Military/Marriage

My military marriages were the same as most military marriages, textbook. They both happened while in the military; they both ended, while in the military.

Some would say that military marriages are higher on the divorce rate chart than civilian marriages.  I mean, truthfully, I would almost agree with this simply because it seems most service members have been married at least twice.  If we reached the second marriage that means the first had to have ended (in some cases that wasnt the case). Of course, where there is more of something in one area, there will be more of other things in the other area.

Fewer people + More marriages / divorces.  Right? Simple math?

But, as it turns out, military marriages are more successful than marriages that involves civilians.  Civilians being defined as “those who’ve never served in the armed forces”. Clearly, it’s not because military couples have “the answers to the test”.  Some believe it’s because the military provides more benefits as a whole.  Insurance, steady income, education benefits and of course additional help in areas if needed.  There are even free programs for marriages that the military encourages.  There are free counseling services, (unit-supported) free vacation marriage retreats, and most military commands encourage and supports taking your anniversary off from work to enjoy with your spouse.

Of course there is a flip-side.

What if the military person is a woman? In my first marriage, that was the case.  I was married to a civilian.  Someone whom never served; someone whom found it difficult to not be the breadwinner; someone whom struggled with their wife being around other men most of the day; someone who didn’t understand that my job wasn’t a typical 9-5. There were many days I won’t be home in time for dinner; there are days I won’t have the energy for ‘us’ time; there are days where I must work out even after work to help shed the baby weight while you sit at home with the kid.  Our roles were more than reversed.

Now, the flip-side, is inverted

My second marriage, we were both military.  There are times when we both have to work late; there are times when neither will be home in time for dinner, nor be the one to cook it; there are times when I can’t attend your unit Christmas party because I have to attend my own; there are times when your deployment will happen at the tail end of my deployment, so we will hug each other as we cross one another at the airport.

Between my two marriages, I was married for a total of 18 years, yet I spend nearly 25 years in the military. I would say I had a fairly decent career that one would be proud of.  I served enough to put myself in a position to retire at the age of 43.  When I say this to people, usually they are impressed.  But at 43 when I tell them I’m a ‘twice divorcee’, they’re not as impressed...

Now, I sit here,  and i have to ask myself, did I choose the military over my marriages?

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