It’s really not surprising that we look at young marriage with such disdain — most of the things we hear about it are negative. For example, Olivia Wilde has said that marrying her Italian Prince ex when she was just 19 “stunted” her growth
. Reese Witherspoon, who married Ryan Phillippe when she was 23 — a year older than I was when I got married — blames their divorce, at least in part, to their being “ridiculously young
.” I’m not trying to discount what these women are saying; I’m merely pointing out that we tend to only hear about the young marriages that don’t
work out, and it creates a bias. Young marrieds are basically working with two narratives: the crazy-in-love/impulsive kidults who eventually learn the error of their ways and divorce (see above/the whole “starter marriage” phenom), or the super-religious couples who are just naïve and really, really want to have sex (see FYI Network’s show Teenage Newlyweds
). And even though I don’t identify with either of those stereotypes, people have long since judged me based on those constructs.