Every marriage has its challenges, but couples who have one or both members in the military are a breed all their own. They have unique complications and inevitable difficulties that civilians don’t have to deal with. This can obviously lead to a higher divorce rate, but it doesn’t have to! There are a lot of things that can help military couples have happy, healthy marriages, even with the extra burdens.
New Views on Military Marriage
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There might be a nostalgic, romanticized image of military couples in the collective American mind, but the views on contemporary couples have changed. We’ve seen many movies with young people, desperately in love, getting hitched right before the young man leaves for war – but that hasn’t really happened since World War II. Our modern culture has a better understanding of the challenges that young military couples face, and some people may even look down on such a union. Don’t get me wrong: It makes for a great movie, but many military couples are doing the same thing their civilian counterparts are doing, and that’s waiting until they feel ready.
Different Benefits and Young Love
While many young people are choosing to put off their nuptials, there are still some who choose to marry young. This is probably caused by a combination of crazy love and ability. A lot of couples would love to get married right away, but they don’t have the resources or stability they want to establish a home. However, if you’re in the military, you can take advantage of guaranteed, stable income, insurance, and a place to live. Many young people just can’t stand being apart, so instead of waiting, they opt to get married so they can be together, no matter where they have to live. Some people may end up regretting such a decision, but there are also many couples who weather the storms of military life and come out better because of them. In fact, recent studies reveal that military couples are no more likely to divorce than civilian couples, especially when you look at 5-year-or-more divorce rates. It seems if military couples are going to get divorced, they do it pretty quickly, but once they make it through those first few years, military couples are no more likely to get divorced than civilian couples.
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There are many challenges facing military couples, but I think the greatest one is the obligation that service members have. When you marry a service member, you make a commitment to accept whatever assignment is handed to your spouse. This includes numerous scenarios, but mostly, it means you will spend a lot of time alone. For many, this means year-long deployments or relocation. The thickest-skinned military spouse can experience breakdowns during a PCS, not to mention anxiety over the countless holidays and special occasions his or her loved one will miss. These are challenges that are experienced across the board and really set military spouses apart.