Today we have Liz of dailylife-ladyliz.blogspot.com here to share with us her experience and expertise on being young and married. She and her Husband Brad are pretty freaking adorable, if I do say so myself, and I really admire their take on marriage. I definitely enjoyed reading about their little love story and I know you will too. =D
1. First of all, tell us how long have you been married and how old were the two of you when you tied the knot?
We are quickly approaching 3 years (anniversary is in August!). I was 19 (however, we were married August 9th and my b-day is August 28th. So I was only a couple weeks from my 20th birthday.) Brad was 21 when we got married.
2. Tell us a little backstory! How did you and Brad meet and how long did you date before getting married?
We met at college, my first semester there, through a mutual acquaintance of ours. I had broken up with my high school boyfriend right as classes started, so I didn’t really want to be dating because I had just ended a two-year relationship. However, as I hung out more with Brad, I began to change my tune a little bit. He asked me to a formal campus event, I agreed, but we went as “just friends” (insert eye rolling here). After that we were “just friends”, but we would meet each other for long walks in the evening, we hung out all the time, I sat with him in Chapel (we went to a private Christian school), went to eat dinner in the cafeteria with him… so by October we made it official. About a year later we got engaged. When we got married we had been together for not quite two years.
(that’s a picture of the formal event we went to. There was no way we went as “just friends” he got me a rose. Lol!)
3. Some people might say you got married a little too young (it’s been said to Nate & I!)- did you receive any negative feedback on your choice to get married at a younger age or were you surrounded by support?
You know what, I did receive negative feedback. Our families were supportive and our friends were supportive, but random people that didn’t know us very well had many opinions. It was mostly in the form of “Wow, you’re so young”. The summer before the wedding I worked as a receptionist at a hospital. My office was full of bitter women who had a lot of baggage about marriage and such. So I heard it all from “You’re stupid to get married. You’re just going to get divorced in a year or two” to “You’re young. You should be out sowing your wild oats and sleeping with tons of people!”
4. This is the time in our lives when most of us twenty-somethings are truly finding ourselves and our purpose, through education or by other means. Have you found it harder or easier to work toward your goals as a married woman?
I have found both. When we got married we were both still in school (I had two years he had one year left) so it was easy because we both had homework. Both had to be studying for tests. Both had to invest time in projects. Now that we’re both out of school, it’s not been too difficult because honestly I don’t know what I want to do with my life! I have a degree in youth ministry and there are just no jobs in churches right now. So I think I’ve had a hard time accomplishing my goals not because I’m married and did so young, but because the degree I chose is extremely narrow. Now it’s just a matter of re-evaluating and deciding if I want more school to get a Master’s, but that shouldn’t be too big of a problem because Brad is also working on a Master’s. But that might also be more challenging because we’re both also working full time jobs.So the short answer: yes it’s been a bit difficult, but I don’t think it’s because I’m married.
5. Life is fast paced when you’re trying to accomplish so many things and maintain a vibrant and fulfilling marriage at the same time! Do you have any tips on staying connected to your significant other with so much going on?
Something we like to do is go to bed at least a half hour early, shut down everything, and just sit and talk before going to sleep. We also have several date nights per month. But when life gets busy and we’re SUPER SUPER tired, something that we try to do is sit at the dinner table and eat together. No TV, no computers, nothing but a nice meal sitting together. It sounds stupid, but really, it makes a world of difference for us.
6. What are your favorite things to do as a married couple? Have those things changed a lot or stayed the same since the dating days?
In some ways things haven’t changed: we love to eat (haha), we love to listen to music, we love to talk about books we’re reading (we’re nerds. What can I say?), we love to hang out with friends. As we’ve really settled into being real adults, we’ve discovered that we like to entertain, we love to walk through art museums, we love just going and sitting on the beach (well, that’s because we moved from Texas to Virginia Beach. Previously we didn’t have that opportunity!), we love to travel. We’re always trying to discover new things to do together. Keeps things interesting!
7. Did getting married change anything (relationships, lifestyle, etc.) in your life that surprised you at all?
Hmm… I’m not sure. There was a lot of new and exciting things for us after we got married. To be perfectly honest, Brad and I did not have sex before we got married (we were both virgins on the wedding night), so that area of our relationship had previously been undiscovered! It was a grand adventure, though, but that was probably the biggest change. There were little things too. Like… sleeping with someone else in the bed. It took me probably two months to be able to sleep well sharing the bed. Or discovering our little quirks that we didn’t know because we didn’t live together before the wedding. But I can’t really think of anything that was truly surprising to me in the sense of “Oh man, I didn’t know marriage was going to be like that!!”
8. Are the first few years really the hardest?
I know some couples who really do struggle the first couple years, but Brad and I have been able to come together extremely well. I chalk it up to the fact that we’re both fairly effective communicators and are willing to discuss issues as they arise. We’ve had a great time adjusting and being together as a married couple. I’m not saying that it’s been all sunshine and roses all the time, because it hasn’t, but the things we’ve struggled with weren’t such big things that it made us feel like getting married wasn’t worth it or that we wished we had waited to get married.
(this is the most recent pic of us, from April =) )
9. And I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants to know.. when will there be babies?! ;] Are you choosing to wait until a certain goal is accomplished, a particular age, or just for the “right time”?
Well, we have (had) a 5 year plan. I’ve been getting baby bugs here and there, but this last one hasn’t gone away! We do want to get to Europe before babies come along. We’re currently saving for that and should be able to go soonish! We also have a few financial goals we want to meet first, but we’re getting closer to being ready. I think at around the four year mark we’ll actively start trying, but maybe also stick to the five year plan.
10. Lastly, if you could give one piece of advice to a young couple who were thinking of getting hitched, what would it be?
My advice would be to take what people have to say about your relationship with a grain of salt. There is no one-size-fits all to relationships. If you know it would be best for your relationship to get married young, then do it. Consider outside opinions, but ultimately it is up to do to decide what is or is notgood for your relationship. That’s true of how to be married too: there isn’t just one “right” way to be married. Find what works for you two and do that. So what if you do the yard work and he does the dishes. If that’s what works for you, then everyone else can just stuff it!