What marriage looks like in your early 20s

Wedding photo taken by Danelle Bohane.

Wedding photo taken by Danelle Bohane

Marriage in your early twenties is not for everyone, but if it is something that you are considering, here is a little snapshot of what life may look like.

Pre-marriage

  1. After your husband-to-be posts your “She said yes!” photo on Facebook, you get all kinds of congratulations messages coupled with exclamations of how shocked they are at your engagement.
  1. A few months and even years into your marriage, you still get acquaintances telling you how shocked they were when they first saw your engagement on Facebook.
  1. One workmate directly asks if you are pregnant. Another workmate wonders out loud if you are a Christian. They then start half-joking about how you are making the worst mistake in your life.
  1. You are conflicted as to how much to spend on a wedding dress because you know you can’t justify spending $3000 plus for a dress, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
  1. You politely ask for cash gifts instead of a wedding registry because you don’t own a home and have nowhere to place your new household gifts in your new rental.
  1. You start planning your wedding and realize that you have no idea what you want for your wedding because you never had the experience the planning of other weddings, nor did you think you were going to get married this soon.

Post-marriage

  1. You notice that none of your existing friends are married yet and you proceed to start befriending other married couples.
  1. You do the rounds of inviting all your friends over for dinner at your new home, because well, that is what married couples do.
  1. Everyone who comes over asks if you own the house that you are living at. You flat out deny that, because you could not have afforded a wedding, a honeymoon and a house all at one go with your meager salary.
  1. Your friends ask you if you are going to have babies soon. About a year into your marriage, your mom hints that she has been getting questions about whether she is going to be a grandmother soon. You tell her and your friends no.
  1. In the first year of marriage, you don’t get to save a lot of money, because you end up spending more money going on road trips and holidays.
  1. Your first time being part of a bridal party you are the matron-of-honor, and you realise how old that makes you sound.
  1. When someone has to guess your age, they guess that you are at least 5 years older than your actual age just because you told them that you are married. Other times you tell someone you just met that you are married, and they say, “ Wow, you look so young!” You wonder what that is supposed to mean.
  1. You find yourself spending all of your Friday or Saturday night ironing your husband’s clothes and chuckle at how life has changed since you got married.
  1. You are in bed snuggling with your husband who is fast asleep and think to yourself what a good catch he is. You still get mushy with love sometimes but it’s a different love to when you are dating as this is a deep bond that is irreversible, a commitment that the two of you have vowed to make last.
  1. There are nights where you have fought and are unable to sleep all night. You wish the bed would just split in two, as you cannot even stand touching his leg hair. You consider sleeping on the floor.
  1. There are dramatic moments and dull moments in your marriage, but you ride each wave as it comes and goes and learn to be grateful that you are building memories of a lifetime together.
  1. There are seasons where you play the role of his biggest cheerleader in seeing him realise his dream; other times he does the house chores so that you can chase yours. The most important thing is that you learn to be each other’s biggest support, no matter what may come and go.
  1. He challenges your limited perspective and bad habits; you sulk and react by throwing tantrums like a child. He is patient in telling you off for doing so and tells you that he loves you. You finally come to the realisation that what he said was true and you start crying because you had a sudden epiphany that you are a horrible person to live with. You are so fortunate that someone even wanted to marry you.
  1. All in all, despite all the other uncertainties that you have in your life, you are glad that you have one thing that is constant and you know that this is no doubt one of the best decisions you have made in your life thus far.
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