How Do You Know You Are Ready For a Military Marriage?
This weekend I saw an article about a young military spouse titled, “I Gave Up College to Get Married — Now I’m 19 and Divorced” This article was a story about a girl who married her boyfriend instead of going ahead to college, even though that seemed to be her plan. Her husband was stationed in California, middle of nowhere California and the challenges of that mixed with not being able to find work led to a divorce, just a few months later.
I really feel for this woman. I feel for her because it seems she made a mistake. She probably should not have gotten married. 18 is so young. So very young. College is a great idea for most people. If you have to choose between the two, what should you do?
Military life is also very difficult. Even more so when you are first starting out your lives together, when your spouse is not making a lot of money and you just are not sure what you are supposed to be doing while he is off doing his job. Add in a middle of nowhere base and you can find yourself feel pretty lonely. That mixed with feeling like you should have gone to college instead does not make for a happy home.
I know some of my readers are military girlfriends. They haven’t yet married their service member and they could be thinking about if they should. I was never a military girlfriend but before I married my husband I was involved in several long distance relationships. They were hard enough without the military so I can only imagine how difficult it is when you add the military in the mix.
How do you know you are ready for a military marriage?
- Because you are ready for marriage and all that comes with it. You need to be ready for marriage. Marriage is a big step and changes things. You will no longer be on your own. You will have someone else that you will be a part of. You will need to share your things and your space and everything you have. You have someone else you will be making decisions with and someone else that will be affected but the decisions that you make.
- Because you are ready for military life and how difficult this life is going to be. Military life is probably going to be harder than anyone can prepare for. That being said, knowing what to expect can help. Knowing how military life can be difficult is also a good idea.
- Because you have done everything you wanted to do before you got married. I knew I wanted to finish college before I got married. That was important to me. What is important to you? Do you want to be on your own for a while? Do you want to be at least 25 years old? I know sometimes meeting that special someone can change things but if waiting for something is important to you, try to do that.
- Because you know that while this life is unique with its own challenges, all marriages take work. No matter who you are, your marriage is going to go through hard times. As a new military spouse, you might be presented with some of these hard times earlier than other spouses do. Knowing this going in will help you get through the more difficult days that are to come.
I know a lot of people who married very young and are still happily married. Some are military couples and some are not. I also know people that married young and did not make it. Some divorced early on, others, years later.
When it comes to marriage and if you should get married young to your military boyfriend, check your heart and your gut. Ask yourself if the military life is one you want to have. Although none of us can truly plan for this life and most of the time the military life is harder than we ever thought, going into a marriage not being open to the life isn’t a good idea.
Divorce happens. To a lot of people. For a lot of different reasons. Hardships in marriage happen and the military might just be yours. If you do decide to marry young and are put in a similar situation that the young wife I talked about above was, know that you can make it through that. There is a lot of military support out there, you can go to college online, you can figure out a way to support your military husband and make it through those difficult years.
Military life might not be for everyone, but if you want your marriage to work, if you are willing to commit yourself to your new marriage, you will be going into this new life with your eyes open. You have a good chance of making your military marriage work and creating a wonderful life with your service member.