Against All Odds #AprilA2Z

I interrupt the regular Wordless Wednesday program post  to bring you this special announcement.

All routine posts for this month is preempted so I might contribute to the largest Blogosphere party ever. Don’t worry, normal posting will resume next month like clock work (I hope). Meanwhile, I invite you to stick around to enjoy the #AprilA2Z fun!


50% of young America couples are at risk for failure in their first few years of marriage. Interestingly, statistics show a decline in divorce with couples in their late 20s and 30s.  Although maturity can vary, I once read a something that stated the part of the brain where judgement is formed isn’t developed until the mid-to-late 20s. I think this is why this group of people fair better with their marriages than the younger group. However, there are rare exceptions and this morning, kittens & dawgs I’ll share with the story of one young couple going Against All Odds!

After nearly three years of courtship on Christmas Eve 1978, I became engaged. I was thrilled with the prospect of getting married. What girl isn’t? The happy news was received well by family and friends, but unfortunately, not everyone shared our enthusiasm.

“Why,” you ask. We were youngsters. The skeptics meant well, but they were confidant I wouldn’t finish school and I was throwing my life away over a whimsical fantasy. After all, what does a 17 and 19 year old know about true love?

There is a lot of truth behind their concerns and as a parent I see the dangers that can come from marrying too soon. I certainly do not advocate a teenager taking on the enormous responsibility. For me, I think there were two important contributions preparing me for my journey.

My upbringing. Mom had to support the family when daddy left the coal mines after diagnosed with Black Lung in the mid-70s. This meant a lot more adult responsibility was given to me, since I was the oldest and really that wasn’t an unusual thing for girls my age. I grew up fast for my years, though. My mindset was more like I’m second mother to my brothers and sister.

God’s direction. Life in rural West Virginia is different from other places and it was common for young girls to get married. I fell into the typical demographics, but I was anything other than typical. Although, I wanted to marry, I didn’t want to begin a family and that was out of the norm. My goal was clearly defined – to finish high school and disprove our critics.  Who knows, maybe that was their plan all along. You know, the whole reverse psychology thing?!

We were married a week after DH graduated from college. Our motto from the get go was, “Divorce is never an option” and that was almost 36-years ago. Thankfully, we grew together over the years instead of apart. I’ve seen that happen a lot with couples. I guess you’re wondering, how did my life turn out. I finished high school and then went to college to get an associate degree in computer science. I worked several years before our first rug-rat was born. We share three children together, all of which I home-schooled K-12. My life has been happy and complete in every way. I could not imagine doing things differently ~ DH is my everything! We are blessed to have come out on top… Against All Odds.


Two rings, one Heart, our lives forever entwined ~ our hands photographed on our wedding day.

Do you have a story to share with marrying young? Please tell us about it!

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22 thoughts on “Against All Odds #AprilA2Z

  1. minnimonmon

    I always hear stories of marriages that didn’t work out, so it’s nice to finally hear about one that did 🙂 I’m all the way at the beginning, a young person wanting to get married, and your story definitely gives me hope. Thank you!

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      I wouldn’t want to be in the dating game today. Things are too complicated. I believe there are good men/women wanting to meet up and grow that special relationship. Keep a cool head and don’t be quick to give your heart away. Make that guy work to earn your love and trust. You owe it to yourself!

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      It’s a joy to hear about other couples who stand together through the years. This shows what others courage, strength, & dedication. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Rorybore

    so wonderful!! stories like this do my heart good! And we too have the “divorce is not an option” mandate. I mean, there is a very clear exception for both of us – but aside from that. I think today a lot of couples do approach marriage with the mindset “well, if it doesn’t work out – we can just get divorced. no biggie!” They already have their way out; the escape option in mind. which must make it difficult to stick through the “worse” part of for Better or for Worse.

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Good for you guys! You’re absolutely right there are too many with the escape clause (if it doesn’t work no biggie) built into their marriage from the start. This kinda automatically sets the relationship for failure, in my opinion. Of course, getting a divorce isn’t as easy as one thinks. Sadly, I know a young lady who thought like this and when reality hit, she found out getting a divorce takes money that she didn’t have for a long time. Her ex-husband wasn’t going to pay for it because he was a low life, but had she listened to her parents’ warnings about that guy then she would have saved a lot of time, energy, heartache, and money.

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      It is a nice motto and I know a lot of people in the beginning think the same thing, but it just doesn’t always go the way one hopes. I believe God helped to keep our hearts and mind clear of distraction to not entertain other options when things went sour. All it takes is a seed of an idea to grow out of proportion. We are extremely blessed!

  3. Stephen T. McCarthy

    Congratulations on the long and happy marriage! (I think that home-schooling thing was a darn good idea, too.)

    Today, things are so different, with a country that celebrates loose morals and decadence. It’s not even easy to find young people who were raised well enough to know good choices from bad ones nowadays, and it’s no wonder so many marriages end in divorce.

    I’ve never really been a Phil Collins fan, but I sure do LOVE that song, ‘Against All Odds’. It always reminds me of a certain girl I knew. Even without looking it up, I can say that song was a hit in 1984. (Am I right?) Because I remember hearing it constantly on the radio when I was designing commercial signs for businesses, and that was leading up to the 1984 Olympics in L.A.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      God was truly good to us in giving us to each other. We not only love one another, but we actually like the other. We want to do everything together as a couple. It’s really great! In regards to our home schooling decision, there was a lot MORE scary stuff showing up in the schools when we started our family. We felt it was our responsibility to teach our kids at home NOT someone else. That’s the main reason I didn’t go back to work. I happily embraced my place in the home to raise my kids. You know, despite parents’ best efforts to keep on top of the craziness crammed down their kids throats, young minds are still swayed by the liberal agenda ~ a little or a lot. That was what we hoped to protect ours from and it did to a degree. We armed them the best we could with good morals and spiritual truths to help them make the right decisions in life. Some things stuck and others went by the way side. It was hard, hard work, but I would do it all over again. I loved having my children home with me all day!

  4. Al Penwasser

    The first Mrs. Penwasser and I married quite young (she was only 19). Sadly, that marriage only lasted a few years. Luckily, we never reproduced. Then, I married the current Mrs. Penwasser almost 29 years ago and we DID have kids (who are better people than I will ever be). She was also young; in fact, she wasn’t even legal to drink at our reception. But, she wasn’t carded.
    There have been times when #2 is envious of #1, because she “got away” when the gettin’ was good.

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      DH & I often tease that we stay together because no one else will have either of us, but deep inside we know there is no place we would rather be than beside the other. I’m glad your happily ever after came with #2. I’m sure she isn’t envious at all. I bet she’s glad she stayed and didn’t run away. lol

  5. Leovi

    Congratulations on those 36 years of marriage, the most important thing is not to get married sooner or later, most importantly, live happy!
    A nice song by Phil Collins

  6. jeremyh05251977

    So much work before the divorce, it’s sad how so much going into marriage only to see the ugly side coming out…

    Welcome in the “A”… as a host I am stopping by to say thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There’s no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood… is Nuts?

  7. dcrelief

    Phil Collins has always been a favorite and this song, as well. Cathy, I think marriage is a very serious life choice. My ended many years ago and I have moved on, enjoying life without another partner. I am happy… and wish happiness to all those who chose to embark on such a sacred journey of togetherness. It is sacred (smile). Good for you, my friend. Have an excellent month of A2Z!!

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      Marriage is sacred. I think this drive kept our determination strong. At tough times things could have gone different had we allowed ourselves to entertain other ideas. We both realized the grass is not greener on the other side. There are always trade-offs. The important thing is, if you can, fix the problems together for a longer, happy life. I’m glad you are happy where you are because I know a lot of people (both men and women) who don’t know how to be happy without a spouse and really you have to be happy with yourself to be happy in a relationship, don’t you think?

  8. Arlee Bird

    “Divorce is never an option” is a good motto and one that I’d always believed–or wanted to believe, except both parties have to be on the same page with that. Congratulations on managing a feat that many of us did accomplish.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Cathy Kennedy Post author

      You’re totally right both partners have to be on the same page to make the “Divorce is never an option” motto to work. I know many couples where the marriage was one-sided and the burden to carry the marriage became too much strain. All relationships take tender care to grow and build. 🙂


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