I Learned How to Be a Grown-Up During my Marriage


I read this pretty cool blog post the other day called “23 things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23.”  Obviously the author was pretty tongue in cheek about the 23 things to do, like, baking a cake, and eating a whole jar of Nutella.

But I loved this part:

I can’t help but feel like a lot of these unions are a cop-out.  It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce.

If you knew me from ages 19-24, you know that I wanted to get married sooooooooo baaaaaaadly.  I’m pretty mortified by much of my behavior in relationships during those years.  

Back then, I wanted to be taken care of.  I wanted someone to tell me what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.  Being an adult was completely stressful, and I had no idea what I was doing most of the time.  Many nights, I would cry hysterically due to the stress of not knowing what to do.

Two years ago, Matt and I got married.  One reason I wanted to marry him – a very small reason, about 15% of the reasons – was because then I wouldn’t be alone (finally).  I could depend on him to help figure out this thing called adulthood.

Funny thing though.  Matt wasn’t very good at being an adult, either.  

So through the 18 months that Matt and I stayed together, I did a lot of growing up.  He was just as clueless as me, and someone had to figure this thing out.  (I’m sure he did as much growing up as me.)  Now that I’m on my own, adulthood isn’t so scary and hard.  That’s one good thing I got from my marriage, and I wonder if I would have learned how to handle responsibilities without being married to Matt.  I’d like to think so, but I have a nagging suspicion that I would still be as frightened and clueless as I was at 23.  

So, thank you, marriage, for teaching me how to be a grown-up.