When you’re a young bride like I was, you get a pretty large dose of concerned advice about how you’re too young to be getting married. You’re told that you don’t know who you are yet, and that you haven’t experienced enough of the world. As that young bride, you defend your decision fervently. You believe that you’re just more mature than the rest of the world, and that you already know who you are.
The truth is, however, that those people were right. I was very young to be getting married and I didn’t fully know who I was. In the four years since getting married, I’ve grown and changed in so many ways. I am certainly not the same innocent bride.
For many young married couples, this growing and changing spells disaster for their marriage. As they grow, they grow apart. They end the marriage or decide to stick it out even though both are miserably unhappy.
Andy and I have certainly had our fair share of fights, struggles, and times of distance. Yet, when it comes down to it I still wake up each morning amazed by how right we are for each other. We have both shifted and changed, and yet our life visions remain unified.
I’ve come to realize that this is in large part due to Andy. He has given me the freedom to grow and explore my passions and interests and has daily chosen to embrace who I am and who I am becoming. He compromises and gives me room to grow, and I am so thankful for that. With a different man, I would have become stifled and bitter, never feeling like I could be free to develop and blossom into the woman God intended me to be.
You see, when you marry young you will without a doubt change and grow. Over the years you and your spouse will either grow together or apart. If you and/or your spouse choose to be autonomous in your growth, never giving or compromising, then you will grow apart. If you and your spouse choose to give each other room to grow, and give 100% to your marriage, letting compromise reign, you will grow together and your marriage will thrive.
I’m so thankful for this man of mine who pushes me out of my comfort zone, challenges me to think deeper, encourages me to write, and supports me in my sometimes-out-there interests. Marrying young could have spelled disaster to my naive young self. Yet, because I married a man who gives and compromises and gives some more, I have thrived. The longer we’re married, the more I realize what a treasure that is.