Parenting

I was younger than Scarlett Johansson when I got married

Is there a right age to get married? Probably not, but Todaysparent.com editor, Kristy Woudstra, knows she was way too young the first time she got hitched.

Photo by Jonathan Shensa / PR Photos

I have something in common with Scarlett Johansson! (Sadly, it’s not her lips.) Like her, I got married way too young. She was 23 when she tied the knot with Ryan Reynolds. I was a whopping 20-years-young when I walked down the aisle. I look at 20-year-olds now and wonder: “What was I thinking?”

At the time, I thought I had it all together. Sure, people told me I was a freak. Friends had bets on how long it would last. My family was worried I wouldn’t go to university. But I thought they were just being judgmental and overly concerned. After all, I was a typical 20-nothing who was convinced she knew exactly what she was doing. Ha!

Our marriage lasted nearly 12 years (apparently years one to four are the riskiest). We also had an awesome kid, who is now six. Looking back, though, I totally understand why many Canadians are getting married later and later.

I realize now that I missed out on a lot. We got married the week before I started university. (I was on my honeymoon when I should have been at my frosh week.) My fellow students weren’t quite sure how to relate to me. They were discovering themselves and making new friends while I was having dinner parties and joining book clubs. Trying to figure yourself out is hard enough, but trying to do that within a marriage is pretty much impossible.

I also got married for all the wrong reasons. I had an incredibly low self-esteem. I thought my ex would be the only one who would ever want to marry me, so I felt I had to jump at the chance. If I didn’t I was doomed to spend the rest of my life as a miserable spinster. I also had a ton of unresolved issues from my family (but that’s a whole other blog).

Do I regret any of it? No. I can’t change my past, and I wouldn’t have my daughter without that marriage. I also wouldn’t be whom I am today.

Now 36, I’m getting married again in a few months. I have to say, it is a much, much different experience this time. I would have thought that having kids and more life experience would complicate matters. But I’m more confident and comfortable in my skin now. I think I’m a better life partner, too. And I now know I’m just fine on my own! I just happened to find an amazing, strong, kind and hilarious partner whom I want to grow old and crotchety with.

I wonder if Scarlett will agree with me if she ties the knot again?

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