Marriage is work and done with the right attitude it’s fulfilling work.
Despite all the love you and your spouse have for each other, a marriage still challenges the dynamic between the two of you. It’s only natural to experience conflict, particularly with the one person that you are closest to in your life.
I’ve been taking notes from my parents’ marriage for the longest time– witnessing their good and bad times–and seeing that at the end of every struggle, they find resolution and remember the love they have for each other.
I’ve also witnessed and have firsthand experience with the particular obstacles military marriages encounter.
Sometimes I feel like the military is an unofficial third wheel in my relationship.
Based on what I’ve learned so far, there are certain instances that can strain your relationship, especially with your spouse in the military like:
- Never comprising. The military forces us to comprise at times (or another phrase I use is “adjust fire”). We have to adjust fire when we get thrown surprise orders or an unexpected duty. Military spouses need to have a flexible mindset or else, it will be a difficult life. Compromise allows you to find a common ground and can offer a sense of comfort. Make it something you both can stand behind.
- Lacking understanding. Understanding is another big factor that should take precedent in a military relationship because the type of compromise you want may be difficult to find. For example, my husband goes out of town for professional development a lot of times and asks that I give him space to study. It’s hard for me to leave him alone because I miss him, but instead of getting upset, I use that opportunity to work on my own personal goals.
- Thinking only about yourself. I’ve always been taught that a relationship is a two-way street and to expect as much back as you put forward. If it’s constantly about yourself or even your husband, it doesn’t make it fair to each other. As military spouses, we may have to actually consider our spouses’ career on a high level, but I’ve experienced that even your career can be a two-way street with adding a dash of compromise into the equation. Focusing strictly on one person doesn’t help the relationship as a whole because it could feel belittling to the other party.
- Forgetting why you fell in love. Deployments. TDYs. Field exercises. There are several factors that separate us from our loved one. During those times, we go on. We learn to live life in a way that keeps us fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong, my husband’s absence does make me feel crazy. When our spouses’ come back, it’s a whole reintegration period that each person experiences, so be patient and remember why you fell in love!
- Resenting the military. I admit that I have moments where I raise my fists in the air and ask “why?!” But, what good does that really do? Nothing. It’s just temporary relief. I can’t constantly harp on the military for everything bad. That isn’t resolving the situation. It’s adding stress and unnecessary tension on your spouses’ choice to join the military.