I got married at 18 years old.
Being married so young in the military, meant that we had double the statistics of the divorce rates thrown at us. 60% of marriages from 20-25 end in divorce. Army divorce rate is at 3.9%, but keep in mind the military only makes up 4% of the population.
I have been told about all sorts of disadvantages to marrying young in the military, but why is it so hard to believe there are so many perks? There is a bright side to this whole younger generation living the military life.
I knew that getting married at 18 would mean a lot of hardships and obstacles we would have to overcome. Moving out of my family home and moving to a completely new state had me thinking, 'what the heck did I get myself into?'
But the thing is, I knew that I wanted to get married to J. I knew things would be hard and I knew that above anything this would be one heck of a rollercoaster! Any marriage can have issues, but the plus about being young is you usually have less baggage. You are both just starting out in life and get to grow up together in a sense.
J was already well established in his military career, so I felt like I had a ton of learning to do on my own. It was an advantage though, because he already built his career and knew the Army life pretty well, that I could learn from him and any questions I had, he could answer!
So, here are a few things that young military couples get to experience and the perks that come.
Becoming an Adult.
I know it is common to think that when someone turns 18, they are an adult. Wrong! I have heard, and met, so many people 18 and older that still do not show they are adults. There are kids doing awful things, living off their parents, having zero responsibilities… Then, you take a young military couple. Some girls are just fresh out of high school and are waiting for their man to finish basic, or are even planning a huge move across the country with their husband. It is so not a normal thing to do in your early adult years, but with this lifestyle, you learn to be an adult so much sooner. You become more responsible for yourself, both financially and physically. There is nothing wrong with either scenario, but as a young military wife I have found myself becoming more and more of an adult, the more and more I receive responsibilities.
Because most girls marry their significant other when they are just starting their military career, you get to be there for progressions and promotions. You get to be there for their basic & AIT graduations, when they have any promotions, you get to watch your man grow in his military career. Being there from the beginning allows the two of you to celebrate together! You have the sense of pride for your significant other, and he gets to have you there by his side through it all.
"I get to adjust to the life as he progresses in the military. Like when we started dating he was a PFC. Now we've been married for little over a year he's a SPC about to be a SGT." - Samantha Bills
Flexible & Adjustable
Because I was just out of high school, I didn't already have any prior commitments. I didn't have a full time job or school I had commitments to, so I was flexible to move whenever and wherever. Us young military wives are a certain breed of easy going, because we can just pick up and move with ease. I'm not saying being an older wife is impossible, it is just easier because we are just now building our lives. We can adjust to changes a lot easier, like adjusting to a new area and building our lives from there. Having fewer life commitments allows us to be more flexible with schedules and whatever the military throws at us.
We make do.
Because we are young, we don't really care, and sometimes can't afford, to have a huge extravagant wedding. Most of the time, we have a year or less to plan a wedding, which can be a good or bad thing haha. We got married by a Justice of the Peace and that was that. So many young military couples get married in courthouses and just can make do, because that is the least of priorities.
We also make do with living in new states, finding new jobs, and doing our best to get through school. With young military wives, we have low expectations when getting into this, so we are more room and optimism in making do with our situations. This allows us to always look on the bright side of things, because with lower expectations, we can find the good and happy side to all of this.
Building Marriage & Trust
An additional perk to this, is you are their for your soldier. Because they are younger as well, don't think they never feel afraid when going into basic or a deployment. You are there for them every step of the way, and serve as their best friend. You, in a sense, are the only stable thing in their life and they will have a mountain of fears, but with you by their side; anything is possible. You weren't the only one who left your family home and moved to a new state. Your soldier is facing fear head on, but because you are both young and are going through similar emotions, you can conquer fears together. This military lifestyle will be new to the both of you, so relying on each other to get through it is a huge marriage and relationship builder.
What is something you have realized or found out about being married young in the military?
Things will be crazy for the two of you. You won't have everything together, things don't go as planned, and this is a huge learning process. But, you are not alone! Getting married young in the military is a huge blessing. If you really feel you are ready and can take on being married, I say follow your heart and pray. This lifestyle isn't for everyone, but there are so many perks to it! I would love to hear your thoughts & your marriage story down below if you would be open to sharing!
Because we are young, it is nice knowing we aren't alone and have other girls we can befriend and relate to. So, there are my 5 advantages to being married younger in the military.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!