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Challenge: Romance After Kids

'You're too young to get married,' they said to me.

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I got married at the young(ish) age of twenty-two, to a man eight years my senior.

What are they doing?

She’s too young for him.

What is he doing with someone her age?

What does she see in him?

You’re too young to get married.

Why her? Are you sure?

It will never work.

It’s been almost ten years since my husband, Josh and I tied the knot (real tight) in July of 2008. I was fresh out of college and on the cusp of my first semester at Saint Thomas University Law School.

One piece of advice: If you want to ensure you don’t complete your juris doctorate studies, get married right before the semester begins. Newlyweds don’t want to spend their time with their nose in boring books, and their nose is most definitely not the body part that will be getting the most action in that first year.

To those many who wondered “why?” when they looked at us, and those others that were so utterly sure us coming together would end in failure, I’ve got some words for you; a few tidbits about love and life that I want to share.

You once asked “what are they doing?”, and I am going to answer that for you.

We were in love and by “in love” I mean in extreme like; we were infatuated with each other and exhilarated by one another. We also drove each other flippin’ crazy, but that only made the relationship more thrilling and dynamic.

We were both intrigued by a connection that seemingly afforded us what maybe we were missing and unknowingly longing for. I had the pleasure of spending my time with someone who had a bit more life experience under his belt; someone who was sure of himself and knew what he wanted to get out of life. To a self-conscious, anxiety-ridden, attention-seeking twenty-something-year-old, this was what I never knew I needed, or wanted; someone to teach me about loving me for me and taking life as it comes while throwing my hands up and laughing for the ride.

You may wonder though what it was about me that piqued his interest. I can sure tell you that it wasn’t my brain. My handmade-from-a-pair-of-jeans extremely short skirt was not giving him a peak at my mind if you know what I’m saying; and not that he would be able to find that beautiful brain of mine under my long blonde hair extensions anyway. No, what drew my now husband to me back in 2006 was my kind heart and my slightly innocent and optimistic view of people and the world. To someone who has experienced more of life and life’s less than pleasurable moments, spending time with another who sees life through a different lens can be motivating and inspirational.

So, what were we doing together back in 2006? We were connecting. We were using one another to meet the needs and wants we never knew were lacking. We were teaching each other and impressing one another; we were making mistakes but we were learning, and guess what? We still are.

I’ve shared that my husband and I, personality-wise, are very different and that although we embraced and even enjoyed that fact early in our relationship, after nine looooong years and three children, it can make for relationship troubles.

Me? I am the type-A of the house — impatient, aggressive, controlling, competitive, and a rule follower.

My husband? Well, he is relaxed, creative, reflective, has the uncanny ability to feel practically no stress ever, and often enjoys breaking the rules; basically, way too “chill” for my comfort level.

As you can imagine this leads to many disagreements, but it also leads to a lot of fun and us challenging each other to be better people; as individuals, spouses, and parents. My husband’s actual life experience and my young, experience-seeking personality have afforded us the understanding that everything worth anything is most definitely worth the tiresome effort you must put in.

I say all of that to get to this — my answers to the questions once asked of me.

What are we doing? We are having fun. We are building a family and working to maintain a relationship that benefits us both.

But, I’m too young for him, right? Yep, but at least I never have to worry about him leaving me for a younger woman.

What is he doing with me? Having adventures.

What do I see in him? So very much. I see a man who is handsome, selfless, caring, hardworking, loving, giving, funny, and inspirational.

But you were too young to get married. I probably was, but look how well that has turned out for me.

Why me? He said “just because”, and that is more than enough for him; so it is for me, as well.

Are you sure? Hell yes. We are both sure that this is a love we want for all eternity — that is, until he gets old and super gray which will happen way before me and at that point, I may question things.

It will never work. Oh, but it has.

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