Thursday, December 9, 2021

Getting Married As Teenagers: 20 Years Later

 "Don't take dating seriously in high school," I told Natalie right before she started her freshman year. "The odds of you staying with that person is rare."

Natalie blinked at me. "Well. You did."

She had me there.

I met my husband in high school. I was a senior. He was a junior. But he was older than me. He had been held back in first grade. We met in Belgium. His Dad was in the Army. My Mom was in the Air Force. We were friends at first. I had always thought he was attractive in his ROTC uniform. His blue eyes just popped. And then during a fire drill he had his friend come over and ask if I liked him. 

I did. 



After I graduated high school I moved with my parents to Massachusetts to start college. Tom had to stay back and finish high school. We were long distance. This was before Skype, so communicating wasn't as easy as it is today. We mostly emailed and bought phone cards so we could talk. I went back to Belgium to watch him graduate high school.

Then I got pregnant with my son Tommy. 

Of course we were scared. We were teenagers. But Tom was joining the Air Force. He said he'd take care of us. 


And, you know, he has. On December 10th, 2001 we got married. 

On December 10th, 2021, we will have been married 20 years. 

I tell my kids it's rare. Teenagers should not get married for many reasons. We had very little money. Neither of us had fully formed brains so our decision making skills weren't the greatest. We didn't know what we were doing. But you know, we had each other. We figured it out along the way. 


Yes there were tears. Arguments. More tears. But there was also love. Lots of love. We are different people. I can be silly. He can be serious. I love Target. He loves Lowe's. He can watch WW2 shows for hours. I can watch the Real Housewives for hours. 

But, you know, we both laugh at a lot of the same things. And he's incredibly sweet. On our 10 year anniversary we renewed our vows. Tom surprised me by doing it at the Titanic museum at the grand staircase.




20 years. As we've grown, we've learned to work through things. And sometimes it's not an easy fix. Sometimes it takes a lot of work. We are not the same people who we were when we got married. We're nearly 40 now. Not children playing house. We have more money. Not a ton more, but enough to not have to eat ramen and Hamburger Helper for 2 weeks straight. 

It will still take lots of work. Marriages are like that. You think in high school that everything is simple. You don't think of things like bills, sickness and health, and laundry. You realize marriage is a completely different thing when you grow up and have responsibilities. 


So yes. I do tell my kids it's not wise to get married when you're a teenager. That the odds of them staying with the person they meet in high school is slim. But sometimes. Through all the tears. And arguing. And growing. There's love. And if two people really want it to, it can work. 

It can last. 





22 comments:

  1. Love this!! My husband and I have been together since high school as well. We just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.

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  2. Loved this post. My parents were like that. My dad was in the military when they married. Were together for 61 years.

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  3. What a great story of love. Marriages do last and it is because two people make it work.

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  4. This is such a lovely post and story! Some people really do find the right person and make it work!

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  5. This is such a wholesome post. I love seeing love stories like this, it just makes me so happy for you both. It's great you both have found your soulmate! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Love this! Thank you for sharing your story. Ours is somewhat similar! So sweet!

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  7. How sweet we were teen newly weds as well and seemed to grow up through the 35 years

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  8. This is such a really wonderful post and story, Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I love this!

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  9. I really love stories like this! Your story is somehow the same like our story!

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  10. This is so sweet and funny enough my parents got married on December 10th too, they did it in 1994 though

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  11. That is such a lovely story. Congratulations on 20 years of marriage. i hope you have another 20 to come x

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  12. Congratulations on your 20 years of marriage. You've been through a lot but you kept your relationship strong and healthy

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  13. My parents gor married at a young age too. And it's rare to have a successful marriage but they made it. I learned a lot of lessons from them

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  14. What a sweet love story, 20 years of growing and building on each other. Hoping for more and more years to the both of you!

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  15. I love your story! My husband and I are teen sweethearts and we love each other but it wasn't all flowers and sunshine.

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  16. My husband and I are also high school sweethearts a lot of people do not understand what it takes to grown together and not apart as you grown up.

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  17. Happy Anniversary and what a wonderful story! I met my now hubby when I was 16 and in high school. He had just returned from Vietnam, served in the Army, we met on a blind date on Christmas day 1965. We married in July 1967 right after I graduated high school. I was 18, hubby was 21. We are celebrating 56 years together this Christmas day and 55 years married in July. Yes ups and downs but 2 children, 7 grands and 10 great grands shows what love can do.

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  18. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your wonderful story and being transparent.

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  19. My sister married her high school sweetheart! They are still together too!

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  20. I enjoyed reading about your background. Sounds like you guys have had an interesting journey over the years. Congrats on your anniversary!

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