Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Curious Case of Donald Miller:

Since I've become a Blog of Note I've had an enormous amount of feedback from readers. This has been incredible! As an aspiring writer, your opinions and thoughts are very valuable to me. I've also had a huge amount of support from fellow Army wives/girlfriends. This has also been wonderful. I can't tell you guys how great it is to feel like I'm not alone anymore. Finally I can see that there are some people in the world that can understand what I'm going through right now.

But amid all of this attention (and I knew this would happen eventually) I discovered The Curious Case of Donald Miller.

Donald was the first person to express negative thoughts about my engagement. (Please, no boo-ing. He has a right to his opinions.) His sentiments weren't without some bits of truth, and since that is the case, I've decided to share them, along with my rebuttal, with all of you.

Donald commented: "You guys are making a mistake!!! You are only 19!!! Trust another military member when I say he will move on---and so will you. I wish I could be the flowers and roses everyone else is but I have lived the life for 20 years and the army is hard and harder on relationships. As a famous person said, "If the military wanted you to have a spouse, they would have issued you one!" Good luck anyway."

When I read this particular comment, I was a bit hurt. It wasn't like I hadn't expected to hear the "you're so young" card at some point, but I'd escaped it for a while and I was starting to hope I wouldn't have to defend myself. Alas, that is not the case. Donald has raised the topic, and so I must address it.

So let's look at his argument, shall we? Donald seems to have three points to back up his claim that we are "making a mistake."

1.) As previously stated, our young age. Most people follow this statement up with something to the effect of: "You haven't lived enough to know what you want yet."

2.) He seems to think that we'll "move on." More specifically, that Kyle will move on, and that I will follow suit. Perhaps he thinks us fickle? Or perhaps he thinks Kyle is the type to fall face-first on the sidewalk for any girl in short shorts? Or maybe he writes this one off to our age as well. Either way, he says we'll grow apart.

3.) This part of the argument is the one I find most sound: The Army is hard on relationships. This I know to be true, without doubt, and without dispute. Donald, you are right about this one. It will be hard. However, I don't think that's enough reason for you to say my upcoming marriage is a mistake. You, like so many others, underestimate me.

Mkay. There we have it, clearly divided and defined: the reasons Donald thinks mine and Kyle's relationship is doomed.

In response to saying that we are young: We both realize that. And in fact, I'm not nineteen yet. I won't be nineteen for another two weeks. I know that we have our whole lives ahead of us, and that we will both change in that time. But I also know how much I love Kyle.

I love Kyle more than I thought it was possible to love someone. I love him enough to follow him half-way around the world. I love him enough that I would die for him in a heartbeat. I love him enough that I can't imagine spending the rest of my life without him, no matter what that life holds. If I have a hard life in front of me, I'd want him to be by my side, and if it does turn out to be all sunshine and daisies, there is no one I'd rather share it with.

I may not know what I want in a lot of areas, but Kyle doesn't fall into one of those. He is the one thing I know I will always be sure of. :)

In response to the idea of us growing apart: Why would grow apart when we could grow together? Neither of us make promises lightly. We understand what marriage means, and we intend to honor the commitment that we are giving one another. Kyle is one of the most honorable and loyal people I have ever met. I have no doubt that he will remain faithful to me while he's away.

He has the same faith in me. I'm not the typical college Sophomore. I have a level head on my shoulders that is prepared to be as patient as I need to be. I will wait for him while he is away because I am able to see far enough into the future to know that it is what is best. The pain that I'll deal with now is nothing compared to the happiness we will share in the future. That future is my endpoint. I focus on it every day, through every fit of tears. Our loves keeps me strong when I'd rather be weak, and I believe it is enough to bind us together.

In response to the Army being hard on relationships: This is point where I think Donald has a valid argument. The Army is indeed rough on relationships. How could anyone think it would be easy to have your husband or boyfriend (or wife/girlfriend) taken from you at the whim of the military? It would be foolish to dispute this. I do not pretend to think it will be easy. I am no fool, and I am not blind.

There will be many lonely nights, many mornings spent biting my nails as I watch the news, and many painful afternoons when I'd like nothing better than to hear his voice. ...yet that is not enough to scare me away from Kyle. Had that been enough I would have left him before or during the 5 1/2 months we just spent apart.

I've had a taste of the bitter loneliness I'm facing, and I know I am strong enough to handle it. Kyle, obviously, thinks the same of himself, or he wouldn't have proposed in the first place. He is, as I have stated, one of the most honorable people I know. I trust him to be honest and open with me, and not to toy with my emotions. He's a much better man than that.

And so, Mr. Miller, if you're reading this, I appreciate your warning. I thank you for wishing us luck at the end of that comment. But mostly I hope you will realize that you have underestimated Kyle and I. We are not, by any means, the typical teenage couple. We've both come from circumstances that forced us to realize the magnitude and seriousness of life decisions such as these. We do not make them lightly.

Now, dear readers, I will jump off of my soap box and put it away for another day. :)

76 comments:

  1. Hi, Carrie! I'm Brazilian and you may have noticed, I found your blog by chance. I am enjoying, your posts are very creative and their stories then forget it. loved the text "Making a Difference" I think we should rather look every day to the side and help others. Know that from today I'll be your follower and I hope you enjoy my blog and like yours, for you to understand what I'm writing I'll give you a hint: Use a site that is translation. well, you can answer me and I'll be happy. A big hug from her younger follower Mel Martinelli.

    ReplyDelete
  2. BreMarie: Why thank you. :)

    Mel: Aw, thank you! :) I'll be sure to check out your blog as soon as I have a spare minute.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another way we are very alike. I too was 19 when I got married. 21 when I had my first child, and 24 when I had my second (and last). We have been married almost 7 years now. Why do I do it? Why after 2 deployments and in 6 days the 3rd deployment to Iraq? Why do I stay with him? I do it because I love him. I stay with him even after 2 deployments and the start of the 3rd because his bravery makes me love him even more. If your to ask me how do I do it, I would tell you "I have no idea!" because I truely don't. It's just something you have to do for the one you love and one of the few who will do anything for our country.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As another Army Wife, I have faith in the relationships that are built in spite of the hardships. Good luck with yours. No matter who says otherwise, if you believe it will work, it will. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your rebuttal was good...and by no means am I a Mr. Miller fan, but I do want to offer some advice as a 23 year old having been married at the ripe age of 19 as well. If you read the book The Five Languages of Love it will tell you, and I agree, that this flowery 'love' feeling does fade. And then its your choice to make your marriage work. I'm not saying marriage is all droll and humbug, I'm saying that adrenaline pumping, butterflies bouncing in your belly feeling doesn't last forever...unless you choose to make it. My husband and I are currently working on our marriage after an affair. I, too, was like you and thought I would NEVER cheat on my husband. But I did. Judge me as you will, but thankfully I have a husband who refuses to give up on me. And so now we are working hard to get our marriage back on track. My advice is simply to be HONEST, and that means with every little thing. If you're upset or angry at him, tell him why...and don't think there won't be days when that doesn't happen. There will be days when you just don't like him, and those are the most important days to CHOOSE to be happy. You have to make your happiness, don't expect it just to be there. Sorry for being the Debbie Downer, I felt moved to offer some advice with my current situation. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like your rebutal. Very good points. Just from you blog, it is obvious to me that you are not a typical 19 year old and that you are very mature for your age. As you know, I got married when I was 21. Even though, we didn't have the military to deal with marriage was still hard. It's amazing how much I have changed and Keith as well. I'm not going to lie and say sometimes it's not hard, but I think you all are strong enough to get through. As long as you stand by each other and support each other, life will be even fuller for you. Marriage is hard work, but I think you two are up for it. :) Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  7. go you! You did that in the most graceful way I could have imagined. I too am engaged - just turned twenty. And I love reading your blog. I discovered it through blogs of note like most of us and I'm hooked! I invite you to take a look at mine too! I love meeting people and you and I have a bit of the same things going on so... take a look and leave a comment or whatnot if you want to keep chatting.

    -Kels

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many comments from the female persuasion... I would like to offer my own, from the not so female persuasion. First, a little background on the source of said comments to come. I am a 24 year old (as of tomorrow) man, I have been married for 3 years come December and have been in the Army for 4 years this past July. My wife and I were married when she was 18 and I was 21 and we started dating when 16 and I was 19.

    Now that, that is out of the way. I try to find a way to make my thoughts independent from the comments already presented, although that seems difficult. The Five Love Languages is a very good book that explains the way couples show and receive love in their own ways. There are many books that can help in this regard and if you just talk to your local Chaplain he can provide them all for you for free, and if he doesn't have them he can order them for you for free. The first thing is, and I believe you have an idea of this already, is that marriage is hard. Any marriage is hard, but especially one that involves the military. One mistake many couples make is thinking that the hard part is the away time, that is the easy part. The hard part is the time when he comes back and you have to get to know and get used to being with each other all over again. Secondly, as previously stated, happiness is a choice. When you are down and depressed, the simple action of just acting happy can in fact improve your mood. Your decision to be happy can lead your emotions to follow. Just keep in mind that can be a double edged sword in that your emotions can drag down everything else with it if you don't keep them under some semblance of control. My wife can testify that depression can easily set in over a deployment and coming back out is nothing less than fighting tooth and nail for your own survival. Tip: keep busy, find a hobby, build a support structure, and keep honesty in your heart. The last subject I will hit on is mayhaps the hardest. Be patient. Men are stubborn and prideful. On return from a deployment you will want to be all over him and spend every waking moment with him, and your feelings will be hurt when he starts to get uncomfortable and wants his space. It is normal, there is a readjustment time. It doesn't mean he loves you less, it doesn't mean that you are breaking up or having a fight or that he is even upset in the slightest. Men in general, no matter how emotional, have a harder time readjusting to the home life than women usually do, we are not the social and emotional butterflies you girls are. I know I said last subject already, but I wanted to say one more thing. Don't think poorly of Mr. Miller, in his long years in the military he has seen many horrible things happen to soldiers and to spouses alike. Once you have been in/around a while you will hear horror stories of divorces gone wrong and some of the "Deployment Activities" of many spouses. It is not pretty, it is not right, but it does happen and I think he is only afraid of hearing about it happening to someone else. My relationship has always been questioned and we have always been doubted just as you are being, yet we are still here. We have been through lying, cheating, affairs, money issues, deployments, separate PCSs and much more. You have to have the spirit of a warrior in the sense that you will never give up, never stop fighting for your marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like you have the right idea. Sometimes it seems impossible to think that 18 to 25 is as much of a change as 11 to 18 is! But I think you've had plenty of feedback from women who have proved it CAN work. You just make the daily commitment that you guys are growing together, not just up. It's certainly harder to grow up when you're two people, but it's ultimately just as rewarding, maybe even more so.

    Good luck to you and your man! (Love your blog!)

    ReplyDelete
  10. And that guy who commented before me is RIGHT ON!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congrats on being a Blog of Note! Enjoy it! I have had a lot of fun since being named one myself ;)

    I would not let comments get under your skin. That is one hard lesson I have had to learn, everyone has an opinion about what you have to say and some can get under your skin. I think what you said is beautiful. I wish you and your sweetie all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You sound like a very mature 19 years old to be. Reading about your love and commitment to each other makes my heart melt. It's wonderful to know that such bond exists. Here's wishing that you'll get through the tough times with a smile.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Marriage is, first and foremost, about love. Undying, unconditional, head-over-heels, daydream-for-hours LOVE. Everything else is just minor details and will fall into place.

    Don't let anyone discourage you from your future plans with Kyle. You are lucky enough to find love at a young age.

    As the great one says, "All you need is love!".

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Misguided Prodigy said about everything I wanted to but didn't know how to put it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i will not sit here and type a blog length comment.

    i have been there and done that when it comes to love and marriage.

    I have been married, and divorced, and now remarried. If you love YOU, and Kyle loves himself, then you will be find. Communicate.

    Being a military spouse is not just a choice, its a lifestyle.

    Good luck. I really liked your response, but from a fellow Blog of Noter, don't let the trolls of the net get too much facetime. they just want their own publicity, don;t let them use your emotions against you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  17. how did your blog become a "blog of note" ?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow...I believe you should go ahead with your marriage plans since both of you are sure of your commitments...

    The truth in this world is that there will always be people in this world who would never ready to take a commitment even when they turn 30 or 35 yrs :) You both are not like that

    Have been following your blog for a few days and I am sure to come back for more :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with the sentiment that it's good to see a blog from a "normal person" become a blog of note.

    Quick question though,
    Donald Miller as in the author of Blue Like Jazz? or another Donald Miller? haha :)

    I wish you and your fiance all the best! <3

    ReplyDelete
  20. the closest I have come to what you are feeling is when my best friend/the one I grew up/boyfriend/fiance left for Iraq with the Navy, while we were dating. I felt lonely, worried, and heartless. Yet my story didn't end as happily as yours will.
    But I will say it is hard to have the one you love whole-heartedly so far away as of right now my current boyfriend (who lasted longer than Navy boy) is 300 miles away. It doesn't really compare to being in another country but it has the same heart ache, and trials, worries (relationship worries at least) that an Army wife has. I believe though if you are willing to make it work then all I can wish is Good Luck, and pray for a happy ending.
    I've enjoyed the blogs that I have read and I hope to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I salute you! It reminds me of someone I knew from the army.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Carrie -

    You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and are ready to take on the world with your fiance. That is a great start. My husband and I, married at ages 22 and 20 respectively, were ready for ANYTHING. We still are, but his job takes him away from me every month and on regular rotations of deployments. It is very trying on the relationship being in the military, but that doesn't mean that all the marriages fail. My husband and I learned that we need to make adjustments. We make the most of when he is home and I always keep a stack of cards ready to put one in his bags. As long as you two communicate - which is always the most important, but even more so when all you have is a 15 minute phone call or a 10 minute chat online. You learn to make accomodations and little things that make you and your hubby secure. Although it may seem like all the odds are against you sometimes, if you have a strong foundation (which it sounds like you do) you can build up (or tear down)and still be stable.

    I wish you all the best. Everyone deserves to be happy and it sounds like you are!

    ReplyDelete
  23. you go girl. =) those are some very determined words from someone so "young." love is not just for the elderly. we find it, and defend it as best we can. keep on keepin' on!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I found your blog on blog of note also! :)
    I just want to wish you the very best. I married the Air Force at 20, which seems a wrong way to put it, but it's the truth. Four years, deployment, two kids, huge moves, and 65+ hour work weeks (for him) later I couldn't be happier or more in love. Not to say all is perfect, there are always good days and then there are the beyond bad days, but when it comes down to it that's how I feel. As with life, marriage is what you make it. Just remember when it's hard on you, more than likely he is suffering just as much if not more. And as already stated give some adjustment time when he gets home. Again I wish the best for both of you!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Without knowing our whole family history, I don't think anyone can really understand how mature you and Kyle are when it comes to marriage. Aside from that, you're right, Kyle is extremely loyal and twice could be said for you.

    It is rough. Every marriage/relationship is rough.

    Don't worry little sis, you two will make it. I know you both pretty well (I like to think) and I have no doubts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Certified: That's so funny. I've actually told people that I don't know how I do it. Finding your strength isn't something you actively do...it's actually more like your strength finds you.

    Stephanie: Thank you. I feel the same way. :)

    Krystal Keith: First off, I'm not going to judge you. Every marriage has its problems, and no one will ever be able to completely understand someone else's situation. I'm just happy that you two are able to try to work through it. :)

    Also, I completely agree with you about being honest, and about making the situation what you want it to be. Not a Debbie Downer at all. I appreciate the advice. :) The only thing I don't respond well to is someone blatently telling me I'm making a mistake when all I'm trying to do is make something work...

    Jessica: Thank you. =)

    Kelsey: I tried. I'm not sure I didn't come off sounding a little too angry...but hey, I did the best I could.

    The Misguided Prodigy: First off, I actually don't think too poorly of Mr. Miller. Mostly I'm just wondering what happened to make him so pesimistic about military marriages. :( The resentment that shows in my post has more to do with the fact that this is a common attitude among some people I know. ...Mr. Miller was simply the first to voice this opinion out loud, and so he got the brunt of my annoyance.

    Second, I appreciate all of the advice. It's actually really nice to hear the guys side of this. :) Wonderfully stated, too.

    And last, it's reassuring to hear that you and your wife are working through your problems. It gives me hope that even if things are a lot more difficult than I anticipate, we'll be able to forge ahead dispite the setbacks. Kudos to you guys for keeping it together. :)

    Rae: :) Thanks, once again. And I agree with you, he was.

    Tamara: Like I said before, it wasn't so much the one comment as the attitude in general. I know for a fact that a few of my friends think I'm crazy, and most of the annoyance was really towards them. Donald just happened to be the unlucky one that spoke up first, and so he took the punches. :/

    Ashley: Lucky? Yes. Very. More so than many people. And knowing that is also something that gives me hope. Even in the darkest days, I'm luckier than some, because not everyone will find a love that's worth so many struggles.

    Crazy Shenanigans: Me too. :)

    Quarter Thrower: As for that last part, refer to my response to Tamara. ;)

    Idiosyncratic_Soul: I honestly have no idea how I became blog of note. I did, via Twitter, offer a joking bribe of brownies...but I really doubt anyone even noticed that. I'm writing the honor off to luck. ;)

    Elizabeth: Thank you. :) And I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog.

    arielsmiles: I have no idea who this particular Donald Miller is. He was just a commenter. It would be funny if he was that author though. Haha.

    Lizz: I'm sorry that your first relationship didn't work out, but it seem as though it wasn't entirely a bad thing if you've found something better! :) Thank you for the support.

    wonderMARIEL: Why thank you.

    Kate: I completely agree about the communication. It's surprising how much information can be fit into a fifteen minute phone call! Already I've been surprised by that. The important things find there way into the message almost without my realizing it. In the end though, so long as an "I love you" makes it's way in there, I'm happy. :)

    libpuritan: Thanks. :)

    James and Cassie: Thank you. You put that perfectly, and actually I think I've said part of it in a previous post. The part about remembering that it's probably worse for him? Maybe I'm just imagining it. Either way, I completely agree with you. The end result will be more than worth the journey. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Courtney, you snuck that in while I was doing my responses, so I didn't see it in time to say anything back. lol.

    But thank you. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. As a military brat I have seen many marriages start and end. A lot of people can't handle being married to a military person because someone else controls their life - the government. I spent many birthdays, Christmases, school celebrations, etc. without my dad because he had to work shift work, couldn't get off, was in Korea, etc. It wasn't only hard on my mother, it was hard on the entire family. We moved every 2-3 years to different countries, had to learn new addresses, make new friends, and learn new languages.

    However, my mother was extremely understanding and she made it work. I had a great childhood. My parents married at 20, had their first child at 21, me at 23, and my sister at 27. That is the norm in the military. Many people get married young and have kids shortly after. It's part of the culture I guess.

    Military marriages can work. My parents are still together after 23 years in the military and 32 years of marriage. It was hard, they both suffered, but they loved and respected each other so worked through it. Plus, as you may have already found out, the military supports its community. You will also have that bond and support from other military families to help you through the tough times.

    Everyone's experience is different. It's important to listen to people's advice but even more important to take what you need and leave the rest. It's your life and it will be different than everyone else's.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bravo to you Carrie! I admire you for taking life by reins and going after your dreams. I also admire you for being realistic. Carpe Diem future Mrs. Army Wife.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am so impressed with your mature and open response. You show a willingness to consider other perspectives that should be admired. Marriage is hard and wonderful. If you keep your priorities in mind, even if you stumble, you will prevail. It's about choosing to stay instead of wondering if you should leave. Remember to lean on your support network whenever you need it - you are not alone. I wish you the best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Stephanie: Thank you! :)

    Daphne: "It's about choosing to stay instead of wondering if you should leave." You're dead-on with that line! ;)

    Avoloki: I'm not sure I know what that means...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Congratulations on being a blog of note! I really respect your response to the nay sayer regarding your up coming marriage. I grew up in a military family and can attest that yes, it is hard, but in no way is it impossible. The fact that you are young is not at all an acceptable argument for not getting married. Marriage is the only option when you love a person to the point that you cannot picture a life without him or her, when every moment is made better by that person and every obstacle more manageable through his or her support. (I just married the boy I have known for 15 years now and grew up next door to. I am 24 and have dated him off and on since the age of 9).

    I look forward to following your blog and wish you luck with your wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Katie: Thank you! And congratulations on your marriage! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. having listened to the idea of being "too young" -- I instead would encourage you to follow your heart. Realize you are making a commitment. And when those hard days come in the future, come back to read this blog posting to remember why you wanted to be married in the first place. Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I can't speak to being an army wife, but I married at age 19 (he was 23) 33 years ago. We grew up together and have been happy. Now we are looking forward to bickering at each other during our dotage. (haha) I wish you both the best.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Tremendously AWSOME blog you have here miss! I'll definitely be checking in regularly! I myself have just started a little blog of my own..check it out! http://jessica-icgo.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  38. yes, it certainly would be eh? :P

    Though, I believe that Donald Miller has a little more class... :)

    <3

    ReplyDelete
  39. I just discovered and began following your blog. Although our ages are a few years apart (about 14!), we both are in a situation where the men we love are gone for very long periods of time for their job. My Mister works in the oil fields as a commercial diver. Yes, the lifestyle is difficult, but if you truly care for one another and you are FRIENDS with one another, and commit to working as a team, you'll make it. I pray that God blesses your marriage, protects your soon-to-be husband, and blesses your lives together :)
    ~HISdaughter

    ReplyDelete
  40. Well I wish you the best. You certainly don't sound like the typical teen so I'm sure you can very well be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to making it.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hey girl,
    I applaud your faith in love and dedication to your relationship with your boyfriend. No matter what, people will have negative things to say, based on their own experiences and those of friends and fam. That's all well and good but this is YOUR journey in life. If you were to end things becauseof what others think you know in your heart that you would regret it. Even though you are young you are a smart girl, so if you feel like this is what is good for you, then more power to you! I wish you nothing but the best for you and your soon to be hubby. :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dear Carrie, Your courage is inspiring. It takes heart to stare down the future, the possibilities of what might be, and take the road in spite of potential challenges. If the future transpires as Mr. Miller predicts, so what? You will learn and you will grow. But what if it turns out to be the opposite? What if there is a chance for happiness? Isn’t that chance worth betting on? If not, what is this one life for? I do not see your age as a reason to be discouraged. Your youth gives you freedom in the greatest sense of the word. Your life is wide open and is yours for the shaping. This is the freedom we are fighting to give others and who is to say what you should do with yours? Your actions are commendable. You are listening to the voices and opinions of others but you are standing by your own convictions. Be proud.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I was married at 18, and am now 41, still married to the same man. We were, like you, very young, very much in love, and very sure of what we were doing.

    Now, 23 years later, I won't say it was easy, or that it was hard. It just was. We didn't know any different.

    There have been times we were in fact growing apart - and there have been hurts and damages along the way. But in the end, Love prevails if you really want it to. And we do.

    You're probably getting more than your fill of unsolicited advice... mine would be just to Love, Love, Love, and let all decisions be based on that. If you can do that, you'll make it through anything.

    I really do believe "All you need is Love."

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hey! First time reader here. Congrats on the blog of note!

    I just wanted to say that I love your faith. Don't lose that.

    But remember, it's not a bad thing to consider that what you and Kyle want and need in your upcoming marriage may change over time. That doesn't mean that you'll break up or that things have to be aweful. In fact, thinking about the reality of these things gives you the chance to prepare for how to deal with them ahead of time. You will be able to confront such situations with confidence because you will know that they aren't the end of the world. It's the choices you make and the work you put into your relationship that will win over the unavoidable shifts in interests, circumstances and even needs. Like you said, it can give you the chance to grow together as independent personalities instead of growing apart.

    This is something I've learned in my own marriage, and it's made me a stronger, happier, fuller person and partner for my spouse.

    The best of luck to you and congrats on your engagement!

    ReplyDelete
  46. You guys are so sweet. :) I actually teared up a bit reading those.

    And Sarabeth, This was perfect: "Isn’t that chance worth betting on? If not, what is this one life for?"

    It is. It is worth risking losing everything, just for the chance that it might work. =)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Don't think I can add much more than everybody else already has. You have to try and not let comments like that get to you, in his own way he was trying to help you. He's obviously not had a very pleasant experience and has been left somewhat embittered.

    I'm sure you're old enough (and god that sounds patronising!) to know your mind and know that what anybody else thinks really doesn't matter.

    You seem to be going in to this with your eyes open so don't worry about the naysayers.

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  49. There is no doubt in our mind that you can make it! Love is a many splendid thing is all often taken for granted but when it thrives on the white wall of a strong and healthy relationship it is all too powerful to be broken. We also love your previous blogs and hope that maybe you can take a little bit of your time to read ours? It would be awesome if you could but we understand if you can't! Hope many years of happiness follow suit for you and your beloved!

    ~Nikki and Jace

    ReplyDelete
  50. Carrie, I have to comment because you remind me so much of me!! We even have the same Regina Spektor lyrics on our pages. :) I married my military man at age 19 (I'm 24 now) and it's far from easy. But that goes for every marriage. It takes work and commitment. You seem so level-headed and if you just remember what's important, than nothing else will matter.
    The Five Love Languages is a great book, and I also recommend watching the movie Fireproof. I've never been close to divorce or an affair like in the movie, but it just shows you how to relate and keep relating to your partner, no matter what. Love to you and wishing you all the best! I'll be stopping by now that I know you're here!

    ReplyDelete
  51. d. : That's certainly a nice coincidence. ;) Thanks for the support, and I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Just stumbled upon your blog, checking out what on earth blogging is all about. I found yours very interesting and relatable. I married my husband when we were both 19 and stationed at Fort Bragg. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. He fought in combat in Grenada back in the 80's, and I remember all too well, how scared I was that something would happen to him. Looking back, we are both amazed at how young we were, and now that we have kids that are quickly approaching that age, we would not wish for them to get married so young. However, we are both very much in love still, and don't have many regrets. We both went through lots of changes in our 20's and 30's, we are now vastly different when it comes to politics, religion and many other things. A lot of those changes came when we went through college after the Army. However, we still love one another very much and have respect for each other, and we are amazing parents, if I do say so myself. We waited until we were done with college before having kids, and had been married ten years. I think that really helped us a lot to sort of grow up together before adding that stress into our lives. I also think being in the Army helped our marriage, because we got those first four years away from our families and we got to become adults together and be on our own, without our respective families meddling into our lives, especially my mother-in-law.

    Marriage at 19 can work; a lot of it just depends on the character of the two people getting married. A man or woman who is going to cheat on a spouse will do it, regardless of whether or not they are young, old or in the Army. We both wonder sometimes, how different our lives might have been, had we waited to get married, and sort of regret not having as much fun, as some of our single 20 year old friends seemed to have in college. We always felt older and more responsible than our peers, and had trouble fitting in sometimes with people our own age during our 20's. By the time we were in our 30's we'd had a couple of kids, and found lots of friends with the same. However, sometimes we'll hear them tell stories of their wild younger days before they were married, and we'll look across the room at each other and we both know what the other is thinking....we never had those days, what if?? What we did have was spending 25 plus years with our best friend, someone we could laugh and cry with and grow older together. I wish you all the best with your marriage! I hope it is as long lasting and wonderful as mine has been. Try to have lots of fun when you can together and don't always be waiting for the future to get here to bring you happiness. In a snap you'll be in your 40's looking back and thinking of these youthful days as the good old days you wish you could return to again!

    ReplyDelete
  53. i just happened upon your blog and thought i would respond to the reply to donald miller... i am a military brat and my fiancee of 3 years is leaving soon too. first..love is love and noone should tell you who, when or how to love but let me offer this as a 30's woman with two kids, a full time job, school, catering and blogging...life and love are hard. that flowery flashing butterfly love does fade and whats left is life. dirty clothes, kids, bills, wonders, regrets, hopes, dreams and dissapointments. but through it all if love is real and true then hold onto it. there is no magic number that says fa in love now..love is love and regardless if you make it through three tours or none hold on...if its real it wil prevail and if not then learn and move on..life is yours now..do what makes your heart hapy and let noone tell you that you are too yung..my grandparents maried at 13 and stayed that way til death... follow me and i will follow you and if you need any advice feel free to ask

    ReplyDelete
  54. well, from your rebuttal I'd definitely say you're mature enough to have thought things through and know what you want so hat's off to you!

    Although personally I find it a bit scary to be fixing in stone such an important aspect of one's life at such a young age...

    Good luck and CONGRATULATIONS! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Awesome post Carrie! I stumbled across your blog through blogs of note and as I read this post the smile grew wider and wider on my face. I met my husband at 18 I was married at 21 and we just celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary. When you love someone so completely there is no question of it "not working". Every marriage has it's ups and downs regardless. Looking back at our 15 years we are SO thrilled that we married young because as it is we feel like eternity is not long enough to be together so we'll take all the extra time we can get.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Loved your post. I married my military husband when he was 19 and I was 20. That was almost 22years ago. I also traveled to Japan and Spain with him and believe me, I grew up being the girl who would live next door to mom and dad. But love changes everything.
    Good for you, and congrat's on being a BON. Military lifestyle is hard, but all marriages are hard. Life is hard. So find someone you love and be commited even when the newness wears off.
    Good luck with it all!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Well, I got married to someone in the military when I had just turned 21; he was almost 5 years older. The marriage didn't last, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. He was an amazing person and it was a good relationship.

    Do what you want. You seem like a very bright girl (and years more mature than I was at that age). The poster has a valid point, but there are exceptions to every rule. You seem like you might be one of them. Heaven forbid you not take a chance on something amazing just because the odds may be against you.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Good luck to you! No one can tell the future, not you or him. All you can do is follow your heart and do your best. You seem like a smart girl with good sense--all the best to you...I think you'll be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Carrie, I must say that my initial reaction to hearing that you are almost 19 and engaged made me think, They are so young! However, one of my very good friends got married recently and she and her husband are quite young. They are about your age, actually. I was iffy with that at first but seeing them together it is obvious they have true love and compatibility. Only you and Kyle truly know what you feel and if you are ready to be in a relationship that lasts. Listen to what the people close to you have to say and when you do get married never give up! Stick to it even when it is not "daisies and sunshine." Being able to say you feel a love like that for someone at your age is very special. I am jealous! :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi! I am enjoying your blog, thank you!

    I also am impressed with your response to the comment about your age and commitment. I am 35 years old and happily (and newly) married. And I admit when I first read your profile that I noted your age. When I was 18/19 it wouldn't have been smart for me to make that kind of commitment, but that is because I was not sure of anything at that point other than knowing I wanted to travel and learn. I never would have had such a grasp of my relationships and myself, as you do. We shouldn't get so hung up on age. As we all know, we all reach different stages at different times, and what is right for one is not right for all. Good luck, though I am not sure you need it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. wow...i want what u describe as love :( lol anyway i wish you and your man all the best and i really look up to you because you're keeping strong. Loving You're Blog;; All the best x

    ReplyDelete
  62. i get that your standing up for yourself. and i get that you love him and frankly i believe no one is in any place to question your marriage or the amount of love you have for each other. sure it will be tough, but life in general is tough, so that argument is simply an example of humanities corruption. Whose to say you can't get married at 19. Children in some parts of the world get married at the age of 13. I think its amazing that you've committed to each other and are standing by it. Its beautiful to hear about the innocence of pure love. So i thank you for the hope you have probably giving millions and i hope all the best. But as far as Donald fuck face goes, forget about him. You don't need to defend the love you have for each other or justify your decision to marry to some immature boy whose probably only ever met Mr. left hand. And considers that true love.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I just started a blog today...hopefully I keep up with it and it truly develops into something much better. I was searching around and saw your blog. I just want to say good luck on your engagement and I wish you many years of happiness. My sister too married young, he is in the Air Force and she too met with resistance. They currently reside in Alaska and after 5 years of marriage just had their first child. My first niece. So while there may be ups and downs, just know that you two have each other and together you two can do anything!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Carrie,

    reading this was truley inspirational for me. I'd actually spent most of the night on the internet looking for Navy-wife support groups as I am engaged to a Sailor and soon enough I expect him to leave on deployment. I created a blog here and stumbled upon yours. I am so thankful to have found someone so bright and young (I just recently turned 20 myself and my fiance is only 19). I wish the best of luck to you, I have no doubt you will be happy in your relationship and I wish you the best for your upcoming marriage. Stay strong (it's cliche but helpful) :)

    -Sarah Jeanne

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi Carrie, i really like the way u pour out . i mean its no casual and reading ur blogs makes me feel that ur just my next door gal .
    I am an Indian gal , slightly older than u .I would like to wish u all luck in ur relationship and love. may u get all that u dream of .
    I am newbie here in the field of blogging .I didnn't have any idea about blogging .So just started it .And I am loving it now.
    But I somehow cant seem to get any followers . :((((
    Your blogs have really got me addicted ... keep writing ..and check out my blogs though i guess they are not half as good as yours...
    Truckloads of love and hugs to an unknown friend who seems so close .

    ReplyDelete
  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  67. hey carrie,

    my boyfriend isnt in the army but i know how crap it is to be told ur too young for love. and its a bit annoying but at the same time i always wonder if theres more to it. im only 20 and been with my bf for 2 years now. its like a wake-up call because i know i love him to bits but is that going to be enough to last forever?? forever is at least 60 more years and so much can change. so ive decided to take each day as it comes. and if it works, its works. if not then we tried our best. and so what if u get married and then one day it stops working and ends in divorce. at least you were happy for that time. and all that matters is the you and kyle are happy even if it doesnt have a happily ever after. basically just dont live in the future, live in the now =). ive only just started my blog. sorta just getting the hang of it lol so take a look. give me some pointers if u get a chance.

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  68. I'm Canadian and happened upon your blog. I am also a young (20) Army girlfriend, and I have been with him for almost 3 years, I have heard that line so many times!! :If you were supposed to have a spouse they would have issued you one. It's tough to be in love with a man in a committed work relationship, ha ha. If you really are in love it just works. ;) Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  69. I know I'm a little late with this, but I have been quite behind on my blog reading.

    Anyway, i can understand why Mr. Miller is concerned, but everyone cannot fit into a generalized category.

    There are many 18 and 19 year olds that are in no way shape or form ready to be married. Then there are exceptions. I know people from my old church ward where the wife was 18 when they married. I have army friends who married right out of high school(well, she did, he was GRADUATED A YEAR AND ALREADY IN THE ARMY). They have been married about 7 years I think, have survived a deployment and a tour in Korea. They are very committed to each other.

    The one thing you will need to understand as an army girlfriend or spouse is that the army is not just a job, it is a life. And not just the soldier's life, it is YOUR life, too. You have to sacrifice a lot, but the rewards make it worth it. You will get frustrated -- find a way to vent your frustration. Blogging is a great way!! Expect change and learn how to deal with it. It will probably never be easy, but if you are committed you can do it :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. "The pain that I'll deal with now is nothing compared to the happiness we will share in the future. That future is my endpoint. I focus on it every day, through every fit of tears. Our loves keeps me strong when I'd rather be weak" - you are a very inspirational gal. you give me hope for my own.

    ReplyDelete
  71. there will always be, as my friend likes to call it, 'them haters'.. i think 'grown ups' are always thinking they know so much more because they're so much more experienced..
    but like someone in here already said, love is just not for the elderly.
    congratulations on your engagement!!
    its people like you guys who give us hope about true love and happily ever afters.

    xxx

    ReplyDelete

Each comment you leave donates one smile to my day.
Thanks so much for letting me know what you think.