Why are we so quick to judge other peoples relationships?
Recently I’ve seen a lot more people my age (late teens/ early twenties) getting engaged and preparing to marry the person they want to spend their life with. The responses that people receive because they are choosing to devote their life to one person at an age considered to be “young” to most is flabbergasting. Some of the remarks that have been made to me, and others, are what makes me wonder what marriage is all about in today’s world. Is it about the love two people share, or how old they have to be to share it?
I met Troy when I was 15 and he was just turning 17. We didn’t start dating until I was 17, turning 18 three months after. We only dated for a year and three months before getting engaged. That shocks a lot of people. I’ve received a lot of comments on the short length of time we spent dating before deciding to get engaged. Often when people start in with their, “Wow! That’s not very long at all.” statements I feel the need to explain myself. “Well we were best friends for a long time before we started dating.” That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when grasping for things to blurt out to defend the way we did things.
Why is it that we feel because you have been with someone a certain amount of time it determines whether or not a marriage would work? Why is it that people who marry under the age of 25 seem to be destined for failure?
In my opinion all marriages are destined for defeat unless both people are willing to keep the vows that are made at the altar. “Til death do us part”, has turned into “Until it gets too hard.” Marriages shouldn’t be looked at like that, but sadly they are. More and more people are so quick to throw in the towel instead of fighting for the person they swore to spend the rest of their lives with because it has become more customary these days.
I don’t think that the length of time you’ve spent in a relationship with someone or the age you choose to marry at will determine how long your love will last. I think it all comes down to how hard are you willing to work for it, and how much are you willing to endure.
My grandparents married at 16 and are still married today. I’ve seen people marry young and get divorced, I’ve seen people marry in their adult years and get divorced. I’ve also seen people who dated for years before getting married end up signing divorce papers as well.
No one said marriage is easy. I’ve been married only 8 months and I’ve already seen how difficult it can get. The differences, the compromise, lack of communication, etc. I’m not saying I have experienced it all, our marriage has only just begun, but what I do know is, I was raised to believe that divorce isn’t just a piece of paper you turn to because things get problematic. You met that person at the alter, exchanged those vows and committed your life to spending forever with them, you better be ready to work through whatever comes your way.
And I think that if people feel they’re ready for that life long promise at 18 or 35, that’s their life, and their relationship. We shouldn’t automatically assume the fate of their future based on their age or how long they’ve been with a person.
On another note, I don’t think poorly of those who do get a divorce. Many people have many different reasons for getting divorced and we shouldn’t form an opinion based on why we think it happened. A lot of times outsiders don’t have a portion of a clue as to what led up to someones divorce, and we are not entitled to an explanation.
We see peoples lives through our eyes. We are not in their shoes. We do not know all of their stories, we have not felt all their joy, nor have we endured their pain. We see what they let us see, and we are not mean’t to critique, just to love.
I will end with this quote from one of my favorite shows:
“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, you can drink at 21, and retire at 65. So how old do you have to be before your love is real?” – Jim James (One Tree Hill)
Photo Taken By: Arlene Alto