Marriage problems do not need to define your military marriage.
Life has enough problems. Below, you will find five sources of stress and problems in military marriages. Then, we provide three tips that can help your marriage. Marriage is part of a family that often includes children, so we desire to heal family brokenness.
Five Common Stresses and Problems
In many ways, a military marriage shares characteristics with civilian marriages. While unique elements distinguish military marriages, the similarities allow us to use the same resources that provide healing. The problems or potential problems listed below are not all-inclusive, but they are common sources of disharmony in a military marriage.
Perhaps more than any other problem in marriage, adultery can destroy the relationship at a deeper level. The betrayal of the unfaithful spouse brings pain, but there is healing. Generally, adultery never just happens; instead, it seems to follow a recipe that can be prevented. If your marriage suffered from adultery, there is hope. Your marriage can recover.
Marriages are more than joining of two individuals. Two families bond through the covenant vows. Marriage introduces in-laws. As all jokes about in-laws illustrate, they impact marriages in a special way. Therefore, it pays to have a good relationship with the in-laws.
Even when paychecks are guaranteed and steady, financial management can be a source of distrust in marriages. Developing a budget, especially surrounding the next two topics, help establish a healthy marriage. We should never assume that we are on the same page when it comes to money if it has never been discussed.
Leaving behind a spouse when going on deployment is another major source of stress. Many things change when servicemembers get called on to go TDY or deploy. For example, families must learn to become flexible with responsibilities as the number of people sharing them changes. Furthermore, the interactions within the marriage change, which means that spouses should prepare for that time apart.
As if deployments did not cause enough change, the military uproots families and moves them across the globe. While a PCS can be stressful, others have traveled before us. A few of them have left some advice for us. For example, deferred travel helped with some overseas transitions. In the end, we don’t know what our next PCS has in store for us.
Three Tips to Staying Strong
These aren’t the only three ways to stay strong, but these work together build stronger marriages. These tips function more like preventive medicine helping to keep your marriage solid when potential problems arise. Additionally, they help while recovering from any of the stresses or problems listed above.
While each marriage is different, the journey of marriage is one that others have traveled. Finding another couple who has gone through similar experiences provides a mentor. As they learned through their experiences, their significant insight helps towards building a good and healthy marriage. Additionally, programs like Brave Love and Indivisible discussion groups reinforce the foundations of healthy marriages.
A marriage naturally exists as more than a mere contract honored by the government. Whether you wrote your own vows or used traditional vows, they serve as a type of framework for marriage. Recalling those vows before friends and family can reinvigorate the marriage as you remember what initially brought you together.
How spouses understand their relationship with each other significantly challenges actions that would harm the relationship. Many problems in the military marriage (really, all marriages) stem from not submitting to each other. Decisions should be based on love and respect for your spouse.
In article photos in order of appearance: The Saluting Marine by the U.S. Marines licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
unnamed by Sharon McCutcheon licensed under Unsplash
Deploying Together by the U.S. Army licensed under CC BY 2.0