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.
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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?