Saturday, June 08, 2013

For Better or Worse

It's interesting that the whole idea of marriage is coming up for me now, as Mr. BTEG and I will be celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary this Wednesday. By the world's standards, we apparently married shockingly young: I was a month short of 25, and Mr. BTEG had recently turned 23. I would have liked to marry sooner; Mr. BTEG and I had been officially engaged for about a year and a half by then, and unofficially engaged for longer than that. But we waited until Mr. BTEG was through with college (and getting married while in college could be a whole other topic.)

Well, one advantage to marrying younger is having children younger. I think the difficulties of conceiving the older you get are getting swept under the rug in view of things like IVF or even surrogates. But those aren't easy or guaranteed, so I wouldn't advise depending on them. Of course, some people unfortunately cannot conceive at all, and I know that brings deep pain. But if you can, why not have children younger, when you have more energy and can bounce back quicker? In my case, neither of my pregnancies were easy, nor were my deliveries. My youngest ended up being an emergency C-section, and I'm sure recovering from that was much easier at 30 than it would have been at 35.

Being married didn't hinder Mr. BTEG's career, either. We knew we didn't want to live in a big metropolitan area like New York, Chicago or LA, but Cleveland and Columbus were just the right sizes to offer him many choices in IT anyway. I'll admit that me being a stay-at-home wife/mother for most of our marriage made it easier to move to different locations, but I would have had job opportunities as well. And IT guys typically move around quite a bit, so even at thirty Mr. BTEG was not completely settled down at the company he was going to work at for the rest of his life. How many people even do that anymore?

Of course, if one of us had wanted a career that involved more schooling, that would have made things harder. But unless you have wealthy parents or a sugar daddy (don't get me started on that) you have to feed, clothe and house yourself while you are getting more schooling anyway. If you've met the right person, why spend more money living apart?

And there is the crux of the matter for me: if you have met the right person. Mr. BTEG and I knew that we were right for each other, and that we wanted to be married. Our choices were: live together, live separately but keep seeing each other until we hit the "magic" age of 30, keep shopping the dating market and hope we found someone else we wanted to marry when we were older, look each other up again when we were both older and hope that we were still single, or... make a commitment to marry and deal with problems and changes and difficulties together. I will admit, Mr. BTEG has taught me a lot about commitment no matter what. Perhaps some of that is because I am a child of divorced parents, perhaps some of that is my mental instability. But I knew going into marriage that it should be for a lifetime, and I still think that after twenty years. It's incredibly freeing to have the stability and comfort of such a long relationship, and I recommend it. :)


Anonymous said...

Dude. (Dudette): I thought "marrying young" meant 18 at the most.


Barb the Evil Genius said...

If thirty is now seen as the "correct" age to get married, then twenty-three is pretty darn young to be married.

Anonymous said...

I'm ignorant.