Married at 18

Why we should not view young married couples as taboo

By Karina Garcia (Editor in Chief) -05/3/17

The day I got married at the Van Nuys Courthouse
The day I got married at the Van Nuys Courthouse

My husband and I got married a month after I turned 18 in the spring semester of senior year. I met Michael Dovlatian in our 10th grade English class; we became good friends and eventually fell in love.
At first I dreaded that people would find out because I thought they’d be judgmental and have negative comments. And I am sure people do say them behind my back. Sometimes people even try to give me advice about experimenting first and imply I’ll fall in love with someone else, thinking I won’t tell Michael about it. He gets the same thing too.
People always assume that I am either pregnant, that it was my first relationship, or that I’m in a rush to lose my virginity. I fit into none of these stereotypes. It is much simpler than that.
I found the person I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with earlier than most people. It’s just a commitment I decided to make, no different than committing to a career or the military, which are things a lot of people do right after high school as well.
I get that I did sacrifice a part of my independence, but instead I share that with my husband. The oxymoron of shared independence means that I’m not missing out on experiences because everything I do with my husband, I would do on my own.
There’s this negative connotation that getting married totally changes you and the things you are into doing. But this really is not the case for us. I’ve never been about partying or having crazy experiences with friends, and one nights stands aren’t really my idea of romance. For me it was not “tying me down” or taking away my freedom because there is also nothing I would not do being with my husband that I would not do being by myself.
There was no point in waiting because there was no more romantic experiences I wanted to go through. I found what I wanted, and Michael showed me I deserved no less than the love that he gave me.
While people my age are now worrying about prom and having a memorable senior year, my husband and I are trying to figure out our living situation and expenses for the future. Because, yes, we both are going to college, because, again, getting married is not stopping my life; I am just sharing it with someone else.
There is also an argument that as a girl in the 21st century, I should be making a life for myself and do things on my own. To say that I am not making anything out of myself because I got married is offensive because being a girl in the 21st century means choosing what I want for myself.
And just because we are married does not mean it ends all the arguments. We still have a lot to learn and hardships to face, but we are choosing to persevere through it. We would do the same thing if we were just a couple, and so that shows that getting married did not validate our love for each other, we are just showing the commitment to each other and choosing to get past our differences.
Getting married young is for two mature people to decide, and others should not question or disrespect that decision as if they were not entitled to make it. It should not be looked down upon as something that was rushed or assume something other than love is what caused it in most cases.
When I turn 28 I’ll be married for 10 years, and that is even a crazy thought for me to process because most people are not even married at that age. But I decided to choose my happiness rather than letting the status quo tell me what was the normal thing to do. And I am entitled to choose my happiness no matter what age I am. Our happily ever after just started early and I am grateful that we have a lifetime to grow together.