Would You Support Your Child if They Wanted to Get Married at a Young Age?

BY: - 18 Jan '13 | Marriage

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Photo Credit: Jacqueline Smith

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Smith

By Jaqueline Smith

August 06, 1990 was the day I became Mrs. Jacqueline Smith. I started dating my husband our junior year of high school. We had the same mutual friends. His best friend was dating my best friend so as you see we were running into each other. My maiden name was Sanders, so during high school we would end up in the same home room.

We started dating Easter our junior year, after several of our friends decided that we should take a trip to Carrowinds, an amusement park in Charlotte NC. Everyone going was a couple, so my best friend wanted me to go and she stated that her boyfriend was bringing my (future)  husband and that we could be riding partners. Well, that started out to be the best day I ever had and we started dating after that. We dated the rest of our junior year and all of our senior year. When it was time to go to college we decided to go to separate colleges to make sure what we had was love.

I went to North Carolina Central. He attended Winston-Salem State and we were only an hour away from each other. I had a friend at school that lived in Winston Salem so every weekend I would ride with her home to visit my boyfriend (husband now). One weekend my visit resulted in a pregnancy. We finished our first year of college, came home, and I had our baby in June. We were married in August. I was only 20 years old and my husband was 19. My parents were only for it because I was pregnant and my dad was a preacher, but they really didn’t want us married so young.

My husband joined the Air Force and off we went to Germany for the first four years of our marriage. Being a young couple  that is married with kids is hard but it can be done. We have two girls now. We have been through a lot. We’ve had our bad days and our REAL bad days, but we stuck it out pulled together and we remembered that before the kids, bills and stress it was us. People ask me if I would allow our girls to get married at a young age. My answer is yes if that’s what they choose.

Being married young made my husband and I grow up and take care of responsibility. I believe that some of these parents should definitely stay out of their kid’s business and allow them to get married especially if they are pregnant. It made my husband realize he needs to be a man and that is why he entered the military. It made me be a mother because I couldn’t do what I wanted and just have my mom take care of my child and I go out. We had to make decisions for ourselves and kids.

This year we will celebrate our 23rd anniversary. I am 42 and my husband is 42. I am happy we went that route, and our girls are very happy as well to have been able to grow up with both parents. They are both in college and they both have decent boyfriends. Our oldest will be 23 this year and our youngest will be 20. They are not thinking at all about marriage but if they were I would be for it. But, I would advise them to go to marriage counseling before marriage just so they understand what they are getting into and to give them a little guideline of what to expect.

Some of things that we did that I believe helped were that I understood he needed some time with his guy friends and I needed time with my girlfriends, there’s nothing wrong with going out as long as you remember to respect each other and come in at a decent time. Jealousy does not belong in a marriage; all it does is cause problems and a lot of unwanted arguments. I love being married, I love my husband, and I know he would say the same (HE BETTER) lol. And now that we are in our 40’s, our girls are grown and we are still young enough to enjoy life and each other. If you marry young go ahead and have your kids so they will all grow up around the same time and you and your husband will have your life without kids and you can start really enjoying one another.

BMWK — Join us in thanking Jaqueline Smith for sharing her story.  Would you support your kids if they wanted to get married a young age? Please share your story if you got married young?

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13 WordPress comments on “Would You Support Your Child if They Wanted to Get Married at a Young Age?

  1. Rene

    I would support my kids getting married young if that’s what they really wanted to do. I too would encourage them to seek pre-marital counseling because marriage is not all sunshine and roses but it also isn’t as bad as many people make it out to be. But something you said – it made you guys grow up – That sadly isn’t the case for some (a lot of) young people. Some get pregnant tne married – have another kid in the first few years and still aren’t mature enough to handle the life of being married with kids. Which generally ends in divorce and a single mother struggling to raise her kids. And if she’s lucky, she’ll have a support system that allows her to finish school or work a full-time job and still ensure her children are safe,happy and healthy. To suggest that young people who marry should have kids early is irresponsible. Yes, having kids at a young age does mean that in your 40’s you can enjoy that time together while you’re still young. Or you can enjoy the together time while you’re still young and have kids a little later. One isn’t better than the other, just better suited for some people… Some people really do need time to grow up before doing grown up things, like having babies and getting married.

  2. rilmomto3

    I love this article. Thank you for sharing your story. I too will support and encourage my children to marry young. But not just for reasons of pregnancy. In our society, we are teaching our teenagers this “delayed adolescence.” We expect them to become adults somewhere around 30 years old. It’s shameful. The word “teen” was only invented fairly recently. I still prescribe to the idea that either you are a child, or you are an adult. I only wish our laws and child rearing reflected these ideas. A good book to read with your “teen” (even better if they’re around 8) is Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham. It tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, who did amazing things at the age of 14. I’m reading it with my 13 year old son, who is comparing and contrasting the differences between teens today and teens if his day. Enjoy!

  3. Andre

    I would if it was my children, I have three boys and by the time they are in their teens I expect them to have a certain maturity level. It is never too early to teach children the seriousness of love and marriage. In my opinion with young men you must get after them early about how they view women and marriage. I am bias however, I married at 20 and had my first son then, also joined the Air Force and was off to Portugal then too. My wife was 19, so we were a young couple isolated from family and friends, through that we have learned to trust each other and deal with our issues between us without running to outsiders..(not easy, not perfect, but much more than worth it!)

  4. Erica B.

    I’m 42 also and I got married at a young age as well. My kids are 23, 21 and 15. Yes, it’s wonderful to know that I’ll be “free” at 45 years old. But on the other hand, marrying young isn’t all that great either. I had a double whammy. My husband is 9years older than me. We had to have a come to Jesus talk early on about him talking down to me and *thinking* he knew more than me because of his age. Probably another topic of discussion. And when I hit 30, I went through a period where I felt life had passed me by… like I had missed out. I was depressed and needless to say, I “acted out”.

    Nevertheless, by God’s grace our marriage survived. But if my one of my kids came to me saying they wanted to marry early, I’d try my damnedest to talk them out of it. They need to LIVE and have single people experiences. They need to live alone… learn to be happy with just them. However, if they were determined, I’d have no choice but to support them.

  5. Ty Thomas

    I would support my children if they decided to marry at a young age. I married at 21 (hubby was 22) but we’d known each other since we were 11 and 12. I KNEW, very early that I wanted to be HIS wife…not A wife…someday. And he told me, at the ripe age of 14, “you know you’re gonna be my wife, right?”. Unfortunately, our decision to marry was met with not just opposition, but a determination to prevent, discourage and cause trouble for us. We weathered it all, but not without some hurt feelings, lingering scars, broken trust and fractured family relationships. In the end, all we had was each other. And for me, being the youngest of a very large and tight knit family, it was hard, lonely, frustrating and painful. Though, due to early advancement in school, I was a college graduate when we married…the support, encouragement and positive reinforcement NEVER came. He graduated college a year after we married. We had our first child 3 years into the marriage. Still, we regularly heard how we “shouldn’t have gotten married so young”. Despite the growth, progress, more children, me finishing law school, him entering the teaching profession, etc…our marriage was and, in my opinion, still is not respected or accepted. (And we have now been married for 20 years!!!) But, all thanks to GOD and some non family members who have made it a point to encourage and support our union over the years and along the way. We will celebrate 21 years this summer, we are happily raising and enjoying FIVE beautiful children (ages 18, 16, 14, 9 and 6), and we LOVE each other more today than when we first set eyes on each other on the steps of the church all those years ago.

    I would NEVER want my children to feel that MY agenda for them was more important than their personally selected path of life and happiness. I will not be an enemy to their success, confidence or sense of family unity. So, with that in mind, they ALL know, that if early marriage is something they choose, we will do all we can to love, encourage, support and help them and their spouse on that road. You can’t get back the years of discord and distance. And it never really feels “right” when people have openly been against you, your marriage and what has grown from and out of your union. Parents need to remember that!

    Blessings all…sorry such a long response. Thi one hit “home” for me!


  6. John Williams

    I got married one month before my 24th birthday and my wife is two years younger than I am . We met in high school she was 14 and I was 16. We were best friend , study partners and got attracted to each other. We dated on and off separated 2 times. We got married after college. We have a home, careers, and a beautiful 3 year old daughter . We have been married since June 2004. We are still happy together. We even have to extend help to the same people who did not want us to get married.

  7. Angel

    I would support my children’s desire to marry young if the person they were with was a good person. I married young. I was 21, and my husband was 28. We are both still young (I’m 28, he’s 34) and married for 7 years in a few weeks, but our marriage has grown so much, we have matured greatly, and we have become much stronger in our love for one another. We are best friends and lovers. Both him and I are passionate people, and that translates over to our marriage, too. We did get married because we were expecting our first child, but also because he proposed to me a week before we found out about the baby. We wanted to build a life together, and that didn’t change when we found out that I was pregnant. Most people did not initially support our decision (they thought we were JUST getting married to “look good”), but they now see that we truly love each other and that we belong together. I could tell that my parents did not want me, their youngest child to marry so soon, but they let me make my own decision and did not say anything negative to me, and they now feel good about us being together because my husband treats me well and is a very good father.

  8. Briana Myricks

    My husband and I married at 20 after dating in high school. Today we are 22 and he recently came to the conclusion that we got married too young and he was not ready for marriage. He now no longer wants to be married, saying he’s not ready for the “obligations and responsibilities” that come with it. I feel like it’s sort of too late to come to that conclusion now since we’re almost 2 years into our marriage. He refused to go to pre-marital counseling and does not want to go to counseling now either. He wants a divorce and I don’t, and I’m devastated to my core. I’m not sure what to do at this point. I asked him over and over before we got married if he was sure he wanted to do this and if he was sure he wanted to be married. But he’s been saying the past week he “changed his mind”. So going through what I’m going through now, I don’t know if I would support my future children to get married at a young age. I don’t want them to experience the possible heartache I’m going through today.

    1. Sonya L. Williams

      Stay encouraged! Your testimony sounds like deja vu. We first gotta know and practice the love of God so we can give that same agape love to our husbands, even when they act a fool. We must remember that we “wrestle not against flesh & blood” meaning the enemy is not our husbands. Its Satan on a mission to destroy the unity we have in marriage. We cant make our husbands attend counseling, nor can we make them reconcile w/us but we can allow God to heal our hearts and give us strength & wisdom to fight this war against divorce! I pray you both conquer this test in your marriage!

  9. Jay Combsly

    As long as they’re both gainfully employed, have strong spiritual values, and are self-disciplined, they can do anything they want. But that’s rare in any age category these days…

  10. Sonya L. Williams

    This is why its important to teach and model what a godly marriage looks like. Age isnt the issue. When a man/woman dont know the love of God they cant give that unconditonal love that keeps a marriage together. Parents cant make the decision for them but there is a responsibility to prepare them. I got married at 19 and separated at 24 but age had nothing to do with it. I totally understand the excitement and believing that we’re mature enough to make such a decision at that age, but looking back i realize that I wasnt prepared. I thank God that I know now what it takes to be a great wife, but its great to be prepared before you “take the pluge”!


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Keep Your Spouse’s Mind Occupied with Positive Thoughts of You

BY: - 21 Jan '13 | Marriage

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We’ve heard it all before, relationships take work. I prefer not to call it work, I’d rather say relationships require effort. Effort is something, that if we put our mind and energy toward, can actually happen. We are in more control of what happens in our love life than we care to admit. We have the power to make our relationship easier.

Many of the things that add stress to our marriage are well within our control. We can choose to improve ourselves, speak life into our marriage, and stay focused on the positive things that are happening. Or we can highlight the negative, complain about all the things our spouse happens to be doing wrong, and make, not only our spouse’s, but our life miserable. We can create an environment so filled with drama and distractions that neither partner looks forward to returning home at the end of a long day. I knew I never wanted that type of home. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I disagree, we fuss, we get upset, and we grate on each other’s last nerve. But no matter what, I refuse to have a home that lacks a sense of peace overall.

I made it up in my mind, I wanted my husband to be thinking positive thoughts of me when we are apart. In order for that to happen, there a few things I must be mindful of.

Disagreements get nipped in the bud the moment they show up. No sense in holding on to unnecessary drama if it is something we can discuss and get over right away. I have to open my mouth and share what’s on my mind, the good and the bad and listen when my husband does the same. I also have to be willing to forgive and apologize when needed in order to maintain the peace.

I must shower my husband with affection. Physical touch is important in any relationship, especially a marriage. I want to leave him wanting more and give him something to look forward to coming back home to.

I have to encourage him throughout the day with little reminders of  just how great I think he is. I can do this through text messages or phone calls as long as I make sure to remind him that I love and support him, and of how much I believe in him.

These are just a few of the small things we can be aware of as we seek to create and maintain a peaceful and loving marriage. There is a certain affect I would like  to have on my husband. I want to keep his mind occupied with positive thoughts of me.

BMWK — What are some things you do to keep your spouse’s mind occupied with positive thoughts of you?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.


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