I had expectations.
They weren’t high expectations, but I had a plan anyway! I was going to follow society’s rule of thumb and live my life in order of operation: graduate high school at 18, move away and go to college, have a career, meet a guy and get married sometime in my 30’s, have a kid or two and then my life would be complete. That was the way it was supposed to go.
Here’s how the order actually went down: dated my high school sweetheart, had a baby at 18 (two weeks before he left for boot camp), got married at 19, graduated from high school, moved away, had another kiddo at 21, moved again, started college at 23, moved again, started a career, graduated college at 33, moved again, paid my first ever electric bill at age 35 … you get the gist, right?
So yea, I was a teenage milspouse. We did everything backwards from my original plan. The odds were definitely stacked against us from the start, yet here we are after almost 18 years of marriage!
Wow, that sounded super braggy, didn’t it? Well, let me just say that it wasn’t always pretty.
Getting married young in military culture isn’t all that uncommon, but it comes with a set of challenges that are unique in their own rights … it’s definitely a wild ride.
I’m going to lay out a few pros and cons for you, and feel free to tell me if any of this sounds familiar. Not all of these examples will resonate, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that you’ll end up nodding your head at some point. (Warning: this may require you to look back at moments in your marriage that you wanted to forget … wincing may occur.)