What tips for keeping your relationship strong?
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Thread: What tips for keeping your relationship strong?

  1. #1
    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Default What tips for keeping your relationship strong?

    Being in the military - as "active duty" enlisted or a spouse (noting you *both* are ACTIVE duty!), can put unique strains on your relationship as a couple. This can be true when you are "together" but away from family/friends back home, short separations for training in the field, or those extreme stress periods of dealing with deployments.

    What tips do you (and your partner) use to overcome these challenges (and more!) to keep your relationship going strong?

    ***********************

    A special thanks to all of *you* for your daily sacrifices as you and your family serve our country!

    ~Missy (missyj@pregnancy.org)

  2. #2
    Prolific Poster KET_2010's Avatar
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    I began dating my husband about 16 months before he joined the military and we got married after boot camp. He has been part of the Marines since January 2010. During boot camp I wrote him 2-3 letters a DAY and sent cards for Valentine's Day and Easter. I also sent 4 -8 pictures every week so he didn't feel like he was missing out too much on our girls growing up (the one was only 2 months when he left for boot camp).

    My husband is infantry so when the build up begins he's gone a lot in the field. It really sucks but when he's home he is sure to spend time with our kids and still helps out, even when he's tired. We also make sure we don't argue much about things we can't control and we try to be intimate a lot to keep the closeness. We always tell each other we love each other and when he's too tired to move, I help him out as well (with gear and washing his clothes and stuff).

    He's only been on one deployment and (what I feel is lucky) his company was separated from his unit and sent to a non combat zone to train others who will be later going to Afghanistan. But during that time we made sure to try and communicate as much as possible (I wrote an email every day even if he didn't get a chance to check because they didn't have an address to write letters and send boxes to since they were to be there under 100 days). When they came back they were out in the field a lot helping other BNs train, so it was like he was still gone, however my stress level was down since he was safe. When he was gone he still would find a way to call or text me by borrowing someone's phone (ours didn't get service).

    We also try to take the kids somewhere fun every so often and we try our best to always spend time as a family as much as possible during the day. We also always show affection towards one another and we hug and kiss our kids all the time.

    I feel this brings us closer and helps keep us strong when we're apart. We always make sure to end with an "I love you" because we never know when we will be able to talk again.


    Katie and Tyler: 04/13/2010
    Isabelle Elaine: 10/07/2005
    Lorelei Evelyn: 11/01/2009
    Desmond Jensen: 03/23/2012
    Juno Ezra: 10/31/2013

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    Mega Poster krazykat's Avatar
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    We have done more time apart than together. A one year tour to Korea, 2 year-long Iraq tours, and most recently a year in Afghanistan... all in 5 years of marriage.

    One thing we both do is write letters... yep, the old-fashioned way. It really captures the feelings of the moment and it is cool to have something to look forward to.

    We have quality conversations and don't waste time arguing. We really don't have anything to argue about when he is gone. I give him all the details of our day, and I understand when he can't give me very many details.

    And finally, at some point, I had to surrender myself to the fact that this is the life we chose. I love him, and he is worth it. I am not going to leave him because he is gone often. He doesn't have any control over that. And I try to remember all the great things about being a military wife, like healthcare, a support network, always a phone number to call if you need something.

    It really does help that I KNOW in my heart he will call me when he can. I know he would rather talk to me than spend time with the guys. I know he would walk five miles to a phone to call me if he had to. I know he would spend $200 on phone calls just to talk to us. He has proven it to me time and time again, and that predictability and consistency really helps me to stay strong.
    Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006

    Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13



  4. #4
    Posting Addict EmilyC3's Avatar
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    The key for us is communication. We send daily emails and he calls when he can. And like Ariel, I write letters to my husband too and he writes to me. Since mail takes so long to get to the ship we always get a good laugh at hearing "old" news and it kind of makes it seem like the time is going by faster. We are not able to skype or anything so I make sure to email him a ton of pictures of me and the kids. When he is home, we try to spend as much time together as a family as possible.



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    Its harder for me to stay in communication with my husband when he's deployed. He's on a submarine, and so we don't get luxuries like emails (we can send as many as we want, but they don't always get them on time or in order, and occasionally they can respond) and we never get phone calls. We can't send letters or cards, and our emails can only be plain text, no pictures or attachments. But even with all the restrictions, I still email him as often as I can, keep up as up to date on news as I can (I never send bad news) and try to send emails as if we're having a conversation, even if he can't respond.

    When he's home, we try to spend as much time together as we can. Even something as simple as a movie night at home, cuddling on the couch, is important to us and we make time to have them. We keep arguments to a minimum. I hate wasting time being hurt or upset with him, so I tell him if he has said or done something to hurt me, and he does the same to me, so we know and can make up before it gets ugly. We have tons of the same interests, so there isn't any case of one person wanting to do something the other doesn't, and "dragging" them along anyway.

    We just had our first baby together, so its a whole new ballgame now. I find it harder to have the time or energy to email him, so when I do I make sure its full of information, even just little milestones that the baby has reached. I miss having him around to help me out, so I let him know how appreciated he is when he is home.

    I think this post came out disjointed and scattered, sorry!
    Cristina
    Happily married to Michael since 5.1.10
    DS1: Matthew - 7/7/00
    DS2: Nathan - 1/21/03
    DS3: Jacob - 9/29/11


  6. #6
    Posting Addict mujul79's Avatar
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    This is a huge help to me. I am scared to enter this life and in so many ways I already have. I fell in love and had a baby with a guy in the army. We talk daily but I can't help but admit that I pray for him to find a way to get a job at the end of this contract and get out so we can be together. Is it that hard to find a job after this life?

    It is so hard to know that Army is the life he is living and if I want him I have to pick a life style I never would have seen myself in. That has to be the one stress in our relationship because together we are awesome and never fight, apart we are awesome and he is so good at calling or sending text and I send him photos daily of the baby, both of us are thankful for his safty and we see him every other weekend (4 hour drive one way). I met him and went on a date with him thinking yea he is in the army but that won't bother me I don't want anything just a few nights out, seeing as I was just divorced. I knew what he did he could not be deployed and his contract was up in 2 years. I just wanted a few night out when he came to town I did not expect to fall in love and the last think on my mind was having his baby.

    I wish I would have known then that while he missed his other kids he wants to stay in and since I never saw that as a life I wanted to live it is causing some friction. I just don't feel like i have the strenght to be a army wife and after 2 years of living apart as it is I feel like I am doing my part to support him now, but facing another 8 years so he can retire is HUGE!!!!

    Ok someone talk me into why army life is a good thing I just keep praying for something anything to show me how to face this new chapter in my life because I'm not going any place he's stuck with me. <3 I love him to much to let him go.

    I fear not being in controle of where we live or when he gets to be home. I know the money is good and the health insurance is huge. But still I am crying typing all this out thinking that for the next 8 years something bigger then me will be telling us where to be and if he is comming to sleep in bed each night.

    I fear most for my children and Heath's medical care and I know that in the military he will get the insurance he needs but will it matter if we are not by dr's that know Chiari? If he is deployed what do I do about childcare or hospital stays? Is the family support groups that good? Would I have someone to call to stay with my other 3 for a few days if Heath needs to be admitted or needs testing (this is a monthly thing it seems)? Because we know if he reups we will no longer be by family for that. He keeps saying the life time retirement beni's are worth it. But I am not about to be unhappy for 8 years so we can have health insurnce am I? I just think there has to be something else or is just another thing as I mom I have to suck up for the kids.

    Our relationship works so well because I can tell him my fears and we can talk about it without yelling and he holds me but gosh I wish we could find a middle ground. I have this real nightmare that after waiting to be with him for 2 years we do get married and live in the same place and instead of it being a happy endding it is just a matter of time before once more I am alone without him. See I know I can do it but I don't want to. LOL not like any of you want to have them gone but gosh since I am not going anyplace tell me the perks of this life please....

    In the last 8 years I have been married, lost my mom, had 3 babies, been abused, got divorced, moved 6 times, fell in love, had another baby, lost 2 jobs, and now have no income and live with my dad. I am just so ready for things to be stable and a place to give my kids roots can the army give me that? Because when I look over how much changed in the last 8 I can't live on the promiss of if I stick it out it will be worth it, I need something good now as I somedays spend it weepy in PJ's living day to day.

    PERKS?????
    Last edited by mujul79; 10-28-2011 at 12:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    I am a Navy wife, so its different than Army, but I can say with all honesty that the support groups are AMAZING. I have made friends for life, people who dragged me up from a horrible situation and asked for nothing in return. The other wives get it, we know that if its going to break, its going to happen when he deploys, likely the day he leaves lol! But there will always be someone who can help you, or at least help you find the help you need.

    Being a military wife was not something I ever wanted. Like you, I met him knowing that he was in the Navy, and never intending it to get too far. 5 1/2 years later, I couldn't imagine my life any different. You find strength you never knew you had. The times he's away aren't easy, but you can do it, even if you think you can't. You'll find amazing friends, you'll have unbelievable support, and you never know, you might end up really liking any new place he might get transferred to.

    I wish you luck and hope you guys find a solution that works for both of you.
    Cristina
    Happily married to Michael since 5.1.10
    DS1: Matthew - 7/7/00
    DS2: Nathan - 1/21/03
    DS3: Jacob - 9/29/11


  8. #8
    Mega Poster krazykat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mujul79 View Post
    I fear most for my children and Heath's medical care and I know that in the military he will get the insurance he needs but will it matter if we are not by dr's that know Chiari?
    There is a thing called EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program). Check it out. From what I understand, they screen all family members before a PCS move, and if you have a member with special medical needs, they will not send you to a place where those needs cannot be met.

    I don't know all the specifics b/c we don't have any EFMP children, but I know the military does recognize that some places do not have necessary medical providers.
    Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006

    Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13



  9. #9
    Posting Addict mujul79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazykat View Post
    There is a thing called EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program). Check it out. From what I understand, they screen all family members before a PCS move, and if you have a member with special medical needs, they will not send you to a place where those needs cannot be met.

    I don't know all the specifics b/c we don't have any EFMP children, but I know the military does recognize that some places do not have necessary medical providers.
    I have heard this as well but we have to be married before his next contract for this to work in our favor. I "think" his contract will be new and a move will happen before that can take place. I guess my question is if we got married say this weekend do they look at the family right away and move him? Because as it is right now he is one place and me another because where he is at right now dose not have the service Heath needs. My understanding is it is only between contracts and live events don't change it.

  10. #10
    Mega Poster krazykat's Avatar
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    If you got married this weekend, and his contract was going to change already then yes, they would consider you during the change. But his current contract will likely remain the same even if you get married. Does that make sense?
    Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006

    Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13



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