Courtesy of Christi Cazin

I Got Married Young, & I Wouldn't Change A Damn Thing About It

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I met my husband when I was 15 years old. I was sitting on the back of a dusty pickup truck hanging out with friends, when I was introduced to a young, witty guy in a Mustang. I don't remember much about that first meeting, although he claims to remember all the details, even down to what I was wearing. I just remember that he made me laugh.

At first, we started out as good friends. He was always there for me, no matter what. He was always there to pick me up if a guy stood me up or if a friend ditched me, and he always made sure I got home safely after a night out. I started to realize after our very first argument, when he drunkenly admitted that he was in love with me, that my best friend could actually be the man I was meant to be with forever.

One year after our first official date, he got down on one knee. On Christmas Eve 2004, when I was 19 and he was 21, he asked me to be his wife. I sprang into his arms so fast that I almost forgot to say yes. Six months later, my dad walked me down the aisle and gave me away to my husband.

Over the course of a few short years, we went from friends to husband and wife. We wanted to spend every minute of our lives together, and even though I was still in my teens marriage just seemed like the next step. Had I been on the outside, I probably would've thought we were crazy, but for us, it felt right. I got married young and I don't regret it one bit.

Courtesy of Christi Cazin

Although we were fairly young when we got married, our friends and family were fairly supportive of our choice. They seemed to know that we would end up together (hell, they even predicted it before we did).

Our co-workers thought it was strange we were getting married so young. "Why not just live together?," they'd ask. "Why choose marriage?"

Others, like our co-workers, thought it was strange we were getting married so young. "Why not just live together?" they'd ask. "Why choose marriage?" Honestly, we were both fairly old-fashioned, so for us marriage was the next step after finding "the one." For us, it was a simple choice, but more importantly, it was just that — our choice. We were ready to start our lives together, and we both felt there was no point in waiting if we found the right match.

Courtesy of Christi Cazin

That said, the first few years of marriage are hard, especially when you're young. Not only were we trying to figure out how to be a spouse to someone else, but we were also trying to figure out how to be adults. We had to learn how to fight fair and how to accept each other for exactly who we were, which proved to be much easier said than done.

At first, I was quite controlling. I didn't want him to do things without me, and I often picked fights with him when I felt neglected. And like a lot of guys, he wasn't great at opening up and telling me about his feelings until it was too late. Sometimes, he'd bottle up his emotions until he was ready to explode.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend a few years trying to change a few things about my husband. I had this vision of what an ideal husband was like: he'd always put my needs first, and he'd always talk to me in a gentle, polite manner. But I quickly found out that these expectations were impossible for anyone to live up to, let alone my husband.

Marriages are full of trial and error, full of constant learning about each other and plenty of disagreements that hopefully lead you to a better place. Arguments can be healthy if done correctly, but it took us years to figure that out. And let's be honest, we're still figuring it out.

Courtesy of Christi Cazin

I've learned that marriages are full of trial and error. You're constantly learning about each other and disagreeing with each other, but these disagreements hopefully lead you to a better place. I've also learned that arguing can be healthy if done correctly, but it took us years to figure that out. And let's be honest, we're still figuring it out to this day.

Sometimes, I wonder what would've happened if I didn't get married young. Did I miss out on carefree partying and being single? Probably, but I was never super interested in that life, anyway. I drank and I went to parties, and I was over it by the time I said "I do." I wanted to wake up next to my best friend. I wanted to start a family, make memories and live a life with meaning.

Courtesy of Christi Cazin

Now, 11 years later, we're still going strong, in large part because of the fact that we got married so young. We've been together for so long that it would be almost impossible for us to give up without putting up one hell of a fight. We've welcomed three wonderful children into this world and supported each other through the crazy, exhausting, hectic, and beautiful journey of parenting. I'm grateful that my husband is still my best friend who I confide in and love more every day. I got married young and I wouldn't change a thing, because it made us who we are today.