The first question you might ask is, WHY? What was I thinking?
I wasn't pregnant, which is what most people probably would (and probably did) assume. Our first child wasn't born until March 30th, 1993.
My only explanation is I was in love, I thought I knew it all, and I was just determined to get married, regardless of what anyone else thought.
And that stubborness is part of what kept us together for over 11 years. So many people said we'd never make it, and we wanted to prove them wrong.
But they were right.
Statistically, teenage marriages are 2 to 3 times more likely to end in divorce. There are many reasons for this, but in my opinion and experience, it all boils down to one thing. Very few 18 year olds have the wisdom and maturity to choose a life partner.
In general, when teens marry, they do so for all the wrong reasons. Pregnancy is most often the reason, but other reasons are getting out of the parents' home or to ensure that the relationship will last. I think both of those reasons factored in for us.
Fortunately, teenage marriages are on the decline. Teen pregnancy rates are still high, but the rush to get married just isn't there any more.
I know there are exceptions to this, teen marriages that end up very successful and long-lasting. Feel free to tell me your story in the comments. I do know several couples who got married very young and are still together. I think it's great that they made it, and I'm sure it wasn't easy. Even the best marriage takes work, and when you're very young, that can be so hard, and so overwhelming. And when you've made the wrong choice for a partner due to immaturity and life experiences....it's so, so much harder. Also, the fact that my parents' marriage was full of screaming arguments, dysfunction, and a total lack of respect definitely influenced that decision.
I was 19 years old, almost 20, when my son was born. I don't regret having him so young at all. In fact, that was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
But getting married young is one thing I fervently hope my children do not do. I want them to wait until they have more life experience, maturity, and have truly gotten to know their own selves, before they take that step to be joined with someone else forever. I was SO stubborn and have always had to learn things the hard way. But I want so much better for my children.
The bright side is that all the bad in that marriage made me SO appreciate the good in my second marriage. And I am so lucky that there is so much good to appreciate!
Live and learn.