Before we dive into it, here’s a little bit about myself. I’m a 26-year-old New Jersey native. My parents are immigrants who hailed from the south of India. I met my African-American husband at a pool party when I was 19. A little over a year later, we got married, and we’ve been husband and wife for six years. I am a straight-up anomaly among my peers, and I have realized that I always will be. And I love that. Getting married young is beautiful and incredible. It’s time to break the stigma.
So, this is my side of the story, free from society’s corruption.
1. I have tougher skin than my peers.
Getting married young has made me a strong-willed and resilient young woman. I grew up sheltered as the youngest child in a family of five. Marrying my husband was the first thing in my life that I had to fight for, and I’m still fighting for it to this day. We both knew we were soulmates soon after we met. That’s why we didn’t see the point in waiting until we both graduated from college before we blended our lives together. I’ve never questioned my marriage because it’s always felt right, even if everyone else didn’t believe in us.
We both went through hell once we got married. People would say hurtful and unforgivable things to us in hopes of splitting us. People would even try to convince us to get our marriage annulled. Why? Because they couldn’t understand what it’s like to be 19, stumble upon your soulmate, and find true love. The timing will never be right. Don’t be one of those people who think you need to graduate first and get a full-time job before finding a serious relationship. After all, who’s timeline are you living on?
2. I’m more motivated.
Up until I was 18, I did what my parents wanted me to do. However, as an adult, I began to question if I wanted to sacrifice living my life as I want it just to fit my parents’ standards. When I became independent, I truly found myself. I made my own mistakes and rejoiced in my successes. After all, I had nobody else to thank for them but myself. I’m proud of my independence — in fact, I haven’t asked my parents for anything since I turned 20.
Getting married young allowed me to spread my wings truly. I have been at the bottom, and I have felt it beat me up: I was too broke to buy food. I had no mode of transportation. And I had no idea if I could start my next semester of college or pay my rent. Those were the experiences that made me stronger and unafraid of the bullshit that comes with living your life as an adult. My marriage has motivated me to succeed in this world, and I am more driven to do so on my terms.
3. I have more adventures than ever before.
Typically, people think that once you get married, your life is over. This couldn’t be more untrue. My life has only gotten crazier. Now, it’s filled with more spontaneous days and nights. The best part is I get to share the good and the not-so-good times with my best friend. My husband and I have experienced some dark times in our marriage, but I truly believe that has made our good times even better. Marriage is the most unpredictable ride of life — no two days are the same, making it the most incredible adventure of all.
4. I have more support than before.
When everyone else leaves me hanging, my husband is always there to support me. I have another person who wants to see me do well and isn’t afraid to share his honest opinions. My husband not only loves me, but he also accepts all my strengths and flaws all the same. He has never tried to change me. At the end of a long, brutal day, I can always walk into our loving home and feel better instantly. When I see his face, I get excited and cannot help but smile. His warm embrace makes me feel loved and supported even when the world shows me hate.