Miss Hobbitt, I sympathize with you as well! I am a newlywed military wife, fresh out of college, so I don’t have much “real Army” experience yet, but I will share my situation with you.
I went through some of the same thoughts when I decided to marry my husband. Ultimately I decided that even if I had the most fulfilling career, my life wouldn’t be whole without a family to come back to – and that gave me the faith to choose marriage over certain freedoms in career choice. That said, my husband and I coordinated as we made choices about his first post and my post-grad path. I decided to go to law school, which for me is a blend of my genuine interests, skills, and a type of professional training that is in demand (as far as I know, on average). I applied to some schools I liked near posts, and with some hard work and some luck I got into a very good law school (well-matched with my interests and qualifications) that is about 1.5 hours driving from the post where he is headed next year, then I deferred a year to get used to marriage and live with him in his first training location (where we are now). When we get to the next place, we’ll live in between and hope to split the commutes somewhat evenly.
The most important thing to me is that while yes, my husband’s career dictates where we move, he has a lot of respect for my desires for more education and for a career. I’m almost positive that if it weren’t for me, he would have chosen a different post, but he chose the one he did because I got into that wonderful law school, where I’m giving up very little in quality compared to if I were on my own.
It’s tough for everyone, and each couple and individual has a different situation. I just have to say that I am glad to see some opinions above where posters think it is possible to have a career, even if it is harder and involves compromise. I’m not sure yet if my husband is a lifer, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to make that decision (along with preferences for subsequent posts) together, with what is best for our future family and my professional happiness, under the circumstances, and that was all I needed to know when we decided to get married. And I also feel empowered to stay at home with our kids, when we have them, when they’re little, if that’s what works best for me and for us – and I appreciate that freedom. Bottom line, I know my law degree will fulfill me, and I can’t wait to start on a new intellectual project – especially since he will probably deploy for the first time in those three years. I really do hope that it leads to a fulfilling career later on, but I’m not thinking very much beyond the next four years, just trying to have faith that things will work out in the future like they have so far!
Best of luck to you, sorry for blabbing on so much!