Wifey Tee: Shop Dales c/o
I became a wife at the ripe age of 20 years old. I was young, crazy in love, and totally clueless. I remember waking up the morning after our wedding and being startled by the sight of a man sleeping next to me and thinking, “this is forever, what the heck have I just done?!” Romantic, I know. But honestly, I feel like that’s a pretty reasonable thought after having committed the rest of my life to another person. Fortunately, I now love waking up to that man and I am so grateful for the day I said “I Do,” two and a half years ago.
I can assure you, I am FAR from being a marriage expert, but I am not quite as clueless as I once was. Here are a few things, both silly and serious, I have learned along the way.
1. DO go to bed angry. Okay I know what you are probably thinking, this girl is already giving horrible advice, but just hear me out. Before I was married and throughout pre-marital counseling, I was always told, “never go to bed angry with your spouse.” This seemed very wise at the time, but I have come to realize that sometimes you are fighting because you are tired! Staying up into the wee hours of the morning to try to fix an issue is not a good idea. Go to sleep! When you wake up, your thoughts will be clearer. Your frustration will be diminished. And what seemed like such a big deal the night before will suddenly seem manageable. Just trust me on this, I had to learn the hard way.
2. Dinner no longer means cereal. Before I was married, I was content to nibble on whatever happened to be in the kitchen, whether that was popcorn, cheese and crackers, or cereal. But most young men? They like to eat. They like to eat a lot. Whatever your grocery bill was before, triple it. Heck, maybe even quadruple it. And while you’re at it, one of you should probably learn to cook.
3. You might be broke, and that’s okay. Odds are, if you get married young, you are probably like us, still in school, working part time, trying to figure out your life’s calling and how to pay those pesky bills. One night Anthony had gotten a new job, so we decided to celebrate at our favorite Mexican restaurant. It’s our favorite because if we split an order of fajitas and drink only waters we can eat for $12. This particular night though, we decided to go a little wild. Cheese dip and margaritas got added to our usual rotation. It was all fun and games until I checked our bank account and realized that my latest paycheck had not yet cleared. Yes, we only had $15 to our name. Given that our bill was over $20, we were left with three options. Dine and dash, call my parents and ask them to pay our bill over the phone (Anthony vetoed that real quick), or beg the restaurant to take a hot check that we promised would go through tomorrow. We decided to go with the 3rd option, and the good people of Senior Tequila came through for us. We keep saying that one day we will look back and laugh about this. Seriously though, don’t wish your life away while you finish school or figure out how to make a living. Enjoy the years you have together livin’ on love and ramen noodles.
4. People will think you’re crazy. I never knew getting married at 20 years old would cause such an uproar. People will think you’re stupid. Or crazy. Or both. People will wonder if you’re pregnant and won’t be afraid to ask. Guys will tell your husband-to-be all the “fun” (aka women) he will be missing out on and your girlfriends will be happy for you, though a few might also be a tad jealous that you are getting to put your Pinterest wedding board to good use. The situation doesn’t improve much after the wedding. Your young single friends don’t have a clue how to handle a married couple in their midst. Are they supposed to drop by? Are they supposed to ask you to girls night out? Do married men still like to play video games? Hint: The answer to all these is yes. But don’t worry, it does get better. People will eventually get used to your new status and you will be old hat.
5. Choose to grow up together. If you are getting married in your early 20’s, then you and your spouse will both still have a lot of growing up to do. It is important to decide to grow up together, because it is all too easy to grow up separately and on different timelines. It takes effort to become adults side by side. It takes spending a lot of time in hard conversations. It takes sharing your dreams. It takes developing your spiritual life. It takes supporting one another. It takes making memories. It takes a lot of laughter and tears. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to put aside your selfishness and pride, there is no room for that when trying to build your life as two adults who hope to always be together.
I’m typically a very sensible kind of girl, so getting engaged at 19 and married at 20 was very out of character for me! I don’t necessarily recommend it for everyone, but it has worked for us. It hasn’t been easy, but we have grown and learned and I love Anthony more now than I did on our wedding day. It has been a lot of work, but I have no regrets and don’t feel as if I missed out on a thing!