"Too young" was what my soon-to-be in-laws said.
"Everyone is too young" was my dad's response.
And 17 years ago, on the only sunny day of the week, we got married in a small church in Iowa, surrounded by friends and family. (And for the record, gay people do not explode into flames upon entering a church despite what my best friend's mom believed. There were four gay people in our wedding party and countless more in attendance.)
It's funny to reflect back on it. We were so fucking young. We had just graduated from college in late May. We moved to Portland in June. I had started my new job in late June. And here we were, getting married in October. How much stress can you put on a young marriage right out of the gate?
In retrospect, we would have been the couple people went "OMG, you didn't talk about that before marriage?!?!" Because we didn't. Kids? Nope. Didn't discuss it. Finances? Kinda discussed it - if by discussing it you mean he handed his over to me. All the big stuff was pretty much given the "we'll figure it out when we get there" approach.
So why are we still here together - beating the average of 8 years of marriage before divorce?
We grow together. Not like, into one another - but we grow. We allow each other to grow. We encourage each other to grow. We see growth not as problems in our relationship or fear, but as celebrations. We want each other to grow. We demand it of each other when one is feeling stifled. We cheer each other on - and we kick each other's ass if necessary.
So getting married young - at 22 if you are counting, meant instead of growing apart as we found our ways in the world - we grew together. We have never found a point in which it felt more right to go our separate ways than to stay together.
Oh, and besides the growth thing - we communicate. But I think that goes without saying. We communicate like mad.
And we laugh. A lot. (It's the main thing that got us through sleepless nights with infants - they were screaming, and we were laughing in hysterics about the absurdity of the situation.)
We took this crazy adventure together. A crazy adventure that included opening the relationship and evolving into polyamory as well as exploring BDSM separately.
Not too bad for two horny teenagers who met in college, fucked each other's brains out, then realized they had a relationship.
So, happy anniversary, my sweet!
And here's to 17 more years of marriage & growing together!