I was 23 years old and had just dropped out of college to take my first official job as designer. I was broke, without any vision of my career path and was by far not what society would deem as ‘ready for marriage.’ In the United States the average age of marriage for men is 29 years old, so I see why I got some surprised looks and laughs when I told my coworkers I was getting married. Making that scary leap and asking my girlfriend (now wife) to marry me though has been by far the best decision I have ever made.
Waking up every day right next to my best friend has made me so much happier. I feel a huge sense of security in our relationship and that security and happiness has allowed me more creative freedom than I had ever previously experienced. Some people scoff at the idea of marriage and say that it doesn’t matter and it’s just a piece of paper and you know what? They are right. It is just a piece of paper. It’s a piece of paper that symbolizes your commitment to the relationship. It’s a piece of paper that shows your willingness to stick together through everything that may come. The Constitution of the United States was just a piece of paper too, and yet it is revered as one of the most important pieces of paper in history.
Papers matter. Commitment matters. I feel so much happier knowing that our commitment is official, signed, dated and witnessed by God and hundreds of our greatest family members and friends. This happiness overflows into an abundance of creative freedom to apply to my design work.
2. Focus. Focus. Focus.
After getting married I was faced with this huge reality shock that someday we are going to have kids and that I will need to be the provider for our family. This reality have given me a drive and a vision for my career unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Since getting married I have improved so much in my design abilities and because of that I’ve landed tons of freelance jobs and scored an amazing full-time job as a creative director for a small organization.
Now, I ain’t sayin’ she’s a gold digger…but we definitely aren’t broke. Since getting married I’ve had salary increases, surprising freelance gigs and opportunities like I’ve never experienced before. Its a lot easier to pitch to your boss why you need a raise when you are married, compared to when you are just a single guy wanting to buy a bunch of expensive toys. You may call it a coincidence but research actually shows that men who get married in their twenties make more money than those who don’t. It’s science.
4. Life-long Cheerleader
When I was living with a bunch of roommates before getting married I would design something and the biggest compliment I would get was a approving head nod or a ‘that’s cool bro’. Being married is awesome because everything I do is like the coolest thing my wife has ever seen. I live in a shower of compliments, which for me fuels a desire to want to create more and become even better. Being married to my wife is like living with a cheerleader, minus the annoying pom-poms and crazy round-offs. (Although my wife does do those from time-to-time.)
Right after proposing to my wife I met with an amazing organization and was offered a job as a creative director. I’ve since been given the opportunity to travel, I’ve had my work featured on major news networks like Abc Nighline and Aljazeera, and I’ve seen more blessings than I ever could have imagined.
I can’t claim that there is a direct correlation between marriage and success nor will I ever claim that marriage is the end-all to struggle in life. We definitely have had our struggles. What I will claim, however, is that marrying my wife is the best thing I have ever done. My life and career has changed so much in the short time that we’ve been married and I can’t even begin to imagine what bigger adventures our future holds as we continue our lives together.