If you’re in a military marriage and, at the same time, a big believer in matrimony and its traditions, kudos to you. You’ve painted yourself into a corner, but a big part of you knew what you signed up for.
It takes a ton of patience, sensibility, and stability to make a military marriage work. It requires a lot of teamwork, making major adjustments, and communication, the foundations that every couple supposedly knows. Yet, as we found out, a good chunk of these marriages, unfortunately, do not have a happy ending.
This isn’t to say that all marriages are eventually doomed to fail; it’s only a matter of time. Because you can fortify your military marriage and get through the rocky moments.
That, of course, is easier said than done. So as we take a deep dive into this topic, we’ll look into some of the inputs from experts.
The Secrets to a Strong Military Marriage, According to Experts
Communication, transparency, trust. Ask any random individual about what they think are keys to a successful marriage, and these are the usual answers you’ll get. However, a military marriage isn’t like your usual union between a couple.
“Military families don’t work like normal families. Our military members have a different drive. You have to love them.”
So how does one make the adjustments accordingly? Here are some of the expert tips.
‘Normalcy,’ as we know, is highly subjective. One person’s definition is different from another. But in the context of military marriages, what is ‘normal’ should be defined, Eckhart says.
As she explains, the spouse who’s left behind has the capability to establish these definitions because they were around and present. Eckhart suggests spouses should involve their service member partners to be more involved in daily activities like picking up their kids from school.
“We tell military spouses to keep everything as normal as possible during deployment. It may benefit the couple to think of ‘normal’ as a structure the spouse creates, not just something that happens automatically,” Eckhart explained.
Eckhart says that for a military marriage to work, efforts should weigh more than the wanting to complete these familial duties with perfection.
“They didn’t do these chores perfectly or even the way their wives would have done them. Their wives saw the service member’s contribution as valuable and as a signal that they wanted back into the family.
“Husbands, especially those who had been in combat, counted on the routine as the bedrock of their family.”
Understanding The Nature of The Job
It’s one thing to simply understand what being a service member entails. Being married to a service member means you’ve signed up for months apart, an incomplete family, and the perils of being in active duty.
But to be in the military, one must have unparalleled commitment. That commitment comes from the satisfaction and fulfillment of promotions and career advancement that ultimately lead to financial gain and stability.
For Eckhart, this desire to keep going and climbing up the ranks is something that military spouses should understand more than anything.
“Military members also had a sustained pattern of achievement. They kept getting promoted,” she explained. “In interviews, spouses said that their life in the military was worth it because of how much their husband “loved” his job or how he “didn’t want to be anything else.
“Identifying with the job and having a spouse who understood that was a central characteristic of these long-married military couples.”
Taking The Extra Step
Sometimes, a military marriage needs that extra push to fortify the foundation of the relationship. That extra push can come in the form of counseling and outreach programs, as well as seminars conducted by experts.
The US Marine Corps holds such programs with the aim of building stronger unions, which therefore lowers the likelihood of divorce. The goal is to tackle what’s been identified as the four main issues in a military marriage: communication, parenting, sexual intimacy, and finances.
“The goal is to build resilience in Soldiers — 58 percent of them married — and the families who stand by them,” said Army spokesman Lt. Col. George Wright.
For Eckhart, who refers to military families as “Spartans,” taking these extra steps of attending counseling sessions and seminars is a way of thinking about the long term.
“The goal here is to not only get through, but to enjoy and thrive in life. It’s about prioritizing, learning each other’s thoughts, concerns and motivations. You need to buy into your family.”
Of course, these seminars and programs require spending time and resources. But consider them as wise investments for the future of your spouse and family.
Here’s One Way to Strengthen Your Military Marriage
We can say that sexual satisfaction is a make-or-break aspect in a military marriage. The lower the satisfaction rate, the higher likelihood of divorce, and that’s common knowledge. It also rings true even for a country like Iran, where people hold more conservative views towards sex.
So how does one curb the issue of sexual intimacy in a military marriage? Two words: adult toys. And it’s a solution that’s encouraged by experts across the industry.
Now, of course, such gadgets won’t be able to replicate actual human warmth and touch. But for the time being that you two are away from each other, they can help get the job done to tide you over.
Adult toys today likely aren’t the same ones that many of you are accustomed to. Many of these can be controlled remotely, which bodes well for the long-distance setup in a military marriage. It takes the definition of technological intercourse to a whole new level.
Remember, your military marriage isn’t doomed to fail. You can take actions to keep the foundation rock solid. It’s all up to you.
** Believe it or not, there is a book called “The Military Marriage Manual.” You can check it out here.