I think we all know the answer to that question.
I read a post from a fellow blogger, Natasha Craig, about what she gave up when she got married, and it was wonderful. I’m not going to give you a spoiler, because I think you should read it. She got married when she was 19, a year younger than I am now. (Yeah, sorry, the blog is still called Nineteen Going on Ninety because Twenty Going on Ninety isn’t nearly as catchy.) Of course, people told her not to and told her all the horror stories, how it would end in divorce, etc, etc.
She talks about how she did give up a lot, and what it meant to her. My favorite quote was: “I went home on June 8th in someone else’s car, to sleep in someone else’s bed, and breathe someone else’s air. It would never, from that moment on, be just ‘me’ anymore.” She says that her marriage brings her so much happiness that she even wishes she got married sooner than she did.
I think that’s amazing! But I don’t think that’s for everyone. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting married young- God has a different plan for everyone. Two of my best friends got married at 20, and I can’t imagine it happening any other way. But I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with waiting to get married until you’re older. I have friends that have been married for almost a decade, and they’ve said that the first year of marriage is going to be incredibly hard no matter what – you know, “you’re never ready” – so if you’re committed to marriage and staying together, it doesn’t matter if you do it at 19 or 29.
However, I respectfully disagree. Not about the first year of marriage being hard, because I’m sure it will be. I don’t want to share my bed with anyone. Ever.
I also agree that yes, you’re probably never going to be completely ready for marriage. But I’d like to get close to ready, and there’s multiple reasons why I’m not there yet.
I’m 20 years old. 20. I’m a junior in college, and I graduated from high school 3 years ago. I am still a child. Yes, I’m legally an adult and I can be charged as one if I commit a crime (ha, yeah, right) and I live on my own in an apartment, with no one telling me what to do or how to do it. No one makes dinner for me or cooks my meals (unfortunate, but true. I don’t know how I’m still alive). I come and I go as I please, no curfew, no rules, no guidance. My boyfriend, Rick, also lives in his own apartment and falls under all the above categories.
Based on that criteria, one may say I’m an adult. But here’s the truth of it all: it’s not my apartment. My parents (and savings from my very wise, very money-savvy grandfather) are footing the bill for all of it. I pay for my gas and a portion of my bills. My parents give me money for rent, for cable, for electricity, and for food. Truth: I have 2 jobs and my bank account is at $185. And I don’t pay for any of my living expenses. Rick and I have had many conversations about this, and we both think that we should be financially able to support ourselves before getting married.
I know you can “never be financially stable,” and all those cliche things that people say. I know, okay! But here’s the thing. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. Is Rick, am I, ready to leave our parents and never ask them for a dime again? No. Realistically, that’s just not an option for either of us right now. Wanting to…eh….
may be definitely is a different story. (I only speak for myself; Rick is a total momma’s boy.) I personally don’t think that I should get married because I can’t. To me, marriage is growing up. And I think before an action like marriage, I need to be able to prove to myself that I really am an adult. In other words, I can’t just make an adult decision because I feel like I’m an adult. I’ve got to have the proof to back it up.
Another reason I’m not ready to get married? I would legitimately make a terrible wife. Seriously, this isn’t even me trying to be funny. It’s for real. There are funny parts about it- for sure. My inability to cook is certainly one of the funnier sides of it- I’m a hot mess. But I seriously am so not ready to be a wife.
I love Rick to death- absolutely. Which is why I’m not ready to marry him.
As I said before, I know the first year of marriage will be tough. But I want to make it as easy as possible, and if I got married right now, it would not be easy. I’m simply not ready to give myself completely to another person. I’m not ready to drive someone else’s car, sleep in someone else’s bed, and breathe someone else’s air. I like my own air, thanks though. It’s so embarrassing to put this on the internet for everyone to see, but the truth is very simple: I’m still too selfish and self absorbed to get married.
I’m an only child, and I wasn’t particularly materially spoiled, but I’m used to getting my way. (The women in my family tend to be very “my way or the highway.” Take that however you’d like.) Not even so much as me being a brat, which I totally can be, but I just never had to compromise. If I wanted to go somewhere, there wasn’t a sibling that said, “oh, well I want to go somewhere else” and forced me to compromise on what I wanted. It was “oh alright that place sounds good.”
As I’m living with my best friend/roommate Emily, I’m slowly learning what it’s really like to live with someone that isn’t your parents, and it’s a compromise by nature. The woman takes 45 minute showers. FORTY FIVE MINUTES. I don’t know how she does it, it’s like a skill. I had to hold my pee for over an hour multiple times, because we have just one bathroom. She’s obviously not hogging the bathroom on purpose. But I’ve never shared a bathroom with another human being, so waiting while someone else is in the shower was new for me. (We have since worked out an agreement on bathroom use while someone else is in the shower, no worries.)
My Valentine’s Day blog about love talked about how love is sacrificial. Basically, love is supposed to be all these things: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Should we get real? Let’s do it. I’m none of those things.
I’m certainly not patient. Not always kind. I do envy, because some stupid girl checking out my man is not okay. Back off, ladies. (Kidding.) Of course I can be prideful, and I hate admitting that I’m wrong, but I am getting better at it. Oh look, I’m boasting about how I’m working on my pride. Irony for the win. Must I go on? You get the point.
I read once that you should read your name in front of all those descriptions (ex: Paige is not self-seeking, Paige is not easily angered, [Rick is laughing at that one] and Paige keeps no record of wrongs) to see if they’re true or not. I did that and I was completely humbled by the fact that I couldn’t identify with even one of them.
However, I was also humbled by the fact that Rick fits all of those in our relationship. He is always patient, kind, humble, and he always protects, trusts, and perseveres for me. He could work on jealousy a little, but hey, I’m not complaining. 😉 I realized that while Rick has so many qualities that he needs to be a great man and boyfriend and eventual husband, I don’t have them yet.
When I get married, I want to be the best person, woman, friend and family member possible. I don’t want mistakes I make because I’m young and naive to affect another person that chose to legally bind themselves to me. If I mess up, like most 20 year olds do, (exhibit A: The Biebs) I don’t want that mistake to reflect unfairly onto my husband- it should be mine to own, not anyone elses. Of course, I will still make mistakes when I am 30 and married. Maybe they just won’t be as stupid!
I don’t want to get married while I’m still so young and immature- because I think my future husband deserves better than the person I am now. Looking back at my high-school self, I have grown and matured a massive amount in the three years since I was a senior. Had we gotten married then, (LOL) I think in hindsight I would have wished that I was a better person and wife for those beginning stages of a marriage.
I think that three years from now, I will be incredibly more understanding, open, mature, and loving. I will have worked even more on gaining those important virtues of a Proverbs 31 woman. (For those of you that don’t know, Proverbs 31 lists the qualities of a good wife.) I’m not trying to be unrealistic here either: I will never “get up while it is still night and provide food for my family.” I hate waking up early and I can’t cook worth a crap. So waking up at 10 a.m. and ordering take-out will have to do. But I hope that Rick can have “full confidence in me” and that “open my arms to the poor and extend my hands to the needy.”
Rick loves me for exactly who I am, and I love him for that. But that doesn’t give me a reason to sit back and say “I’m not the best person I can be, but it doesn’t matter because I have a husband already.”
I think it does the exact opposite, actually. Because I have someone so loving and accepting of me, I want to be even better to match that. In three years, I seriously hope that I will have more patience, love, kindness and humility, and I really hope that I get angered less easily: prospective marriage or not. Maybe I’ll tidy up more often or dust the lampshades, (although Rick’s cleaning skills are hard to match) and grow into liking hockey or listening to rock music. In a little time, I think I will be much more equipped to be a much better wife than I am now.
To those of you that have gotten/are getting married young, you are better people than I. I love it when people just know at such a young age, and I think it’s a blessing to be ready (“you’re never ready”) to make such a huge commitment when you’re so young. More power to you. However, not all of us are mature enough for that nonsense, and need a little time to grow up.
Now that everyone that read this wants Rick to break up with me because I’m such a terrible person and he’s so amazing, that’s all for now. Thanks for hangin!