"We Got Married Too Young"
Her Turn"I'm So Sad We Ended Up This Way"
"Matt blames me because he had to give up his dream of graduating from West Point," said Julie, a 26-year-old, stay-at-home mom. "Cadets have to be single. So when we found out I was pregnant Matt's freshman year and decided to get married, he had to drop out. He complained bitterly about it for the first two years of our marriage. Now he no longer gripes, he just avoids me. He's out late every night with his work buddies. Half the time he comes home at 2 a.m.!"
"I'm so sad that we've ended up like this. We used to be so much in love. We'd been dating a year when Matt got his acceptance letter to West Point. I was a junior in high school and he was a senior. We'd already talked about our future -- how he'd become an Army officer, I'd be a teacher, and we'd raise our children in exotic places all over the world.
"Then, when he was home for Christmas break, we were careless and had sex without a condom. Shortly after he returned to school, I missed my period. When I broke the news to Matt that I was pregnant, he was great. He didn't even want to consider an abortion or adoption. He said he loved the baby and me more than he loved West Point. He immediately asked me to marry him, and I said yes.Starting a Family
"When I told my parents (Mom is a full-time homemaker; Dad is a lawyer), they were supportive, but I know they were also disappointed. They wished I had waited to start a family till after I graduated from college like my older sister. Matt's parents were really upset about his dropping out of West Point. His dad, now an insurance salesman, used to be in the Army himself; his mom is a high-school receptionist.
"Matt and I had a simple family wedding following my high school graduation. I was 17, and he was 18. Megan was born three months later, just before Matt started at a state college nearby. My parents made an apartment for us in their basement and helped us with finances. I thought everything would be fine.