Just for ease of reading, I will refer to the Military Member as he, him, or his. Please don’t take this to mean I’m ignoring or negating female Military Members, I am not.
This post is in no way meant to disrespect our Military, Military Members, or our Military Members’ private Military, for surely that’s what the family of a Military Member is, his own private army. Oh wait… that’s not I wanted this post to be about…but I guess I’m just going to have to let it take me where it will.
Military members are practically forced into failed marriages in a way. Look at the lifestyle, a young guy joins the military, often his first time leaving home, goes through basic training and gets his first posting. He falls in love, they start a relationship, it gets serious, he goes away often but its okay, she has her family and friends all around her, this is where she grew up. Then he gets his posting notice and all of a sudden, she’s leaving her family and friends behind and joining her new partner or husband at his new posting, which is sometimes very near where he grew up himself.
Now, the Military Member is working on his career, he’s working hard, he’s still away a lot, usually immediately upon arrival at his new home. The new wife is now alone in a brand new place, often the first time she’s been away from her home town. She misses her husband, she misses her family and friends, she wishes she had help sorting out the new house, finding her way around the new city, finding work, making friends. If she’s
lucky smart, she’ll get in touch with the Military Family Resource Centre. If no-one has told her about the MFRC she is on her own, literally as well as figuratively.
So, through no fault of his, she is now isolated from family and friends. Perhaps she is even pregnant or already has a baby, and remember, they are still young and he is still away a lot. There is plenty of time and space for loneliness, despair, jealousy, exhaustion, financial worries because he’s still making peanuts, he worries about her and the child, the wife worries but him. Maybe he buys into the “what happens in the field, stays in the field” motto or he feels alone and lonely and messes around while he’s away. Maybe she gets overwhelmed and exhausted and lonely and she messes around. Maybe both are faithful but their relationship is still under a lot of strain. He gets constant crap at work and we all know that shit runs downhill, maybe she becomes his outlet.
Things eventually settle down, she settles in, has friends, maybe she’s working too, his job has gotten better, and all looks good, then, well posting season comes around and it starts all over again, or God forbid they are both military, then they have to get married just so they can get a posting to the same place, and even marriage doesn’t always guarantee they get to move together.
Maybe none of it happens that way, but at least some of these things happen to every military couple. Its a really tough way to have a relationshsip. Just saying.
And on that note, I wan’t to say that lots of military members are able to make a marriage work and I applaud them. It takes a very special person to be a military spouse.