The decision to get married isn't one to be taken lightly, at any age. But what if you were forced to either get married -- at the ripe old age of 20 -- or go to prison? It's a decision that one young man in Texas and his 19-year-old girlfriend had to face, and no, it wasn't a joke.
In July, 20-year-old Josten Bundy was sentenced to marry his girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, within 30 days, stemming from an altercation between Bundy and Jaynes' ex-boyfriend that landed him in court. According to local station KLTV, Bundy challenged Jaynes' ex to a fight after he had been saying "disrespectful" things about her. Jaynes' ex later pressed assault charges, although he wasn't seriously injured.
“I took matters into my own hands and I know that’s wrong,” Bundy told KLTV. “I know I was raised better, but it happened.”
According to court transcripts, Bundy was asked by Judge Randall Rogers, "Is she worth it?” The judge then gave Bundy the option to marry Jaynes within 30 days -- in addition to probation that included writing Bible verses and counseling -- or face 15 days in jail.
Bundy, afraid of losing his job due to jail time, agreed to marry Jaynes. It wasn't that the young couple hadn't discussed marriage before -- but they definitely weren't happy with the embarrassing circumstances under which they were forced to do so.
"My father didn’t get to go, and that really bothers me, I know he would have liked to be there,” said Bundy. “None of my sisters got to show up, it was such short notice, I couldn’t get it together."
So... congratulations to the newlyweds? This unbelievable story definitely challenges notions of the "sanctity" of marriage.