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Do childhood sweetheart relationships ever last?

(68 Posts)
kitkat220 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:09:45

Hey guys I've posted before about my relationship with my husband so I'm not going to go through the details again but I've been thinking recently about it so thought I'd post this topic and see what you all think. I first met my now husband when I was 15 and instantly was smitten. We had our first kiss when I was 16 and had an on/off relationship for a couple of years (just kissing) and got together properly when I was 18. We got engaged when I wad 20 and married when I had not long turned 22. I am now 33 and we have 3 children aged 9, 8 and 8 months, I'm not happy in our marriage anymore and I wonder sometimes if it's because we married too young. I feel we have both changed a lot and have drifted apart. So I just wanted to ask you all if you think childhood sweetheart relationships can ever last or is it better to have a relationship when you are both mature enough to know who you are and what you want Xx

RollerCola Mon 10-Mar-14 19:16:42

I met my husband when I was 15, he was 18. My first love. We got engaged when I was 19, married when I was 23. All was wonderful until we had our first child when I was 27. Then it all fell apart. He couldn't handle 'sharing me' with the children, and gradually withdrew himself. He really wasn't a family person and in hindsight I should never have had children with him.

He turned his attentions to other women within a year of our first child being born (may have been before, but that was the first time I found out) I caught him twice more, and after limping on for 10 years!! we finally separated last year after 23 years together.

Everyone was shocked as we'd been the 'golden couple' that everyone thought would last forever, but the truth is we changed too much and he wasn't the same person I married. I probably changed too but we changed at different rates and just grew miles and miles apart.

Sorry it's not a happier story. I still can't believe it myself, it was never meant to be like this.

Spookey80 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:22:26

Not direct experience here, but thought I would give my pov.
I was devastated when I split with my childhood sweetheart after 9yrs when I was in my mid 20s, however now I am married in think it was the best thing that ever happened to me (splitting with him) as the man I have married sees me as a women and i am a completely different person to who I was back then. I thank god we never got married and I waited for this one.
On the other hand my parents married at 17, and as far as I know (and it seems) that nearly 50 yrs later there relationship is better than ever,., so it can last.

MadBusLady Mon 10-Mar-14 19:25:28

Some do, some don't. None of us can give you a rule, all of us will have different experiences. If you are not happy, then that is how you feel, and even if we all queued up to tell you how first love was 4eva etc the unhappiness would still creep back because it is to do with the reality of YOUR life, not an abstract rule about childhood sweethearts lasting or not.

The question is, what do you want to do about it? Have you spoken to your H about the problem? Would it be worth seeking counselling, or do you think it's beyond saving?

Meow75 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:29:15

My parents and DH's parents both sweethearts. Only reason mine aren't together is because cancer got mum. DH's parents, mid sixties, together since she was 14 him 15.

DH and I also been together since forever BUT we've not had kids, so it's ok that we've changed a bit over the years as there are no dependants that rely on either of us to do x, y or z or be somewhere at a certain time.

Sounds odd to say it, but I firmly believe, regardless of how essential they are, kids cause the break up of many relationships. Mostly because of how expectations change of each partner within the couple. If both are willing to do that, all good. If one person's expectations exceed the other's ... trouble.

WhizzFucker Mon 10-Mar-14 19:33:24

you don't mention how old he was when you first got together... makes a difference I think - was he also 15?

rugbymum143 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:37:37

I agree with MadBusLady that some do and some don't. In my case I met my DH in 6th form when I was 17 & he was 18. We got engaged at 19 & 20 & married (having not lived together) at 20 & 21. We have now been married 23 years & have 3 DC 18, 16 & 13. We've had our ups & downs & have had to work at it but I can honestly say neither of us have ever wanted not to be together and are still very happy.

HermioneWeasley Mon 10-Mar-14 19:41:21

I'm still with mine....21 years later. One couple my parents know were childhood sweethearts and still going strong in their 70s.

But many will grow apart

MadBusLady Mon 10-Mar-14 19:43:39

Kitcat don't read all these lovely stories and feel like you'll somehow be failing if your marriage doesn't last, don't put that pressure on yourself. If you had posted a different kind of question there would be lots of equally lovely stories about people ending a first relationship and finding real love later in their lives.

GuineaPigGaiters Mon 10-Mar-14 19:46:24

I know a (seemingly, you can never know for certain) very happy couple who have been together since they were young teens. I think it depends on. The couple. He is v successful in his career! She is happy to be the sahm with no ambitions of her own save creating a lovely home...which she does very well. Wouldn't work for some women I know but it does for them.

rugbymum143 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:49:52

I agree. I wasn't trying to put pressure on anyone, just answering the question asked. Lots of relationships fail for many reasons and I think you can grow apart whether you've been together from 17 or 27. Two close friends also met their husbands at school but they have both divorced. They tried to make it work but had simply become too different from the people they were when they met.

MadBusLady Mon 10-Mar-14 19:51:48

Sorry rugbymum I wasn't getting at anyone smile. Am just concerned the OP is looking for an answer in people's collective experiences, I guess, rather than in her own life (where it sounds like she already has a good inkling).

kasbah72 Mon 10-Mar-14 19:53:05

Yes it can work but only if both people are happy for each other to grow and then try and work out how to have a relationship with the new person that emerges every few years.

It definitely doesn't work if either or both of you get stuck in the 15/20/25/30 year old you and can't grow as an individual and as a couple.

It is hard work and it isn't always the right choice but yes, it can work if you both want it to.

kitkat220 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:00:35

Thanks ladies, in answer to your question whizz no he was 18. And madbuslady I know what you mean but I wasn't particularly looking for answers to my problems just wanted to hear what other people thought really. I know it's my life I have to focus on and sort out I just (like you said) do feel like a bit of a failure and maybe want to try and find a reason for my unhappiness Xx

purplebaubles Mon 10-Mar-14 20:05:57

I'm sure some do, but personally I'd be discouraging my children from marrying their first ever bf/gf. I know plenty of childhood sweethearts who have got to their early 30's, and then gone whooooahhh what have I been missing out on!

I know a girl now, she's 25, just got married to her childhood sweetheart. They've been together for 11 years. Sorry. I just don't see it working out long term. How can you possibly know if they're the 'one' if they're the only one?

Bigviking Mon 10-Mar-14 20:14:30

I think it depends on the individuals. I was 21 when I met my husband, so not a child, but 14 years later I feel like I'm a very different person and my expectations are different. We're in the process of splitting up.

One of my close friends met her husband at 17 and is going through the same thing.

But I have other friends who got together as teenagers and are still blissfully happy nearly 20 years later.

RollerCola Mon 10-Mar-14 20:15:12

The trouble is, if you really do get on very very well when you're young, you can't see past that into the kids/house/money issues that crop up sometimes years later.

My ex and I were joined at the hip for 12 years from when we first met. We did everything together, hardly ever argued, loved each other deeply. I did question whether it was right staying with him as he was my first real boyfriend and I had nothing to compare it to.

But we really had no problems at all in the first half of our relationship. I'd have had no reason to break up with him, wouldn't have wanted to. It was only when the children came along that everything changed and by then it was too late.

In hindsight I should have ended it when I went to Uni but we carried on seeing each other and then got married. Consequently I am now 39 with NO experience of other men! Having said that I have met a new one who's very nice so I must still give out some kind of vibes grin

Hassled Mon 10-Mar-14 20:17:26

I think for those couples who can change and grow together it works. You mature so much in your twenties, I think - that's really when you do your growing up (this is hindsight talking) - and if you're not maturing at the same rate, or if you're going in different directions then it will end badly. That's certainly what happened in my first marriage.

breaking2bad Mon 10-Mar-14 20:21:19

I married my first love who I met as a teenager. We are getting divorced. We were together for sooo long before starting a family - it shook our world and broke him and ultimately us.

I do think that there is a difference from a childhood sweetheart to meeting someone when you're older.

breaking2bad Mon 10-Mar-14 20:23:15

I married my first love who I met as a teenager. We are getting divorced. We were together for sooo long before starting a family - it shook our world and broke him and ultimately us.

I do think that there is a difference from a childhood sweetheart to meeting someone when you're older.

breaking2bad Mon 10-Mar-14 20:23:15

I married my first love who I met as a teenager. We are getting divorced. We were together for sooo long before starting a family - it shook our world and broke him and ultimately us.

I do think that there is a difference from a childhood sweetheart to meeting someone when you're older.

breaking2bad Mon 10-Mar-14 20:24:00

I married my first love who I met as a teenager. We are getting divorced. We were together for sooo long before starting a family - it shook our world and broke him and ultimately us.

I do think that there is a difference from a childhood sweetheart to meeting someone when you're older.

TenThousandThings Mon 10-Mar-14 20:29:00

One way to handle the curiosity issue, is to allow some openness, but I realize this isn't for everyone!

breaking2bad Mon 10-Mar-14 20:29:14

I married my first love who I met as a teenager. We are getting divorced. We were together for sooo long before starting a family - it shook our world and broke him and ultimately us.

I do think that there is a difference from a childhood sweetheart to meeting someone when you're older.

breaking2bad Mon 10-Mar-14 20:29:38

Oops didn't mean to post three times

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