AITOO Interview: Young and Married with Carise Harper
AITOO: What’s the best part of being young and married?
Carise: The best part of being young and married is finding your soulmate early. You have a sense of security knowing you've found your husband/wife. It's like a sense of calming or a weight lifted off of your shoulders knowing that you don't have to play this dating game (I heard it's real hard out here) and you have someone by your side forever. I asked my husband what the best part is for him is that you get the chance to learn about yourself and your weaknesses while you are still young and your spouse can help you become a better person.
AITOO: What are the disadvantages of being young and married?
Carise: I would say the biggest disadvantage would be two people still not completely knowing who they are yet coming together to become "one". Everyone in their 20's are just trying to figure it all out and they get lost...a lot. Older couples who get married are more secure in their careers and who they are. They have been there done that. When you are young you make a lot of mistakes and when you have a spouse they affected by those mistakes. There is an advantage to that though because you learn to love that person and you learn the act of forgiveness. Forgiveness can be very hard especially if they've hurt you deeply. My husband and I have grown closer because we have went through these mistakes at a young age while dating and we were able to learn and grow from them.
AITOO: How did you know you were ready to be married?
Carise: This question is very interesting because being "ready" can have a different meaning to different people. To me, being ready for marriage was something spiritual. It had to be on God's timing, not just mine. A lot of times (women especially) want marriage right away, but everything happens on God's timing. You can force something because you want it and it will crumble because it wasn't time. Our marriage was the right thing at the right time. My husband and I made a decision to be committed to each other for the rest of our lives. You can make that decision at any age or time, but the challenge e is sticking to that decision throughout everything. Marriage will be challenging if you are together for 2 years or 10 years. In our situation, we had been dating for about 6 1/2 years. We started dating in college and we were still very young and immature. I personally knew he had all the characteristics I had wanted in a husband when we first started dating. He just needed to be a little more refined (lol). We had goals of attaining our degree and he wanted to land a stable job as an engineer before he proposed. After he had met all of his personal goals, and after I had met mine we were on the same path in life and we felt it was time. We talked about it and prayed about it and then he proposed. He said God gave him the confirmation. Our plans had aligned with God's and we got married.
AITOO: Has being married hindered or progressed your career?
Carise: For me being married has not hindered my career. In fact, it has given me more confidence to explore my talents beyond a traditional working setting. My husband is so supportive and that makes me able to take risks with my career and know that he is there to catch me if I fall. My husbands response is that being married adds purpose to his career. He feels a sense of accomplishment knowing that his career is what is providing for his family and he is not just working from a selfish standpoint. Being married has actually propelled the both of us to build a legacy together and start a family business using both of our talents. Whatever we want to do career wise we've made a deal to make it work and to try it and we'll support each other.
AITOO: How do you manage work life and love? I know you’re a stay of at home wife now. Was that a make or break thing in your relationship?
Carise: Work, life and love balance used to be a major battle for my husband and I. After we had both graduated from college he had a job where he traveled 90 percent of the time. When he did come home he was only there on the weekends and I had a job where I worked every single weekend. It was very tough. We had this working arrangement for about 3 years of our relationship. This was something he wanted to experience for a while for his career and I supported him 100 percent. After he proposed we made an agreement to change our working situations to invest in our marriage. He got a new job where he went from 90 percent travel to 0 percent travel. This was right before our wedding so I was so happy. I continued to work in my field, but I was working every evening and every weekend. My job got really emotionally, physically and mentally draining. When I came home I had nothing left to give my husband. We prayed and took a leap of faith and we decided it was best for me to just quit. Me quitting that job was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It tested our faith that God would make a way. When I left, I was able to explore things I've always wanted to do like acting and starting my own business. I thank God for my husband's support because he has been holding everything down and allowing my to flourish. This extra time we had together also was so crucial for us because we were able to set the foundation for our marriage as newlyweds. We were able to spend pure quality time together with no interruptions. The first few years are SO IMPORTANT! You must invest time, love, and care to your marriage in the very beginning to set the tone for the rest of your lives together.
AITOO: What advice to do you have for young married couples? Carise: Invest in your marriage. Put as much time and effort into your marriage as you do your job, your hobbies, or anything else. Pray for your husband/wife. I spend many nights praying over my husband for guidance, for protection, and for peace. I also ask God for guidance to show me how to love him the best way that I can. I pray that God shows him how to love me in the way that fulfills me as well. Be a team. It's you all against the world! Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for guidance. Even if your relationship has no problems (very rare) it will only make your bond stronger if you seek great resources. Since we are strong believers in God, we sought out for Godly council and also took a 7 week marriage course at our church. All of this helps to build an amazing strong foundation so that when you start to go through trials and hard times you will be prepared to face them as a team and your marriage will survive. The last piece of advice would be to learn how to truly love. Loving is giving. Give even when you are upset. Even when you are mad or whatever show your husband/wife that you still love them. Serve them. Figure out their love language and love them the way they need to be loved. Becoming someone’s es wife has been the most humbling experience of my entire life, but it has made me a better person over all. Also, be silly and laugh! Laugh at everything (lol). Make your lives fun together!
I hope my experiences can bless someone.
Love, Mrs. Harper