I do a lot of reflecting sometimes. I have always kept a journal and I like to think about where we have been as a couple and a family and where we are going.
We have had to make a lot of choices over the years. When to have kids. To move across the country. To join the Military. To buy a house. To stay in Tennessee. To join the National Guard.
Sometimes it is way too easy to look back and think we shouldn’t have made certain choices. I don’t like to look at my life like that. Is it possible we made bad choices in the past? Yes. Does that mean the rest of our lives are messed up? No.
One of the biggest life-changing choices we made was for my husband to re-enlist in the Military at age 30. This was something that we talked about for months beforehand. We had no idea what his time in the military would be like once we made that decision.
We were diving into the unknown. While my husband had been in the Army before, that was when he was a lot younger, and way before I came into the picture. Being a soldier with a wife and child was going to be completely different for him, and becoming an Army wife was going to be totally different than anything I was used to.
As I think back over the last 15 years as a Military spouse, there have been many blessings in our marriage because of our time as a military couple.
Don’t get me wrong. Would I have preferred to have a husband who never had to go away? Perhaps, but that wasn’t how life has been for us.
As I look back over those 15 years, I can see that there are blessings in a Military marriage.
Homecomings can be the highlight of our Military experience. The feeling you get when you see your spouse again is hard to explain unless you have been through a homecoming. Knowing that the months of waiting and worrying has come to a close and knowing you will finally be back in each other’s arms can be the spark that your marriage needs.
Watching your spouse in their uniform can be inspiring. You know they are doing something good in the world and you are there to support them through it. You and your spouse are a part of history, working to make the world a better place. There is just something about feeling that way that can help your marriage thrive.
Deployments can help your relationship to grow even stronger. You start to appreciate one another in ways you never would have if they never had to go away. You constantly remember why you fell in love in the first place. You learn to trust one another across the miles.
But also, never be afraid to reach out for extra help if you don’t feel that way. Different couples handle distance in different ways. There are many resources out there to help too.
PCSing every few years can also be a challenge, especially if you have to PCS to a place you don’t want to go. But there is also something about moving together, having to work through those struggles together, having to be the “new person” together, that can bond you together in many different ways.
While the day to day of military life can feel so heavy sometimes, there are blessings of a military marriage. From growing stronger through the distance to being able to discover more about yourself which can lead to becoming a better partner.
If you are new to the military life and are worried a bit about your marriage, keep in mind that there are blessings of a Military marriage. As hard as the military lifestyle might be, they are there if you look for them.