I was a 19-year-old bride, and my husband was only 18

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

It wasn't a military wedding or a shotgun wedding.

We thought we'd be better off married than single; we were wrong.

At an age when some young women are still in high school, I married my eighteen-year-old boyfriend. I was just nineteen. We had dated for a little over two years, and I didn't feel like waiting anymore. So we got married.

He dropped out of high school; he was in his sophomore year. I was a recent high school graduate. We were so young, naïve, and impulsive.

My parents weren't too happy about the situation either.

After seven years together, two of which were spent living as husband and wife, we ended up getting divorced. The reasons are complicated; there's no single reason that can be pinpointed as the root cause of our breakup. There were many factors at play including his substance abuse, his violent nature, and the fact that we married too young.

We were both still teenagers on our wedding day; we knew nothing about life or about relationships.

I was a nineteen-year-old bride, and my husband was only eighteen. We were like children acting like grownups. There is no way we could've ever known what marriage would entail for us, let alone make it work.

We thought we'd be better off married than single; we were wrong. I left him after seven years of our tumultuous on-and-off relationship.

While the decision to marry at such an early age may have been unwise, ours is just one story among many that shows how ill-advised this practice is in general.

When I got married, I was just a girl: naïve and immature.

I didn't know what love really was and still had so much to learn about life and relationships. Our marriage failed because we were too young and too unprepared for it. We weren't ready for the commitment that comes with marriage; we lacked the maturity to handle even our daily lives while dating, let alone be able to take on marriage together at such a young age.

There's no right or wrong here, but rather just an example of how marrying too young can lead to disaster.   

I thought we were making a mistake by not jumping into marriage sooner. I realize now how preposterous that was. Looking back now, I realize we might've been better off waiting until we were older and really knew what we wanted instead of rushing things.

I'm glad I got out when I did; even if it didn't work out with my ex-husband and me, at least I know it wasn't too late for me to find real love after our divorce. It may have taken some setbacks and mistakes along the way, but in the end, it was all worth it because at least I know what love is supposed to feel like now.

It's never too late to get married or start a family, but it can definitely be too early. That's what I learned when I got married at nineteen. It's a lesson I'll never forget.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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