Getting married young: what’s it really like?

I was 21 when Josh and I got married and given that the average age for women to get married is around 30 I would say that I was very young! When we got engaged there was a lot of raised eyebrows and one guy in the shop we were getting our wedding rings from said ‘no way, you’re far too young!’ and started laughing at us. (Suffice to say we left after that).

When we got engaged, I wrote a blog post about our reasons as to why, rather than me re-write it all go read that and then come back to this one!   To summarise, our Christian faith meant that we couldn’t/ didn’t want to start our life properly until we were married. We didn’t go on holiday or stay anywhere together and we also wanted to go travelling together once I finished uni (obviously an unplanned twin pregnancy changed that!!) We knew we wanted to be together forever without a shadow of a doubt so it just seemed like a no-brainer to us that we should get married! Josh finished uni just before our wedding and I still had a year left so it was obviously very out of the ordinary – there weren’t many married students at my university unless they were mature students! We weren’t interested in an expensive wedding and we had a teeny budget and a no fuss, no frills wedding although it was pretty perfect nonetheless! You can read all about our wedding and see a few photos here.

So, two and a half years in, what is it really like being married young?

Well, firstly, the judgement from other people is hard and a bit embarrassing at times. People don’t usually mean to be rude or unkind but the aforementioned man from the ring shop was not the only person to make comments. People regularly say to me ‘but you’re so young to be married’ or even ‘too young to be married’. People also assume Josh is my ‘partner’ rather than my husband – when talking to me about the girls’ dad they call him my ‘boyfriend’ which is not wrong in itself, it just makes you realise that nobody expects you to be married! Although, whenever I take the girls anywhere with my own Dad I go out of my way to make it clear he’s not my husband because sometimes people think he is?!?!!?

Secondly, I never realised how much the stupid little things would bother me. Yep, I’m talking about the really trivial things such as house work. People I have lived with in the 21 years previous to getting married can testify to the fact that I was a very messy person. My room permanently looked like a bomb had gone off in it, there were disgusting mugs, clothes all over the floor, over flowing bins etc. I just never cared about it at all – Josh was the same and our parents said to us “you’ll care when it’s your own house…” how right they were! Something about getting your own home, your own space that is your responsibility to look after magnifies all those things you thought were trivial. When my husband doesn’t put his dirty clothes in the washing basket (3 FT AWAY) something unleashes inside me. When my daughters smear food in to the sofa I cry inside. When the tesco delivery man traipses in with his muddy feet I smile sweetly and say not to worry yet inside I’m dying. These things MATTER. I don’t know why, but they just do. I guess its because your home is your sanctuary, its where you go to feel relaxed and enjoy yourself. I definitely can’t feel relaxed if the house is a mess!

Thirdly, I am so boring. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t become boring when I got married and to be fair I’m not sure it was marriage that made me boring, probably more having children. But I swear, I am a 46 year old woman trapped in a 24 year old’s body. These days my idea of a relaxing afternoon is going to the supermarket alone or just sitting in a quiet spot watching a good netflix series. Most nights Josh and I sit and watch tv and we rarely go out. Most 24 year olds are still partying and living their best life at this point… but seriously I think the thing about marriage is you are so comfy and cosy together and you enjoy each other’s company so much you end up getting stuck in a bit of a rut! Josh and I are going to try and get out a bit more now that we have babysitters living so close by and I honestly think that our best nights out are yet to come! Its also nice meeting other parents who want to let loose a bit and go for a night out (but not be home too late cos lets face it we have to be up early with our kids!). I think its also easy to just plod along with life and forget your dreams and goals which is why its good to have a record of all the places you want to go to, things you want to save up for and weekends away you want. Otherwise you end up blowing your savings on something boring like a cordless vacuum cleaner (who am I kidding I’d love a cordless vacuum cleaner!!)

Finally, getting married young means growing up with your best friend. Because you started so young, your lives become so unbelievably intertwined in a beautiful way. I look back on photos of our wedding and think my goodness how young do we look (probably because we didn’t have kids then) and honestly we have been through so much together in the past two and a half years which have shaped us both as individuals and as a couple. Over the next 70+ years we will watch each other grow and develop, go through struggles and hard times, career changes, house moves, travelling the world, getting a dog, Dotty & Margot growing up, becoming grandparents, great grandparents and so much more. Getting married young isn’t for everyone and I totally see the appeal in living a carefree life as long as possible but I am so grateful and glad to have chosen the life that I have now. My best friend is my husband and we are literally SO YOUNG, we have so much ahead of us and its so exciting to see where we are headed. We are completely open minded and our happy to see where God takes us. We have learnt that making plans doesn’t work otherwise we wouldn’t have our two beautiful girls. Instead we are just growing up together and I couldn’t imagine anything better.

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The most inconvenient time of my life…

In an effort to describe our future nuptials, my mum recently said to me “You and Josh are getting married at the most inconvenient time in your life for all the right reasons.” As I pondered this statement I realised that it was exactly true.This post is not meant to sound pretentious or judgmental to those who decide to take a different path, I believe everyone is free to make their own choices, however I wanted to explain why I have made mine.

Ever since I was a young teenager, I have known that I want to get married. Spending my life with another person and sharing in every season together has always been an exciting prospect for me. As a Christian, I believe that marriage was designed by God, to glorify God. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, they shall become one flesh” Genesis 2:24 – This passage shows that God designed men and women to be in a union together, two becoming one. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be our own person once we are married, or that we don’t have our own mind/disagreements/differences but it means that we make a promise, a covenant, to live out the remainder of our lives as two people on the same path. One life, two people.

Clearly, a big part of marriage is sex. I don’t want people to think that Josh and I are getting married quickly simply because we are desperate to have sex and can’t wait any longer. It’s true, as Christians we believe that sex is to be within a marriage context and that is why when I was around fourteen I made a promise to God that I would not have sex until I am married and also why at the beginning of our relationship, Josh and I decided that we would not have any sexual contact with one another until our wedding night. It feels slightly awkward to talk about this but that is what we decided. It says in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 7:9 “It is better to marry that to burn with lust” and I’m not going to lie and say that this hasn’t been part of the motivation for us getting married, the temptation has been more than we could have anticipated and we are not professing to be in any way perfect. But this is not the main reason behind us getting married, only one strand.

We have spent the last year becoming best friends, falling in love and getting to know each other inside out without needing to get to know each other sexually. I would do anything for Josh and I believe that he would do anything for me. I do not have a doubt in my mind that he is the person that I am meant to spend the rest of my life with and this doesn’t make me feel trapped – actually it feels remarkably freeing! I don’t see us getting married as a ball and chain type scenario, we’re not going to become anti-social, or boring… we want to travel the world and have experiences together and on the way have a tonne of fun. I don’t want to believe what so much of today’s culture tells you; that your fun and exciting life ends with marriage. Marriage is just the start in my eyes!

The most important element of why we have chosen to get married now is because of our love for Jesus. We have said from the beginning that our relationship and future marriage is not just between the two of us, but the three of us. Josh, me and God. Every decision we make, we pray it through, every trial we face, we thank God and ask Him for His help and guidance. We believe that God has brought us together to spend our lives together and that is why we have decided ‘why wait?’. We want to live out our calling from God together starting as soon as we can. It’s that old cliche; ‘When you know, you know’. We know marriage isn’t going to be easy, and we know its not a decision to take lightly but we also know that “If God is for us, who can be against us” Romans 8:31 

So yes, I am getting married at a most inconvenient time. I am still at uni, we have absolutely no money and very little time to plan a wedding.. but we have never been happier in our whole lives. I heard it said once ‘The best place you can be is at the centre of God’s will for your life’ and I thank God that I am in this place.

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“I have found the one whom my soul loves” Song of Solomon 3:4