Half of the battle is choosing to have eyes wide open! Knowing that you’re both imperfect, having abounding forgiveness, and choosing to prove everyone else wrong! You will walk through fire, but it with refine you and meld you together is ways you could have never imagined as long as you never let those naysayer’s words take hold! best of luck and many blessings to you.

        I love Rachelle’s mama’s advice in a comment above. – “Honey, there are
        gonna be days when you just want to pinch his head right off. So go
        ahead and imagine it just to make yourself feel better and then remind
        yourself that you love him anyway.”

  • Rebecca Lynn

    I was nineteen four days before my wedding. My husband was twenty one. We met at a fair where he was handing out bibles, and I was smoking in my mini skirt. It was the long red hair that caught my eye, but that gentle spirit caught my heart. Just six months later we would marry and that was twenty one hard, wonderful, and crazy years later. Four kids, several dogs and cats later, we find ourselves grandparents (which is much more awesome!!!!) and still best friends. It takes hard work and yes counseling sometimes, a solid foundation of faith and a gritty determination to not let go. My heart breaks for those who haven’t been able to keep it together, and I pray for those people. You have my sympathy not my pity. I turned forty this year, I have grey hair and having babies has ruined my girlish figure, but he still rolled over that morning and said happy birthday beautiful and meant it! As I sort through my memories I realize my true treasure is my bond with him, the husband of my youth and best friend, my children and grandchildren and look forward to the future.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “We met at a fair where he was handing out bibles, and I was smoking in my mini skirt.” This is the BEST. Love your story and your wisdom. Sympathy not pity for those who have endured broken marriages — yes. And love, friendship, support, kindness.

      • Rebecca Lynn

        Not only that but as I blew smoke in his face, he told me I don’t date girls that don’t believe in God. So how about we go out for dinner, and I will pick you up at 9:30 tomorrow morning for Sunday school and church. LOL Blew my mind honestly. And of course I was ready at 9:30. {giggle}

        • Bev Murrill

          LOVELY!

  • chrystal

    Love this!
    I married my high school sweetheart, I was a freshman he was a senior when we started dating. 3yrs later we got married he joined the marines @17. I was 16 and he was 19 we were so in love and we still are, we have 2 beautiful girls, and yes we have grown up together, we have taught each other so many things.we still love each other the same way, and up to this day I still feel butterflies in me when I see him.almost 10 years later.

  • Kimberly

    I was 18 and he was 22. I left the reception crying because my mother in law was a beast (still is). The stick shift was sticky for 5 years because a lubricated condom was put over it. We still laugh about that 14 years later. I’ve done the look at the marriage picture and wonder what I was thinking and I’ve also hugged him so tight I’m so glad I wasn’t thinking of anything except love. Marriage is tough and beautiful and hard and so many other things. Most days it leaves me breathless. Beautiful post, so much I could have written myself. Congrats on the anniversary. Enjoy it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “I’m so glad I wasn’t thinking of anything except love” — yes. Thanks Kimberly.

  • Michelle Cibak Adams

    I was 20. He was 29. Three kids together. Still married 23 years later. Friends said we wouldn’t last. I think we proved them wrong.

  • Cut Dirt EFA

    I loved my wedding, only thing is the seamstress made my dress too short and i wish i had gone with a different one. i loved the dresses, very plain, blue and brown. very few flowers, calla lillies 3 for me and 1 for each bridesmaid. we had it in the basement of the camp we met at. we had a traditional thanksgiving meal since it was thanksgiving and it is my fav, turkey, potatoes etc. we had picture with horses. we had family and 1 close friend in our wedding party. and 6 years later i remember it all. oh and we did a fun brown paper on the tables for everyone to draw on while waiting for meals and we had crayons. great for kids too. i do wish i had worn different shoes.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love the Thanksgiving food wedding. So fun!

  • Alison V.

    This really hit home for me. My husband and I eloped just a few months after we both turned 20 and we are coming up on our 5 year anniversary soon. I don’t think we really knew what we were getting into, “playing at love” is a perfect way to describe it! And the changes that each person goes through, that has been huge for us. My husband is in the military and we’ve been through 2 deployments so far and we’ve both changed so much as a result. But when you marry young you have the chance to change together, and grow together, in a way that couples who marry at an older age don’t. We were both so young and inexperienced, still finding ourselves, that our young marriage has given us the foundation to work within and to grow closer together as we age together.

  • hippymamax6

    We were married at 21. He was my “older” man, by just 10 days. Next year, we’ll be celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We’ve had 6 children, but 2 have died and another 6 miscarriages, all wanted, all loved, all missed. One house fire, 6 house flips, now building our dream home in the country. We’ve lived in 2 provinces and dream of living by the sea one day. We have 2 grandchildren and 4 “grand” pups! We’ve both gone back to school during our time together, successfully graduating with honors (just to outdo each other) while raising kids. We both took time to stay home with our kids – me for the first 20 years, then he stayed home for 6 years. Now we both work fulltime but often from home and the hours that work for us. We’ve loved each other to the moon and back and at times hated each other so much we wanted to leave. But somehow, we work it out and grow stronger from those hard times. We have fun, together and apart. We laugh like crazy and cry when the moments are tender. We support each other and are proud to call each other “lovey”.

    Everyone told us it wouldn’t last. We were too young. We weren’t pregnant when we got married but had our first baby just before our first anniversary. We both lived at home before we got married. We had a lot to learn.

    Maybe that’s why it’s worked so far.

    We had to learn together.

    I love being married and while respectful to others, I don’t get the idea that “we don’t need to get married” or “a piece of paper won’t change anything”.

    For us, it’s been the best of times, even with the heart ache of child loss and losing our home.

    He said to me, at the tender age of 18, the first time he asked me to marry him “grow old with me, the best is yet to be”.

    I’m glad I believed him!

    • Jessica O’Meara

      I love this! Inspiration :) I love knowing some people don’t get handed everything but they work hard and this is exactly that…I’m not lucky enough to have fallen Pregnant yet but I hope I get my chance soon. If by our first anniversary I will be happy, even in your case you didn’t have so much luck but you obviously didn’t give up and still fighting strong. Love Love Love it :)

      • hippymamax6

        Thanks Jessica. It’s definitely been a journey but worth the hard work. Hoping you’ll be able to have a baby soon. Again, lots of work but so incredible that you will love every moment!

    • Winter

      Aahhh, Mama, your story is as inspiring as the article. Teary eyed and smiling at old memories, I wish my marriage (and myself) had had the strength to last. I am re-married and we’ve been through it and even after just 7 years, we’re prepared to grow old together and live like we were meant to…unfettered, free and how we choose to.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this.

    • mary

      that story is so true, my husband and i just celebrated our 30th anniversary yesterday, i was 20 and he was 22 neither set of our parents didn’t think that we would last a year, let alone 30 years, we were only able to have 2 children, but God blessed us with those two boys, one is now married with a little girl about 3 and next month we will welcome a grandson into our family, our other son is still single, but out on his own, we have had ups and downs, fights were we want to tear each others hair out and tender moments that happen unexpectly. i would have it no other way and he wouldn’t either. i am proud to say that i am his wife. over 15 years ago he was diagnosed with chronic pain and hasn’t been able to work and is on disability and i have always worked and for the last 18 years i supported our family by working my behind off in a factory 8-10 hours a days and even some saturdays and now i am no longer able to work and have to apply for medical retirement and disability. so i guess we will support each other and get thru the next 30 years the best we can and we will because we will have each other to lean on.

      • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

        Such difficult twists and turns for your marriage. So wonderful that you’ve been able to lean on each other.

        • chandranbose

          HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILIAM,OK

    • Hannah Guillory

      Robert Browning! We had that line on our wedding bulletin. Love it! :)

    • Rachelle

      We got married about 3 weeks after I turned 20. He was going to deploy a month later and I’d have to go back home 7 days after we said “I do” in front of a judge that I couldn’t pick out of a crowd if I tried. Our honeymoon was in a hotel because he didn’t have leave to go anywhere and wouldn’t have had the money even if he could leave! It’ll be two years in February and I can’t believe that’s all it’s been. We’re still young and still very much in love. We’re still growing and still learning. We’ve definitely had to “grow up” together and there have been times I’ve wondered if I should have looked a little more closely at the fine print of my marriage vows. Who knew “for better or worse” meant that I have to love him even if he never learns to put the seat down or how to fold socks (or any other laundry for that matter) or even how to make anything more complicated than mac n cheese? I guess I figure getting to be married to my best friend makes it worth it. I try to remember my momma’s best marriage advice – “Honey, there are gonna be days when you just want to pinch his head right off. So go ahead and imagine it just to make yourself feel better and then remind yourself that you love him anyway.”

      I love this article because it’s so nice to hear stories from others who “shouldn’t have worked”.

      • Kat

        I love that piece of advice! So true!

  • http://www.carolhiestand.com/ carol Hiestand

    “And you’ll be tempted to think it’s because you got married young, but really, it’s just because you got married.” Love this Addie. We were a little older in years, but probably not much ahead of you! related on many levels. Love this Addie.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Carol.

    • Doula59

      I was 16 and he had just turned 18. A neighbor told my mother I was pregnant. I did not even know myself but I knew I could be. Sure enough I was and plans were made. We had already discussed that I wanted 12 children and we agreed on 6. Needless to say we ignored the well meaning neighbor who wanted to make sure he gave us the information to take care of my “problem”. At our wedding we had family members taking bets on how long we would make it. It was a pleasure to return to that well meaning neighbor and introduce my newborn son to him. I learned that he had forced his daughter to have an abortion and thought I should do the same. We eventually welcomed the 6 children we had planned on. We have had anniversaries from my husband whisking me away to a hotel with sexy pj’s and a night to ourselves to putting the children to bed and ordering pizza and watching a movie. We spent our earlier years with him working and school and I was raising the children. Now that the children have grown up we spend time making memories together. We enjoy scuba diving, skydiving, biking, hunting, fishing, hiking, dancing, vacationing and sight seeing just to mention a few. We have 2 grandbabies due that will bring our total up to 21 wonderful grandchildren. We have had our rough patches but we made a committment that wonderful day in September and we have not changed our minds yet. I can’t imagine my life without him. I look forward to spending the rest of my days and then the eternities with him and my family.

      • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

        Love this story. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.carolhiestand.com/ carol Hiestand

    I just took a break and read over the comments and have been blessed reading them. we are coming up on 5 years this December. Next week we have our three sons, their spouses and 9 grandchildren together for 4 days. along with my 86 year old Dad and a caregiver for him. so worth the hard work and I do grieve for those who tried, but tried alone to save their marriage. thanks Addie again.

  • Sarah Peloquin

    I got married at 22; he was 24. We skipped the dating part (though we’d been friends for 3 years), he asked me in December and we were married 8 months later. I was still in college, he lost his job right before our wedding and worked temp jobs for a year before he got another solid job in his degree field. We were steeped in debt and crazy in love when we said “I Do.”

    We just celebrated 7 years in July. Two kids and one more on the way, several job changes, 2 moves halfway across the country, family issues, and a whole lot of adventure later, we are still so thankful that God brought us together. The first year was tough in that we had to really learn how to fight well (ie. fight together instead of against one another).

    We will be debt free next year and looking forward to a possible job promotion this year for him. Our son gave us many scares in his first year of life, but is now a 2 year old rascal with a love for fast cars, fast bikes, fast…you get the idea. Our daughter is 4 years old going on 24 and keeping up with her is a challenge, even for my out of the box thinking husband.

    We wouldn’t trade our life for anything. Now we are helping to mentor other pre-marrieds on this crazy, beautiful journey. It’s our passion to see other couples succeed and learn just exactly why marriage is worth giving our everything! :) By God’s grace, we will be able to celebrate another 60+ years as one.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      My two year old is a thrill-seeker too. I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Holly

    i was 20 and my husb 22. We will be married 33 years this december. Everyone thought we were making a mistake getting married. We stayed together all these years to prove them wrong!! :)

  • Carol Vinson

    We were both 19 and had absolutely no idea what we were getting into! Only knowing that love would always be enough. We celebrated 32 years yesterday – here’s my post on what that has looked like and what I wish we had been told… http://www.upsidedowngrace.com/2013/08/an-image-not-yet-finished.html

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Beautiful post Carol! Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle

    We got married, we were both 20. We have had our ups and downs but I relate with your story. thanks for sharing!

  • Sirena Van Schaik

    Wonderful article. I married young, 21 and he was 24. We have been together since I was 16 and my mom’s opinion of him when I was 16 was that he would be the biggest mistake of my life. 20 years later, we are still together and celebrating 15 years of marriage this month. She has long since let go of that belief and believes that we were meant to be together. The wedding had nothing of me in the planning. I let my mother in law plan it, friends take pictures so I don’t have the wonderful photo of just the two of us, but I have all the years in between to celebrate. It wasn’t about the day, it was the years that took us to that day and have taken us to this one. Since getting married, we have had two wonderful boys and I couldn’t imagine not being with him. Yes, we have had some bad times but more good ones.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “It wasn’t about the day, it was the years that took us to that day and have taken us to this one.” — yes. Lovely.

  • Elise Richard

    Can I just say that I LOVE this!

    I had just turned 19 and he was 21. I was engaged as a senior in high school, and the summer after graduation we got married. I would not change anything for the world. I am so thankful for where God has taken us and how much we have grown together. I believe that we are stronger for marrying young. :)

    Your post just reminded me about why I am so thankful about my decision to marry young. Thank you for that.

    PS- The day that you posted this marked our 4th wedding anniversary. It is the little things. haha

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love that it came on your anniversary. So cool!

  • http://GrittyGrace.com Martha Brady

    i love this! we were young when we married too! i was 22, he was 30! compared to the 45 years we have been married, i can still tell you, we were so young! the struggles we experienced were ones we would have experienced b/c of our ages and stage in life for sure…and i’m glad we had each other to do it with!

    we have raised 3 lovely daughters…who are all grown and married too. GOD has been very gracious to us…far beyond anything we could have imagined!

  • Pam Youngblood

    That is a great story…you nailed it. People often say raising kids is the hardest job you’ll ever have. It’s true. I have three, but being married is sure a close second. We moved two years ago and I found our tax forms from the first year we were married. I was 18. He was 19. Together we made $16,000. Wow! crazy right? We bought our first house after being married for 6 months. It cost $20,000. Believe me, it looked like a $20,000 house too. The first Winter we were there, ice formed on the inside of the windows. Needless to say, we put new windows in the house the next Spring. We did a lot of work to it ourselves, learned a lot, and learned a lot about each other in the process. I’m happy to say we only lived in that house for five years, sold it for a pretty nice profit and moved on to something much nicer. We have had our ups and downs over the years, but we worked together through good times and bad. There are things in my life I wish I had done differently, but I have never regretted marrying young. We’ve grown up together. Last April we celebrated 32 years together and I’m still crazy about him.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Great story. Thanks Pam.

  • Laura Labbee

    I was 18, he was 20. In 18 days will we celebrate 19 years of marriage.

    We didn’t have a big wedding. Six people were there for the “I do” and we had a reception in his mom’s backyard. Around the 5 year mark we were growing up and growing apart. A big huge mistake almost ruined what we had, but sincere “I’m sorry”s were said along with a lot of forgiving and forgetting on both sides. The couple we became and continue to be amazes me everyday.

    I feel for people that do not truly understand the commitment behind a marriage. We are not perfect and still disagree and argue, but I know with every heartache, speed bump, twist and turn that comes our way, we will tackle it all together as a team. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I think most people go into it with a grasp of the commitment. But life can wear you down, and it can be hard when the heartache stems from your own relationship instead of outside issues that you can take on as a team. I know lots of couples where one is deeply committed and the other wants out. So much heartache, all of it so fragile.

      But I agree — the wedding is just a day. The things that seemed so important then will fade in time.

  • kkoppy

    I was 20, she was 18. We celebrated our 31st anniversary yesterday. We met when we were 16 and 13 and for me, it was love at first sight. Someone once told me that we were “co-dependent.” This same person divorced her husband less that six months later. My wife is my absolute best friend and I love being with her as much as possible. My life’s call is to love my wife like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. I consider loving my wife my HIGHEST call. Marriage takes work but it’s like a ball that starts rolling down hill and gets bigger and bigger; pretty soon it has a force and life of it’s own. It only needs nurture…. I love it!!!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Marriage takes work but it’s like a ball that starts rolling down hill and gets bigger and bigger; pretty soon it has a force and life of it’s own.” — what a beautiful metaphor. Thanks.

  • Shanna

    I was in tears within the first two lines! I can so relate! LOL We were married two weeks after highschool at 18. 14 years later we couldn’t be happier!! Thank you for this amazing article!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Shanna!

  • Kim

    This is soooo me! I was 18, turning 19 two weeks after we married. He was 20. That was 2 daughters, my lupus diagnosis, & 21 years ago this September. We have never spent a day apart. I love him more today than I did yesterday but half as much as I will tomorrow. He is the hardest working, best father & husband any woman could ever hope for. He is my everything. Growing up and growing old with him is an honor.

  • Josh

    My wife and I celebrated our 12th year of marriage in May; At the time she had just turned 18 and I was nearly 23. The love God has shown us to express to one another is the best glue; it’s apparent when were doing it right and when we’re doing it wrong. One of the things I really like is being a younger dad to my three kids; we might not go to Disney World, but when we go to King’s Island we are riding buddies!

  • Brenna Henry

    My husband and I got married when I was 18 and he was 19. We met when I was 12 and started dating when I was just about to turn 15. We have been married for 6 years and it has been hard, but I wouldn’t have done this with anyone else. I have truly married my best friend and it is wonderful.

  • Leasa Micheal Benefiel

    I was 18 and he was 21 and in the Navy. We have now been married for 13 years and have 5 boys and a 6th boy on the way. I believe getting married young works wonders. :)

  • Jenny Walker

    This is beautiful. My husband and I married when I was 19 and he was almost 24. He was the knight who came and rescued me. My son was 2 months old (bio dad no where near) when I met Steve. He immediately took my son in as his and has raised him in love, pain, sickness, frustration and agony for the last 10 years with me. We had a daughter together 9 days after our first wedding anniversary. Let me tell ya, having your first wedding anniversary, being 9 months pregnant AND it being mother’s day is not exactly fun. ;) We heard it all, about how being young parents and married would ruin us, we wouldn’t last. Well, we’ve been together for almost 10 years and married for 8 1/2. It’s hard, it sucks sometimes and sometimes it seems not worth it. But despite him being so aggravating (and I’m sure I’m not exactly easy to live with at times!) , we love each other and keep at it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this. Thanks for sharing Jenny.

  • acdorris

    I was 18, my husband-to-be was 17. Our own family members were taking bets at our wedding on how long we would last, but we knew going in that being married was going to be more work than we’d ever experienced before and we were looking forward to doing it together. Now, it is ten years and three children later. The work hasn’t gotten any easier and we have never been happier.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      The work hasn’t gotten any easier and we have never been happier. Lovely.

  • Jessica O’Meara

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever read and I’m not even a reader… I only recently got married this year at 23 and sometimes I think I was too young, I thought my marriage was over at 3 months but I didn’t quite understand…on the other hand we are fighting strong… not only that but my wedding too was on a budget, never had a honeymoon and had a reception at my small house with about 40 people… I still never regret it even if I had $$ was the best day of my life couldn’t ask for anymore…

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Jessica!

  • cassy

    This is a wonderful story to read! I was 19 when I got married and my husband was 22. We are now approaching our first wedding anniversary and I have faith that we too can have a life of love for the rest of our days.

    Thank you for this, I loved reading every second of it.

  • Doug Dobbs

    What great wisdom and excellent advice/perspective.

    And thank you for your author’s note on the end. The kindness and thoughtfulness of that touches me more than I can tell you. It is an ongoing ache that we didn’t survive and wholeness seems to elude me.

    • Lin

      Keep your head up and keep the faith. You never know what’s in store for you in the days ahead. I, too, know the pain of divorce and the toll it takes on you physically and emotionally…but life does go on. You’ll go through your highs and lows, but I’m sure you’ll find someone worth sharing your life with. Someone who will love you to the moon and back, and you’ll do the same for that person. When the time is right God will bring them to you. For whatever reason, now is not the right time. I wish you luck and love in your future!! :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thank you Doug. In our marriage, we came so close to the edge. When I look back, I’m amazed at the grace that kept us together. That’s all it was — grace. It gave me a new appreciation of how fragile the whole thing is and a new depth of understanding for those who have to walk away. Speaking a prayer for wholeness for you this morning.

  • Not Supermom

    We were both 21. Almost 11 years later, and we’ve seen more that I ever could have imagined. We have seen Autism. We have seen learning disabilities. We’re currently staring down cancer and winning.

    He’s my heart. Tonight, he’s away on business so I’m sitting here sobbing like a maniac because I can’t tell him good night and that I love him more than words.

    He’s my Batman. <3

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Vallere

    I was barely 22, he was 24. We had met 4 years prior on the first day of my freshman year at college. I still have a letter I wrote “to my future husband” just 3 months after meeting him. We just celebrated 11 years of marriage. It’s been hard…so hard…at times. We’ve been dirt poor, we’ve lived beyond our means, we’ve learned to budget, we’ve saved, we’ve travelled. We’ve navigated the births of 4 children, the loss of a fifth, the prospect of adoption. We’ve moved 13 times. We’ve laughed together, played pranks on each other, argued, cried. prayed. And after it all, I love him more today than I did 11 years ago :)

  • sally

    You two look like two very nice people who got married and because you’re both very nice people—-knew to be nice to each other.
    That alone should help a lot in keeping a marriage together.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Everybody has their not-so-nice parts. We are no different. Sometimes we’re downright nasty!

  • Barb & Ron in Washington State

    I was 17, he was 19. I’d graduated from high school the week before. He was earning $1.87 an hour, me a new job at a bank for $1.25. Rent was $50.00. Some days and some years were a struggle, more were blessed and wonderful. We celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary this year. No one would have guessed that kind of success back then. Sometimes people ask us how we made it this many years. Our answer? Never give up. Stay and work it out. Sometimes what seems like ‘the problem’ is only a symptom of the real problem. Figure it out. Work it out. Love each other in spite of it all.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this story and this bit of advice especially: “Sometimes what seems like ‘the problem’ is only a symptom of the real problem.” Yes.

  • Rachel

    I love reading all of these sweet comments. We are planning to get married in May. I’ll be 19 and he will be 22. We’ll be moving across the country with the Air Force. We have been together for four years and no one makes me happier. Everyone is telling us that we will change and grow up, but despite their warnings we are going to try anyways. I am certain young marriage will work for us too :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Yes, you will change and you will grow up, and not always in tandem with one another. The growing pains can be excruciating when you get married so young, but if you can stick it out, it’s a beautiful thing.

  • lschmoopie

    I was 18. He was 24. Fast forward 35 years later. We’re still here, still happy, still in love, and have a lifetime of memories together. This was a beautiful posting. Thanks for sharing.

  • Beth

    I love reading all of these success stories. I met my husband when I was 15 and he was 17. We married when I was 18 by two weeks; he was 20. Too young to rent a car on our honeymoon so we rode the hotel shuttle with the senior citizens! Still married 33 years later and no its not easy but worth every bit of it. I love him like crazy and would be lost without him. To all the young people getting married be faithful to each other and communicate and let God do his work. Its really pretty simple, we are the ones that make it difficult.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      We were too young to rent a car too! And to have alcohol at our wedding (a few kind friends and relatives bought us champagne anyway for the honeymoon.) Not easy but worth it. Yes.

  • http://www.piganddac.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    Ohhh this made me ugly cry!!! Married at 19, all of this really hit home. Wish I could’ve read something like this during the hard, early years. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary in April this year :D Love love love this <3

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Jessica. Love the ugly cry!

  • Lisa Lizabeth Ann Newberry

    We have merred for 2 years. we got marred when he was 18 and i was 20. we had a little one 4 months latter i still get funny looks when people find out we are marred.

  • ArmyWife711

    We’re still young, at 24, but we’ve spent 5 years learning what marriage really means. We definitely still have countless lessons to learn and rough patches to endure, though I’m hopeful they’ll be survivable. As a military couple we’ve been through a great deal in our short time and the separations make your love feel so much more intense. So the times without separations feel like low points and you have to remind yourself that this is a “normal” life to most people. We’re currently going through one of those low points, being post deployment, and moving to a new duty station back stateside. We’ve been overwhelmed, stressed out, confused, culture shocked, and drained physically and financially, and we’ve taken it out on each other… this blog couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I’ve really been wondering if this is the life I want to have. It’s more than inspiring to read this, and the comments, and it’s the reminder I’ve been in desperate need of. Thank you!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      That sounds like such a hard life. I’m so sorry you’re at a low point, and I hope that you are granted beauty and peace in this season. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amanda

    my husband and I got married when we were just barely 20. He deployed not long after and deployed again not long after he got home from the first. We celebrated our 5 yr anniversary in June. The first years were hard. We were scared. We wondered if it was a mistake. But we were stubborn and we loved each other so much at the root of everything. If Iraq and a Air Craft Carrier couldn’t separate our love… then who are we to do it ourselves? We’ve never been happier. The best advice was what my mother told me. “Your love will change. It doesn’t mean it is gone. Just growing.” And it is becoming more true every day. I wouldn’t change a thing. We didn’t have a big wedding. Suits from JC Penny’s and a wedding dress and a sun dress for my maid of honor. It was perfectly imperfect.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Your love will change. It doesn’t mean it is gone. Just growing.” Such great advice. Thanks Amanda.

  • basl4l384

    It was about 3 months before my 19th birthday, and 17 days before he turned 20. We had only been together for about a year when we married. We were crazy in love. Almost 11 years, 3 kids and a few deployments later we are still going strong! It hasn’t always been easy, its definitely been a struggle at times, but when I look at him, I know there couldn’t be anyone else better than him for me. I look forward to the days when I can say I have spent the past 50+ years with this man if mine :) We went into this marriage knowing it wasn’t always going to be fun and easy. We knew it would be hard, but we also knew that we didn’t want divorce to be an easy way out. Fight for what you want, no matter how hard it may seem.

  • Rachel Paulk Carlisle

    Love it.. truer words have never been spoken. I was 16 he was 18 and we were fast on our way to becoming parents. We celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary on 2/18/14. we have 3 beautiful daughters, 3 great son in laws and 2 beautiful grand daughters… it has never been easy, and sometimes looking back when you had nothing but the love you shared and the yard sale finds to decorate your place with, they we were the some of the happiest moments… life changes and you’ll find that your love changes… luckily as you’ve grown up together, you change with each other and learn to appreciate all the new chapters in the future… God bless you.. for he surely has us…

  • Shey

    Wow I absolutely love this. Even though I am STILL young, WE are still young (21, turning 22 in October. He turned 25 today) we have been together for 5.5 yrs and have a 4 yr old son I can relate so much. We definitely grew together and will continue to grow. It has most definitely not been easy but so far it is so worth it. I can’t wait to look back years down the road and see how much we have grown and accomplished together. Great job!

  • txgirl2

    We were 19 and 21 when we walked down that aisle, just two skinny kids hopelessly in love. Today we have been married for 33 years, with two grown children and a most precious grandson. It has been blissful and terrible, easy and a struggle, painful and healing all rolled into one. There have been days I wish I could have turned back the clock and chosen the “other” path to the other life I was supposed to have. There have been struggles and times I didn’t think we could hold on. There have been many more days, though, throughout these 33 years when I realize we are good together. Our lives are hopelessly intertwined, and I can’t imagine not having him by my side. He is truly my other half. Celebrate your 10 years together, and each decade after. If you can hold on through the bumps in the road, it is a sweet ride.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “It has been blissful and terrible, easy and a struggle, painful and healing all rolled into one.” — yes. Beautifully said.

  • Married for Life

    What a great piece and wonderful advice. US? I was 20, he was 23….a year into our marriage we found out children were not possible. We tried all the new procedures at the time but none were successful. I fell into a depression that only the love and strength of this wonderful man could help me out of. 30 years later, he’s still holding my hand and standing by my side. We are surrounded by the love of family and friends who generously share their giggling, screaming, funny children – sometimes a little too generously. I’m grateful for the 30 years we have had so far, but it’s the next 100 I’m exited about.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      That must have been devastating, and I love the way you guys bolstered each other through it. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.

  • younglove

    Thanks you so much. . .I got married at 19. . almost 20. . . today is my 23rd birthday. . .definitely have been struggeling with ‘the other twenty somethings’ recently. . and its been tough. but, this was exactly what I needed to read. . . <3

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Been there. At some point, you realize how much you gave up to choose this life. Keep doing the hard work of love. It’s worth it.

  • Leona Doggett Robertson

    married at 16 and my man was 19 and we will celebrate 43 years of marriage in November. They said it wouldn’t last but we have proved them wrong and we are still very much in love.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      43 years! Wonderful.

  • magyarmima

    excellent!!

  • Jennifer

    This Post is so true on so many levels. I was 19 and he was six months past his 18th birthday. He was in the Army and I was a small town girl that loved adventure. From the day we met it was fireworks. Telling my family wasn’t hard, but leaving was a different story.Going from a house of 6 to you and a husband that worked 14hrs a day was hard. We eloped on a Tuesday(it was the only day he had off that month) I drove 8hrs the night before, and then at 10am Tuesday February 1st we walked into the court house. I was a wreck. Do i really want to do this? I’ll be giving up all my fun. This is forever Jennifer, can you handle that? Were all words that rang loud in my head. We were too broke to even afford rings so as the magistrate asked if there would be an exchange of rings I said no. Well to my surprise he has went out and spent his last $100 dollars on a stainless steel band with clear crystals in it. Then, all of a sudden my fears were gone. I knew then that this man would always put me before himself. It has been three years now and I have cried, screamed and wanted to leave, I have also laughed, smiled and thought life couldnt get better than it was in those moments. We have grown up so much and we have done this together. Looking back at how young we were but how grown we thought we were makes me laugh. Now we have been through 2 duty stations and onto our 3rd here in the next few months. Thank you for this and I cant wait until we celebrate our 10 year anniversary!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      This is such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

      • Flo-Flo

        I was just 19 and he was 22. Just engaged and the Army called him up and so we got married two month after. All I can say is it has been the best 53 years of our life’s. Three children, 10 grandchildren and now our first great-grand child.

  • Nizak

    I was 19 she was 18… Going on 7 years now!

  • Stacy

    I read this and had tears this morning, maybe because my husband is out of town and I’ll be joining him in a few days.
    We started dating a few days before I turned 15. Dated all the way through high school and 4 years long distance during college. Got married when we were both 21, a few months after I finished college. 2 days later we started driving cross-country from Michigan with everything we could stuff in a Ford Escort because I had a job waiting in Phoenix. We celebrated our 9 year anniversary this past July. Last year a few days before I turned 30 marked the landmark of being together half our lives. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      What a great story. Thanks for sharing Stacy.

  • Richard

    I’m 29. She’s 22. We’ve only been married two years. We got married only after 3 months of being together. Everyone thought we were pregnant. Nope. Blindly in love? Yea, probably. Confident? Absolutely. Going to war has taught me you’re never truly ready for anything until you jump right in. Looking forward to stacking the years on.

    • Melissa

      That’s so special!!!!!!!! I been married 4 yrs. No one thought me and my husband who is 27 iam 33 would make it when we got married. Proved them alllllllll wrong!!!!!!!…lol I married him right after he finished tech-school. I have 2 boys from other relationships. And me and my husband have a wonderful baby girl who is 20 months. I cant wait to be one of those old couples on the news that been together for 70 yrs….lol

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Going to war has taught me you’re never truly ready for anything until you jump right in.” – yes.

  • iacyclones

    Great story! My fiance and I met when we were both 18, and now, 4 years later, we are getting married in 3 weeks! My mom was 16 when my dad proposed to her shortly before going into the navy, and after almost 37 years, 4 children, and 8 grandchildren, they still act like young kids in love. They’re bond became the example of what true love really is, and I know I’ve found that.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Thanks for sharing here.

  • Diane

    This is so wonderful. I married the Love of My Life when I was 19 and he was 22. We have 3 grown children now, have celebrated a wedding for one of them a few years ago, and had our first grandbaby this year. It’s hard to look back at our wedding pictures and even IMAGINE how young and unprepared we were, but we truly have grown up together.

    One of the things you said really stood out for me, and I wanted to tell you about our story. You said to go out for your anniversary every year, even if it was just to McDonalds. This is SO TRUE!! On our first anniversary, we had already moved from one state to another, had a baby, and lost our jobs. We were homeless, living in my mom and dad’s spare bedroom. So needless to say, on our anniversary, we were BEYOND broke.

    But my beloved husband knew it was an important day, and so he ‘splurged’ on a gift box from Hickory Farms…$5 worth of summer sausage and cheese, and a bottle of sparkling cider (couldn’t BEGIN to afford champagne!) He arranged for my parents to take our son out for a few hours, and we had an indoor picnic of cheese, sausage, ‘wine’, and crackers on the floor in front of my parents fireplace. It was ridiculously romantic, and literally more than we could really afford. We talked about the highlights of our first year, and encouraged each other that life would be better.

    But that event sparked a memorial in our lives. It has become our tradition….for 27 years now…to get a link of summer sausage, a favorite cheese, a nice box of crackers, and a bottle of wine (yep! We can afford the champagne, now! lol) and sit together and reflect on the year gone by. We have never missed a year, except for the two he spent on deployment with the US Navy. It has become one of our very favorite, most sacred parts of every anniversary, and we wouldn’t have it if we had decided ‘We just can’t afford to do anything, maybe next year.’

    Keep writing, keep growing..together AND individually, and keep loving each other. I wish you many more decades of love and happiness.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love this story and the tradition you made out of it. So beautiful.

  • Kristin Pilkington

    beautifully written!! me and my spouse were married at 19 and 22.. been married 16 years and counting :) we have a beautiful daughter almost 4 yrs old.. he joined the military 4 yrs after we married.. its been a hard but joyful experience and look forward to all the new things we can get into as the years come!

  • Sarah M Pemberton

    That’s beautiful and nearly everything you said, we went through. We married at 19 and 20 and have been married 9 years and 2 months. We’ve gone through college together and are in debt up to our necks from it. Our house is decorated still with hand-me-downs and second hand items. We’ve been through unemployment twice, each time for a year to a year-and-a-half. We’ve moved many times and have been through a lot. But I love my husband so very much. He’s truly my best friend on the planet. Our happy memories and two beautiful children make every struggle worth it. So worth it.

  • Allisyn Varalla

    We were 19 with a baby on the way and everyone including are families said it would not work! Our son will be 16 in Dec and we will celebrate 16 years of marriage in October!
    #beatingtheodds

  • jleigh7205

    I was 19, he was 21. We’ve been HAPPILY married for 8 years. I remember people telling us we were too young. We may have been too young, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  • Anne

    I was 22 and he just turned 21 five days before the wedding. We have been married 33 years, 4 kids, 1 grandchild, one grand on the way. We grew up together. I went back to grad school, he went back to college. We are still in our first “starter ” house, but we are best friends because we have been through so much together. Loss of parents, cancer, job loss, business loss. But we have also had the joy of HS graduations, two kids college graduations, one wedding, lots of honors being given to our kids and the pride we have in how great of kids they turned out to be. Getting married young does work!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Wonderful!

  • Adnarim

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! My husband and I have only been married for a year and a half. He’s 23 and I’m 21 and we have SO much life ahead of us. We know it will be hard, but we’re committed, and we’re happy and so in love and we’re committed to trying to keep that love alive. After hearing so much criticism from family and others, I thank God for stories like yours and I thank you for sharing. It helps. :) God bless you and your husband and your next 10 years! :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Yes. It’s definitely not an easy path, but it’s a worthwhile one. Lots of beauty and hard times ahead. Grace and peace.

  • Alyssa

    Boohooed! My husband and I got engaged at 8 months of dating in 2010, and married at ages 21 and 22 in October of 2011. We celebrated 4 years together this year and will also celebrate out 2nd wedding anniversary. In the short amount of time I feel like we have experienced every emotion and scenario discussed in this article. We have asked each other if we just need to allow ourselves to get divorced and chalk it up to nothing being wrong other than we just married too young, we have worked through arguments from 4pm-7am with exhaustion fueling the inability to communicate our emotions. We have shook our fists says “because I just love you!” when trying to defend why we shouldn’t split up. but we have also held each other in our first home purchased at 22 and 23- it is two stories and brick and perfect and we did all on our own. We have high fived each other through graduations, obtaining careers, and countless other successes. We have been forced in purchasing our first car together and are learning where out compromise is in what we want, need, and what will look the best wit car seats in the future.
    We’ve done this all with God. When we were at our lowest, we were our furthest from God. Since we have become closer to God and planted our feet in a church we both decided on, we have been unable to count our blessings. My husband became a reverend 2 Sundays ago, and today I watched him baptize someone for the first time and it was a young person who has watched us grow over the two years and has been so influenced us whether we realized it or not. I thank God for everything that happens in our lives. When we hit rough spot now we put out head down and pray hard and push hard.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love this so much. Thanks for the honesty and beauty!

  • Kailah

    This is beautiful! We were both 19. We’ll be celebrating 12 years in October. Our friends were all pissed off and betting on how long we’d last. 4 kids later we’ve been through ups and downs, highs and lows, but it’s all worth it, going through life with my best friend at my side. :)

  • Kimmijo13

    You impeccably captured the essence of marrying young, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! What an amazing time for me to read this! My husband and I got married right after my 18th birthday, and right before his. Yes, his mom had to sign for him to be allowed to marry. In four days, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary and we are even more in love than we have ever been. He was, is and will always be my best friend! We have three beautiful daughters and although earlier than we would have planned, also have an amazing grandson. We have been totally been blessed!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congrats on your 20th! Thanks for sharing!

  • smoslander

    This was great! My husband and I dated for 5 years (started when I was 15 and he was 17) and then got married when I turned 20. He passed away 2 months ago suddenly and I am by myself with 2 kids (3 1/2 and 2) and one on the way and I am so glad that we got married young. We would have celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary last month and on that day I was sad, but also so glad that even at 26 I can say that I had 11 wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) with him. A loving husband and father who I would have loved more time with, but God knew when we got married young what He was planned and He let us start early. It is a wonderful gift to have so many firsts with one person and so much growing up and learning with them :-)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Your perspective is brave and beautiful even in the middle of such a hard place. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tzipporah

    I was 18 and my husband 20. Now we’re 15 yrs out and I can say that this post was astoundingly accurate as well as beautifully written.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thank you so much.

  • Chantal

    This is beautiful and describes our life together perfectly. We were married at 19 and 20 years old with the ugly pink bridesmaid dresses, family friend taking our photos, parents shaking their heads at us, friends in disbelief… we’ve been married for five years so far and plan on many many more. I never would have imagined how painful and hard some moments would be but also how full our lives would become together. We still go on dates and I still miss him when we get too busy with work. I’m so thankful I caught a good one. :]

  • Becca

    He was 19 and I was 20. We didn’t even have alcohol at our wedding. I was so scared because we didn’t have money to pay for my dream wedding. His parents put so much into us and into our wedding. On October 22, we’ll be celebrating two years married. In a month we are making our first big move – all the way across country. This post was so encouraging. We have nights where we don’t go to sleep until it is morning because we are trying desperately to sort through an argument. Thanks so much for posting this. Marriage is definitely beautiful an chaotic and painful and wonderful.

  • Caleb Koval

    I was 20, Arianna was 19. Our wedding was $1500 and paid out of pocket by the money I had saved up during tech school. We had a wonderful reception with family. and our closest friends. Too young for alcohol and our cake lady ruined the wedding cake but we didn’t care, it was a very crazy and happy day for us. Managed to stay debt free and in love ever since. We just had our 2nd anniversary 5 days ago. We’ve moved three times with each apt a little bit bigger than the last. Now expecting out very first baby due New Years. ^_^ love is a choice and each day I get to wake up next to Arianna that choice gets easier. The best part is that I get to take her to OUR home every night.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Our wedding cake was a bit of a disaster too. It was supposed to look like a castle. It looked like a wedding cake with mushrooms on top. Not the best.

  • NaTacia

    Hubby and I are both turning 24 this years and going on 4 years of marriage! People thought we were crazy and our marriage would end within a year. 2 babies later we are still strong and still in love! Wonderful to see so many others married young in successful marriages!

  • ttaplehcar

    I was 20, he was 19 (only a month before he turned 20)… we had big plans, but ended up just getting married at the courthouse. A year and a half later, we had our son… another year and a half later, here we are, better now than we were then. These comments are very inspiring. :)

  • Jenn

    So you think that you experience all of these wonderful life journeys just BECAUSE you married young? What about the people who have these adventures on their own? Are their experiences meaningless or somewhat lessened because they don’t have someone to “share their life with?” Seems like you think you’re better than anyone who DIDN’T marry young. Get off your high horse – you are no different than anyone else; you are not special. There are a million other people just like you.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I’m so sorry if this post came off that way at all Jenn. I definitely wouldn’t say anyone else’s experiences are meaningless or less valid or beautiful because they didn’t marry young. And for every success story of a young marriage unfolding beautifully, I know there is another unspoken heartbreak, a marriage that dissolved painfully. You only have to look at the statistics to know that.

      This is simply my reflection on what it’s like when you marry young. I tried to write the beauty as well as the rotten of it. I think the commenters here are mostly just echoing that with their own stories — not to say that this is the BEST way, but rather, this is how it went for us.

    • Bluebird1213

      Wow Jenn. Bitter much?

  • XercesBlue4

    I was 17 when i started dating my fiance. Though we are not married yet. June made 9 years for us. This has been some of the best, and worst years of my life. Struggling with infertility issues has been the worst on our relationship. Most people i have come to know, do not understand the hurt, pain, and even anger that comes along with infertility. We have blamed ourselves,and blamed each other. We decided young into our relationship we were ready for children, and 8 years later we still have not been blessed. I would not change my life with him. He has supported me in my darkest times, and i him. Everyone told us we wouldnt make it because i was so young, and he is much older than i am. It has been hard, but it has been worth it.

    • Bored

      Just relax and enjoy your time, just the two of you. I found with both of our babies, that they happened when we weren’t planning or trying. When it happens, it changes everything. Mostly in a good way, but there will be growing pains, because you’ll find out things about yourself that you can’t know before you’re in the hotseat.
      I also wouldn’t worry about the age gap. ;) My mom was 9 years older than my step-dad, and always felt like a cradle robber, but he absolutely adored her, and treated her like a Queen, and because of the way my dad abused her, she was careful to treat him well, until she realized how different he was, and she blossomed. It was weirdly sweet to see them together for me, as a teenager, because they were so daggum sappy! I am so grateful that she found him and had true love for the last few years of her life, before she died unexpectedly at 46.

      • XercesBlue4

        I have a disease that while it is not impossible, it is highly unlikely i will ever be able to get pregnant. We have already used up all the rounds of fertility drugs our Reproductive Endocrinologist will allow. So unless by some miracle some day we are able to afford IVF, it will probably never happen for us. We are trying to adopt now. Our story is a long one, so to cut it short. The mother still has rights to our little girl, but we have been keeping her since she was 3 months old, and shes almost a year and a half now. She is the light of my life. But i know that at any moment, her “mother” can take her away from us. She has been the best thing to happen to me. But i have to live my life in fear every day, that her she may come take her from us. It is extremely hard. But i love her more than i ever knew was possible to love someone.

        • Bored

          I’m sorry. That stinks. An aunt of mine did foster care, had a little boy for over a year, adopted him, then the father, who claimed no knowledge of the boy, stepped in and wanted him back. Because it’s so hard to prove a lack of knowledge, he won. They had had the baby since he was a couple weeks old, and while they kept in contact with the mom (she was in rehab) she never told them it was possible the father might step in. It was horrible for them and the baby. I will pray for you guys <3

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I know that infertility can be desperately lonely and excruciating. I’m so sorry that you guys have had to experience that.

    • catholicchristian

      If it makes you feel any better, my wife and I had planned to wait two years, and then start our family. But, six years in, we still had not succeeded. But we prayed about it, and were Told, “Just wait.” We resolved that we would be the best aunt and uncle to our niblings (yes, that’s “nieces and nephews collectively”) and just accepted that that’s how things could turn out for us. They didn’t; we now have 5 kids. But just as being “poor in spirit” is necessary no matter how rich you are, we accepted being “childless in spirit” which not only made our niblings closer to us in spirit (a situation which continues to this day), but made us appreciate the gift of our children even more. I hope that your pent-up parental love can find an outlet; that you can adopt-in-spirit children who, like all children, can never get enough of such love.

      • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

        I love the word “niblings.” I’m totally stealing it. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/shrinkwithnatalie Natalie Pool

    I was 18 and he was 21 – LOL! It was all a blur … We met in August and were married in November! We were so blessed to have so many friends and family help us! Not all supported us, but we didn’t care. We are complete opposites. Has our marriage been perfect? Absolutely not. Has it gotten incredibly hard – a few times. But when BOTH people are willing to fight for a marriage no matter what, it works. In a few months we will celebrate our 13th anniversary and it has all been worth it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congrats on your coming 13-year anniversary! Thanks for sharing, Natalie.

  • Bored

    I was 3 weeks past my 20th birthday, he was just past his 23rd, and we were 8 1/2 months pregnant (he proposed before we knew) at the justice of the peace with just my mom and stepdad. We had tried to plan for a day when the rest of our (his) family could be there, but it just never worked out (we’ve never heard the end of that!), so on Thursday, he said “I told Chris (his brother in law) I’m gonna be late tomorrow, and we’re gonna get married” Quick trip to find something to cover my belly that wasn’t his, called my Mom, and did it by noon. Went and saw Spiderman, (he didn’t go in that day after all lol) and made a weekend of it. Had our baby girl a week and a half later.
    In a couple weeks, we celebrate 9 years of marriage. I wish we had more pics of that day (without the big belly or slippers! lol) because I remember giggling through the entire thing like a schoolgirl with her crush, and being so happy.
    I had had a crush on him (and he, me, unbeknownst to me) for several years, and neither of us thought the other had even noticed our existence, aside from as a friend of a friend.
    We have been through a lot. Things that should have broken us. Things that hurt to recall. Things that made us better. There are days I wanna wring his neck, and I’m sure he feels the same, but I would quickly knock someone down a peg or two for saying anything bad about him, even on those days.
    I love him, but more importantly, I’m still IN love WITH him.
    I know people who wait, and miss out, or still have these problems. Marriage is a joining of lives. It’s not easy. We go into it as this person, and then blend with that person, and change. It’s natural. It’s sometimes painful, but they growth is worth it when it’s with the right person

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I got the giggles during my wedding too. :) Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Randy Brunson

    Been reading through some of your posts, the first of which was forwarded by a cousin. Thank you for writing.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Randy. Glad you found your way here!

  • glitter2987

    I was 23 he was 24 we moved our date 3 times because my dad was really sick and I was afraid of loosing my dad. I said I didn’t want a July wedding well I got one. I hated my dress no one came hardly on my side. and our first year I had one life threating surgery plus another surgery and he had major back surgery we lost everything but we have been married 3 years and even though we fight we still love each other and that will never change!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love the beautiful things that spring out of far-from-perfect beginnings. Beautiful.

  • Michael Kirkpatrick

    Thank you for this message. I am 20 and engaged, with 9 months to go until our wedding. I couldn’t be more excited! Although I know there will be “hard times”, most people don’t really take the time to elaborate on that. Your writing here is so beautiful and well-written that it made me feel what it’s like, but didn’t make me scared at all. Still very uplifting and encouraging. I probably comment on less than 10% of the articles I read online, but this one spoke to me so deeply I just had to say thank you for writing this.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Michael. You’re right — most people don’t elaborate on the hard times much…probably because it’s so different for everyone…and often so hard and personal. Congrats on your upcoming wedding. Wishing you all the love and grace.

  • Melanie Davis Talbot

    Thanks for sharing this! This is my story exactly. I love the part about all the garage sale finds and thinking they are treasures. That was us! When we married, I was just 19 and he was 21. We worked through college together and were poor as church mice but so very happy! 19 years later now, we have 5 kids and though we have had our ups and downs, I wouldn’t change any of it. I have learned so much! Thanks again for your powerful words!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I still kind of think garage sale finds are treasures. But I’m a little more picky now. ;-)

  • 天才蒙蒙亮

    Well done, life is hard wherever you live and whoever you live it with.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thank you. Yes.

  • Alexa Lytle

    I married my husband at 19 years old. (We are 2 days apart in age). And it has been the best almost 6 years of my life. We def. have watched each other grow from children to adults (as we are now 25). and although we may not be as giggly in our love anymore, it is still so strong. We have been through his 4 years in the Marine Corps. The loss of our firstborn daughter. The joys and struggles of parenting a little boy and now expecting another little blessing. Unemployment. We too started out with used furniture and our first home was a very run down trailer. Now I sit in our first owned little home that is filled with new furniture, although we have kept the crappy nightstands just because. Haha. I don’t recall anyone telling us it wouldn’t work. Thankfully we were blessed with so much support. Hesitation of course was dealt with among family but I guess everyone knew what we already knew. We were meant to be! I always knew marriage was hard work, and it is, although I find it easy to do with my best friend. I think it is because we always put the other first. We never had any notions that love would be easy and perfect. And because of this it has been pretty much perfect. :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      It’s probably good that we’re not as giggly anymore. “Giggly” gets weirder the older you get, amiright?

  • Amanda Cook

    When my husband and I married, I was a month away from turning 22, and he was two months away from 23. We had been dating since I was 14. Although no one said as much, I’m certain both our families thought we were crazy. We had nowhere to live, no jobs, and a ton of student loans and credit card debt. We just celebrated 4 years, and while we still reside with my parents, we both work hard, love each other fiercely, and while it’s never going to be perfect, I am so glad I took the plunge with the best friend I’ve ever had. I am so looking forward this the rest of the adventure!!

  • lmb

    Sounds just like me and my hubby – married at almost 20, and 22, respectively .. 20 years ago January 2014! Just like growing up together, then growing old together. :)

  • Aundrea Walker Shafer

    Two weeks after I turned 21 and three weeks after he turned 22 we were married. Everyone said it wouldn’t last, that we were out of our minds. Here we stand 7 going on 8 years later.

  • Winnie

    This post is crazy. Just this morning I was wondering what it would be like to be with somebody else, but I love my husband way too much. We’re coming up on our 1 year anniversary and got married when I was 21 and he was 19, and this has been the hardest year of my life, but also the best, and this article was so encouraging for me to stop wondering what it would be like with somebody else and work even harder at my marriage.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So glad this was encouraging to you Winnie! SO SO easy to go down that road, especially when things are hard. Thanks for sharing.

  • eliseo guajardo

    My wife and I married at 20 and 23 year old 21 years ago. We just celebrated our 21st anniversary. Everyone assumed I knocked her up and that we would never last. Our oldest of four is 19, in college, and made the Dean’s list after her freshmen year. We have three others, 16, 14, and 12. Our 16 year old will hopefully graduate in the top 25 of his class, he’s 27th starting his freshmen year, in a school of over 2000 students, graduating class around 400 or so. I have heard so many people say that they are more successful as older parents, because they are wiser. I always chime in and say that my kids are awesome and we are awesome parents. All of my children are well adjusted and successful in school. But, we encourage their individuality and never force them to do anything as our parents did to us. We have been through tremendously hard times and survived. My mother-in-law was in a car accident, after our first year of marriage and a few weeks after our first child. She was left a quadriplegic and after almost a year in the hospital and rehab, we took her in, and my wife provided care for her for nearly 10 years until she passed away. Trust me this was not an easy time, financially, nor mentally. It strained our marriage and tested us in many ways. But, I love my wife more now than ever. So, to all those who thought it would never last, including my parents, 21 years!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Wow. So much has happened — beautiful and terrible — for you both. Thanks for sharing.

  • maryan

    so many great stories. My parents just celebrated their 62nd anniversary, and still pat each others behinds when they think noone is looking. Dad dropped out of school to join the Navy, was sent to Wash. State. So Mom dropped out and took a bus across the country in a snow blizzard to “get hitched”, with no friends or family around. Lucky for us 10 kids, 33 grandkids, and income level to make “poverty look sick, they are still so much in love. They set a good example for us all.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love your parents’ story. So cute!

  • LJ

    My husband and I were 20 and 18 when we got married. You spoke the words of my heart! Thank you for that! We have been married for 17 years now, and there have been some fantasticly amazing times, some horribly bad times that we look back on and know that God is the only reason we both lived through them, and every thing in between. I am so thankful that when we said “I do” we never gave up and kept fighting. We have 2 fantastic boys that know it takes hard work to make a marriage work! Thanks for the post!

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  • Lori Farquhar

    My husband and I married when he was 16 and I was 18! We’ve been VERY happily married for 25 years now, raised three kids, who were all home schooled, graduated college within a year of our two daughters, and are now enjoying having two married children! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • DenMoor75

    so……here’s one that will make all your eyes roll….lol. I was 18 and my husband was 24 when we were married…..I know I hear a collective “gasp!!!” But let me start by saying when I first started chasing my husband (yep, I was the aggressor), my mom was very protective of me. She said if he wanted to see me, it would be on HER terms. He could only come to our house, I wasn’t allowed in the car with him, he wasn’t allowed to drink around me, etc. He jumped through every hoop….guessing he kinda liked me too. Anyways, to make a long story short, my husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this coming September. Good and bad, it has been quite a ride!!! One that I would line up for and ride all over again with him, even if I was guaranteed that nothing would change. We are the proud parents of two boys, and looking forward to looking back together.I can’t wait to be sitting across from him at the table, over our morning coffee, falling in love with him all over again ♥

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • mp

    we got married when I was 19 and he was 21.. pink and brown bridesmaid dresses. celebrated 7 years in July and it’s been hard.. but worth it. I’m going to save this blog post and pull it out from time to time.. so full of great reminders. Thanks :)

  • LaMonte Monnell Sr.

    We were married in 1973! My wife was 17 and I was 19. We just celebrated our 40th Anniversary. I was still living at home with my parents, and so was my wife. We have three son’s, and 5 grandchildren. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy, they are lying to you. There are money issues, job issues, family issues, kid issues. But looking back we have always been in love with each other. We have seen our parents pass on, grandparents pass on, brothers and sisters die. But even through it all, sometimes thinking we can’t go on, we do. Life has so many challenges, so many happy moments, and so many difficult ones. But giving up on one another was never an option for us. We love each other and hope to have many, many more happy years ahead of us, God willing.

  • ForTheLoveOfOvaries.wordpress

    I feel like I’m reading my own story. Married young, it became disastrous. And then, it wasn’t. Thanks for putting these wonderful thoughts on paper.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love this line: “Married young, it became disastrous. And then, it wasn’t. ” So good.

  • BruisedButBeggingForRedemption

    Within the last two weeks my hubby and I have decided to try and give our marriage another try after 9 months of a divorce, a restraining order, bruises and scratches, pornography, and stitches. We were madly in love at the outset, and things turned for the very worst 2 months after we met at the altar.

    We’ve had some amazing times, we’ve had some tearful scream-matches, we’ve physically gone toe to toe (which I’m finding out happens more often than people admit). Two stubborn, youngest-kids-in-the-family, spoiled brats got married, fell apart, grew up a bit and are trying again…this time attempting a trulyGod-centered, with significant counseling, prayer twice a day, fast twice a week, 8-page letter detailing what we’re apologetic about, a 6-page reconciliation agreement to be negotiated and signed with our Pastor, a life-plan, weekly plan, monthly budget, and a commitment to a heart to heart once a week, go at the marriage.

    I’m scared as all get out. But if we make it and turn out wonderful, what a beautiful story of redemption — a story of Christ — that could be used to encourage other super fragile marriages in danger. It looks like a very long, hard, difficult road to travel with many unknowns….but worth the risk to me. I love Him (God). And I love him (my husband). Reconciliation from the shambles we’re in would give no one but God incredible glory and we want to be the one’s to give it to Him.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Wow. What a story. Love the work you’re doing to reclaim your marriage. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://wesleyanarminian.wordpress.com Kevin Jackson

    We were both 22 when we married. At the time I thought I was old. :) We have three kids, and will celebrate 20 years on 9/11.

  • Hattie91

    We were married at 17 & 19. He was the older. We celebrated our 32nd anniversary last March. We’ve had 4 children. The first when I was 18, the 2nd 10 months & 10 days later, I was now 19. The 1st died when I was 20, he was 2 1/2 years old. Our 4th was born 3 years later & then the 4th 2 years later. We had a miscarriage between the 3rd & 4th child. We have 3 grandchildren now. I stayed home with the children growing up. I did not go to work until the 4th child was in the 3rd grade. We love each other more now than ever. We have so much fun with our kids and grandkids. I’m 50 & today we celebrated our granddaughters 9th birthday. Our grandson will be 2 on thursday & we have a 6 month old grandson .Our youngest child will be married 2 years the end of the month and we have loved every minute of each of their lives. I wouldn’t change a thing. We have lived and loved through all of it because of God. God has been the head of our household. God took us through the loving, the loss, the sickness, the sleepless nights. We did it all together. Everyone told us it would never work but, base your marriage in GOD & you can do anything.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So much beauty and pain all wrapped up together. Thanks for sharing the journey with us.

  • SaraJane

    We were both 22 and his mother (of all people) said she wouldn’t be there to pick up the pieces of his life when the marriage fell apart. 6yrs later with two BEAUTIFUL boys, a gorgeous home, a cat, even more love than we could ever imagine, a lot more Jesus and a little less of her. It definitely hasn’t been easy but it has absolutely been worth it. Every. Single. Second.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “a lot more Jesus and a little less of her.” That made me laugh out loud. Love.

  • Brooke

    He’s 21 and I’m 18. We’re both college students and just celebrated three years of dating on August 10th. We also have intentions of getting married within the next year. Nobody thinks that getting married so young is dumber than my parents. They’ll approve of whatever we do but that doesn’t mean they’ll be happy about it or think that it’s a good idea. Reading all of these stories has encouraged me so much, so I truly thank you for this! I will so be reading over this anytime that negative feedback comes my way because it is evident that you knew God would provide for you, so why would I think anything less? God is good

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I’m sure you’re parents are just nervous for you. They’ve been at this a while, so they know how hard it can be. But on the flip side, I think when you’ve been married for a while (even at 10 years!) it’s easy to forget that beautiful certainty and hope that you feel in the early weeks and years. May you cling to that and to Him whose love holds all the things together.

  • anonymous

    Thanks for the author’s note at the end. My too young marriage has been something I fought for farther than I should have. Working on future wholeness now.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I know that’s the case for so many. You are not alone, friend, and you are loved. May you find that wholeness and so much grace and peace.

  • George

    Married at 22 & 18. Fortieth anniversary next month.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congrats!

  • iamtheshoshie

    When we got married, I was 23 and my husband was 24. Our parents thought we were crazy, though we’d known each other since being teenagers. There have definitely been some hard times– we’ve both dealt with illness and each had our last remaining grandparent die within the first year and a half of marriage. But we’re just perfect for each other and still completely in love. Even more in love, I think, or deeper in love, for having been through these experiences together. We’ll be married 4 years in September and are expecting our first child in January.

  • Natalie

    Tomorrow we celebrate 18 years. I was 19, he was 21. It’s been hard, but we’re happier now than ever. Thanks for your beautiful words.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congratulations on hitting 18 years last week. So cool.

  • MamaH

    This is so beautiful. God Bless You.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much.

  • Rodger Zeisler

    I met my wife when she was 16 and I was 17. We married when she was 20 and I was 21. We will be celebrating our 33rd anniversary next month. Best choice I ever made. No matter when you get married, “Love is always sixteen.”

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Love is always sixteen.” — Sweet.

  • Heidi Gillinger

    I was 17 and he was 18 when we first dated. High school sweet hearts roaming the halls holding hands, prom, graduation, our first “real” job, first apartment…all experiences we celebrated together. He proposed to me at the tender age of 19. A small gold ring from walmart is all he could afford, but he knew I was the one
    We married seven years later. Our wedding was a celebration of our love. We saved every dollar to pay for it. Made everything ourselves. People said we wouldn’t make it because we were “young”. Marriage is a challenge. It takes every emotion from you. We have laughed, cried, struggled financially, but it only made us stronger. When our daughter was born I truly got to see the man he had become. A wonderful Father and loving Husband. Sixteen years later and approaching our six year anniversary we are still together. The one’s who were sceptics (our parents) have both been divorced. I hope we will be an example to our daughter and future children that marriage does work if your willing to put the work into it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love the small, gold Walmart ring. Great story.

  • Brittany

    Great advice! I get married on Thursday and my Fiancée and I are both 19. Turning 20 end of this month and in September. I couldn’t feel more blessing from this post and also encouragement. Thank you!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Brittany! I hope your wedding was beautiful and that you’re enjoying your early days as a married couple!

  • morbane

    good luck – today few marriages last forever – things change and so do people – but i mean it, good luck. every first marriage i ve known has failed around year 30 or less – that is indeed a long time but not forever – just remember kiddies – it was YOUR CHOICE – not your parents or your friends, if it was; ill give ya 5 years.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      It’s true. The statistics are totally sobering, and it’s easy to blame someone else when things fall apart. I was sort of struck by that phrase “It was YOUR CHOICE.” Yes. So easy to forget that a few years in.

  • Robin Wahl

    Married at 18…27 years ago. I see so much of our own lives in this piece. I will be sharing it with other married-young people I know. Thank you for writing with such a down to earth honesty.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much for the kind words and for sharing Robin!

  • http://wildbohemia.tumblr.com/ Tim H

    Love this!

    I was 19, she was 21. We had to face a lot of opposition, including from close friends. A few people even sent us emails with statistics of teenage divorce. But it wasn’t a rushed decision and from the start we knew what we were doing.

    We’re celebrating our 7th anniversary next week! :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Hahaha. People are so funny. “I hear you’re engaged. Here’s some terrifying statistics! Enjoy!” Excellent. Happy 7th!

  • MellissaRose

    I met my husband when I was 20, got engaged at 21 and married at 22. My wonderful hubby & I just celebrated 11 years. We have an absolutely wonderful marriage and know that God brought us together and will keep us together.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cathy

    Very well said! Wonderful words of wisdom you have written – may God use them greatly! He has truly blessed you. 29 years of marriage here and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Cathy.

  • MeOK

    You have to do that if you marry “old” as well. Don’t think the young ones have the market on romance or tight finances.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Absolutely! Definitely wasn’t trying to exclude anyone. Just writing from my own story. :)

  • Steph

    A friend posted this on Facebook. She was married right out of college to a man she’d only known since her freshman year of college, and they are absolutely perfect together. As half of a young couple myself, I needed to put in my two cents.

    I have been dating my boyfriend since I had just turned 16 – we have been best friends since we were 13 and 14. We are now sophomores in college, he turning 20 soon, and I watch in confusion as older couples get married after knowing each other for a year or two. He and I are waiting until after college to get married, but why should we be the “foolish” ones for getting married at 22 after knowing each other inside and out for nearly 10 years, when other, “wiser” people get married after a two-year engagement? It doesn’t make sense to me – he and I are both wise beyond our years, and certainly know a lot more about love than some of our elders.

    This is beautifully written and expresses a lot about young love, and how, for those of us who aren’t just stupid kids – who truly, dearly know what it’s like to love someone – marriage is a completely feasible and understandable option.

    Thanks for posting. Hopefully someday within the next two or three years I will be posting something similar on my own little blog :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, others have said similar things. Marriage is hard no matter when you enter into it — young or older.

  • Kristi

    I was 28 days from turning 18 when my husband and I married. My dad had to sign for me to get married. My husband is 5 years older than me. Two weeks ago, we celebrated our 22nd anniversary. I love what you wrote because it is so true. Thank your for your eloquent words.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Kristi. Congrats on 22 years! That’s so fantastic.

  • Meg

    Ok I’ll share my story. He found out I had just gotten engaged because he had wanted to ask me out. We met at our college job and had really hit it off. I was bored at work and when we got a bunch of new hires, I thought he was the cutest, even though his hair was crazy :) I ended up having to train him and we got along very well. We stayed friendly throughout the year but I was faithful. Several things happened between me and my fiance. I found myself pulling away due to his lack of inner strength mostly. Two months before the wedding, I woke up, called my mom and said I couldn’t do it. She burst into tears because even though we aren’t a religious family, she said she was up all night crying and praying that I’d see this guy wasn’t right for me. I spent that weekend at home and realized that I was more worried about what would happen to my friendship with this goofy haired guy than anything about my fiance. I made a clean split, never cried once or looked back. A few days later I told my friend that I was single. And not two days later he took me out and we kissed. The second he kissed me, I literally saw in my mind a bright red ticker that read, “I love you. I’m going to marry you!” And four months later he proposed. A year from our first kiss, we were married! We had a baby in our first year, added another along the way and after six years, I know I made the best choice of my life. We were 22 when we got engaged and 23 when married. No regrets!

    My biggest advice to couples is that marriage isn’t about two becoming one. You are still your own people and neither are mind readers. Excellent communication will save you. And marriage is 60/40. There are many times where one of you will need to lean on the other and not be able to give as much to the relationship. The other person becomes their rock and helps them through. The trust and faith built here is knowing that one day you will need their support and they will always be there to lift you up.

    • catholicchristian

      Meg, the only thing that I’ll correct you on here is that marriage is not 60/40, but 100/100. Each of you gives all that you have/are/can be to each other – and that “all that you have” varies from time to time, and that’s when support from your spouse comes in (and it’s as much a joy for the supporting spouse as it is a relief for the supported spouse). As a newlywed of only 33 years, I assure you that this works.

      • Meg

        My opinion needs no correction. I stand by my own thoughts. You just can’t give it all, all the time. You can try. And you should try. But sometimes all you have is very little and true love steps in and carries you. I label that as giving less. You label it as 100% but varies. Its the same concept and didn’t require negative commentary. That number story has been passed down by my family and means a lot to me. I am hurt that the first impolite comment had to come on my own story. Congratulations on your 33 years. I certainly hope you didn’t mention it to suggest you are more privileged than I.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “There are many times where one of you will need to lean on the other and not be able to give as much to the relationship.” — I love this. Great advice. So been there.

  • Sarah

    Just a note: Sometimes relying in dumpster and garage-sale furniture won’t be so delightful and you’ll just wish that you could buy a new pair of shoes for your kid or a new set of dishes that aren’t chipped. It’s okay to feel that way too. Poverty is not romantic like you might think it will be when you marry at 18, 19, 20.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      This is absolutely true. Thanks for the great perspective Sarah. Yes.

  • Nichole Finman

    My fiance and I are high school sweethearts. Everyone thought we were nuts when we moved in together the middle of my senior year. I’m now 22 and he’s 23, we’ve been together for nearly 7 years. We can’t afford a wedding, but our family, friends, and ourselves have considered us married for a long time. We are committed to ourselves, our daughter who is 7 months old, and our family. It’s been hard and we’ve both grown up and changed in a lot of ways. But our life so far has been a beautiful adventure, and we wouldn’t change that for anything.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  • connie jones

    I married at 18 and he was 21, 27 years later he still rocks my world. He is my center of gravity and without him I would float into oblivion! Through many arguments, tears, and upsets, he alonee makes it all worthwhile. Would I do it all over again? Damn right :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So sweet Connie. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sarah

    Oh, I love this. I was 18 and he was 25 and we were so in love and confident. We have only been married a year and a half, and have learned enough to know we don’t know anything. Marriage has been hard. This second year much harder than the first, but oh, is it worth it! We have been learning to truly rely on God for all our needs as we have dealt with various health and financial issues and are currently dealing with infertility. “Life is hard no matter where you live it, no matter who you live it with.” I am, at 20, learning this, and I can say-without a doubt-that there is no one I would rather be married to or go through life with.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “We have only been married a year and a half, and have learned enough to know we don’t know anything. ” — yes. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Sarah. So sorry to hear about your struggle with infertility. I know it is a painful, lonely journey. Grace and peace to you both.

  • Lindsay

    We were both 22 when we got married. Been together for 8 years, married for 4. We are still young, but this already rings so true for me! Great post!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks Lindsay!

  • MINDY

    Do you mind if I copy & paste this? I will 110% give you credit & lead them back to your blog. I LOVE THIS!!!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Feel free to copy a paragraph or two! Then send them back here for the rest! So honored you want to share!

  • Iliana Lavina

    I was 13 and he was 18 when we married, had my son at age 15 and my daughter at 18…we just had our 23rd anniversary last June…we’ve had our ups n downs but are more in love with each other as every day passes. Our kids are now 18 and 20 both still live at home, both still in school, my daughter has a 19yr old boyfriend which also lives with us and seeing them reminds me of when we were that age. Even death will not do us part as we have also made arrangements for when we die. Marriage is HARD but so is living and it makes it all worth it to be living it with my Husband.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So sweet. Thanks for sharing.

  • PatientLady

    I enjoyed reading your perspective on young marriage as well as some of the comments that followed. I’m 29 and have been with my boyfriend for 9 years. Not married, nor looking to get married anytime soon. I consider our relationship to be rare, one that lasts over time, especially during the course of our 20s where we both changed so much. Luckily, our lives moved in the same direction and we are still very much in love. This has not been the case for many of my friends. I’ve seen people that were seemingly great together break up after years of dating, only to find someone else that was an even better match for them. All the comments seem to be positive – reflecting relationships that have worked out. I’m a romantic at heart, so I’d like to think long marriages can be a reality for everyone, however research shows divorce rates rise the younger the couple (60 percent for under 25 years according to Dr. Phil), so I guess we’re hearing from the minority. My question to readers is why they chose to get married so young? Why not wait a few years? I find it very brave to do so when statistics show that more marriages will end in divorce than with golden wedding anniversaries. What’s the rush?

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks for opening up the dialogue in such a kind, constructive way!

      I certainly can’t speak for everyone here, but in our case, I’d have to admit that our desire to remain sexually abstinent until marriage probably influenced our early vows. I know that probably seems crazy and delusional, and I see now that it was more complex than the Purity Culture of the 90s evangelical world made it out to be. Certainly entering into a marriage with your v-card intact doesn’t guarantee any kind of bliss, wholeness, or ease. But to us, at the time, it seemed almost that simple.

      I agree with you — I’m a romantic heart with a suspicious side-eye on the statistics all the time. There’s no more of a formula to creating and sustaining a happy marriage than there is to living a successful life. Everyone’s story is different. This was ours, IS ours. I know that although we cling to this thing with all of our might, it will be grace alone that sees us through. We’ve already come so close to losing it, and I’d be naive to think that just because we made it to the 10-year mark, we’re through the worst.

      OK. That got really long-winded. Sorry. Thanks again for your thoughtful and provocative comment.

  • Kathryn

    I got married a week after you, so our 10th anniversary is coming up on Friday. We got married when I was almost 19 and he was 22. We have definitely grown up together and, while we have had hard times, I treasure that more than just growing up, we have grown together. We have been through so much. We have had 4 children together and buried one. We still have fun together and tease each other. I am looking forward to more years of marriage. Thanks for this post, I relate to so much of this!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Hope you had a wonderful anniversary yesterday! So much hard and so much beauty in that decade for you guys. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Jen Maddocks

    My husband and I got married when I was 18 and he was 21. It was 1993. 20 years later we are still together. It has been very hard and yet I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for sharing this. It was like reading the pages of my life.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love that. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sarai Wilson

    Going on three years with the man I married three weeks after we both turned 21. Barely old enough to buy it, the bottle of champagne we had for our wedding night broke in his backpack on the way. Our car smelled like alcohol the entire honeymoon, and we giggled nervously every time a cop passed us on the road. His job was to pack food for the remote cabin we were staying at in the mountains, and I didn’t specify what kind…. so hot pockets and ramen it was (I kid you not!).

    Sitting here, soothing a teething and screaming four month old, trying to remember the last time I showered, worrying about paying the bills on one income now, packing a lunch for him to bring to work tomorrow, folding laundry and picking up the socks he’s left on the floor again… I’m smiling and crying at the same time. The love I thought I had for him three years ago seems so small and childish compared to the love I bear now for him and his child and the life we’ve built together. And it was childish, and that’s kind of the point. A few more years from now, and it’ll be a different love all over again. Our life is grand and mysterious and tragic and painful and breathless, but also simple and sweet and good.

    Happy 10th anniversary to you, celebrating your life with your God-given man, and I cannot wait to reach that mark with mine. What a gift he is.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “It was childish, and that’s kind of the point. A few more years from now, and it’ll be a different love all over again. Our life is grand and mysterious and tragic and painful and breathless, but also simple and sweet and good.” So well said. Yes.

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  • B lamberson

    We too just celebrated our 10 year. Aug. 1st. Similar story, early 20′s, young fresh from college and finishing college. All exciting and wonderful. I could have never expected 10 years God would have us in such an awesome place. Not to say their have not been serious trials. But God has been good and we are blessed with 4 children and able to serve in foster care.
    I really enjoyed your article, well said.

    http://is617everlastingjoy.blogspot.com/

  • Sarah Cerrato Centeno

    I met my husband just one month after I graduated high school. I was 18.5 and he was 21. We believe in fate. If both of us were not in that exact place at that exact time, we prob would have never ever met. We came from totally diff backgrounds. Me white bread small town girl and him an exotic latino from the city. Lol. Sometimes things are just meant to be. I would never change a moment. I am so thankful that I met him, we both make each other better. Even though right now life is tough with him being in his home country for the past two years and I am here fighting for him to come home where he belongs. I wouldn’t change a moment. I have no regrets about my marriage, why would I when we love each other and are happy. For better, for worse. That’s the vow we promised. Since he has been gone we have been able to reconnect on an amazing level, it has made our marriage so much stronger. It has been 10 wonderful years last month and I regret nothing. I never will.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      That must be so hard to be so far apart. Love your dedication to each other and the ways you’ve been able to “reconnect” through the distance. So beautiful.

  • Penny

    He had just turned 18 and I was 17 when we were married. We were expecting our first child and decided to raise her together. Everyone said we wouldn’t last long,33 years and 5 kids later I think we did a pretty good job, lol On our 10th anniversary I told my MIL “I told you so” as she was the loudest dissenting voice back then.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this. Thanks for sharing Penny.

  • http://raisinghischild.com/ Romelle

    I was married at 18. Next year we will be grandparents, celebrating our 25th anniversary.(Our daughters married young too) This is beautifully written. Once young people have married, they need the support of community, not the tisking and shaking of heads. Keep spreading the encouragement!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Once young people have married, they need the support of community, not the tisking and shaking of heads.” — I agree. Thanks so much for the kind words Romelle.

  • janieinMN

    thanks for your beautifully written article about your marriage ‘adventure’!

    my husband was the best birthday present EVER!… we married 3 days after my 20th birthday… he was 19 (turned 20, two months later). we both wanted kids and wanted to start our family right away. our 1st baby was born 2 weeks after our 1st anniversary. we married ‘young’ and we started our family ‘young’… and looking back, i wouldn’t do it any differently!! our 3 sons, now grown and married, have given us 3 grandsons… with 1 granddaughter and another (?) currently “enroute”.

    we both came from ‘broken’ homes and determined at the outset that divorce would never be an option. By the grace of God, we were able to get through the tough times… “falling in love” is easy… staying and loving one another “no matter what” is hard work… and SO well worth it!! we love each other more now than ever… we began our marriage as best friends… and now we’re best-est friends… this year, we’ll be celebrating 37 years!

    highly recommend every married and engaged couple read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and watch the video….

    • janieinMN

      AND we survived 8 years of navy life! (crazy hours with lots of separations… some days, some weeks, and one 6-month tour)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “No matter what” IS hard work. And yes, The Five Love Languages is a great resource. Thanks for sharing your story Janie!

  • Mr. Reality

    Hi everyone. Getting married young is plain idiotic and this article is some lifetime movie garbage. Get drunk, do drugs, date lots of people, and then when your washed up. Get married.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      This comment made me laugh out loud. Oh Mr. Reality…

  • Mrs Stoll

    I had just turned 19, he was 20, almost 21, and we snuck off to the court house because we knew it was right for us. I had both parents and he his mother, she actually pulled him aside and told him we were to young and that he didn’t have to marry me, my parents wished us well and laughed as they told my husband to be, once you take her, don’t return her! lol, here we are married 11 1/2 years later, and I couldn’t imagine life without him. For our 10 year anniversary, we did a huge renewal ceremony, I got to wear a beautiful dress, our closest friends stood by our sides this time, and our children got to witness our “I DO’S” We may not have had all the answers at 19 but we learned them together. I am proud to say I have gotten to grow up with my husband. He truly is my best friend and my soul mate.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “We may not have had all the answers at 19 but we learned them together” — lovely.

  • Samantha

    Love this so much. My husband and I were yalls exact ages when we married too. Me 20, and him 22. I was told I was a rebound. We were told to wait. Yet, here we are 5 years later, with 2 wild and handsome boys running around, living our lives as brand new missionaries, figuring out life in a country not our own.

    It’s great to hear stories like yours. High five for plowing through the hard years. Grace to you guys for the coming decades.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this. Thanks for sharing Samantha.

  • Dana

    Last night, before I read your blog this morning, I had posted a very dated wedding picture on my Facebook which read, “Guess who will have been married 21 long years in 2 short days?” Our 21st anniversary is tomorrow, so your article was very well timed (thank you for thinking of me, Addie). I was 19 and 4 1/2 months pregnant and he was 21. I had known him most of my life, but had not dated him until my second year in college, and only because free beer was offered. He swept me off my feet on our very first date and we were married 5 months later (you can see the condemnation on the faces of those who attended our wedding in our photos and there were MANY in our tiny hometown who put money on it being a short-lived union). A friend replied to my picture with the comment, “Don’t you mean 21 short years in 2 long days?” and she had a good point. Some days have slowly and excruciatingly crept by and I have wished to be ANYwhere but right there, and some have flown and I have tried to, like Mary, treasure all these things and ponder them in my heart. But mostly, I have squandered the extravagant grace bestowed upon our union in immaturity, impatience and stubbornness. Thankfully, I have a sweet and patient husband who has modeled for our 4 children how to treasure someone. I, too, had the giggles at our wedding, and he did not. I was flippant in thinking that if it didn’t work out, there was an out, and he was committed in making it work no matter what. I am so thankful for him. And he tells me that he is thankful for me. We grew up together while we were growing our kids. There is a certain mystery to marriage–that you can be so many things: friends, co-workers (because marriage is work), benevolent dictators (because kids are work, too), and lovers. But the most mysterious is that someone who has seen almost as much of my wretchedness as God still chooses to roll over every morning and stay. And that is grace to me.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “There is a certain mystery to marriage–that you can be so many things: friends, co-workers (because marriage is work), benevolent dictators (because kids are work, too), and lovers. But the most mysterious is that someone who has seen almost as much of my wretchedness as God still chooses to roll over every morning and stay. And that is grace to me.” THIS. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story and your wisdom.

  • LadyE

    A good friend of mine shared this blog post with me. I feel compelled to share my story as so many of these are so beautiful. My husband and I met when I was 14 and he was 18…we eloped (as there was no way my parents would have approved) a week to the day after I turned 18. I wasn’t even out of high school. No, I wasn’t pregnant as many assumed. We were in love. As we still are almost 10 year later. Next month we will celebrate 10 years of being “us” and in December, 7 years married. I feel so blessed to have him in my life. And love every moment of our togetherness.

    Thank you for this lovely blog post!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I think elopements are so romantic. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cassandra Littlefield

    I was 17 and my husband was 18 fresh out of Basic Training when we got married. We dated in high school. We have been married for 7 years now with our 2nd child on the way. It has not been easy. Far from it. The Army doesn’t make it easy either.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I can’t imagine doing it all and being in the Army as well. Grace and peace to your sweet little family.

  • Heather Wikene

    I love your story of young love, but what really spoke to me was your story of tenacious love. I am 32, married for the first time this past February. My husband is 38 (and this is his 2nd marriage). Some of those young marriages (as you note) just aren’t right. And some of us, who wait and wait for our partners, and marry a little bit later in life, may feel like somehow we are expected to have an easier time at marriage simply because we’re not marrying young. I don’t know why young-twenties are told “it’ll never last” and why thirty-somethings don’t ever hear that (as if we’re naturally better at untangling misunderstandings the older we get). I know that you say this, but I can attest: Marriage is hard. Period. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      This is so, so wise. “I don’t know why young-twenties are told “it’ll never last” and why thirty-somethings don’t ever hear that (as if we’re naturally better at untangling misunderstandings the older we get).” Such true words. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  • David Cox

    I was 20 and she was 25, and we just celebrated our 35th last month. People say they can see our face light up when the other one comes into the room. It sounds like maybe you’ve got a handle on things. Congratulations on your first decade together and hopes for many more.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      People say they can see our face light up when the other one comes into the room. — Love that.

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  • RaiBee

    I met my husband when we were both 17 (high School sweetheart from rival schools). We married when we were 26. We had our first child a year after we married and another one soon followed suit. We just celebrated our 16 year anniversary. We are each others rock, best friend and soul mate. After being with him for 24 years he still makes me laugh and giggle like a high school girl. I can not picture my future, my life without this wonderful man. I truly feel I am one of the lucky ones. Now a days couples are to quick to divorce they would rather give it all up then work at it. Commitment, dedication, respect and laughter are just one of the few key ingredients to a successful marriage.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks for sharing!

  • TexGirl

    My husband and I were married 2 days after my 21st birthday, he was 24. The bridesmaid dresses were a merlot color with lots of bling on top, in other words, hideous prom dress.;) Our friend was the photographer, our reception was picnic style, complete with fried chicken and potato salad. My wedding dress cost $100. We were no where near ready to be married, but thankfully, we have allowed the Lord to lead us, and in His strength we made it through pretty much every “marriage trial” you can imagine. Marriage changed us. The first few years of changes were not positive, we had a lot of growing up to do. But as we have continued to lean on the Lord, he has continued to mold us into who He wants us to be, and it has been a beautiful thing. It has been a painful process to get us to where we are now, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I don’t think it matters so much how old you are when you marry, it’s about how willing you are to put someone else’s wants/needs/dreams ahead of yours. That is something that takes work, no matter what age you are. It’s an adjustment and a process. But if you have a solid foundation, you can get through even the hardest times. We are celebrating our 8th anniversary tomorrow, we have a beautiful 3 year old daughter, and we love each other. A lot. Marriage isn’t easy, but it is worth it!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love the bridesmaid dresses with the bling! YES! So good. Thanks for the story and the advice.

  • Dissed and Disgusted

    Been there, survived that – for 52 years. He was 20, I was 19. For those who are in fragile marriages, you are not alone and you can reach your golden anniversary if you set that celebration as your goal together and work toward it. Enjoy the best, work past the worst. Love.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Enjoy the best, work past the worst. Love.” — Yes. Beautiful.

  • Farrah

    I definitely don’t have a story like this, but this was so beautifully written and so inspiring, I just had to comment. :] I wish you two the very best!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Farrah.

  • JadaBMcD

    Dated from 16 years old till we married on our 6 year anniversary of our first date. I don’t remember a life without him and don’t want to. 3 children later, a few major surgeries, and 15 years of marriage behind us…Thankful for God’s grace in helping us see our love through it all. I was a youth minister for 10 years before my illness, and heard parents say “They don’t know what love is, they are too young!” I quickly defended that statement. Age does not define what when feels. God knew I needed an amazing strong man to carry me through my illness at the age of 29. So when we were 16, he made sure we found each other. My husband is the greatest man I’ve ever met (my girlfriends ask if I will leave him to them in my will)! Thank you for your post…our fairy tale began when we were 16, and it has only gotten better. Can’t wait till we get to the end and see how it ends! Love stories always end amazing!! BTW, pic is from our engagement announcement in 1997 <3

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Great story (and picture!). Thanks for sharing!

  • Joanne Read

    We were marred at 19, this year we celebrated out 41 wedding anniversary. We have been together since we were 15. We got ‘the look’. People knew we were in love, they just thought we were to young. He was going to England with the USAF, and We couldn’t be without each other for 2 years. 21.5 years of Military life and all that entails, two kids, the moves, distance from family…I would do it all over again. Even the bad times, and there were some, make the good times sweeter. Three grand children later and close to retirement we are still married to our best friend from childhood.

    My parents were married at 18 and 20. They had 6 Kids, 10 Grands, 1 Great Grand and 48 years together before my Dad passed.

    • Joanne Read

      OH…and because I am older by One Month and 8 days…I am the older woman in the relationship. He is always ready to point out. I point out that I didn’t need my parents to sign for me to get married, while HE did. LOL I still love this man.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing Joanne.

  • Abigail Thomas

    Reading these messages make me smile :) My husband and I just reached our 3 year anniversary, and it was the hardest one yet. We have come out of it stronger and more in love than ever-taking huge steps in faith in this next phase of our life. Thank you for making me sit down and remember it all-why we came together in the first place.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Our hardest anniversary was the 4th, so I get that. Thanks for the kind words Abigail.

  • Stacey O.

    Like all the others before me, I love this! We were both 22, our honeymoon WAS on mackinac island, and we will celebrate 9 years a week from today. We have two boys, 5 and 3, and we were blessed (and very surprised) by our twin girls now 8 weeks old. Who would have predicted this amazing family that we created all by marrying “way too young” as so many people told us. I could not picture navigating this chaotic and wonderful life with anyone else but him!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Holy smokes, that’s a lot of pre-k craziness! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!

  • David Nilsen

    I wish you the best, Addie. My wife and I were 19 when we married in January, 2002. We fought hard, and had good days and good nights, and we are now wrapping up a divorce. I will confess I read much of your post with cynicism, but I appreciate your closing paragraphs. Grace and peace are things I have found little of from the Christian couples who watched us live marriage as best we could for 10+ years before it truly fell apart. Grace and peace to you as well.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So sorry to hear about your divorce. I know that even when it’s the best move, it’s hard, and I’m sorry that you didn’t feel support or love from the Christian community. I’m sure that stinging judgment left a mark. I hope that you both find people who will walk with this next stage with you as you each search for your own wholeness. Thanks for sharing, David.

  • Ali

    I was 18 and he was 21. We have just begun this journey of being married young. It’s been about a year and a half now. I have learned more about myself and my God in this past year and a half than I have in my entire life. My husband loves me the way that Jesus loves the church. And when he doesn’t, God gives me the grace to forgive him. People doubt us, and that’s fine. People think we’re crazy. They’re right. We’re crazy about each other.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      It’s pretty amazing, the way marriage forces you to learn hard things about yourself. Yes. Thanks for sharing Ali.

  • Stasia

    My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this October. He asked me, on bended knee, to marry him all over again, this time in Ireland! I couldn’t believe it! We also married so young, and the Lord has not given us children, so we still feel very young sometimes. This article (and the following comments) is so wonderful! We can relate 100%… then some. Thank you so much for sharing, and thank you for inspiring so many.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      What a sweet 10-year-anniversary gift. Love that. Thanks for sharing your story Stasia.

  • Megs

    I love this post. My grandparents were married…she was 15 and he was 23. People thought they were crazy. They were married 51 years before he passed away last month. They loved eachother just a little more everyday. They said that it wasn’t easy, but they made it work. Now, they have 3 kids, 9 grandkids, and 9 great grands. Thank you for sharing this post.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love that. Thanks for sharing your grandparents’ story with us.

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  • HappilyEverAfter

    As someone who is young and just engaged, this held a lot of inspiration… True love does exist. But it’s life all the same. Life involves struggle. At least we don’t have to do it alone.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Yes. It’s life all the same. Beautifully said.

  • KJ

    This was so beautifully written. Thank you for a good cry this morning. My husband and I are on our 13th year. I read this today after an “on the carpet” morning. I can’t imagine life without him, when we are fighting, everything seems on its head. Thank you for reminding me that everything in life is for a season, and this too shall pass.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love this comment so much. Thanks for sharing. Oh those “on the carpet” mornings. I know them well.

  • MarleneWhite

    What a wonderful story. My husband and I got married when I was 18 and he was 20. It will be two years this October! We are the ones in reverse to pick up ANY furniture off the side of the road! Hilarious message and very much appreciated. Thank you for the encouragement! It’s so good to know we’re not the only ones who have been told over and over that it wouldn’t last. (Even by our dearest friends and family). We are looking forward to our lives ahead of us and spending them together. :)
    ~Marlene

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Free stuff is the best. Totally. Thanks for sharing Marlene.

  • Michelle C

    We will celebrate our 36th Anniversary this November. We were both 17. We had been together for 2 years and our parents gave up and signed for us to get married thinking it wouldn’t last a year. They were right! We have a forever love! After 6 years of marriage, God blessed us with our son, and 19 months later with our daughter. We now have 5 beautiful grandchildren.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing Michelle.

  • Bev Murrill

    I was 19 and he was 25 and everyone shook their heads at us too. In fact, out of my family, it was our marriage that everyone knew would fail. Turned out – ours was the only one that lasted – 42 years next month!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      42 years! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing Bev.

  • Vickie

    I was 17, he was 20, when we got married. We didn’t get married because we were pregnant, but we did get married in January instead of June (as we were planning) because we were pregnant. We had our son baptized on what would have been our wedding day.

    No one thought we’d last a year and 34 1/2 years later here we are. Soon to be 18 kids, 9 grandkids, and 3 in-law kids later. We’ve had a couple of rough spots over the years, but we pulled thru stronger than we were before. I’ve been mostly a stay-at-home mom. When our oldest 3 kids were all in school, we opened our own business. I worked side-by-side with my husband for 14 years when I decided to “retire” and go back to being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to lots of adopted kids. Our business is still growing strong. We are still adopting kids, we are still homeschooling.

    I attribute our successful marriage to that fact that we did get married young. We had to grow up together. Neither of us were set in our adult ways when we got married so it was easy to twist and turn and grow together. I also attribute our marriage success in the fact that we’ve kept God in our marriage. We’ve always said that it takes 3 to make a marriage and to build and grow a family.

    So many blessings over our years of togetherness.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Neither of us were set in our adult ways when we got married so it was easy to twist and turn and grow together.” – I really like this. I think for some couples, this can be a really hard thing — to see each other changing so much from the person they married. But for others, it’s one of the most positive parts. I think for Andrew and I, it FELT really hard at the time, but in retrospect, it was so good. Thanks for sharing, Vickie!

  • Happy Man

    I am 67 and my wife is 55. No big deal now but when I was 30 and she was 18, it was! We showed everyone that doubted that we were totally committed to one another. We have enjoyed our lives with each other from that day to this. Neither of us is sick, neither of us is hungry for anyone or anything else. We have 4 kids, 7 grandchildren and my wifes 88 year old mother lives with us and I wouldn’t have it anyother way. My youngest son is 26 and thinks he is in love. He asked me how he would know. I asked him if , “when you are apart, do you get anxious and think you will just explode if you don’t see her again right now!’ and he said “Yeah…I think I do!” He’s in love.I feel that way every time I can’t see my wife. When I go to bed, I just can’t wait to see her in the morning. Has it been all roses and sunshine? Of course not, but there is nothing she can do to make me stop loving her. The couple has the same thing.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      This made me happy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brookie Sue

    Beautiful.

    I myself married at 36 (it was one of those too fragile to last, and after more than half of the marriage spent in counseling (3 years out of 5), I got up the courage to finally say I had tried everything I could, and dealt with being the first one in my family to file for divorce. I lost my best friend because she couldn’t handle the fact I had to divorce for my own sake. That was one of the most unexpected, hardest parts of my divorce: Having to go through it without my best friend for support. I have survived, though, and have even found the relationship perfect for me, with a man I’ve know for over half of my life. Who would have even guessed?

    BUT, my reason for writing this is because last year I was in a friend’s spring wedding (she was 19, he wasn’t but maybe 2 years older) and witnessed all of the scared family members thinking their marriage wasn’t going to last, etc.. My precious young friends are expecting their first child this coming October, and have one of the most solid, most amazing relationships I’ve ever seen. They are very committed to making their marriage work, and I am inspired by this beautiful young bride with the old, wise soul, to take care of my own relationship just as fiercely.

    I’m going to send my friend the link to this blog post, as I KNOW she will love it.

    Bless you and your husband.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful, hard story. I’m so impressed by the way that you fought for your marriage, but yes, sometimes they are so, so fragile and it falls apart anyway, doesn’t it? I’m sorry that you had to go through that feeling alone and unsupported. But I love what you said about how it’s so not about age. Marriage is just hard. Beautiful. But HARD.

  • Jarod

    My wife and I got young (her 19, and me 20, months from 21). I made many of our last 13 years miserable for both of us because of my selfishness, greed, narcissism, and being a plain jerk. I thought for the longest time I was missing out on stuff because I saw my single friends and coveted what they had and began to resent my wife. Because of my wife, I was finally able to see God’s love because she loved me and stayed with me through EVERYTHING. It had nothing to do with getting married young. I’m often still sad for the years I squandered, but I know that he who finds a wife has found a good thing. I hope other young men realize that they are not missing anything by longing for the single life they think their friends are enjoying. They are missing their own life if they keep standing at the fence wearing green glasses thinking the grass is so much greener over there.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So easy to do that…it always looks a little more glittering on the other side. So glad you guys made it through that. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • BubbleyToes

    My husband and I married two weeks short of our 20th and 22nd birthdays. He is my best friend in every way and I love him more than I did on that day, 5 years ago, more than I ever even thought was possible then. Thanks for making me smile today! I can’t wait to read this out loud to him when I get home from work while we eat frozen chicken breasts and watch Netflix on our tiny tv sitting on the furniture we inherited from deceased relatives over the years :). I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that’s a cliche, but I truly mean it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this. Cracked up at “frozen chicken breasts and watch Netflix on our tiny tv sitting on the furniture we inherited from deceased relatives over the years”. TOTALLY.

  • Skip

    My wife was 18 years and 5 days and I was 20 when we married, this July we celebrated our 35 anniversary, when we first married it was about passion . Now it’s about love and respect.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love. Thanks for sharing.

  • teffy44288

    So insipring! I was 20 and he was 19 when we got married. We were told by so many people, including my own sister that we wouldn’t last. She pointed out that our brother got married young at divorced 3 years later. I told her mom and dad were 20 and 21 and they have made it 33 years(28 at the time) now! We just celebrated our 5th anniversary and yes we are still very young andhave lots to learn but we have learned so much and have grown so much together. We have had our fair share of ups and downs, the military only adds to that. There was a point where I thought we wouldn’t make it, but I fought for our marriage and God was right there helping us through it. We never would have made it without his help! We waited until we were finacially stable to have our daughter and plan on having another one in the near future. Age doesn’t matter, its the faith and love and determination that you build within your marriage that makes it last. I have said that with out hope, faith, love and trust, you can not live!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Happy 5th anniversary! Thanks for sharing!

  • Melissa J.

    Love this…shared it with a bunch of friends…some who are getting married young (20), and some who GOT married young (18 and 21) – and will celebrate 25 years this month. And when I got married, my husband was 25, and I was a month away to the day from my 25th. Young, naive, and so very in love. The “in sickness and in health” as Tanya said in an earlier comment, has defined the last 16 years of our marriage. We thought the “sickness” wouldn’t show up until we were OLD and gray (at least 50′s…that seemed ancient then. Now, not so much!) Well, no, it showed up with a vengeance 5 years in. It’s been rough; there have been times we wondered if we’d make it, if God was really there, if He cared, if we even WANTED to make it. But behind it all, we knew that God had not changed, and He was the One who put us together. Last December, for our 20th, we had a vow renewal at church – and one of the songs we used was an old one by Clint Black & his wife, “When I said I do” – amazing how much more it means to us now than it would have if we’d heard it back when we were planning the wedding. But God has used this marriage to grow us, make us realize just how weak we are without Him, and to be in awe of our Savior. Is it hard? You betcha…probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life, other than parenting (the one blessing we won’t have). But it’s also one of the most rewarding, and so worth every tear shed, angry word spoken & regretted, apology offered, sleepless night, and lean times wondering how you’ll get through. STICKING WITH EACH OTHER…there is a reward all it’s own just in honoring the covenant you made with God and each other. It’s hard to explain unless you’re living it. You don’t even know what it is on that day at the altar…or even 2 or 3 years in. But at some point, when you’ve hit double digits with each other, seen friends not make it that long, and seen some whose love for each other has waned – you realize you still love each other, still like each other, and can still list all those reasons you knew, way back when, that you were each other’s “one.” THAT is when you realize…it is worth it, so worth it. And you praise the Lord who made you, brought you together, and has kept your hearts in His hand and united. And in today’s world, with the all-out assault not only on marriage, but on God’s DESIGN for marriage…sticking together to the end (not the bitter end…there’s no room for bitterness in God’s design)…is not only priceless, but a real gift from the Lord.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love this: “It’s hard to explain unless you’re living it. You don’t even know what it is on that day at the altar…or even 2 or 3 years in. ” Yes. Thanks for sharing.

  • T Hudgens

    We also married young, real young but in a couple of months we will celebrate 18 years of marriage. It wasn’t always easy. We have had alot of ‘ups’ and alot of ‘downs’, but we fought for our marriage and after 3 kids later we are still going. Each year just seems to get better and stronger. Everyone gave us 6 months when we said “I do” but God knew better, :) He gave me my soul mate. Thanks for such a great story.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So cool. Thanks for sharing.

  • Devan

    Thank you for this encouraging post. My husband and I got married at the age of 19. We are approaching our second anniversary. We struggled through a lot of push back; and still do. I look forward to the life we build together. We have made it the ‘mission statement’ of our marriage to be the example to our family and friends that working through the rough times is always worth it.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks for sharing, Devan, and congrats on your upcoming anniversary!

  • Felix

    I married young and fast. I only dated my bride for a few months. I know all too well the judgment of others. As if there is a correct formula to love. I’ve seen people date for 5 years learn everything about each other and have stable individual lives before they marry, yet divorce within a year. There is no right or wrong way to fall in love. I implore all of you not to be quick to judge when someone falls differently than you did. It’s easy to judge and look down on those that marry young and fast. But 20+ years down the road, they have the most romantic stories to tell.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “As if there is a correct formula to love.” — Yes. Perfectly said.

  • armywife

    I got married at 19 and he was 19 turned 20 the week after our wedding. He was in the military at the time. We met in highschool but didn’t date then. We met up in college and we started dating and one month later he proposed. We got married July 7,2007. I made my own flowers and I got my dress from a Salvation Army store. I had to pay for my wedding out of pocket. My dad was not around so my uncle gave me away. He has a daughter with cyrebil posy. So he was honored. It rained on my wedding day. Everyone said we were to young and that our marriage would not last because my parents were divorced. We had no kids. I found out two months after we were married that I was pregnant with our first child. I cried my eyes out. I was not ready for kids. My child was not even 1 yet and my husband had to leave to go over seas. We spent over 1 year apart. During that time, I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I carried it for 5 weeks and miscarried. Then a week later, I lost my dad to suicide. This happened within the first month he was gone over seas. We have battled hardships and we grew together. That time apart from each other made us stronger. We just celebrated our 6 year anniversary. We hardly fight because there is no reason in fighting in things that you can not control. Fighting doesn’t solve problems. You have to be welling to talk and work problems out to get over that rut. We have had plenty of ruts and will continue to come across them. I love my husband very much. I would not change anything. Now we have two beautiful kids. If you work together and not fight everything will work out just fine. :) Wish everyone many more Anniversary’s to come :)

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So much to go through especially so early in your marriage. Love what you wrote about talking problems out instead of fighting. Yes. Great advice.

  • slm

    My husband and I were both 25–hardly “young” like how you mean–yet still went through many of those things you said would happen if you married young. My oldest sister was around 20 when she was married, her husband younger. But that was not God’s plan for me. I love how everyone’s story is different, yet perfect. For me, I’m glad that I was able to do some things (missions work overseas, traveling) that I would not have been able to do if I got married right out of college. I was glad God’s plan was for me to be older. But I don’t think we should look at “young” people and tell them they are too young to be married either. So, like I said, I love the diversity of everyone’s story and how we are not all the same!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “I love how everyone’s story is different, yet perfect.” Yes. Exactly.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Hello, wonderful article. My husband and I were married in 1976 at the same ages as you two. We are still together four adult children later and grandkids. We based our life together on our faith in Christ Jesus. And, yes along the way there were many ups and downs… yet; we have stood strong and the blessings today are beyond anything you can measure or express to another person; unless they also have been together this long. So God bless you both…. enjoy the journey.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much for sharing JoAnn.

  • Summer Lynn Smith

    “This one’s for the completely smitten college kids – the ones who got married at 19 in the church basement. It’s for you who sat on your parents’ couch, hand in hand, while they looked at you, completely panicked.”

    He was still in high school… had a couple of weeks left. A fresh 18, I was 19, We loved each other in a way other people could ‘see’, but it was still terrifying for our parents. I remember those panicked looks… I remember those panicked conversations. Especially the one that lead to us needing to take a ‘break’. Purity was so important to us, but we struggled, and we were open about our struggle. I’m sure that alone caused more panic. Eventually we felt no one understood and we just ‘ran off’ to the courthouse. It’s been 8 years and through it all, we continue to grow. We can look back at our struggles and know that we were maturing. Some years are harder than others, but still somehow, once we get through it, we wouldn’t have had it any other way knowing how vital it was for our learning. What an adventure we’ve been on! I love him. All we sacrificed, all we’ve gained… and to think, his father gave us 6 months… and our church chimed ‘annulment’. But…. we knew. We were the only ones who could know we had it in us. Our life is beautiful!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “We were the only ones who could know we had it in us. ” — Yes. Beautiful.

  • Heather

    This post could not have come at a more timely place in my life. I was barely 18 and my husband was barely 21 when we got married. I already had a child who wasn’t quite 2. It will be 19 years next month and we’ve managed to figure it all out through 2 more beautiful children and multiple deployments. Not to mention the “surprise” retirement after 20 years of Active Duty Service. It hasn’t always been easy. It almost fell apart completely on more than one occasion, but somehow we are still together.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much for sharing Heather. Love that this post was timely for you. So cool.

  • Jenny MacRunnel

    This made me tear up, so beautiful! I was 20 and he was 25 when we got married.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much Jenny.

  • Dr Art

    We were both 20 when we got engaged; after just six weeks of courting- to ‘discover the leading of the Lord’ and married 9 months later, when we had both turned 21. That was 37 years ago and we are as clear about our passion and commitment as we ever were. We have traveled and lived all over the world and had over 100 kids in need of a home, live with us at various stages for various lengths; we have three ‘biological offsprings’ as well. Understanding grace is a large part of how we succeed, also receiving and extending forgiveness constantly. That is how we would quantify the love we express.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      “Understanding grace is a large part of how we succeed, also receiving and extending forgiveness constantly. ” YES. So good.

  • Ricky Sands

    My wife and I were married last July. We were both 22. This is a shared story. I am completely taken back by this blog post. My wife brought this to my attention today and I am so happy to see that we are not crazy! Thank you for sharing your story! We actually went to Mackinac Island for our honeymoon! We are celebrating our 1 year anniversary by taking a trip to Minnesota next week!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I love that your story is so much like ours…and, of course, that you were honeymooning in Mackinac. Awesome. Thanks for the kind words, Ricky.

  • Still in Love

    Sooooo love this! My hubby and I married a mth b4 my 19th bday and his 21st bday. It will be 25 yrs this November and 3 kids later and we love each other more now and r closer now than ever and my family didn’t think we would last a yr! Great reading!!!!!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Awesome. Thanks for commenting.

  • LaurenAlyssa

    I got married at 20 and my husband was 22, but we have only been married for two months! I pray that one day we will be able to celebrate our ten-year anniversary and many more.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congrats on your brand new marriage! I hope these early days are full of sweetness, the later ones, with strength, goodness and beauty. Thanks for sharing.

  • P Darley

    We got married at age 18, just 3 weeks after our SECOND child was born, and a week after my husband graduated MCRD Parris Island. In 3 days, that child will follow his father’s footsteps into the Marine Corps Recruit Depot gates. If things go as expected, in 13 weeks, he will emerge having earned the title of Marine. And his baby brother is due about 2 weeks after that. It’s been a crazy 21 years together, and we are just as crazy now as we were 18+ years ago when we eloped. But our lives have been full of humor – a requirement when marrying a Marine, and then going on to have 5 children with him over the course of the 21 year relationship. And we’ve come to enjoy where we are, relishing the triumphs over those growth challenges

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Loved hearing a bit of your story. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Dana

    We were married when I was 21. I’m now 23. To me, you’re right, marriage is not just marrying young. It’s being married. It breaks my heart seeing marriage after marriage fail. This includes my own. I’ve been accused of never loving enough or not trying hard enough, but its all projection, I’ve learned. Someone here commented they were 18, going on 12. And I think that could describe both myself and my husband. I love him with everything I have in me, but we do change. We change, we grow, we mature, or we don’t…. and sometimes, we’re left standing at opposite sides of the field, and there are so many obstacles, so many walls, that we can’t see the person we were with anymore, but instead just the course that we feel disheartened about. Is the touchdown worth the run? Is it worth the leaps, and agile twists and turns? Is it worth every single yard gained? I would have supported my husband through anything, and now I find that I am, still. I’m supporting him on his path to freedom, to something he desires more than myself, than a family with our beautiful daughter. I knew that our marriage made him unhappy. I knew the moment I married him that the love I had for him would not be enough to sustain something so raw, so bedraggled, and so confused. So, I sit here, reading this article, knowing marriage is beautiful, understanding that it is frightening and dark, but light and joyous at the same time. I, who would have leaped over any obstacle, who would have fought long and hard to keep my marriage, have found solace in knowing that he may be happier without me. And his happiness is essential to his own life. To feed and birth his potential. My happiness is essential, and I would have found that his misery would have created a different me that I would have never enjoyed or liked. I find hope in the couples that have gone through so much, that have overcome, and I may wish briefly that the two people in my marriage had a similar perseverance, but I know that all things happen for a reason, and my life, his life, my daughter’s life, needs this…. Somehow.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks for sharing this hard, beautiful story. I’m so sorry about the way it’s shaken out for you guys, but I’m kind of blown away by your love for your husband here. May you find peace, beauty and redemption in your story.

  • Krista

    All I can say is ‘wow, it’s like you wrote our story.’ Your insights are remarkable, but most of all, the truth. I have no doubt you have and will continually encourage others by sharing this. We met at a mutual friend’s New Year’s Eve party welcoming 1986. We were 19 & 20 at the time and quickly became inseparable. We were married in November the same year and will celebrate our 27th anniversary soon.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Congratulations!

  • anonymous

    We’re celebrating 20 years next summer, started dating 25 years ago at ages 15 & 18. And it’s all true: we have both changed and we cannot change each other. But what happens when I don’t even like who the other of us is? As a person, deep down, who they really are. My eyes have been opened to how different we are and always have been. I cannot reconcile our opposite priorities in life, especially when it comes to family. One of us wishes to hash it out, the other prefers to pretend all is well. It’s been years and years of struggle. Most days I can only rely on our covenant or rely on keeping my marriage in tact for my kids. It feels hopeless despite many many years of ups & downs, prayers, pleading, and yelling. I thought of counseling as the last resort and I fear it mostly because if that fails…then what. This story does not give me hope but sadly only magnifies the terrible and very complicated side of marriage I am living.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      I’m so sorry that this have been hard and that the years have been filled with so much struggle. It’s hard to fight for your marriage when you feel like you’re not fighting together. For what it’s worth, therapy was the best thing we ever did. I know that it doesn’t work for everyone, but for us, it gave us a way to cross the bridges of misunderstanding and hurt that were splitting us apart. Maybe it will be like that for you. Grace and peace in the struggle. You are not alone, and whatever happens, whatever you decide, you will still be loved.

  • M

    Beautiful…thank you for sharing. Sincerely, a former 22yo bride, married for 19yrs next week : )

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Love! Congrats on the 19 years!

  • Kim H

    This article was written the day before our 16th Anniversary, I wish I had seen it then to share with my Husband on that day of celebration. We too married young, ages 21 and 22. Everyone was shocked when the two of us started dating b/c we are as different as night and day, so needless to say those same shocked friends and family members were there on our wedding day with the fake smiles whispering under their breath about how this would never work. With each passing year I love to look at my best friend, smile and tell him “Well, we’ve shown them again!”. Your article is so true about growing up together. We talked a lot about what we didn’t want to see happen prior to getting married and both agreed that with us both coming from split homes, we would fight hard to be sure our children would not! Countless military deployments, fights, tears, hurtful words and mean looks later here we are. My advise is FORGIVE each other, learn from your mistakes, treat family like friends and friends like family and always remember that God doesn’t make mistakes. He put you together b/c he saw way more than the friends and family with the fake supporting smile. Yes, he still makes me soooooo mad and i do him as well. We are still complete opposites, I can’t cook at all and we are both high strung and quick tempered, but we love and treasure each other more and more with each passing year. Marriage is HARD, but isn’t everything that’s worth fighting for? Work hard on your marriage, more than you do your career. Both are very important but in the end it’ll just be the two of you long after the career is over, and don’t sweat the little things b/c soon after you’ll realize that those little things really mean nothing at all. Thank you for taking the time to write this, it brought back so many memories of us starting out.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Great advice. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Esther

    beautifully written

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks Esther!

  • Mirandia B

    This is the best article regarding marriage that I have read in a long time!!

  • Colin Corcoran

    Awesome! So very well told! You are not alone either! My wife and I are going on 22 years and we married younger than you did – (No we didn’t have a child conceived until 6 months AFTER we married). I learned few things along the way about growing together I thought I’d share.

    http://catholichusband.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/growing-together-instead-of-apart/

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  • joni green

    We married when I was 18 & he was 19. He was home for 2 weeks for basic and our baby boy was 6 months old. Those first years I thought were the hardest we would ever face but now here we are married 15 1/2 years & 3 kiddos later and have spent the last couple of months not knowing if our marriage was going to last any longer. Being his wife, best friend, confidant & lover has been everything I could have ever asked for and yet through the years he has helped me find the strength to be a better person and mom. Being married so young and in a situation where you feel like your fighting all odds can make life and marriage seem like it’s a never ending battle but at night when your lying there together for a brief time it’s just the two of you and that’s what it’s all about. It’s why you love and fight and cry and surrender and everything that marriage brings to the table. You change in so many ways from so many years that you wonder if this is still the right path for me. But it never fails the second I look at him I can’t imagine being anywhere else other than next to him. I am where I belong and I hope he is starting to really get back to me too. Marriage is harder than parenting in my mind…. For the kids grow up and move out, when that time comes it’s still the two of us…. That young boy looking at that young girl that dedicated their lives to each other so many years ago.

  • Samantha-Brian Franklin

    This is beautiful. My husband and I were married in our early 20′s, and now 20 plus years later, and parents of a wonderful son born very early…I’m just thankful we are still here. Your post made me remember.
    http://www.PeachNeitherHereNorThere.blogspot.com

  • nwpdxjess

    I love this! We just celebrated our 18th this year. I was 20 and he was 19. We were married 3 weeks after he graduated from high school. People told us in the reception line at the wedding they gave us 2 years! We’ve changed and grown together, we still madly in love with each other.

  • June Reister

    We married the year we turned 22. The day of our rehearsal, my future in-laws were at a table talking about how young and dumb we were and we’d never make it. My grandparents were at a table on the opposite side of the little grate in the middle and heard it all. My grandmother got up, walked around, introduced herself and told them off. My great-uncles spent time at our reception, betting with each other on how long we’d stay married. One gave us only 1 year. The other gave us 5. In April 2014, we will have our 25th anniversary. We’ve had a lot of tough times and a lot of great times too. We’ve been broke as we could be and richer but not wealthy. Lots of memories and lots of love. Somehow we’ve made it this far and we’ll continue. Happy 10th anniversary to you.

  • Barb

    My husband and I got married in March our senior year in high school and we are still married. I will tell you though that it wasn’t always easy, but we have been married it was 35yrs on March 11. We have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. And our marriage was and is worth fighting for. My dad and others said that wouldn’t last a year but look at us now. Good luck and many years ahead, be proud of who you are and what you two have become.

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  • Brian

    This is great!! I know guys don’t typically comment but I wanted to say my wife and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary a few weeks ago! We got married when she was 19 and I was 21, both in college, and not expected to make it let alone even graduate. I am proud to say its been 10 years, we both graduated college, and have 3 kids. I say this to say to anyone don’t give up, don’t quit, its hard. year 10 have been the hardest for me but I love my wife, she loves me, and we continue to move forward.

  • SMB

    My parents were 17 and 20 when they married. 40 years, 3 kids, and 7 grandkids later they are enjoying every minute as my dad recently retired. Traveling and enjoying life to the fullest! I loved reading your story.

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  • Erin

    My story is the same but a little different. I got my ‘fairy tale’ ending, my ‘prince charming’ but nobody bothered to tell me that the road to ‘Happily Ever After’ was going to be so difficult. I’ve been in love with my husband since I was 12. He’s my brothers best friend so he was an easy crush target. We kept in touch over the years but nothing serious until June of 2009 when he ended things with his previous girlfriend and decided to give me a shot. We haven’t been apart since. We got engaged in August 2009 and started saving for a small wedding. Everyone I know would tell me I was to young, to immature, it was me still reliving my crush it wasn’t real. We ignored them and planned a June 2009 wedding, but March 2010 we found out we were expecting a baby! Everything changed along with everyone’s opinion. We were told that we were only getting married because we were pregnant, having a child before being married at least a year would ensure that we’d get a divorce. The remarks and the disapproving looks continued but we continued on. November 22, 2010 we welcomed Daniel Lewis II into our budding family and decided we needed to do right by him and have everyone in the family have the same last name. So we went to the courthouse December 22nd and got married! I became a mother and a wife all before my 21st birthday (December 26th) my husband became a father and and a husband at the ripe age of 23, we still hear comments that we had a child and got married to young, we hear that there’s still time for it all to fall apart; but I feel sorry for those people who make those comments. I’m sorry that they feel our love isn’t strong enough, that WE aren’t strong enough to overcome obstacles. I know I made the right decision. Every fight every argument every hug and kiss has shown me that everything and anything are worth fighting for. Being young doesn’t mean I’m dumb I like to to think it makes me more passionate =) I’m proud to tell people I was a young mother and wife, I like the look they give when I tell them we’re nearly at 3 years and as strong as ever!!

  • BOB DAVIS

    I was 20 , my wife was 16 , we have 3 children , 5 grandchildren and one great granddaughter .
    October 14th 2013 will be our 50th Anniversary . We have been Blessed .

  • SoftballJunkii

    We have not married yet… we are hoping to next summer after we graduate from school and before heading off to college. My parents are all for it, his not so much… we both know why we want to get married but I’m scared to sit down with them and put it into words. Theu are so intimidating. The funny thing, they got married right out of high school. Help?

  • jayne190

    My parents got married when my mom was 20 (about to turn 21) and my dad was 21 (about to turn 22) and next April they will be married 40 years. They have gone through many things during those years (they were both still in university when they got married), but they are each other’s best friends.

  • Meg Dean

    So blessed by this! Husband and I have been married for almost 3 months and we are both 19. We have a ways to go, and so much to learn but I am so thankful to be doing it with him by my side.

  • Nancy

    I was 18…right out of high school. Hubby was 22 starting medical school. Two years later we had our first of 4 children…all in 3 yrs and 11 months! Yes I kept track of the months! Ha! We lived in Canada, Africa (adopted twins there making 6 kids), the States and back to Canada. Now working for a short time in the Bahamas…..Now married 42 years and have 12 grandchildren. Some extremely difficult times, but God is good and He has been with us through it all. As the difficult times still come at times and our children go though difficult times, God will always be good. We praise His Name!!!

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      So much beauty and adventure. Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

  • Tom Harper

    As for me. Let the Lord Jesus, be part of your lives and you’ll have a reason to stay married. That don’t always work out. People change, I’ve seen it too. Try to marry someone who really loves the Lord. Yes. No body is perfect. We all have a short comings. But when you let Lord Jesus be part of your life you’ll forgive one another, as He did to us.

  • grandmatofour

    We were married young like many couples in 1971. I was barely 19 and my husband 20. I’m sure our parents thought we were too young, but they supported us anyway. The bridesmaid dresses were pink and ruffled and so were the groomsmen’s tuxedo shirts. Our song was “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters – a very popular wedding song back then. People whispered behind our backs “she must be pregnant”. I wasn’t, although our son was born 15 months after our wedding. Our daughter followed six years later with a miscarriage in between. My husband went back to school nights, then full-time and graduated with honors when our son was four. There were job transfers that moved us six times – each one a step up and each a new adventure. We have lost three of our four parents now and each of us has lost a sibling. Although money was always tight during those early years, we were working toward a goal together and I remember them as some of our happiest. We are fortunate that we have not had to face any adverse health issues or financial hardship. Our son and daughter have given us four beautiful grandchildren that we are head over heels in love with. This coming November we will be married 42 years and when people express surprise that we have been married for so long after getting married so young, I have to stop and think. Back when we said “I do”, we didn’t consider the possibility of divorce in our future. I guess we were naïve, but we just assumed we would be together ’til death do us part. We have had our ups and downs and during a particularly difficult time in our marriage, had to work extremely hard to get things back on track. We respect each other’s space, hobbies, needs, wants, dreams, opinions and decisions. We often say we grew up together, because at 19 and 20, we had no idea what we didn’t know. We just knew we loved each other and wanted to make a life together. That’s what we’ve done and I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Peppermint

    Thank you for this! My husband and I got married young, I was 19, and he was 20. So many people said we couldn’t do it, so many people spoke behind our backs. It was hard starting out, but together we did it. We’re buying our first house now (or trying to), and we have a beautiful little girl. Next year we are going to be married for 4 years, and we wouldn’t have any other way.

  • Julie

    A friend of mine posted this on her facebook wall. It amazes me how people post things that just seem to be perfect timing for me to read. I cried through the entire thing, because so much of what you wrote hit so close to home. I have been married 13 years. I was 24, DH was 23. Not super young, but young enough to have no idea what the heck we were getting into. I had just finished my first year teaching, he had just finished college. So, we know all about the hand-me down and garage sale furniture. This year has been a really rough and stressful one. I have entertained the thoughts of “what would it be like if I got a little apartment on my own” more times than I care to admit. I really need to change my perspective. Thanks for such an honest post.

  • MamaBof5

    I really love this! My husband and I were both 20 when we married. EVERYONE told us that we wouldn’t last. Well, so far, we’ve made it 15 years. I can tell you honestly, most days, don’t work. They are a complete struggle.
    We have 5 daughters, whom are the light of my life! My husband and I have gone back and forth at who is working/who is staying home. Right now, it’s my turn to stay home. I’m the nurturer. That seems to work for me. But most of the struggles come from my husband thinking that he deserves free time more than anyone else. He puts himself first all of the time.
    I’m really sad inside, mainly because he doesn’t acknowledge our anniversary anymore, no Mother’s Day, Valentine’s, or even my birthday. It’s really difficult when you have kids. I get that. It is a constant struggle trying to make sure that everyone has what they need, and sometimes what they want. Plus, with one income, getting all of the bills paid.
    My husband takes time for himself to be active in sports, hang out with his buddies, and make time to help other people when in turn he avoids his family responsibilities at all costs. He seems to put everyone including himself, ahead of his marriage and family. Days are tough. Not sure if we are going to be one of the lucky ones that make it. We were planning on renewing our wedding vows on our 17th anniversary in 2015, but I’m just praying and hopeful that we make it through the end of this year.
    Such beautiful stories posted about how you all are thriving! Congratulations to you all. I ask God that He continues to strengthen your marriages. And may He grant peace on those that don’t…..
    God’s love and blessings!

  • Rayanne Starr Thetford

    I was 17 and my husband was 21 when we got married 31 years ago. We are very happy and very blessed. We have 3 wonderful children and 19 precious grandchildren. We love each other more and more every day. We have been through great times and not so great times but with Gods help we have endured it all. The bet was 6 months for us at our wedding reception but you know I smile great big every anniversary. I am not a quitter and neither is my husband. Just because trials come that does not mean it is time to give up. We have had to work together to learn how married life works, especially in the first few years. We were married in March of 1982 and our first child was born in November of 1983. So you can see we did not have to get married we wanted to. We loved each other then and still do to this day. Illnesses have tried to get us down but with faith and each other we are still going strong. Some of the hardest for me were the two times I had to sit and wait while my husband was having stints put in his heart. I think God for doctors and techniques that have kept my husband alive and strong. He has endured alot with me. I have not been the easiest person to live with. Many things that happened to me as a child plaqued us for several years but he stood by my side and encouraged me to the point that I am much better now. I thank God every day for allowing this wonderful man to come into my life.

  • Gregory Lindsay Oppliger

    We met in the lunch line in seventh grade. I thought she looked cute in her green jumpsuit. I didn’t usually talk to people I didn’t really know, but I told her I liked her outfit. Little did I know that would make her dislike me for years. It was a fight with her mom that morning, and she thought it looked dumb.

    Being part of the same group of friends we saw each other regularly, but never really talked. I stole her e-mail address from my best friend and started writing her. She told me never to write her again, so I did the opposite, and she wrote back.

    Our friendship grew and a month before high school was out we had our first kiss. (They have since bulldozed the area to create a bypass.)

    One week after we graduated I went off to boot camp, It was torture not getting to talk to her, or write her. When I got out there were messages from her in my e-mail. We got back in touch (I know stalker me.) and continued writing. Told many times, “Long distance relationships never work.”

    A year after we graduated she moved down to live with me, and we were married a month later. All we heard was that it would never work, and that we were too young (19, 19 me older by two months)

    Fast forward a lot of hard times, our first child when we were married for six years, another at eight, another at ten, and here we just celebrated 12 years together and are expecting our fourth. Unsure of what the future holds, but trusting that God has it all under control.

    Looking back we know that God put us together, He knit us in our mothers wombs for each other and we are so thankful that we have grown up together. I feel pity for those who choose to chase after stuff and things and then get marriage as a “badge.” It is much more. It is the denial of self for the good of another. And she puts me to shame with her selflessness.

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  • Sandy Wehrbein

    Some of us plan for 6 months for that perfect wedding day. Some of us date for 6 months and plan for the perfect life together. Either way the plan always changes in ways we don’t expect.We were married in the Gym of a church neither one of us were members of because we were too young to be married in our home state. I was 18,
    he was 17. 41 years later we have had quite a ride and love each other with that wonder still in our eyes. We wonder how God always finds ways to enhance our relationship with new challenges, keeps us tight when we want to run away and shows us only Jesus can hold us together with the perfect love.

  • Jessie

    Me and my husband got married at 19, we will be married for five years on spet 12th. Since our marriage happened early, I also had a baby early. I had my son at the age of 20 almost 21. We got married because we are in love. These five years have been hard. As work has been up and down hill thing, as I am trying to get my college degree while he works. I often think about the reasons we got married. And the best reason I’ve ever come to, is we are in love, we were young and blinded by our love to understand how much work marriage would be. We have struggled a ton. Between bills and college loans and finding out what he wants to do with his life, plus being parents! All I have to say is that even though the work is hard and sometimes its hard, it is a beautiful thing. At least to me. My husband is the only man I have ever been with or been in love with. That is something so rare in today’s world. I am thankful and blessed that this is our story! It isn’t often that your first love is your only love.

    Yes, we ran into marriage without a great understanding of what marriage was. Yes, we were young, still are (we are both 24). Yes, we have a lot of bad times and yes we aren’t financially stable at the moment. However, because we married young, we’ve had a chance to build each other. Because we married young, we depend upon each other. Because we married young, we’ve learnt the harder lessons of life together. Because we married young, we’ve learned the same great character building tools.

    Being a young wife/mother you take a lot of responsibility early on in life. But doing so, makes you strong and more adequate to handle greater stresses later on in life. Although on bad days, I might wish I wouldn’t have done so much so early and be free like others my age to roam the globe, I know we are building the foundation of a remarkable life!

  • Wendy Windsor Sweigert

    first I must say, you are a gifted writer. Blessings on you as you continue to write…you will touch so many other lives. My husband and I have been married for 31 years. I was 19, he was 24. We have raised three beautiful daughters together. Have moved out of state and away from home for jobs. Dealt with unemployments, serious illness and some marriage problems, the death of close family, the list goes on. We have had the blessing of counseling with our wonderful pastor and when he couldn’t help, he paid for us to see someone. Now in our early 50′s we have been given the devastating news of my husband having Alzheimer’s. Each day, each moment becomes more precious as his memories begin to dim. Through it all, I will be there. I could be no place else. My marriage vows were made as a child, and now as a middle aged woman, I am still committed to living them. It has never been completely smooth sailing, but life never is. I married my best friend, and even when Alzheimer’s steals his memory of who I am, he will remember love, because love resides in the heart, not the mind.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Wendy, and for sharing a bit of your story. I love your faithful love even in the face of such a heartbreaking twist in your story. “Love resides in the heart, not the mind.” — yes. Beautifully put.

  • Jessica Elliott Williams

    My husband and I got married almost 2 years ago (in our mid-20s) and we are STILL trying to grow up!

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  • Janille Wood

    Thank you. “And you’ll be tempted to think it’s because you got married young, but really, it’s just because you got married.”

  • HAS

    We got married just over five months ago. I was three months shy of 20, and he is 22. We started dating at 16 and 19. This post makes me smile. The hand-me-down furniture, the cheap home and appliances, a $4,500 wedding that had no sit-down reception, but rather desserts baked by friends and family… it was wonderful and young and REAL. We love this life and look forward to the years ahead. :)

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  • David Phillips

    This was a heartwarming story, and good advice. Well-written. It resonated with me in so many memories. I was 26, but she was only 19. I thought I was more mature than she, but not so sure of that now. Unlike the young couple in the story, I was already financially stable, and she was a great cook. .

    When I look to see if that love and fascination that brought us together has changed . . . It’s still there! It’s different, but she is still my beautiful young bride, and I love her even more now, 38 years later.

    We have learned how to argue without hurting each other, always putting our relationship ahead of the desire to be right, and that’s a very important skill. I feel that we can face anything together. Thank you, God, for my wonderful wife, and our marriage.

    I love you, Cheryl Welch Phillips.

  • Katie56

    I absolutely love this.
    That is all

  • tom

    A great story about love and commitment. You have to work at it and embrace it at any age. Glad you’re thriving in the journey. Thanks.

  • David Flowers

    This is a beautiful piece, Addie. I am a pastor and marriage counselor, and I am going to ask all of my young engaged couples to read this. Not only true, but skillfully written. Thank you.

    • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com/ Addie Zierman

      Thank you so much David!

  • Topix

    My Name is charlie..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster on the internet, when I contact this man called Dr Ojuku Execute some business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and I tried all I could to have her back because I really love her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads from my house..i ran mad and I tried all I could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when I told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first I was skeptical but I gave it a try because have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution…so when he finished with the readings, he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me…The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but I never believe all this…he told me I will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later, she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this, it was like a dream because I never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy been together again and 2lovely kids..This spell caster has really changed my life and I will forever thankful to him..he has helped many friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out..you can reach him here: drojukuspellhome@gmail.com

  • Topix

    Hello my name is Aneesa from USA, My life is back!!! After 8 years in marriage, my husband left me with 3kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted you and after I explained you my problem. In just 3 days, my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before you are the best spell caster Dr Ojuku i really appreciate the love spell you castes for me to get the man i ever loved back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work Thank you once again Dr Ojuku, in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is drojukuspellhome@gmail.com, All thanks to Dr Ojuku regard.

  • Topix

    I am Mrs rose from USA, i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband called john smith, i love him so much we have been married for 8 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to France he meant a lady called Marys, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don’t know what to do until I met my friend miss Lina and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called Drogue who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 1days. Miss Lina ask me to contact Dr Ojuku
    . I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by two days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After two day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact Dr ojuku on any problem in this world, he is very nice man, here is his contact drojukuspellhome@gmail.com. He is the best spell caster on the internet so far his email. drojukuspellhome@gmail.com

  • Mike

    Good Luck to both of you. My wife and I were married at 19 and 18. We’ve beenmarried for 15 years and counting.

  • Lora Salter

    On Friday Dec. 20th We will be celebrating our 40th year of marriage. I so agree with what you wrote and remember the craziness of our 1st year of marriage. I was 16 and my husband was 19 and boy did we have star in our eyes. But 2 sons and 4 grand kids later, would I do it all again….sure I would, because when I look at him I still see the 19 year old that I married.

  • Ray

    Thanks for that author’s note at the end. Warmed my heart reading this. :)

  • Amber P.

    Thank you very much for that. I get so annoyed by people whom roll their eyes at the young engaged couple. I despise how folks will turn to each other and whisper, “They are making a big mistake, it won’t last or it will be devilishly hard.” When I meet people like that I think, “Are you that bitter at your own choices in life that you can’t be happy and encouraging for someone else whom maybe won’t end up as judgmental and bitter as you?” My husband and I married somewhat young, in our baptist circles it’s common to marry around 20, but he was 26 and I was almost 23…so for us we were kind of older. But I’ve realized that even the things that EVERYONE says about marriage…aren’t true for everyone and if we just worry about our own relationship instead of doing what everyone else does…then that is just right.
    Anyways, this was a great read for my night, thank you.

  • The Provision Room

    Oh, I love this. I really love this.

  • Lisa

    This is so true. I got married when I was 20 and my husband was 26. We have now been married almost 13 years. There were many tough days…. Many “I hate you” days. Many “I want to pack my bag and leave” days. What made it work, was realizing that those days were only ONE day. Only one feeling. My husband is my very best friend. No one else in this world has seen me at my very worst, and bent over to kiss my cheek. To tell me its going to be okay. To love me, unconditionally. Even though, some days I want to strangle him for not changing the toilet paper roll, or leaving his dirty clothes all over the bedroom floor and setting his dirty dishes on the counter, right above the dishwasher. The thing that I remind myself, is that I would not trade his dirty dishes, stinky socks or unchanged toilet paper rolls for the man he is for me. He sees things in me that I still can’t see in myself. He loves me first thing in the morning, when I’m an incoherent blathering mess. He is the one person in the world I feel safe falling apart with, because I know he will help me build myself back up. He’s always got my back. And most importantly, he calls me on all my bullshit. I would rather deal with all of his quirks, than not have him. We still fight often, but at the end of the day, we try to remind ourselves why we love each other instead of focusing on the things that drive us nuts.

  • Blanche Gile

    I have to say i got married at a very young age by choice of course I was 16 and he was 24 and we Just CELEBRATED our 30 th ANNIVERSARY on DEC 3rd 2013 ! So it can work and will work if you both put a 100 % into it and think of all family members on both sides we have twp beautiful girls and our oldest has given us two grandson while baking another in the over as I write this she is due in April .I’t not just one sided it’s two sided like there are two stories to every side same with marriage and I love him now as more that the day I married him 30 years ago :) <3

  • Niki

    I’ve been married for 25 years to the man I married 3 days after I turned 19….great story!

  • Ashton

    Love this! My husband and I got married when he was 22 and 2 days and I was 2 weeks from my 18th birthday. He’s military and he was deploying and we couldn’t imagine life without each other. We’ve had our rough times and our amazing times. We have 3 beautiful children and we will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary next month! :)

  • American soldier

    Hold on to the one you love. Don’t let anything come between you. I lost my true love, the most wonderful woman I have ever known after 18 years of marriage, and would sell my soul to get her back. Sometime you see where you went wrong only when it is way to late. Don’t be so stubborn that you can’t change and see what you have and not what you don’t.

  • Kacy- Lou

    I was 19 and my husband was 20. We are both a year older now and do not regret it at all. Our parents were panicked, but helped. 6 months later my husband joined the Marines. Everyone told us that we DEFINITELY weren’t going to last. Well, here we are, still lasting. And we know in our hearts that it will last until death do us part. (: This gives me so much hope! I hope one day we will be celebrating our 30th. (:

  • Bethany

    We were married when we were both 20 after dating for about 6 weeks..and no, not pregnant, that didn’t happen until we had been married 2 1/2 years. We knew we were soul mates. This month we will be celebrating 33 years of wedded bliss. Our life has been filled with so many blessings…3 children, 25 years with the US Navy (he’s retired now) and many moves but along with that, many dear life long friends. Marriage hasn’t always been easy…but marriage isn’t about YOU, it’s about your spouse..to work to make it the best relationship you can for Him. I know when we first got married, friends just shook their heads and said it would maybe last 6 months…guess we fooled a lot of people! You grow together and learn a lot along the journey. I love my husband more everyday. I would be lost without him. I look back and we were such babies, but we took that major step with the love and support of our families and as I mentioned before…we are SO blessed.

  • mizzrandom

    This is very true. My fiance and I are living together, living as a married couple would. We will be getting married in a couple of weeks; I’m 19 he is 22. We have had our ups and downs but we know that we are in love, and will be together for a very long time if not the rest of our lives. People shake their heads but really, at this age we know what we want, and we know each other. I love him, and I’m looking forward to growing old with him :)

  • young&crazy

    Glad I found this, me and my fiancé are both 21, him younger by a couple months. We are getting married in October and we are both very nervous! This story is completely us, from the picking up of things on the road and the Christmas with the families. This story is very uplifting and makes me confident in our choice as a young couple. :) Thank you!

  • Wanda

    December 20, 1969. Just had our 44th anaversary. I was 18 years 10 months he was 22years 2 months. Now we are retiring together. We have had a wonderful life with the normal ups and downs and I would not trade one minute of it for anything.

  • Anthony Turner

    I want to thank everyone for their stories. I was going to propose to my girlfriend but everyone told me I was too young and that I was foolish of me. After reading all your stories I know there’s nothing should get in the way of us so I’m going to go ahead and move forward and take a jump into the dark. Thank you all for helping me to make a decision towards what I already knew was right.

  • Patrisha Bauer

    We got married when we were 20 years old. My husband then left for basic training in the army. We will be celebrating our 8 year anniversary this coming February and have only spent half of our marriage together in the same country. We have a beautiful red hair, blue eyed 9 month old daughter. We have struggled and have almost fallen apart. I can honestly say I do not regret marrying at 20. We are still growing up together and learning along the way. This article touched on every aspect of it. Its hard work but worth every second. Thank you.

  • amiraslife

    http://amiraslife.com/dear-vanessa/

    My blog post on young marriage :)

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  • Nicole

    Addie, thank you for this wonderful post! My boyfriend and I are smitten college students, just like you and Andrew. Your advice was wonderful, as well as your stories. I am so happy that you are happily married and we are hoping to share this mutual happiness together when the timing is right.
    Blessings!

  • dani

    Thank you for the pretty story :) I’m single and in my early twenties, & something I’dlike to know is your opinion on some advice I was given, that marrying young often means you end up depending on eachother rather than being forced to depend on God.? I’d be especially interested to know the opinion of someone a lot older :)

  • Sulli

    I’m in love with this. I had been sitting here crying for the last hour because people tell me that getting married at 19 is a terrible idea and they believe my marriage won’t make it. “You haven’t experienced life” is what they tell me. My love and I are both enlisted personnel. We met when I was 17 and had decided to enlist. While he had already been in for a year. Being in the military has been such a difficult journey for us but I’m fighting hard to make this marriage be a successful one. And I love the wise words of all you here. I know that in the end it will all be worth it. :)

  • Samantha

    We got married at 18
    and 21 after only knowing each other for 6 months. Everyone we knew said we
    were crazy, stupid, naive and too young. Our life together has by no means been
    easy and not because of us. But because of everything we had to deal with. My
    father battled cancer for 3 years and we were his caregiver until he died. We were ridiculously poor the first couple
    years. Our marriage has been filled with death, sickness and debt. We are about
    to celebrate 10 years. They have been the greatest years of my life. We have
    never seen it as his problems, or my problems, his mistakes or my mistakes. We
    are a team. Everything has always been “our” problems and
    “our” mistakes. Neither of us saw marriage as the end but the start
    of our lives. We’ve traveled and lived all over the world … together! Not as
    separate, single people learning to do it on our own, but together. We bought
    our first house- together. Had our first drinks -together. We learned how to
    run a house and manage money-together. We didn’t want children and we still
    don’t. So we’ve never had any. I think the biggest thing that helped us that
    society frowns upon, is we bucked the trends. We waited until we were married
    for sex, not because of “religion” but because it made sence. I didn’t
    want to do something so intimate with someone who meant nothing to me and who had
    done it with a million other people. Our wedding night is full of happy memories;
    we were two kids who had no idea what we were doing. But we figured it out –
    together. And neither of us went to college, we opted to do apprenticeships
    instead. Neither of us had thousands in schools loans. Did it work? Well I’m
    retired at 28 and my husband is a very successful entrepreneur which he only
    does part time. We did everything together. If matters to one of us, it matters
    to both. Say what you want, but if you’re not gonna be a team, your marriage
    isn’t gonna work. Whether your 18 or 30 or 70.

  • Cindy Schmelzenbach

    Addie, I stumbled on to this while contemplating our son’s engagement announcement (age 18). My husband and I married at 20 and 21; our daughter and her husband married at 19 and 21; our son is now engaged at 18…. thanks for your beautiful words and accurate description of the journey of young marriage! Thank you!