I had just found out that another fellow military wife left our OCONUS duty station—and she wasn’t returning. The pit in my stomach immediately turned queasy. This wasn’t the first military wife who moved her life half-way around the world only to move back to the U.S. without her husband.
In fact, she was one of many wives that I knew personally, which meant only one thing: there were likely far more that I didn’t know about.
My heart aches each time a military marriage doesn’t work out. Spouses fight hard to make military marriages work. From putting their career on the back burner to having a baby with a service member to moving far from the family and friends they love the most to taking a leap of faith to follow their service members around the world, military spouses impress me over and over again.
Nobody marries into military life and expects it not to work out.
Knowing that they fought hard and didn’t win makes my throat feel tight. It’s unsettling.
As soon as I got home, I called my husband.
I felt this compulsive need to tell him how much he meant to me.
That he was my everything. My one and only.
Forever. And ever.
I’m going to hug you through the phone now and beg you to never leave me. Am I freaking you out yet, babe?!! I don’t care. Hold ME! And for the love of God, come home!
Most days I feel like the luckiest woman in the world (except when he hides in the bathroom for 30 minutes with his iPhone. I’m on to you, buddy) and I would be tore up into a million tiny pieces if our marriage ended.
I mean, who wouldn’t?
But then there are days in our marriage that are hard. Really hard. Days that sucker punch me in the gut and make me wonder what in the world are we doing.
This thing keeps trying to destroy our marriage.
When I first met my husband, I saw the marriage hurdle after marriage hurdle written on the wall. Moving all the time, long separations, building connections in a community over and over again, living far from a trusted support network, transferring your kids in and out of schools, trying to find a new job every 2-3 years—ALL of it felt very overwhelming to me.
The things that military life throws at you are some of the most stressful life events according to the Holmes and Rahe scale.
Like most military girlfriends do, I looked beyond the challenges and saw a beautiful relationship with someone I loved deeply. When I was ready to commit, I sprinted into my service member’s arms for a life with him. It is safe to say love makes you do crazy things.
And then four years later you’re living in a foreign country with two kids and your husband is gone all the time. The dream romance you envisioned isn’t quite how it turned out.
This is a sad little secret.
Military life will try to destroy your marriage.
The constant moves, separations and ambiguity of life—all of these things will wear your marriage down.
It’s like running a marathon. At first, it will just feel a little tired. But then you’ll start to feel like you could use some oxygen and some of those juicy energy chews marathon runners eat.
I’ll stop there because…
You CAN protect your military marriage.
There is one thing you can do—right now—to keep your military marriage healthy. To keep your relationship kicking butt and taking names all the way to the finish line.
It’s called the Military Spouse Wellness Summit (MSWS). It’s this crazy awesome virtual event that you can attend in your pajama pants with a glass of wine.
At the summit, you’ll learn how to achieve health and wellness – as a couple – independently in mind, body, and emotion.
- You’ll learn how to strengthen your relationship.
- You’ll learn how to navigate the ups and downs of military life.
- You’ll learn how to re-discover intimacy.
- You’ll learn how to communicate better.
- And so much more!
Listen to this virtual summit on your time; whether at home, in the car, or on the treadmill. The entire summit is online so no missed work or childcare needed!
Event week is Mon. Oct. 17 through Sat. Oct. 22. Join me here and grow your marriage into a rock solid relationship!
MSWS16 is a fundraiser. Proceeds will benefit InDependent and five select nonprofit organizations.
Want more on military life?
- What Military Marriage Really Looks Like…
- 5 Things That Will Save Your Military Marriage
- How to Stay Sane and Happily Married During Deployment
- 10 Things Military Spouses Won’t Tell You About Deployment