I was married once before—to a girl I met in college. In fact, I married her during college. We divorced a few years later. I don’t like to talk too much about it. It’s way in the past. But it’s the reason for this article. Marrying young was, for me, a big mistake. Being in a committed relationship takes work. Real work. It takes a lot of maturity, selflessness, and trust—something we both lacked.
The early 20s are all about transitioning from teenager to young adulthood. It’s a period of incredible selfishness—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Really. It’s part of life. Part of growing up. The thing is that 20-somethings don’t know they’re still growing up. They think that because they’re no longer kids and don’t live under their parents’ roofs, they’re now adults. But they’re not. Neither was I.
Not Yet An “Adult”
The cold, hard truth is that you are definitely not an “adult” in your 20s—no matter how much you think you are. Not yet. Trust me on this. I’ve lived long enough to learn this and so have the people around me who I know, love, and talk to about the subject. It’s one of the things we all agree on. Marriage. Living together. Home owning. Raising children (properly). Relationships really are a roller coaster. Even remaining faithful. They are all really, really difficult. No one is ready for that type of commitment and stress in their 20s.
I found out the hard way how not ready we were for marriage. I wasn’t prepared for the…intensity of it, back then. The 24/7 of it. Neither was she. We didn’t know how to deal with our emotions or the stress of paying bills or having to be at each other’s disposal. We didn’t know to run a background check before getting an apartment. And we weren’t selfless enough to benefit each other and be mature. Eventually, I found out my wife cheated on me. Needless to say, that was the end of us. Thankfully we ended our marriage before we had any kids—so no collateral damage.
In A Better Place
Nowadays, I’m in a much happier place. I’ve married again (to an incredible woman) and I have two amazing children. Who I did a criminal records check on to be safe. I’d like to think it’s my reward for those bad years, but really it’s because I grew up and did everything as right as possible. I know I’m a better father than I would have been because I didn’t rush into every grown-up pursuit I thought needed to be accomplished. And I know that I’m a much better husband because I allowed myself to mature naturally in adulthood before trying to do these grown-up things again.
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