The age of consent is eighteen. With parental consent, parties can marry at age sixteen and under the age of sixteen may receive a license by reason of pregnancy or the birth of a child. Common law marriage is not recognized. (The VA law concerning marriage)
I was 15 when I got married. There was no white dress, no wedding planner, no matching bridesmaids’ dresses, not even a ring. I got married in a garage, on a Sunday, after church. As a matter of fact, there was no preacher to officiate this sacred union of holy matrimony.
The date was January 8, 2006 and I was scared but ready…or so I thought. My husband and I stayed married for about 2.5 years before I committed adultery with someone from my school. I mean he wasn’t mad because we were separated at the time anyway.
That first act of adultery wasn’t the last but I’ll spare you the details of my ways back then. Shortly before high school graduation, I was a victim of rape. The sad part about the whole situation was I knew the person. Out of fear that no one would believe me, I kept that to myself for years. My first attempt at celibacy was after that incident (and it lasted for 2.5 years) …that wouldn’t be my last attempt…. I’ll come back to this.
Chucking the Deuces: I'm Out
I didn’t end up getting a divorce until July 6, 2010. We didn’t go to court and it didn’t cost us a thing. I was a sophomore in college so I didn’t have money anyway. July 6, 2010 I watched a preaching sermon entitled “No More Sheets” by Juanita Bynum. That night deliverance took place. I got rid of every love letter from an ex (don’t even know why I still had them), every memory, anything that reminded me of my past sexual partners. I sent a Facebook message to all of them, the young man I had the one night stand with (don’t even know why we became fb friends…I was young lol), the young man who raped me, those I messed around with (FYI: oral sex is sex) and my consensual partners (I hope this isn’t too transparent). The letter read the same for them all:
Now granted, that was written by a 19- year-old and since then I got a little bit more revelation. Did I have to write them a letter? No. Did I have to give them an explanation of my new found revelation? No. Do I expect others to do the same? No.
Some of you are still reading…and a bit confused so let me make it plain (before people go around telling people that I was married at 15 lol). Every time you are sexually intimate with someone you marry them. One night stand…married. Bae…. married. Friends with benefits…married. Cut buddy…married. It’s complicated but we still do it…married. Baby daddy/baby mama…married. “What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained” …married. Married…married…married…ok, I’m done.
Sex is “sealing the deal” in MARRIAGE …I got definitions…no worries.
So after sending a Facebook message does that mean that I never dealt with lust? Man, I wish…but nah. Sending that message was the first step for me.
I’m gonna speak to some of my sisters (and brothers) who have messed up after a long period of celibacy. So I had been celibate for 2.5 years after my incident. I met this young man who seemed to have pure intentions. We were getting to know each other, he was a minister so obviously he was a good guy *side eye*, we swapped testimonies, and started to hang out A LOT.
What I didn’t know then that I know now (I was about about 20) was that you don’t share your wholeeeeeeee testimony with someone of the opposite sex. Being honest, promiscuity, fornication, masturbation, and pornography was a large part of my testimony…too much? I didn’t give graphic details or anything but it was still too much to tell to someone of the opposite sex. He used my testimony against me to “push my buttons” and I let him…here I am again, “married” ….and after opening that part of myself again not even seeking a divorce. I struggled with this same man for a couple of years. He made me feel crazy! I was self-mutilating again (I sadly still have a scar to prove it), my self-esteem was nonexistent, and who was I supposed to talk to?
Finally, enough was enough. After a fist fight with him, I looked in the mirror and said, “Jaleesa, you are worth more than this”. I’ve had some hiccups since then, got caught up, backslid, left the church, even left God. I am not perfect and never acted like I was…I’m just a girl with a crazy past, who’s been married more times than I would care to admit, who serves a forgiving God. I share my story in hopes of others feeling like they can overcome too. Jesus died for ALL of that.
If you find yourself in a mess now. Stop calling yourself stupid for falling in it…just run honey. Run to Jesus, run to purity, seek accountability. There is never a time where I’m not at home and somebody does not know the details of my whereabouts (even right at this moment, as I sit in Fort Worth, Texas in the Barnes and Noble typing this blog). Some people feel like they have a case of the “I can’t help its”. Let me help you…THIS IS VERY TRANSPARENT SO THIS IS YOUR WARNING.
I Just Can’t Help It
I was molested at 6 years old. My first sexual experience took place before I even knew how to spell molest. Could you imagine going through that, not knowing what happened, not able to articulate it, thinking you are going to get in trouble, and holding that in for almost 15 years. Telling my family was probably one of the hardest things I have done to date.
Because that portal was opened at such a young age, I watched porn more than I watched cartoons. I can honestly say I have been porn free for over 8 years…because it was a choice.
Once you choose to stop letting things hold you down, they have no choice but to let you go. Is it easy? Noooooooo. Is it possible? Yep. I’m gonna close out by saying if you find yourself wrapped in sexual sin you can be set free…if you want to (Also read, “Sex and the Single Lady”).
Sorry it’s been so long between the tour, dance camp, and school. Sister girl is a little tired lol. HOPEFULLY, I can write again next week. And if so, the blog will be entitled, “I never thought I’d be the side chick”. Lol
Love yall! Comment below, on Facebook, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org using Subject: Divorce Court