How to make a military marriage work
Military marriages aren’t always easy. Time spent apart and the stresses endured during deployments make military marriages more different than civilian ones.
Partners have to develop a certain level of independence so they can do what needs to be done when alone, while maintaining the closeness every marriage needs when together. A military marriage takes extra effort on both partners’ parts to grow and survive. It is possible to have a happy successful military marriage if both parties are willing to do what it takes.
Make the best of your time together. This is the most important thing to a military marriage. Quite a bit of time is spent apart from each other. Plan romantic interludes, fun activities, and quiet time when you are together. Each one of these is important to any marriage, but even more so to military marriages where stress and worry are common. You both need time to reconnect and just be together without anything else interfering. Enlist friends and family as babysitters to make this happen.
Be supportive of your military partner. Let him or her know you are proud of them. Don’t cause arguments about things out of their control, such as deployments or training exercises. They most likely don’t want to leave you and go out in the field but it’s their job.
Get involved with military groups and community activities. Getting to know other military wives/husbands/partners will help when your partner is deployed, and is a way to have a life outside of your marriage that is all your own. Joining other military partners in groups is great support for you. They know exactly what you are going through and the guidance and advice they possess is invaluable.
Go shopping, make play dates for the kids, and invite other military families over for dinner. You can’t become so engrossed in his or her career that you lose sight of yourself. Being your own person is important. After all, he/she was attracted to you in the beginning and your partner wouldn’t want you to become just an extension of themselves.
Set up a plan of action for the times your partner is away. You partner will be much more at ease if they know you have everything under control while they are gone. Knowing you have help with the children, ways of having time for yourself, and family and friends close, will help your partner while they are gone. It will give you peace of mind too, because you know your partner is concentrating on the things they should be and not worrying about you and the children back home.
Show affection and love at all times. Let each other know you are committed no matter what, and that your love is still strong. Having support and love in dangerous situations can go a long way. Surviving a military marriage takes two strong people who are willing to do whatever it takes. Being true to yourself and each other is the key to making a military marriage work.
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