(Closed) The woes of marrying a soldier

posted 7 years ago in Military
Post # 3
Member
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I may not have the answer you are looking for but I would like to share my experience with military men briefly, in hopes of helping you out a little.  First experience: high school sweetheart went to basic while I finished high school.  Came back proposed and confessed his undying love for me.  I said I wasn’t ready but that I did still want to be with him and support his career.  In the end, he was deployed overseas, I was 19 and had no idea how to handle relationships let alone long distance relationships and I hate to say it but I was a terrible military girlfriend.  I was unsupportive and basically checked out on him before he got back from serving our country in Afghanistan. I am ashamed sharing but I think it is cathartic for me and may be helpful to others.

Fast forward 8 years, second experience: My fiance is an air force firefighter and also a fireman for Columbus, Ohio.  When he got the job with Columbus he went National Guard and left active duty. We have been through 2 deployments (one while I was studyinig for the bar exam).  Through all the distance, uncertainty for his safety, and lonely sleepless nights, I wouldn’t give it up for all the stay at home husbands in the world.  It’s tough but with modern technology (i sound like my grandmother) I am able to talk with him in Iraq at least once a day and we write letters to eachother to keep the spark alive.  We will be married in May.  No deployments in the near future but I am ready for the challenge and will be a strong support system for my soldier.

You might wonder what the morale of this story is.  Basically, with Boyfriend or Best Friend 1, I was neither ready for that kind of commitment nor carried the feelings for him to survive as a military wife.  I was almost resentful of the fact that he expected me to move to his home base with him when I finished college.  I wanted a career, I was independant.  The one thing in life I’d like to change is not having the guts to say I wasn’t the right woman for him before he went overseas.  With my fiance, its the complete opposite.  If he told me tomorrow he wanted to go active again I would pack a bag and go with him without a second’s thought.  I would live on base and go to support group meetings, raise his children and await his safe return time and time again.

You have to look inside your heart, are you ready, willing and able to be a faithful, caring, compassionate support structure for your man while he serves our country? Making this decision now, and not too late like I did with Boyfriend or Best Friend 1, will save your soldier alot of heartache during a time when he needs to give full undivided attention to his mission, to his cause, and to his country.  Although it is honorable to stand by a soldier, it is also honorable to admit you are not cut out to be a military wife, if you do so in the beginning of the decision to go military.  He needs to know that with all the turmoil and strife he deals with on a daily basis, there is one constant, you.

Post # 5
Member
2891 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I too am about to marry a military man and wasn’t keen on the idea at first.  I was a little angry and resentful.  I thought about all the comfort and sercurity I would be giving up. It caused me to take a good long look at marriage and the vows I would be making.

I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [opt: lawfully wedded] (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Could I really do this?  Would I stand by him if he was deployed for 2 years, raise his kids alone? Would I stand by him if his leg was blown off or he came back a paraplagic?  Would I stand by him if we had no money and had to live in a run down trailer?  Would I stand by him if we had to bury a child or he couldn’t give me children? Would I stand by him if he could no longer perform sexually? Would I stand by him if he wanted to reenlist?  Would I stand by him if it meant I wouldn’t see any of my friends or family for years?  Would I stand by him if I had to deal with earthquakes (a personal fear)?  Would I stand by him even when it meant I lost my support system and would be all alone while he was on a ship somewhere?   Not only that but as the chaplain’s wife could I reach outside of my own woes and comfort others? Could I give MY life in service of my God and my country? Could I really support his goals? Could I respect him even if he made a huge mistake?  Could I truly cherish this very flawed human being and show him the love and respect he deserves…Forever?

It is okay to question.  Better that you do ask the questions now.  It took me a lot of self searching and a lot of prayer to come to a conclusion.  It is a painful process for the two to become one.  Something has to die in both in order to become a single entity.  The reality is that for marriage to become what it should be- who you are now has to die in some ways.  Dying always hurts! Their will be a lot of sacrifice involved both ways but if you both invest 100% into the marriage it can be a beautiful thing. 

I want my FH and I to be one of those little old couples we see in Walmart who have been married fifty years and blushingly buying KY and saying how in love we still are.  It is beautiful!  I love that saying, “Come along and grow old with me the best is yet to be!”

Post # 6
Member
2891 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

P.S  Make sure he is willing to make the same kind of sacrifices for you.  If both don’t put the other first it doesn’t work.  A marriage can’t be one sided.

Post # 7
Member
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

that is beautiful. Now I’m the one crying. It’s like my faince says, when I marry him, I marry Uncle Sam as well. He is owned by the U.S. Military, I just have a life-lease. He is only joking, but parts of it are true!

Post # 8
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

@guess26grl: I see you have gotten some great advice already but I am going to give you my 2 cents 🙂 I kind of know how you feel with the career deal. I have a biochemistry and nuc physics double major and when I am finished with school, there is no way I could start a long standing career and establish myself in any field. My inital hope was to go to medical school. Unfortunately, there is no way that can happen. IMO military wives and husbands of active duty military give up having a “real career” to be a professional wife/husband. That may sound pretty harsh and I am sure lots of military spouses have jobs, but with the uncertainty it is near to impossible to have a career on your own. If your Fiance goes active duty, you will in fact have to give up your career. YOU might end up resenting him. I feel like you are kind of in a lose lose situation here. What is your career field btw? Are you willing to give up your career to make your man happy? There are a lot of questions on the table that you have to think long and hard about. 

Post # 9
Member
7779 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m married to a military man. Darling Husband was in college when he decided to enlist. He didn’t even finish, he just dropped out and joined. It was a decision that I had trouble with at first. We had already been together for 3 years, so I was used to him always being around and the idea of him leaving was very troubling to me. In the end, I had to do a lot of soul searching. Was I okay with the distance? Would I resent him for leaving? Would he resent me if I stopped him? How would I feel if it was me and he was the one not being supportive?

So, as much as I didn’t like it, I kept a smile on my face and I was supportive of his decision. I knew that if I said something and tried to talk him out of it, he was going to resent me for it. In the end, it has all worked out. We’ve spent 2 years long distance and now we’re moving to Europe together in July. I’m leaving my friends, family, pets, job, everything. But you know what? It’s just a new adventure. Every experience is something that you can learn and grow from.

Like the other ladies have said, you have a lot of soul-searching to do. I wish you the best.

Post # 10
Member
2496 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I think it’s possible that one of you will end up resenting each other, but you don’t have to resent each other.

I think you both should think about each other’s position and where they’re coming from, and make your decision with thinking about what’s best for the other.  You both will have to make sacrifices — a military life is a tough life, but can be a very rewarding, fullfilling and wonderful life.

Would he ever consider doing the reserves instead of active duty?  He would get to drill 1x a month, and do 2-3 weeks of training every summer.  He could work a regular job, and you would have a mostly normal ‘civilian’ life, but he would still be involved in the military lifestyle.  He could also still be deployed and/or go away for various types of training, but it’s less common.  I would recommend considering that route since it could be a great compromise for both of you!!

Post # 11
Member
2496 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I should also add that he will get paid for all his drill/training, but you typically aren’t eligible for all of the benfits.  I think there’s a way you can get health insurance, but you might pay a little bit.

He can also still get a military retirement through retiring in the reserves, but I believe it’s for 30 years of service… which still isn’t bad at all, considering most jobs require 35-40 years and his previous active duty would count towards it.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.  Darling Husband was very close to joining reserves, but decided to start active and go from there.  We’ve talked about him finishing up in the reserves, especially when we start having kids and they’re getting older… so we’ve done a lot of research!

Post # 13
Member
2891 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I am so glad you were able to work that out in a way that worked for you both.  I hope you build a long and lasting marriage and are both ridiculously happy. Best wishes!

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