A new study found that nearly one in 10 women in the United States were married before the age of 18. I’m not easily shocked by marriage “statistics” but this one did surprise me some. The same study reveals that those women who marry early on in life (something they’re calling “child marriage”) have a much higher risk of mental illness than those who wait. Perhaps, I’m stating the obvious here, but could it be that some of these girls were too young to know the man was not The One and would ultimately drive them crazy one day? Alas, no judgments here. I often say, when you know, you know. Love is funny like that.
Reading this article made me think about something The Man often says to me when we’re going through my old “stuff” boxes with knick-knacks and photos from my childhood. He goes, “I think you would have loved me in high school if we knew each other then.” I always smirk and say, “I’d like to think so, but I’m just not sure.” He laughs it off, but truth be told, I seriously don’t know if that would have held true back then. Mostly because, at 18, I was bad at choosing boyfriends – really bad. I had no clue what type of man could handle all I had to offer and instead I picked those who were so intimidated by me, even at that age, that they chose to mistreat and belittle me and call it “caring” or “love”.
If a guy as great as Gibran had marched on over to my locker and kicked some game, I don’t think I would have been able to recognize this shining qualities. It’s sad, but true. He would have wanted to take me out for a nice dinner date at Applebees and have me home on time by curfew, and I would have probably blew him off for the guy who wanted to “take me to his friends party” – a night that would have likely ended with me sitting there miserable and alone on some random couch with no one to talk to while my “date” was off getting wasted and fulfilling his own selfish needs. Yup, I was a dating doofus back then; so I’m super glad I didn’t meet my husband when I was 18. I was too bruised and broken to know a good thing when I saw it. I needed those three extra years to get it together! At 21, when he did finally walk into my life (thank God!), I was much more equipped to know what I didn’t want in a man and to recognize the qualities I did.
Did you know your husband at 18? If you did, would you have married him then? If you did marry him then, are you going crazy? (Ha!) Do you think it was the right choice? I asked this on Facebook the other day, but I’ll repeat it here. How old were you when you get married? Let’s discuss!