5 Lies People Believe About Marrying Young

Written by: Megan Wall

I’m a 21-year-old college student in Montana, and I’ve been married for a year and a half as of this month. I consistently get the same reactions whenever someone, especially someone around my age, discovers that I’m a wife: “You’re married?!? At 21?? That’s soo young!! I could never give up so much of my life right now!” While I understand that not everyone needs to, or even should, get married young, I feel that there are quite a few misunderstandings about what it’s like to be a wife at my age. Here are 5 lies that many people believe about marrying young:

Lie #1: Marrying young takes away all of your independence.

It’s true that being married brings change to your life; you’re choosing to weave your life together with another person and that requires a beautiful, and sometimes difficult, selflessness. However, being married does NOT take away everything that makes you YOU. I’ve found that it’s really healthy for my husband and I to do things independently; we both have very different passions, hobbies and activities that we find restful and/or enjoyable. For example, he loves to take the occasional day to go fishing with a few buddies, and could be on the river allll day long. I, on the other hand, could fish happily for a maximum of (maybe) 30 minutes, and would much rather spend an afternoon at a dance class (my husband’s worst nightmare) or catching up with a girlfriend over coffee. 

My husband is my best friend and we value taking time to pour into one another and into our marriage; there are even many things we both really enjoy! However, we treasure our individual friendships and hobbies and understand the importance of taking time for ourselves. I believe that when you’re in a healthy marriage, you take the time to intentionally pursue one another, but you also encourage your spouse to continue pursuing things that they love independent of your marriage. Marrying young has given me a new dependence on the person I love most in this world, while also allowing me to maintain my independence in ways that I deeply value.

Lie #2: You have to give up on your dreams when you get married young.

I hear this one a lot. People think that getting married young requires one to give up on everything they’ve ever aspired to be and do. In fact, many don’t think they should get married until they’ve achieved what they want and have “everything in their life under control.” My experience with marriage, however, has shown me that it doesn’t inhibit you, but rather has the potential to encourage your dreams to flourish and grow in beautiful, new ways. Being a wife and walking through life with my best friend has inspired the dreamer in me to come alive even more; my husband’s support and belief in me gives me a greater courage to walk in my gifts and choose boldness. Now, I must point out that it’s important to choose to do life with someone you’re compatible with– someone who’s heart is in alignment with yours in the ways that matter most. Doing so will allow you and your spouse to pray for and pursue your dreams together.

Lie #3: You won’t grow as much as you could if you stayed single.

            This one is fairly similar to the lie discussed previously. Many believe that getting married at a young age “ties you down” and holds you back in life. However, the beautiful thing about marriage is that it gives you and your spouse the opportunity to sharpen and encourage one another to grow in areas that may be hard to identify alone; starting young can be a tremendous blessing when you view marriage in this way! When you live with another person long enough, they see every bit of you – every flaw and insecurity and struggle. Acknowledging personal weakness is not something most of us excel at… Luckily, a spouse is someone who sees everything in you, loves you despite your imperfections, and even loves you enough to encourage growth in your blind spot areas of weakness – what a gift! 

Lie #4: Marrying young doesn’t empower women.

            Attending a very liberal university, I often get the vibe that women see marrying young as an undermining of women empowerment. That, for whatever reason, it is more admirable for a woman to achieve things independently than when she’s chosen to become a wife. I simply do not believe that I have to achieve a career before marriage in order to be a confident and accomplished woman. Whether a woman is single or not does not determine the validity of her success; accomplishing something without a man in one’s life does not prove greater strength and should not earn greater admiration. I believe that a truly confident woman sees worth and potential in herself whether married or not. Women can walk in empowerment no matter their relationship status. 

Lie #5: Marrying young takes away some of your fun.

            Let me just say this… if you choose your life partner wisely, then your life together will not be dull. Partying, dating around, and hopping from one person to another may be seen as “fun” by some young people, but for others, it’s realized that this is an empty and unfulfilling way to live. Am I saying that you have to be married to have fun? Absolutely not. Am I saying that being single is always unfulfilling and empty? No way! What I am saying, is that the idea that marriage takes away your fun is based on a warped view of what marriage can be. Throughout this past year and a half, my husband and I have laughed until our bellies ached (both at and with each other), we’ve had crazily competitive and hilarious game nights, we’ve gone on lots of small (and some big) adventures together, and we’ve found humor even in the days that seem mundane. It’s incredible to be chosen and loved by another person every day, and it’s a gift to find that special someone early in life – someone who brings more joy into your every day. 

I hope that I have been clear in writing this blog. I want to reiterate that I do not believe that every person should get married young; I believe that God’s timing works in all sorts of wonderful ways, and I know that everyone’s story is different. I’m not claiming that mine is better than anyone else’s, or that it’s even the “ideal marriage timeline” that should be sought for by all. My hope, however, is that my words have brought light to the negative perceptions that many have about getting married young, and that they have clarified why I find the opposite to be true. Although marriage brings certain challenges and complexities to my life that many college students don’t face, I’m thankful to be married and I cherish my role as a wife. Marriage can be such a gift, and it is my hope that other young women may see it as so. 

Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to check out my blog page, Wall Wife Life, to read about other thoughts, experiences, and lessons I’ve learned in marriage thus far.

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21 Replies to “5 Lies People Believe About Marrying Young”

  1. This is very well written and has great perspective! I pray those wondering if getting married young is right for them, have the opportunity to read this article.

  2. Thank you for a great article! You are right that societee seems to frown on young marriages, but the majority of the very happy marriages that I know were people who married when they were younger. It isn’t for everyone, but I love your rational explanation. ❤

  3. Nice writing. I love the way you clarify that everyone has their own path in life, some with a spouse and others independently. There certainly isn’t a one size fits all model!

  4. Can I get an AMEN!? I married when I was 20 so I agree with all of your points! My husband and I have traveled the world, finished college, and both have fufilling careers (and separate hobbies). We did all of it TOGETHER. And I can’t think of anyone else I would want to share all my exciting experiences with.

  5. Well, it seems like you found a man that really cares for you and I would not say completes you, but more like makes a great teammate. I love how you talk about how these lies are people’s views based on their own personal experiences. It’s clear to me that they didn’t wait to have a great spouse, thy settled.
    Marrying young can be such a blessing when you don’t settle for average and you find someone who makes you want to be a better person and spouse. Someone who encourages you but also isn’t afraid to be honest and straight forward with you. Having someone who chooses to love you everyday no matter their mood or how their day is going is vital.
    Great work on this.

  6. You are one the right track! So happy for you! I think marrying young means you will be doing some of growing up as a couple instead of alone but it can certainly be done and be done well. ❤️Blessings on you both. Blessed to be a blessing.

  7. Sweet Megan,
    To this old man, your comments and understanding exhibit considerably more wisdom and maturity than one might expect from one of your “tender” age. But then I might expect this coming from such a match made in Heaven! Love you both sooo much!

  8. This is well written Megan! Thanks for your vast wisdom as a 21 year old woman! I can learn much from this even as a 50 year old. You deserve an A+!

  9. A wonderful piece. You identified some very real misnomers and addressed them with incredible insight, wisdom and passion. It only gets better and you value even more that you have a godly man to stand in the gap at times when you really need him.

    My husband and I were married at 18 and 19. He was then and still is my best friend 52+ years later.

  10. This is written so beautifully:) I’m so grateful that God gave me you as such a wonderful role model!! Love you Meggie❤️

  11. Thank you for writing this. I have been married to my HS sweetheart for 32 years this August! We think that it is truly a gift to find your life “mate” at a young age. We have grown together without preconceived expectations-We jumped right in with both feet and do life together without any regret. It has been an amazing journey, not devoid of challenges, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We have built such a rich history together and are still having fun along the way.

  12. I was also 20 when I got married 28 years. (Your dad, uncle and I were friends back in high school) Was it always easy, especially in those early years, no. Today, I feel so grateful for the opportunity to grow together in such significant ways at a time when we were so young, naive and vulnerable. You have written a great article that acknowledges what is good for one is not perfect for another, and your choices should not be criticized (or judged) but rather, cherished for the commitment you’re willing to make at this young age.
    I will say, however, as a faculty member at MSU, the number of likes, views or comments you recieve on a single written work by no means validates or invalidates your message, nor should affect the grade! Quality, meaningful, succinct texts should determine your grade only. You identified your points, reinforced them with strong arguments and the piece is well organized, and written for a broad audience. I love having students like you in class, it is the reason I continue to teach. Well done, regardless of the grade you ultimately receive.

  13. I was also 20 years old when I married 28 years ago. Was it easy, especially in the beginning? No, we were naive, broke, vulnerable, but we grew together. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn to lean upon each other in such an organic way. Now, we have been empty nesters for 5 years and loving this stage of life.
    On another note, as a faculty member at MSU, I hope you know that it will never be the number of views or likes you receive that validates or invalidates your message and it should never affect your grade. Good writing is reflected by an organized message, with clear, succinct, defensible arguments. Your message is unbiased and responsive to a variety of views and you did an excellent job. Grades should not be issued by popularity.

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