“Communicate, support each other and don’t sweat the small stuff” – Rosella Labiche
Whilst everyone is entitled to whatever relationship makes them happy, many people tend to question other’s relationship from how old they are, how long they have known each other and whether their marriage will last.-but is there such a thing as getting married too young or too soon? Do you really have to be a certain age to be mature enough to navigate your way through a marriage? Can you learn along the way? Do young people have the ability to make a life long decision when it comes to choosing a partner for life and navigate the inevitable challenges of life and marriage today. Let’s face it, it is not the 1960s when most women were married by the time they reached their early 20s; times have changed, whilst marriage is no longer an expectation for young couples, many do want to chose this pathway for their blossoming relationship. Needless to say, oftentimes eyebrows are raised if a young couple decided to get married.
Rosella and Barney are a young couple who decided to get married despite their age and maturity being questioned. Rosella Labiche (née Luther) is a 23-year-old recent university graduate who works as a compliance officer, and her husband Barney Labiche is a 25-year-old Graphic Designer. Rosella and Barney have been married for 7 months. What prompted this young couple to get married so early in their careers? How do they cope with the constant questioning of their matrimony? It was such a refreshing experience to interview Rosella, a level headed and self-assured young woman who seems to know what she was getting into when she said ‘yes’ to the proposal. This is her story.
On their relationship: We’ve been married for 7 months and we have been together for almost 4 years but we’ve known each other for almost 6 years. I was 17 years old when I got to know Barney but our relationship didn’t start until I was about 19 years old. From the beginning of our relationship, we both had a clear vision of what we wanted out of the relationship and amazingly we both share this common principle of not dating just for the sake of it but dating with a purpose and genuinely getting to know each other on a deeper level. And for us that purpose was marriage. I guess if we both didn’t think that we have a future together we would have walked away from the relationship.
Talking about marriage and the future: The subject of marriage definitely came up several times whilst we were dating. We are both from Christian families and my husband is what you would call a family guy and someone who believes in doing things the ‘right way’. I remember the day he told me that he loved me enough to make me his wife and that he would marry me one day and indeed he kept his promise. Besides marriage, we talked about what we envisioned for our future individually and collectively, what we wanted to achieve academically and career-wise, what we wanted our wedding to be like, our life together as a married couple, family life, our principles and belief, whether we wanted children and how we would bring them up. We are both in the music ministry of our church, so we talked about what we wanted to accomplish in our ministry. As time went by we knew that we wanted to be together.
On their education and career: When we started dating, Barney had just started working at the University of Seychelles by coincidence and I was still in my first year of University, studying for a degree in Business administration with International Business and this was the number one priority for us. (If more than anything he came in my life at the right time.) God really knows how to orchestrate things. He was never a distraction but my biggest supporter. He would always encourage me, especially on the days that I felt overwhelmed by the pressure of being at university.
Supporting each other: We support each other by pushing each other everyday and sometimes just by being there and giving a helping hand in whatever way possible. We try, as much as possible, to be involved in each other’s journeys to achieve their goal, giving positive criticisms and even praying for each other…
On being scrutinised for getting married young: We believe that age doesn’t determine whether your marriage will be a successful one or not, it is the foundation on which you build your marriage that matters. For us as Christian, it’s having Jesus at the centre of everything. For us this is the best formula for a successful marriage. So one piece of advice we would like to give to young people out there is to do things God’s way and we promise it will be worth it, but at the end of the day the choice is theirs. We all have choices and getting married young was ours. Yes, your maturity will be challenged-maturity is another important factor in any marriage or relationship. Remember that marriage is a union between two imperfect human beings, from two different backgrounds and upbringings, so one needs to have a good level of maturity and learn to deal with certain issues. Marriage requires patience, understanding and lots of forgiveness.
There are so many young couples who are enjoying their married life. We believe that marrying young gives you the opportunity to grow together and experience life side by side…
Support of friends and family: We had the support of our parents and they never negatively questioned our decision; they were so happy with our decision and were always there for us. We can say that we have been blessed with some amazing people in our lives whom we get to call friends and they supported us in every way possible. This is what you need, positive and supportive friends.
The wedding was just the first step: We didn’t live together prior to being married, it was our personal choice, we wanted to keep ourselves until our our big day and do things God’s way. The wedding was only the very first step of the many steps we plan to take together. Since we were very close friends prior to being together, when we eventually became a couple it helped a lot with the adaptation stage. However like any couples, we did encounter a few hick ups along the way; who doesn’t? But we always try to find a way to compromise and meet each other half way. After all, marriage is a partnership where both parties need to have an input, so that the partnership can work and grow. Having tolerance is the key to get over little things and also learning to forgive easily. In our marriage, we are friends first and husband and wife second. Last but not least, putting Jesus at the centre of it all is helping us navigate through it.