- Gender and Relationships
Married life in the Marines
Know what you're getting into
I joined the Marine Corps almost thirteen years ago and getting married only crossed my mind until I met my wife six years ago and we decided to get married in 2007. There is a saying in the Marines that if the Corps wanted you to have a wife then you would be issued one, with all the traveling and stress with military life; no wonder the divorce statistics are high in the Armed Forces specifically in the Marines. Unfortunately many Marines take the stress home and that's when arguments start, spouses who are not very informed about military life may complain about lack of time spending together, having to work in holidays, after hours, or whenever their superiors tell tem to. Many times spouses do not understand that military life does not end once the uniform is put away, military life is a lifestyle that sometimes takes over family occasions, and that could be a big burden on the relationship that could lead to divorce if not taken care of in a timely manner, the military has many resources available to make sure those getting married in this lifestyle have the necessary tools to have a long lasting marriage.
Taking the big step
I met my wife six years ago. She did not know anything about the military except from what you would see on TV or hear from someone. We were friends first and I tried to tell her as much as I could about military life, I'm a Marine so I had to impress her somehow (just kidding). We decided to get married after I told her about the many challenges that we might face such as my deployment to Iraq, the fact that she might have to move away from home which she had never left her entire life aside from traveling. Leaving her friends and mostly everything she knew, so she knew it would be a new experience and she took the challenge. We were engaged shortly after I deployed to Iraq for seven months so this was a true test to our commitment as a couple and happily we made it through. I came back from Iraq and it was time to plan the wedding.
My wife and I got married in 2007 and the day after our wedding we began driving to our new home in Belton Missouri after we spent our honeymoon in San Francisco. We went from Southern California with a few million people to Belton with about 20,000 people. Yes it was a culture shock to my wife having to adapt to a new environment. I was assigned to Mobilization Command Kansas City MO which is a Marine Corps base with about 300 Marines supporting the Reserve Component. Obviously the first few weeks were very good but then homesickness set in and even though my wife did not tell me I knew she was feeling like being in a foreign country. After two years of being married I have to say we are happily enjoying our marriage through our faith, our commitment to communicate and knowing that we just don't know where the Marine Corps will send us next but we just make the best of our situation exploring the new places we visit.
My two cents
My humble advice to any couple considering getting married while in the military, I can only say to expose all situations that will arise while married in the military. There will be wonderful experiences like the traveling, meeting new interesting people, the benefits, but their will also be struggles like working late, odd hours, holidays, stress from work, Just understand that being in the military is a lifestyle and everyone needs to know exactly what they are getting into