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Reflection

Married at 20/ Casada a los 20

The Spanish translation of this post can be found under the English version.

Of the controversial things that one can do, the most controversial thing that I have ever done was get married before I could legally drink in the United States.

Where years ago it was more normal to get married at 20 than it was to get married at 30, this trend has shifted more and more as modern feminism has uplifted women into a more independent position in our society.

The empowerment of women is so important, and I love to see all the progress that is being made to ensure women a seat at the table in the workplace.

I also believe that there is an increasingly prevailing narrative that says that for there to be feminism, women must reject any traditional actions and/or values.

With this has come the rejection of marriage as a form of oppression and unnecessary bondage to another person.

I would argue that true feminism should advocate for the right of women to choose what they want: be that traditional choices or modern values.

That being said, I was very nervous, as a sophomore in college, to let people know that I was engaged.

I was worried that they would think I was settling, that I was getting married so that I didn’t have to finish school or because I wasn’t thinking clearly.

My fears were confirmed in comments like, “Just make sure you finish school.”, “How old are you?” and “Make sure you keep separate bank accounts.”

While the reaction was overwhelmingly positive from those closest to me, these comments stood out to me because I was still in a self-conscious, impressionable stage in life.

In a vacuum, without considering all the other factors that make our story different from the average couple’s engagement story today, Micah and I’s relationship and marriage seems completely normal… except for the fact that we are only 20 years old.

In this blog post, I want to dispel two pieces of stigma surrounding young marriage.

Stigma One: You Don’t Get to Develop as a Person

Sitting on steps in front of a door in Seoul, South Korea.
Photo by HaleLee

We dated for four years through high school and into my college enrollment and his military enlistment, all the while developing key parts of our identities together.

Our opinions, our hobbies, our thoughts on faith, how we fight, etc. were all forged in the fire of time and youth.

What many people see as a disadvantage to getting married young, namely, not experiencing these formative years by yourself, we have seen as a genuine advantage in our relationship.

With our youth and inexperience we have been able to be unsure together.

We have been able to figure things out together.

We have been able to experience so many firsts and lasts together, the memories of which we will be able to take with us into the rest of our lives.

And all those stories that we have from middle and high school? About weird relatives and pets from childhood? Where we grew up?

We get to share all those memories in a special way.

Because we started dating when we were 16, we have known each other as kids, young adults and eventually we will know each other in all the other ages that life brings at us.

And, we both have someone cheering us on as we both pursue our individual academic and professional goals.

Stigma Two: Getting Married Young is like Leaving the Party Early

Showing off the engagement ring and love lock after the proposal.
Showing off the ring and the love lock!

On the contrary, being married is really like always having someone to go to, and leave, the party with.

In fact, I feel as if we have just now joined the party… and we have the rest of our life to enjoy it!

You don’t stop having fun once you get married… to us it has meant that we get to do more than we ever thought possible, and we have the security to know that whatever adventure we endeavor upon, we will have a partner there with us.

In the past calendar year, we got engaged in the heart of Seoul, we spent our honeymoon in Vero Beach, Florida, and we spent a week in Rome, Italy during my spring break vacation.

Most of all, I enjoy the down time that we spend together planning our next adventures.


While I was really nervous at the beginning of the engagement/ wedding process, a year later I can truly say that our marriage is the best decision that we ever made.

Life doesn’t have a formula, and everyone’s path looks just a little bit different. I have learned that it is foolish to measure my success based on an idealic schedule set for me by the rigor and competition that I fall so easily into in college.

Have you ever felt pressure to shape your life in a certain way based on what you saw those around you doing? How do you combat your nervous feelings when you take a path that is different from the one you thought you would be taking?

I would love to discuss with you in the comments below!

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Tori 🙂


Casada a los 20

Engagement picture framed by a wedding ring,
Foto por HaleLee

De las cosas controversiales que se puede hacer, la más controversial que he hecho es casarme antes de que yo pudiera tomar alcohol legalmente en los Estados Unidos. 

Hace unos años era más normal casarse a los 20 que a los 30, esta tendencia ha cambiado más y más mientras el feminismo moderno ha mejorado la posición de independencia de las mujeres en nuestra sociedad.

El empoderamiento de mujeres es importantísimo, y me gusta ver el progreso que está ocurriendo para asegurar que la mujer tiene una silla a la mesa en el trabajo.

 Asimismo, creo que hay un narrativo que dice, para existir el feminismo, las mujeres deben rechazar acciones y valores tradicionales. 

Con esto viene el rechazo del casamiento como una forma de opresión y servicio a otra persona. 

Yo discutiría que el feminismo verdadero deba aportar por el derecho de las mujeres de elegir qué quieren: ser elecciones tradicionales o valores modernas.

Esto dicho, yo estaba muy nerviosa, como una estudiante del año segundo en la universidad, decir que yo era comprometida. 

Yo estaba preocupada con la ideas de que otras personas dijeran que yo me conformé, que me casé para salir de la universidad, o porque yo no estaba pensando claramente. 

Mis temores eran confirmados en comentarios como, “Asegúrate que completes el título.”, “Cuántos años tienes?” y “Asegúrate que mantengas cuentas bancarias separadas.”

Mientras la reacción era positiva de las personas más cercanas a mi, estos comentarios todavía me estaban destacados porque yo era todavía en un tiempo de inseguridad personal en mi vida. 

En un vacío, sin considerando todos los otros factores que hacen distinta nuestra historia de otras parejas hoy, la relación entre Micah y yo parece normal… excepto el hecho que tenemos ambos solamente 20 años. 

En esta entrada, quiero disipar dos piezas del estigma alrededor del casamiento de jóvenes. 

Estigma Uno: No se desarrolla como Una Persona

Engagement photo in Seoul, South Korea.
Foto por HaleLee

Salimos juntos para 4 años en la escuela secundaria y en mi matriculación en la universidad y su alistamiento en las fuerzas armadas, todo el tiempo desarrollando juntos partes clavos de nuestras identidades. 

Nuestras opiniones, nuestros pasatiempos, nuestros pensamientos sobre la fe, como luchamos y más, eran formados en el fuego del tiempo y juventud. 

Qué muchas personas ven como una desventaja de casarse joven, es decir, no experimentando estos años formativos solos, vimos como una gran ventaja en nuestra relación. 

Con nuestra juventud y falta de experiencia, hemos podido ser inseguros juntos. 

Hemos podido aprender más juntos. 

Hemos podido experimentar muchos primeros y finales juntos, las memorias que podemos usar en el resto de nuestra vida. 

¿Y todas las historias de la escuela primaria y secundaria?  ¿De parientes extraños y mascotas? ¿Dónde criamos?

Compartimos estas historias en una manera especial. 

A causa del comienzo de nuestra relación a la edad de 16, nos conocemos como niños, adultos jóvenes y, eventualmente, en otras edades. 

Y, tenemos alguien quién nos soportamos en nuestras metas académicas y profesionales. 

Estigma Dos: Casarse Joven es Como Salir una Fiesta Temprana 

Engagement photo in Seoul, South Korea.
Foto por HaleLee

Al contrario, siendo casada es más como tener alguien con quién se puede ir a, y salir de, la fiesta. 

De hecho, siento como nos hemos juntado a la fiesta… y tenemos el resto de la vida para divertirnos. 

No se necesita parar su diversión en el momento de que se casa… a nosotros podemos hacer más que pensábamos posible, y tenemos la seguridad de saber que vamos a tener un compañero en cualquier aventura que tengamos en el futuro. 

En el año pasado, nos prometimos en Seoul, pasamos nuestra luna de miel en la Playa de Vero, y pasamos una semana en Roma durante mi vacación de la primavera. 

Más que nada, me divierto el tiempo libre que pasamos juntos planeando nuestras aventuras. 


Mientras que yo era muy nerviosa al comienzo de nuestro proceso de casamiento, un año después puedo decir que nuestro casamiento es la decisión mejor de nuestra vida. 

La vida no tiene un formulario, y cada camino parece distinto. He aprendido que es insensato medir mi éxito basado en un horario ideal creado por el rigor y competición que sigo tan fácilmente en la universidad. 

¿Has sentido presión de conformar tu vida en una manera específica en comparación con otros? ¿Cómo luchas sentimientos nerviosos cuando tomas un camino diferente? 

¡Me encantaría hablar contigo en los comentarios debajo!

¡Gracias por leer!

Hasta luego, 

Tori  🙂

12 replies on “Married at 20/ Casada a los 20”

I loved every bit of this Tori.
As someone who became a Mother at just over 20 and got to finish growing up with my girls, becoming a Gramma at 44, climing trees with and hiking with grandkids, I would change nothing. In my life it was right and good, no matter the culture and opinions of others. I’m so proud of you and Micah for knowing and being clear on your own paths. You are both so special, so unique and so very loved by one another and those of us so blessed to be a part of your lives.
Love you both forever
Gramma

Liked by 1 person

Amazing!! So glad you stuck it to the voices of judgement. Inevitably, you have to live with you – and Micah. And clearly you made a good, valid decision to be in love. I wish you the best, and am so proud of everything you both have become. Stay true to you!

Liked by 1 person

I really love this! And I totally agree without you, feminism is about having the choice: gou want to be a SAHM? cool! You want to be the CEO of whatever? Equally cool! Wanna marry young? Cool! Wann stay single? Go for it! I really like your story and your point of view! I wish you guys a very happy and long marriage!

Liked by 1 person

Thank you, and thank you for reading my work! I love that I get to share these thought with others in this extraordinary time :).

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This 70-year-old Women’s Marcher, Indivisible member, mom of two and grammie of five who married at 19 wishes you and your husband well. Of course, it’s wonderful to grow and change together. Of course, it’s wonderful to have shared so much of our lives together. Of course, there were also times when I was far too willing to give up what I wanted or needed. Would I have done the same thing at that time in my life if I’d been unmarried, seeking my own way alone? Almost certainly, yes. Do I wish sometimes that I’d at least had a room of my own before marriage? Absolutely, but that’s also why I’ve insisted on an office of my own, Woolf’s room of one’s own, while I write. I don’t know what life will bring you, but revel in it all, the joy and the tragedy, the beauty of it all.

Liked by 1 person

Wow, thank you so much for the work you have done and for your insight and well wishes! I really value your perspective and input; from now on I think I’ll make a point to remember that even the hard moments are worth noting and writing about. Thank you also for commenting on my post! It sounds like you had led an incredible life, and like you have many more adventures to lead!

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