In a time where the divorce rates are around 40-50%, getting married is a scary thing. People say “not us, that’ll never happen”… but it does. It happens more often than we would like. Of course, everyone believes their marriage will get through anything. 40-50% of the time, they are wrong. This deters people from getting married. Especially people who come from a family of divorce. I, myself, have not come from divorce, but I see where they are coming from. You watched your family fall apart. That pain is deep and you never want to go through something like that again.
BUT, I think it’s worth the risk. I have only been married a year. I am no expert, but if you can find someone that you want to spend your life with, don’t let fear stop you from experiencing something that could be the best part of your life. My marriage is most definitely the greatest and strongest part of my life. It isn’t always rainbows and butterflies though. You have to be able to listen, understand, communicate, and the big one… sacrifice. Why? Because that is how marriage works. You need to be comfortable with that before getting married, or it won’t work. I learned that VERY early on while we were engaged.
Aaron and I lived in Tampa for a little while after we graduated from USF. We were settled, making okay money, and we were comfortable. I was working at a preschool and Aaron was an assistant office manager at a pediatrics office. I LOVED my job. Those kids were my life. I was so connected to them and the people I worked with. I loved making a difference in their lives and watching them grow every day. Not to mention, I worked for a very nice school. It wasn’t “Billy Bob Joe’s Daycare”. We were held to a high standard. I liked that. Aaron loved his job as well, but he felt like he wanted more. He was given the opportunity to move back to our hometown to be in a higher position and make more money. I knew there weren’t many good schools for me in our hometown. I knew what that meant for me. Sacrifice. I sacrificed a job where I was comfortable and happy (which doesn’t happen often for people) for Aaron to do better. It was the right decision for us, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t bother me a little. I knew this was his time to shine. He deserved it and I wanted him to take it and go as far as he could.
Some marriages fail because of infidelity, lying, and financial stress. Some marriages fail because of someone not wanting to sacrifice. Maybe one person really wasn’t ready to settle down. They don’t want to come home to one person every day after all. They don’t want to stop clubbing and going out with their friends. Maybe they want something more out of their life before settling down with someone forever. There is nothing wrong with that. They probably shouldn’t have rushed and got married and hurt the other person… but it happens. This is especially the case for people who marry young. They think they are ready and they aren’t. Are you willing to sacrifice something you love for the person you love? Are you willing to live a life without all of the partying? Are you willing to put the person you love before yourself?
Be young. Go to college. Travel. Make mistakes. Meet new people. Hang out with your friends. Find yourself. Those things are so important. I was fortunate enough to be able to do all of those things with Aaron because we were BOTH willing to. We never stopped each other from that. If you find someone that can do the same and who is READY to do the same, perfect. It’ll be great. If they don’t want to do these things, it’s okay, that’s their choice. But don’t sacrifice doing those things if you aren’t ready to. Don’t let your significant other take that away from you. If they do, they aren’t who you think they are and they don’t want what is best for you. Without really experiencing your young life, you won’t know who you are and who you can BE for someone else. Plus, later down the road, if you never did any of the things you really wanted to, you’ll regret the sacrifice you made so early… and you may be the one to leave.
Happy birthday to my amazing husband, who continues to make me fall more and more in love with him every day. I love you.