Dear Dr. Laura,
I just read Janet's email about marrying young. We, too, were young (20 and 22) and will celebrate 42 years of marriage this summer. We were not people of faith when we married; we just loved each other and didn't want to lose each other. We also saw qualities in the other we admired and were drawn toward. We DID finish growing up together.
During your life you are going to have hundreds or thousands of things that will pull you. YOU have to decide to go in the direction that will pull you together and not apart. YOU have to decide you are going to stay together and fix the problems, one way or another. When we were young, my stubborn refusal to let anyone in my family say 'I told you so!' made me stay and work out problems. Then, once we had kids, and we were Christians, we both had greater reasons to work things out. I wanted and WANT to do what is 'right' to the best of my ability. And I want to be happy, too.
I have found you are right, Dr. Laura, in that if you 'go do the RIGHT thing', your feelings will follow. And if you dwell on the qualities of your mate, your heart and attitude will follow, too. Marriage is the blending of two separate people into one partnership that goes in the same direction. We are at the stage of life where we are happier than we have ever been, and just enjoy being with each other.
So, young marriages can stand the test of time, and flourish in their deep roots.