I was a teenage bride, barely eighteen when I married my high school sweetheart! He was three years older, still we both were too young . I was born in an era when “shacking up” was not an option. My parents, mainly my mother, my father personally did not give a damn, were old-fashioned. I was the only girl and the baby of the family. I grew up with the stigma of teen age pregnancy. You see it was my mother’s greatest fear. My older cousins all had babies and married later. Some of my cousins, never married, just had baby after baby. I vividly remember my mother talking on the phone with a friend, discussing me. She was telling her friend or whomever, that she hoped that I did not get pregnant. I felt hurt and ashamed. I was an avid reader and had a great imagination and figured out where babies came from. However, my older cousins did not share with me how to protect myself from becoming pregnant. Consequently, it was also my fear that I too would somehow end up having a baby out-of-wedlock. Therefore, I opted to get married to have legalized sex. That is exactly what I was thinking. Plus, I also got married to leave my home. Things were bad and marriage was my get out of jail free card. I left home at eighteen and never went back home to live. I am sorry that going away to college was not an option for me. My parents did not push for college. My mother only wanted me to graduate from high school without getting pregnant. Thank God I made it, it was only the angels looking over me that allowed me to carry out this feat!!!!!! I don’t regret marrying my ex husband. Yes, ex, the marriage ended after ten years. We “hatted up”, slang for he walked out leaving me to raise two kids… Yep, he went on his merry way, started a new life. So I wish i hadn’t got married so young. I wish that I had went into the Navy or off to College. Consequently, I tried to encourage both of my children to see some of the world, sow their wild oats, have fun, and enjoy their single life before settling down. My daughter took my advice and got married in her 30’s. My son was in the Navy by the time he married his first wife. He quickly remarried after his divorce. He admitted that he wished he had listened to me and remained single for a while. Truthfully, I am not the marrying type and probably should have never married. I became fascinated with the Women’s Liberation Movement. I embraced the freedom of being ones own person, earning your own money and spending it as you wished to spend it. I applauded the women for burning their bras and going topless. I got a taste of liberation and I loved it! Free your mind and all that good stuff. ! I could have easily been a nomadic person, loving many people all at the same time. So, it is a good thing I was born in 51 instead of 61, because, I think I would have been just “living in sin” as the old folks used to say!
- Too Young to Marry? (parenting.blogs.nytimes.com)