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Growing Together as a Young Couple: Habits

on July 11, 2012 by Jami Balmet 40 comments

If you are unfamiliar with our story, we were married when I was 19 and my hubby was 21. Fast forward 3 years, and we are now expecting our first bundle of joy {actually two bundles of joy} in December 2012, at the ripe old ages of 22 and 24.

Learning how to blend our lives together as a young couple
Riding Segway’s in Long Beach, CA Summer 2011

Our experience marrying young

When we first got engaged (and even after we were married) we had many rude comments from those who didn’t know us very well about being married young. Even today, my husband is 24 and I am 22, we still get very weird reactions to the fact that we are married and expecting our first baby (babies!).

But my husband and I wouldn’t have it any other way! We are more madly in love today than we were on the day we got married. We got to enjoy college together and moving on to careers. We have learned to grow together when it comes to money and are blessed to have grown up together with our finances.

Growing together as a young couple

We are thankful that God has taught us how to handle money together, and he has also allowed us to develop habits together. An article appeared in The Huffington Post suggesting basically that getting married before 25 should be illegal.

In this article, the author states that she didn’t know who she was at 19, and that tore her and her husband apart because as they got older they grew away from each other. I find this so sad and realize that a lot of the problems they faced came from not having Christ as the center of their marriage.

But something I am so thankful for is that my husband and I have developed habits and things we enjoy together over the years.

Horseback Riding in 2009

How marrying young made habit-forming easier

When we got engaged, we had lived at home our whole lives. We had just moved on to our college campus for a year (I was in a dorm, he was in an apartment) and we never knew what it meant to live on our own. Even when he moved into that apartment on campus for a year, I went shopping with him and helped him get dishes and towels. We planned meals together and our free time was always spent together studying and occasionally relaxing.

I have seen a lot of older couples struggle to mesh their lives together as a married couple, when they had lived on their own for years beforehand. They have habits that were established on their own. They didn’t have to account to anyone else for their time. They had their own house how they wanted and things never moved from where they wanted them.

But then suddenly after 10 years of freedom they are forced to live with someone totally different. Someone who leaves the toilet seat up, doesn’t pick up dishes, leaves wet towels on the ground and uses time very differently than they do. It can be a really hard adjustment.

Getting married at any age takes a certain amount of adjustment. Suddenly you are not alone anymore. You have another half and you should put their needs above your own.

But what I love and appreciate is that God placed my husband and I together at a young age. We largely didn’t have these problems. Yes, my hubby has to have his toothpaste tube a certain way but I don’t mind because we can do these little things for each other.

Growing Together as a Young Couple ~ Habits

We were able to grow up together and discover what it means to have free time again. We got to learn our passions together. We were able to discover that we both love to take bike rides and make it a priority to do so together.

By getting married young, we were able to develop habits and patterns together, and it has been an incredible blessing from God.

I understand that for many people, God calls them into marriage later in life. I think this is great and God’s perfect timing. I also think that no matter the age you get married, God can grant each couple the grace and gift of growing wonderful habits together. I just know that for us, as a young couple, the Lord has blessed us in this area. I simply wish to defend the idea of young marriage and that good things can come from it 🙂

But I want to hear YOUR stories. No matter your age when you got married, was it difficult or easy to meld your time and habits together?

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. We were married when he was 21 and I was almost 20. We had lived on a college campus for two years, in dorms with roommates, so we had a few habits. Mainly, I’m mostly neat and he’s mostly messy. 🙂 It was a little frustrating when we first got married and started living in the same house. He would leave clothing hither and yon, there were sometimes splatters in front of the toilet, and a forever spotty bathroom mirror.

    That hasn’t changed.

    But I have. It’s really not that big a deal. It takes a few seconds for one of us to pick up the clothes. I clean the bathroom at least once a week and more often if it’s messy. At least he always puts the toilet seat down!!

    What I’ve found helpful to remember is that I’m not perfect either. The dishes pile up. The sheets should probably be changed more often. I leave clothes and books lying around myself. And he puts up with that, and a lot more, from me.

    You’re right, though: we’ve developed a lot of habits together. He knows I like the couch cushions to be nicely straight and plumped. I know he likes to have supper by 6 (although that doesn’t always happen). He often helps me with the dishes. We’ve got a routine, that’s OURS, that we’ve grown into.

    And it’s great. 🙂

    • LOL yes there are always things we must get used to right? It’s all about being selfless and “putting up” with the others not so desirable habits! But it’s great to learn that from an early age and early on in marriage.

      So sweet that you have a routine that is YOURS! Wonderful 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing it!

    I started dating my husband shortly after I turned 16, he didn’t turn 16 until about 4 months after that. We got to experience high school and college together. Having that background helped us survive him joining the National Guard and being deployed to Iraq. We got married when he was home on military leave at the ripe old age of 21. Now we are both 24 and expecting a baby November 5th this year!

    Some people find their soul mates at a young age, some people don’t. But I know if I had had to wait any longer to marry my husband I would have gone bonkers! We can now share life and all of its adventures confidently because we have the strong background we created together as teenagers. We could easily meld our habits and our lives together.

    • Hi Alyssa,

      Thank you I am so glad 🙂 What a wonderful love story! How sweet that that is the thing that helped you get through his deployment. I couldn’t imagine how hard that must be. Congrats on your new baby!! That is so exciting 🙂

  3. You are so right! The vast majority of successful marriages I’ve observed have been between people who married young. While some marriages later on can work out beautifully too, it’s been my observation that they have a much harder time of it.

    DH and I met when he was 20 and I was 17. We were engaged within a year, but married a couple years later (wish we had done that sooner!). We’ve now been together almost 11 years, and we’re still going strong.

    • Rachel that is very interesting! The world says that young marriage doesn’t work and yet we have so many great examples from couples where it DOES work! 🙂 Congrats on 11 years. I always love to hear from those who met young and are still going strong! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

    • Rachel, the fact is that divorce is MUCH HIGHER amonst young couples who marry before 25 (acccording to our government’s marriage and divorce rate statistics). This is partly due to the fact that the prefrontal cortex of our brains which helps you make responsible decisions, isn’t fully developed until you’re 25. Meaning most (BUT NOT ALL) of us tend to be more immature and self-involved in our early and mid 20s and don’t make the best decisions.

      HOWEVER this doesn’t mean that all young couples are doomed. I know many couples who were married young and are still going strong. It’s just more of a challenge to get married young.

      My hubby and I married in our late 20s and even though we were still somewhat immature I think it was the perfect time for us. Every couple is different.

  4. Jami Leigh,
    I totally agree with you!! I am much more open to this that many, but I am 60. We got married at 21 and 22, and found the same things out that you mentioned. We grew together. We are much more likely to get set in our ways and are much more selfish if we are on our own for very much time at all. I would like to feature your post on the next Wednesday’s ‘EOA’ link-up!! Great post!

    • It’s so wonderful to hear form someone whose marriage has stood the test of time and got married young 🙂 Thank you for sharing that encouragement today! I am honored that you are going to feature my post! Thank you!

  5. My husband and I were married at 18 (me) and 21(him). This September we will celebrate 22 years of marriage!!!!! I’d be lying if I said it was all honeymoon bliss. There have been some very bumpy roads, but with a deep commitment to eachother and much grace from God, here we are, very much in love. We have the priveledge of raising 3 boys ages 17, 12 and our surprise gift from God, 3yr old Liam.

    Just because someone marries young doesn’t always mean it’s a recipe for disaster. Since 50% of marriages end in divorce (even in the Christian community) I think a long, quality marriage depends more on a deep level of commitment, a dig your heels in stubornness to make it work, and never, ever giving up more so than on a perfect “age”.

    Long marriages can, and do, still exist.

    May God bless you, your husband and your precious baby-to-come!

    ~Suzie

    • Congrats on 22 years!! I ALWAYS love to hear from couples who got married young and have lasted 🙂 Thanks for that encouragement today! I agree, a firm commitment is key. Also, Christ as the center of our marriage has really helped us to work through problems and learn to be more Christ like along the way. Thanks for stopping by and sharing Suzie!

  6. Wonderful words! We were 21 and 22 when married and it was the battle of the wills at the beginning until we both submitted to God’s will. Like you mentioned above, THAT IS THE KEY. When you both are following the same Captain, your orders and priorities are the same which make for a successful marriage.

    That “equally yoked” verse has something to it! 🙂

    May you have a blessed birth and continue to grow in love and understanding as you raise your family together. ~ JES 🙂

    15 years and counting!

  7. Such a great post! I was 21 for 3 and a half months and my husband was 3 weeks shy of 21 when we got married after 2 years of dating and month long engagement. It was a crazy adjustment in some ways, but in others we fit together and we’ve grown together. Even with 5 years behind us we’re annoyingly happy couple who seems like newlyweds and now with our first child due in less than 2 weeks we’re also the goofy soon-to-be parents. It’s such a wonderful thing to have started our lives together young, but its definitely not for everyone. When we announced our engagement and then got married shortly afterward, no one was surprised or said anything much about our ages because we were (and still are) those two people who people automatically assume just look young for 30 or so. We had active rolls in slightly dysfunctional families that prepared us for being adults way younger than most people our age and it hasn’t changed much since then.

  8. And as a random aside, my in-laws have been married 43 years this August- they were married at almost 17 and almost 19 and 14 kids and 13 grandkids later they are still together. My parents … well not so much, but its an inspiring example for sure to see what his parents have built together.

  9. Thank you for this post! I was 18 when I got married and my husband was 23. Now 7 years later we are happier than ever. We have two beautiful kids and are enjoying each day to the fullest. God is gracious! I do not regret getting married young at all.

  10. My boyfriend and i have been dating for 9 months now, I am 17 and he is 19.. We have been talking about getting married for a bit now and we have our parents approval. We are planning to get married next January and we are so excited! We already get people telling us were crazy and stupid to do this because I will be 18 and he will be 20 but we wanna be different and we know if we keep God in the Center of our relationship that He will be the glue to keep us together. These stories are really encouraging and I’m glad to see so many young marriages have worked out 🙂

  11. Hello! Your blog is wonderful Jami! I am turning eighteen in three days, and my boyfriend of two years turned eighteen three months ago. We got to know each other and dated for a few months before he and his family moved three hours away. The majority of our relationship has been long distance. We usually get to see each other about once a month on average. Although the longest wait was two months! (Hardly bearable!) Anyway, I come from a not so perfect family with divorced and remarried parents. He comes from a family of pastors that married young and have been happy for years 🙂 We were both forced to mature quickly and in my opinion are more mature than most people our age because of it. We’ve been talking about getting married for some time now and will probably be engaged this summer and married the next! We have his families approval and mine (I live with my aunt and uncle at the moment.) My parents and I are working on a rocky relationship together and I know that they don’t agree with everything that I do but they respect that I am an adult that can make my own decisions. Taylor (boyfriend) has passed every single test/interview/list that anyone has thrown at him! We love God, and we love each other! Most people are amazed that we have been together for so long with long distance because most “high school relationships” last about three months. It’s so encouraging to see that young marriages work out in the long run! I believe what you said about everyone meeting their spouse in Gods timing. Sometimes it’s early, sometimes it’s later. And I think that as long as God is your focus, you can’t go wrong!! We’ve read up, asked questions, and prepared for marriage in every way possible. After my graduation I’ll be moving closer to him! It’s all very exciting, and I expect there will be some people with snide remarks and rude looks when we get engaged. But I won’t mind them! They’ll only make us stronger! It’s only been in the last 20-30 years that young marriages have become abnormal anyway. I also want to be a stay at home mom and home-maker someday 🙂 I love your bog! Thank you for your encouragement!

  12. Hi! I’m 20 years old and my husband is 25, we got married about 1 year and a half ago. At first it was really good, but my hubby changed work and he has to move out and because school I had to stay in the city where collegue was, so we’ve been sepraete over 1 year, we only see each other on weekends and the most of time we are at chuch. I know God has a propouse with all this situation, and I really can’t wait to be in that moment when we can finally be together and discover those kind of things like habbits and little funy stuff that make our relashionship grow. I identify my self with you and I see how God’s love and grace has kept us strong. 🙂

  13. I was 18 and DH 25 when we married. It’s been 17 yrs and we are expecting our 6th child in June (2014). Most friends and family didn’t think we would last, some refused to celebrate our vows with us. We are proud of what God has done in us and thru us theses many yrs.

  14. I was 18 and my husband was 22. We both lived at home and really didn’t have a problem learning to work with each others habits. If something really did get under my skin i would just remember there is probably a million little things i do that he never complains about. Now, after being married 4 1/2 years i hardly notice any annoyance. I believe the time we have spent togetherduring the time we are still growing and learning has helped us to share interests. I wouldn’t trade the last 4 1/2 years for anything!

  15. My boyfriend and I are both 17, only weeks shy of 18 and we are both 100% ready for a life long commitment. Both of our parents know that we are getting married, just as soon as he comes home from basic next summer, and they’re completely supportive. They realize that absolutely nothing could change our minds, and we really truly love each other. Next year we’ll be moving in together, he’ll be off to basic and I’ll be going to college. The idea of a life long commitment doesn’t intimidate me, in fact I welcome this, as does he. Thank you for sharing your story, it gives he and I hope and preparation for the upcoming months.

  16. I’ve always been a late bloomer. I was engaged twice before I met the man I married. I am so happy that I waited to get married to the man that I did as either of the other two would have easily ended in ruins. Steve was 23 and I was 27. There were people from our own church that said our marriage would never make it. That hurt.

    Steve has a passion and a commitment to following Christ as do I. We both came from homes that brought us many difficulties in our youth and were not Christ centered. When we married, I had always dreamed that we would get two toasters, and double of other things. As it was, we received very few gifts that have lasted beyond our marriage – a little over 23 years to date!. The blessing from that is that God has enabled us to put our house together the way we want it and ALL the glory goes to Him! Neither of us ever want to be beholden to anyone but God.

  17. I was 18 when I got married to my husband, and he was 26. We had lots of pregnancy questions and many concerns about me not growing up and finding who I was before I “gave my life away” to someone. Our story is very funny, actually. I was 14 when I first met my husband. He is very shy and I am not. I am a Preacher’s kid and at the time, my grandmother told me to introduce myself to the musicians. My husband stood there and played his guitar while I introduced myself, and said nothing. Two years later when I turned 16, he confronted me and confessed his love and how he had been doing nothing but growing closer to God so he could be everything I needed him to be for the rest of my life. My first reaction was, “Uhh, your’e weird.”, but as we became friends, I fell in love slowly, but all at once. We sang local shows together and people would make comments how I wasn’t 18, or even old enough to drink. I am so glad I met him so young, and that we waited for eachother until we were married. We grew together as well as closer to God. Now at 21, I am expecting our first son next month. Us coming together has everything to do with God’s timing and guidance. I am so thankful for my husband and wouldn’t have my life any different.

  18. Thx for your post Jami , see I’m Muslim and getting married young is ordinary , I’m not married , however someone has asked for my hand . ( don’t want to state the name ) I know we would work together but I’m only 18 going on 19 and he’s 22 going on 23. I’m afraid that my dream of becoming a doctor would perish after marriage and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to complete my studies . My sisters are married and thankfully they are happy but it’s so hard on them to try and control their studies with their kids . I prayed and I prayed alot and God has answered I feel in my heart that I should get married and all else would fall into place . Actually shortly after I made a prayer I found your post ! A sign , maybe . So thank you for the encouragement and inspiration .

  19. Just came across your website today, and have been encouraged by you, your stories, and the stories of others as well. I’m currently engaged and have been for about five months now, after dating for two years. A little over a year of our relationship has been spent apart- he’s in the air force and is currently stationed overseas. Despite the distance, our relationship has remained strong, and only grows stronger. I’m currently 18 and he’s 20, and we’ve talked about marriage for a while, even before we were engaged, and frankly, it drives us both crazy that we can’t get married yet. Not only due to the distance, but also possible family opinions. I was hesitant to present the idea of getting married within the next year to my parents before, but this has reinforced that what I believe is meant to be. Thank you not only for this article, but for this entire site, where the truth of the Lord’s will can shine above the opinions of this world.

  20. Hey, I stumbled across your blog today. Its wonderful to see other people getting married young and loving it. I grew up in a church that alot of people get married young. In fact two of my sisters got married at sixteen. Their husbands where both around 24 and my parents felt that they where in love and why make them wait to get married and signed for them. They have both been married over 15 years. My own parents where 19 when they got married and both say they wish they would have met younger. Their marriage was strong and alot of people looked up to them. Until he passed away. Its a blessing to see this! Keep up the faith!!

  21. A successful marriage has less to do with the ages of the bride and groom when they married, and more to do with the ongoing condition of their hearts. If both parties are dedicated to honoring the vows of marriage (thereby honoring God and one another), then they will have a marriage that is built on a solid foundation and will be capable of withstanding the storms of life.
    For what it’s worth, my husband was 21 and I was 19 on our wedding day. We’ll be celebrating 14 years in December. 🙂
    I’m loving your blog!! Thanks!

  22. My boyfriend of four years proposed to me a week ago and since then, I’ve been searching all throughout the net looking for statistics of divorce. And although it was discouraging, finding this post gave me a glimmer of hope! reading through the comments definitely makes me a lot more confident that we’re both making the right decision. We’re both only eighteen and will be living together next year whilst both studying engineering in college. We’re both extremely excited in what’s ahead of us and this post is very inspirational! Like you and your husband, we’re both financially independent as well with full time work. He was even able to purchase a beautiful engagement ring worth over $2,000!

  23. I met my husband January of 2016 in college. By October of 2016 we dated became engaged and got married all within ten months. People (outside of our Christian friends and family) think we are crazy. My realtives that are not Christians think I’ve gone off the deep end because we also did not live together before marriage. Which we believe is very wrong and not God honoring. He was my first boyfriend and he is older, 27 years old and I am 21. People assumed I was pregnant especially because we decided to move our wedding date from January of 2017 to October. We were just ready to get married and start our lives together. Our marriage has been wonderful. Yes we have already had our struggles two months in but never for a moment do we regret getting married young. My husband came to me yesterday and apologized to me because he believes he is too hard on me. He says he has to remind himself that I am 21 and lived with my parents before marriage. We teach each each other a lot. I honestly have a lot to learn about life. But I teach him things to. It’s wonderful to learn together. 🙂 I would not have any other way.

  24. Hi! 🙂
    I am not married, but was scrolling through Pinterest for different articles for young women. My boyfriend/almost fiance and I have been dating since November 2016. We met at McDonald’s early last year where we both worked.
    I have been looking for Biblical topics to study such as: the characteristics of a virtuous woman, marriage, finance, the importance of prayer, etc. I am hoping to help prepare myself for my future husband and I really appreciate the openness and honesty I find in your articles (Thank you).
    While we are in no rush to marry (we’re only 19 and 20) and he is in pre-law school, I am looking forward to it. But there is so much pressure from friends and church friends for him to “officially” propose to me, but neither of us want a very very long engagement. Because of that, we plan to wait and work and save as much as we can before we marry. We both understand that it’s not going to be easy and that there will be challenges along the way — BUT we are also confident that with the Lord’s help we will not only come through those challenges, but come through stronger together as well as individually.
    Both of us come from families where our parents are divorced, so, naturally that is something we have talked thoroughly about. I am EXTREMELY happy to say that Divorce WILL NOT be an option for us. 🙂 (When I heard him say that, my heart literally almost exploded with joy!)

    I love hearing other couples’ stories of how they met their spouse and the challenges they had to overcome.

    P.S. (I’d also love to read more articles with advice for young couples) 😉

  25. My hubs and i r both christians we got married at 20 AND 21 . We got married 6 months after dating and being engaged for one moth we planned a huge wedding but ended up getting married last minute in a court house because i ended up having seizures and needed help and wanted to go thru it together. Well due to how fast we got married and the fact we had to move into my parents house becuase of the siezures , both sides were confused and it caused alot of problems in or marriage because we didnt go about things like normal. One month also into marriage we got pregnant , which put alot of stress into our marriage . Now we have a beautiful baby boy and my health problems are gone , but now we dont know how to do marriage and i have no clue how to be a wife cuz i never got to go into it and prepare and im so lost.

  26. I am 18 and my fiancé is 24. We’ve been very close for 3 1/2 years always talking about marriage. Now since I am the legal age, we want to get married soon and start our lives together. He is a very spiritual man and I love him deeply as he feels the same for me. He’s a carpenter and I’m an accountant. We deal with rude looks from others and my side of the family. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this in a loving and peaceful manner

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