Let's fast forward to 2 years later from then, a wonderful man was on one knee asking me to marry him. How did we get to this point, in a short 2 years?
One could say it was a miracle. Which yes, the Lord certainly works in mysterious ways. However, I would also say that it was trust, and choosing over and over and over again to love him despite what my experience had told me, which was to run and that this would only end badly. Now am I saying that's all it took? No. There were a lot of tearful nights after arguing, a lot of making up, a lot of learning and growing together, and as always -- a LOT of forgiving each other for our missteps. A marriage is never ever 50/50. It is always 100/100. The reason for this is because if each person invests 100% on it, then you will get a 200% return on it, regularly. Who wants just 100% back when you can get 200% back?
So what does it take to have the "perfect" marriage? I'll give you a secret, it only takes 1 thing! It takes for the relationship to be written by Walt Disney (no offense to those Disney lovers out there, because I love Disney too!). Or to be played out by Ward and June Cleaver in a 50's sitcom. Do you see where I'm going with this?
The absolute perfect relationship does not exist.
Each relationship has it's struggles, especially marriage.
Marriage is tough work. If you think marriage is this amazing walk in the park-- you could be right, because sometimes it is. There are so many days it is absolute bliss. You have the handsome husband who walks through the door at the end of the day and the cute wife greets him with a kiss and dinner in the oven. The kids are perfectly sitting on the couch with clean faces and hands.....like I said, only exists in a 50's sitcom.
However, this bliss doesn't come from the daily grind of things: church, work, school, kids, your family, his family, etc. This bliss comes from the support and love you give each other through the daily grind of things. To have someone that you can call during the day when you're having one of the worst (or best) days and to share in the joy with them.
I was not planning on becoming the "typical Mormon girl" marrying her husband at 19, but I was. There was a reason for it though. I knew it was right. There are times that I need a reminding, but just as our testimonies of the gospel need constant attention so the "weeds of life" don't creep in, so does your marriage and relationship.
As I sat there in the temple with him in the sealing room, I knew that despite what the world would tell us, what we were doing was 100% right. He was what was missing from my life, and what I needed. He is my calm voice in the craziness that is my life.
Marriage is consistent hard work. The moment you let your guard down thinking that you've got it figured out, something else comes up. You've got to make sure that you pick your battles, don't fight over the little things. However, make sure not to push things under the rug. Deal with the issues, but don't feel that you have to fight about everything that comes up.
For things that I would have missed out on if I had let my 17 year old self decide my future, see below:
Marriage is a fun, and crazy roller coaster ride. I'm glad that I didn't let my 17 year old self decide my ultimate future, because then I would miss out on some of the craziest times of my life. Marriage IS worth it, if you can find the person that you want to give that 100% to and support through the day to day stuff.