C and I started talking about marriage a few months into our relationship. We were 18.
It isn’t uncommon for military couples to get married as soon as possible — even if it means at 18 to your high school sweetheart who just got out of basic training.
It happens very, very often.
He asked me to marry him over the phone, when he was in Florida for his MOS school and I was in Hawaii on summer break. I froze and felt my face flush. Was he really asking me this?
“Are you crazy?! It hasn’t even been a year!!!!!!”
“I know, but I already know I want to marry you and I know you want to marry me too. Why not now? It’d make it easier for us to be together physically. I’d get extra pay and we could save up for a big wedding later when you graduate college. Why not? We could do it the next time we’re home together, just sign a paper, I’d be your husband, you’d be my wife…”
It made so much sense. I understood why MilSos did it, I could feel the temptation too.
I said no, though. I felt too young. I wasn’t ready to be a wife, I could barely take care of myself alone in college. I talked to my mom about it and in all her Filipino rage, she told me I better not. She wasn’t on board with me even being with C yet. I would try to talk to her again about it a year later, when she and my dad started to see how well C treated me.
Ever since he asked the question, my mind would flutter back and forth to marrying him the next time I saw him, marrying him after college, or marrying him years and years later. Either way, I knew it was going to happen. I knew he was the one.
Over the next four years together, we talked about getting married all the time. The agreement was that we’d wait until I was done with college to even think about it. We talked about where we’d live, and what we’d name our kids, if he’d help me pay my student loans or support me if I couldn’t find a job after college…we started to set up our future and figure out if things were really meant to be.
Then, I graduated college. I went back to Hawai’i. A month later we were lying in my room at my parent’s house and he said, “What do you think about getting married?”
“You’re home now. We could move out, I’d get money for rent. If I reenlist you would be able to come with me to my next duty station without any issues. We could save up money and have the wedding we always talked about in a few years. What do you think?”
“Oh…oh wow. We could do all that, huh?”
Two weeks later, we got our marriage license. The next day he surprised me with an engagement ring, even though it was unescessary at that point. Two days later, we were married on a beach on base in Kaneohe by an online-ordained Sailor who worked in the shop with him. I bought my dress that morning from Macy’s, he wore his dress blues. We were 22.
We’ve been married for three years now, and it’s been an adventure. He didn’t reenlist, but we chose to move to San Diego to start something new together. We’ve had our ups and downs but I’ve never regretted marrying him at a time where most people our age would still be finding themselves (and trust me, I’ve yet to do that).
People say not to get married young. People even say not to be dating when you’re in college. The only thing that matters in your decision is your own situation. Do your research. Take some time to think about it.
Always remember that marriage is work, but if you’re with someone you truly love, the work won’t be so bad.