When you think of a 15-year-old, you probably think of a person who’s still partly a child. They’re steeped in their social groups, fixated on their phones, and a good decade away from having a fully-developed brain.
Thinking of someone stuck between being a child and an adult making such a life-changing decision as getting married is a little unsettling. They have so much life to figure out still — why would they make such a definite decision on such seemingly incomplete experience?
Granted, it wasn’t really all that long ago that people were getting married at much younger ages, but as our life spans increase and with the societal injection of childhood, a 15-year-old bride seems a little crazy.
“‘Are you pregnant?’” said Sammy Knowles, the 15-year-old bride in question. “That was pretty much everybody’s reaction, which is a valid reaction.”
But that wasn’t the case. She and her husband, Dylan, met when they were 13 and 15.
When they decided they wanted to get married, they went to Missouri to get their license. There, you only need parental signatures to get married, and don’t need the judge’s approval.
And the parental signatures were both easy to obtain, since the parents were on-board with their kids’ decision.
Apparently the two are wise beyond their years and exhibit a maturity that is seldom seen in those so young. Both sets of parents have recognized that their children were old souls and very responsible young people.
With Dylan determined to join the military, the two were considering getting married before he left, despite their tender age. Samantha’s mom, Joy Bradford, was supportive.
“Honestly, when people say, ‘How could you let your daughter get married so young? That’s just crazy. She’ll be 18 and be like divorced already.’ I’m like, ‘You know Samantha. She’s very mature for her age … He’s a stand-up guy. He’s very mature for his age,” she said.
“And they have found each other in a world that is full of a lot of people who don’t give a crap about other people … What’s the point of making her wait?”
Dylan’s grandmother wasn’t so sure, though. She thinks the decision was a poor one.
“Nope, nope, nope, nope. He’s going off,” she said. “He’s going to experience different places, different things: people, women … I just feel like they got a long road ahead of them.”
Bradford’s optimism is not unfounded, though. Her life experience and knowledge of her own daughter’s character has led her to believe this choice was not reckless.
“I mean, you’re ignoring thousands of years that were different. It used to be that girls were wives and mothers at 13, 14, 15, 16,” Bradford argued. “The only reason that seems so young now is that we don’t expect our kids to grow up.”
Her own sister married at 16 and is still married, so she has proof that such arrangements can and do work out.
And Dylan, though young, is not ignorant. Family has long thought he grew up quickly and didn’t have as much of a childhood as most.
He’s not naive, and he’s done his fair share of shouldering the load. “By the time I was a freshman, I was already paying for all my own clothes, paying for all my school fees and getting by,” he said.
Do you think age is just a number, or should people this young be wary of making lifelong commitments?
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