countrygirl16June 24, 2004

Ok guys I need your help and advice. I'm 19 years old. My finace is 19 also we have been together for 4 and 1/2 years and we want to get married. However my family isnt to keen on me being married at the age of 19 they say im too young, but im very much in love and ready to make this commitment. Do you have any advice for me? Also if the wedding stays as planned i want a country themed wedding any ideas for decorations, flowers, ect...Please help Thanks.

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I'd see what kind of pre-marital counseling you can find. Particularly check out long running sessions. A one or two session counseling bit won't show a long term commitment as well as twice a month for six months type arrangement would. Then, talk to your family about what you are learning and doing in those sessions. It is easy to get all chatty and gung-ho about wedding plans. But let's face it, those wedding plans are really just plans for a party. If you get all chatty and gung-ho about serious relationship issues, your family will see that you are interested primarily in the long term commitment and that the fluffy white dress might be cool, but not nearly as important. That sort of mind set will help your family see you as mature enough for marriage.

Obviously you can easily get married without their blessing. I am assuming you are wanting advice regarding how to show your family that you do have the maturity for marriage at your age.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 3:15PM
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that would be a good idea but the wedding is already planned the invitations have been sent and its 2 months away theres not time for that

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 3:53PM
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This topic will bring up some strong opinions, going both ways.

I apologize in advance if I'm being rude here, but if you think it's too late because the invitations have already been sent out, why on earth are you asking, "Do you have any advice for me?"

Are you asking, "How do I make my family see sense?"

What's the rush? For the record, it's never too late.

Obviously we can't say whether or not YOU personally are too young to get married or whether or not YOU personally are mature enough to deal with all that a marriage entails. That being said, I personally don't think it's a good idea to get married at 19. It's a very young age and I feel women don't come into their own sense of self-esteem and confidence until their mid-20s. How can someone know what they want for the rest of their lives at 19? Just my opinion.

Seriously though, there is no rush here. So you push the date and have to let everyone know. So what?

Andrea :o)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 4:14PM
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These is plenty of time to meet with someone and talk about marriage - not the wedding. My husband and I went through pre-marital counseling (it was mandatory with the church we were getting married at). It was wonderful. We had the sessions with the person who was marrying us. It helped us develop a deeper relationship with her and explore subjects that are very important to marriage - we had discussed almost all of the subjects before we got married, but during all the planning for the wedding it gave us time to really concentrate on what is the most important thing - the marriage. We took a quiz (separately) and it pinpointed our strengths and areas where we could work on together. I highly recommend going through counseling. We had 4 sessions - one was to take the test, the next was to explore the results, the third was to talk about other marriage issues, and the fourth was to arrange the ceremony. You could meet with someone once a week for the next month or so. I think you would really gain a lot - regardless of your age.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 4:16PM
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I'm not sure you will be able to convince your family in the next two months that you are ready for marriage. Your best bet would be to acknowledge their concerns while standing your ground.

Don't try to convince them of your maturity with your words. It won't work. And it will likely become an argument, which will actually make them feel you are immature. Actions will be a better tool for you than words. Take pre-marital counseling. Be a good employee. Look into going to school. Volunteer your time to some worthy cause. Maintain your home, car, and appearance. Generally speaking, maturity includes being more concerned of others than of yourself and looking toward the future and making decisions now based upon what you want in your future.

Keep wedding planning talk to a minimum while maximizing talk of commited relationship and planning for the future. I'm not sure it will convince them in only a couple of months. But, I suspect that with that type of plan of attack, you will have convinced them within a year.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 6:49PM
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Our daughter dated a very nice young man from her age of 15 to 20, and many times they considered marriage. Thank heavens she didn't. From the age of 20 to 27 she grew, found her true self and life calling, and is planning her marriage to a wonderful, equally talented and hard worker like she is, who also knows who is is and where he's going. They're planning a MARRIAGE not just a wedding.

I'm sorry to say that 19 is too young, but I also know that you'll never believe that, being young yourself. The cost of wedding invitations is miniscule compared to the cost and heart-break of a divorce (esp if you insist on having children at such a young age!) when you each discover there's a really BIG world out there, but you're stuck where you are. I hope at least, you both have careers and not just 'jobs'.

If you go through with it, good'll need a lot of it....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 10:30PM
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Splinter is definitely right about this topic bringing up strong ideas from both sides of the fence. Although it's not the advice you're looking for it's hard for anybody (regardless of whether or not they know you) not to question your readiness for marriage.

I'm gonna tell you a story about me (I'm sure you're rolling your eyes but bear with me). When I was 17 I was engaged to my boyfriend (of 2 1/2 years) and I went trying on dresses and making calls and making plans...luckily we never had enough money to buy anything. Shortly before my 18th birthday I broke up with him. I had two other long term relationships where I wanted to plan the wedding...but planning in my mind was all I did. I am now 28 and I am a completely different person than I was back then. If anyone had told me when I was any of those relationships that I wasn't ready for marriage I would have been completely insulted and it would have made me more determined to prove them wrong. When I was 26 I met my fiance and as I fell in love with him I realized that having a wedding was no longer important to me...all I really wanted was to be married to the man I love.

Are you absolutely sure that you want to spend the rest of your life with him? If there was no ring, no wedding, just you and him and city hall, would you still marry him? Are you ready to be somebody's wife at 19? Do you realize that being married is different than being his girlfriend and it's extremely hard work? Do you realize that the passion will fizzle and the novelty will wear off? I don't mean to sound condescending (and I'm very sorry if I'm offending you), I just remember being in a very similar position to where you are and I didn't know the answers to all those questions. I couldn't see past my fantasy.

I agree that marriage counselling is a very good idea. I doubt you will convince your family before your wedding. I think Duckie gave you very good advice about your actions speaking for you maturity, and the rest, only time will tell. I wish you the very best of luck and I hope that things turn out whichever way will give you long term happiness.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 12:43AM
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Okay, I'll join in with my own story...

When DD was 19, she was engaged to a really wonderful young man. He was a few years older, and matched nearly every item on her "list" -- and yes, she actually had a list. My husband and I adored him, and he adored us. We had no hesitation in giving our blessing to the marriage. We knew 19 was young, but, knowing DD and knowing how we had raised her, we did believe she was ready for marriage.

One month before the wedding date -- after the invitations had been sent -- DD came to me and said she was having second thoughts. It was a very difficult time, but we never tried to talk her into going ahead with the wedding.

For a few months after the engagement was broken DD and her ex continued to see each other, but eventually they broke up completely (although *I* still continued -- even now -- to have lunch with him occasionally).

It has been 4-plus years, now, and as happened to others in this discussion, she has changed a lot. It's difficult to describe the difference, but there *is* a difference.

A couple of years after the break-up DD started dating another young man -- someone she had been dear friends with -- who is every bit as wonderful as her ex is. They were married last August, and the truth is her DH "fits" with who she is now *so* much better than her ex would have at this point. I thank God often that DD was brave enough to break her first engagement.

So, I'm not going to tell you that you are too young. But I *am* going to urge you to have the courage to say, even at this late date, "let's wait." I encourage you to give yourself at least 2 more years -- without a wedding date set and without wedding plans being made and without discussions about "when we get married" -- and then see if this is still something you want to do. I'll bet that if you do that, you'll find that your family will enthusiastically support *whatever* decision you make.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 9:19AM
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As someone else has pointed out, we don't know you and can't say if you are personally ready or not, at 19.

All I can tell you is that I agree with those people telling you how people change after that age and sometimes waiting isn't such a bad thing. I had a few chances to marry from the time I was 18, but I chose not to. I'm 43, just got married last month and I wouldn't change a thing...I know who I am, he knows who he is and we both know that marriage isn't takes work, lots of it!

If you get in an argument you can't just say "I'm going home", you have to work it out. If one is sick, the other has to be the caregiver. There's lots of compromise and giving up things you'd like from time to time in order to make it work.

When things are good, they're very good and it's easy to be committed. When things are not so good, it takes a lot of willpower and work to keep life on track. Marriage is work, no way around that fact!

I think it's worth every minute of it, but at 19, I know I wouldn't have been ready for the long haul.

I wish you all the best and I hope you do find someone to counsel you and your fiance. It really is important!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 12:30PM
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I got engaged at 21, married at 26, and if I'd met my DH when I was 19, I'd have gotten engaged to him then. He's the right person for me, and I would have been able to tell that at 19.

I have changed a lot since I was 19, and since I was 21. But I don't plan to ever stop changing, and the point of my relationship with my husband isn't that we've both figured everything out on our own so now we are going to do a perfect job at having a relationship. The point is that our growing and learning and changing works so well when we do it TOGETHER.

But there's a reason were engaged for almost five years - we weren't in a hurry to have a wedding. To us, commitment and a shared life were not difficult. Well, things were sometimes very difficult, but it was not difficult to see how worth it being together was.

The wedding itself, though, the public celebration of our commitment to each other, was very important to us, and we waited until we felt like the time for that was right. The time wasn't right until later. I didn't want to do it until I had the full, unequivocal support of my family and friends.

None of my family and friends ever thought that he wasn't the right guy for me, or that our relationship was a bad one. Like most people, they just thought that getting married young wasn't a good idea.

It was really wonderful that the people at our wedding knew us as an adult couple, and had seen us go through so much together, and really admired the kind of relationship we'd had over the years and the way we take care of each other. It felt good to know that we had earned the support we were getting.

I guess it sounds kind of shallow that part of why we waited to get married was because of what other people would think. But if other people didn't matter to us, we wouldn't have had a big wedding, we'd have just had a courthouse wedding.

Of course we had no moral/religious objection to living together before we got married - we bought a house four years before the wedding. If we'd had that as an issue, I guess things would have been different, but I don't exactly know how. Because although I knew he was the person for me and I was happy being committed to him, I didn't WANT to get married so young. It just didn't fit with my expectations about how my life would be.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 4:15PM
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I've known I'd marry my fiance forever, it seems like (I had a crush on him when I was 15, and he barely knew I existed LOL - I'm 29 now). So I can understand if you *know* you want to marry this man even at such a young age. But there are lots of things we've both done that would have been much harder had we been married through a lot of it - finishing degrees, getting out from under our parent's support and learning to be independant, even from each other, paying off debt and learning how to manage our own bills/finances, and just generally getting to really know each other. We became good friends when I was 18, and started dating when I was around 22 - I always knew I wanted to marry him, but I also knew I needed to have my own life first, to find out who *I* was before committing to another person. He's also quite a bit older than I am, and my parents/family *definately* had reservations about that 7 yrs ago...they would not have been overjoyed with a marriage then, no matter how "sure" I was, because of my youth (and I was older than you), school not being done, his age...etc.

We've been dating for 7 years now, maintaining separate residences, and I have to tell you, I have absolutely not one single doubt in my mind about marrying, getting married, or staying married forever to this guy. But now that we've been together so long, we have the complete blessing of our family and friends too - they've seen us together, and they know we are making a wise and mature decision, because we proved that through waiting and taking it slowly.

I'm not saying you should wait as long as we did - certainly not. :-) But I do think that putting off the wedding even just a couple of years and getting a little more "life" behind both of you is definately worth considering on your part. Finish college if you're going to school, get a career established if not, get your own place and live alone for awhile with no roomates (I really think *all* people should do this, at least for a little while before living with anyone in any kind of relationship) - enjoy just being young and in love. Then when you go ahead with your plans, I'd bet your family will be very supportive and helpful, you'll be happier, and your relationship with your fiance will be that much deeper and solid.

I think what most of us are trying to say is, rushing into something will probably make it harder on you in the long run, but waiting a year or two absolutely *won't* hurt anything, and will probably make everything that much better. :-)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 6:40PM
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Anita, I did know my DF at 19 (in fact I met him when I was 4 as he was my brothers friend). I certainly didn't know that he was right for me fact we disliked each other very much. As we matured we became more friendly and one day while we were helping our friends move I saw him in a different light. I knew then that he was the right one for me. All the things you said about continuing to grow your whole life and doing it together...that's exactly how I feel. My point about the growth is that when I was 18 (or 19 or 21) I didn't know who I was...I didn't know me . I think you have to have a strong sense of self or commitment to yourself (I can't find the right words so I hope you understand what I'm trying to say) before you can really commit to another person. There was no rush for us to get married either...we live together and I stay home with my son and his two sons. Getting married was a "one day" thing. Last october I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and started treatment for it in december. When I was first diagnosed they only removed one ovary and told me that within the next 10 years I would most likely get it in the other ovary (but they didn't want to remove it yet due to my young age). I started feeling more of a need to be officially married...I just felt if we want to do it then what are we waiting for. I didn't want to just put it off waiting for the money for the big special wedding when all I wanted was to marry the man I love and not feel like a liar when I called his kids my stepsons. Of course I didn't know at that time that he had already bought the ring (he bought it when I was first diagnosed). We chose to wait a year and a half to give my hair a chance to grow...I certainly don't think we rushed into it...but the cancer did give us a bit of a kick in the ass. point with all that is yes, I agree you do know when it's right. I knew in my heart that it was wrong with anyone else from my past...that's why it went no further than it did. But I didn't want to listen to anyone else (family or friends) who tried to tell me so.

Jamie MT, do you and DF still live apart?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 8:33PM
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I will give my two cents for what it's worth...
In my late teens and throughout my twenties I dated men that I thought were the one, or could be the one, only to find out that it was time wasted although valuable lessons learned on how complex people and relationships really are.
After a horribly sad and bitter breakup from the man I thought was THE ONE (who went on to marry another girl 8 years younger than I in less than a year) I took time off from dating (4 years). A friend took me out for Halloween, we dressed up as angels, me the dark angel and her the good angel. A man dressed as the devil came up to me and asked if he could have a picture taken with us, I said sure, we exchanged emails (not names, the whole conversation lasted less than 5 minutes)
As my friend and I drove home from the party I turned to her and said that I was going to marry the devil. And I am. So I knew from the start that it was ment to be. There was a difference for me thinking he might be the one and KNOWING he was the one.
CountryGirl, whatever you decide I wish you luck and happiness. Personally, I would wait. What about school for you both? Do you have the same dreams and goals for your future? Have you both had time to live for yourselves before making the commitment to live for and with each other? I know at 19 I was no where near mature enough to handle the responsiblity of another person. I could hardly take care of myself and get to classes on time.
Sunshine4376, what a beautiful love story you have and how blessed you are to have such a wonderful man to call your husband.
CountryGirl, remember that any love worth having is worth waiting for, just my opinion.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 11:55PM
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HI, I met my DH on 17th birthday and we were married when I was 20. That was 40 years ago. Don't know if times were different then. We are still very much in love. I hate to say this but some of it is luck and to certain degree we grew up together. There's good and bad to any marriage. If you think it's good go with it. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 8:41PM
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Sunshine, yes, we still live apart - I have a house I bought 4 yrs ago, and he lives in his grandparent's old house. We are currently fixing up my house to sell (in 5 weeks or so) and his grandparent's house to sell, and when we buy one together, if we close before the wedding I'll move in first, and then he'll move in after the wedding. :-)

Is there an update yet? Has a decision been made by the original poster? I hope we didn't scare her off too badly...I know that wasn't anyone's intention...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 12:07PM
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i have been with my fiance for 7 years now, we broke up twice in these 7 years, we both dated other ppl and realized that we were meant to be...i' am 25, when i get married next april I'll be 26...when i was 19 i was lost, confused and had no idea about advice is wait..if its true love it will come to you at the best time in your life. Don't forget that at 19 you have not lived enough wisdom to make decisions that last a lifetime. I learned a LOT from 19-25 and I also knew that I'd be married after I was 21 because i felt that I had experienced everything by then....
I was right.
Wait little girl...grow, mature, enjoy life...and most of all...don't rush into things.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2004 at 2:32AM
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countrygirl, I think the others have given you excellent counsel. I have nothing to add to both their words of caution and their best wishes. I wonder if you would share with all of us why you and your fiance feel that you should get married now, rather than waiting a while? Thinking about that may clarify some things for you, and it will help us all understand, too.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 12:28AM
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