Wife 2 Wife Wednesday

Today’s Wife 2 Wife topic is one that I was recently thinking about because of a pervious post I read today by another blogger that I follow regarding divorce and working on a marriage rather than giving up as soon as there is a bump in the road.

A young military wife struggles with a husband who is showing signs of not being committed to their marriage. What would you say to her?

This question immediately made me think of infidelity as the end result of “not being committed to their marriage”. I think my response to infidelity is different than what my answer to this question is, because I think that before a person has cheated, there is the opportunity to strengthen the marriage and fill in the cracks that are causing that person to look outside the marriage for companionship.

My first advice is always communication. You can’t fix a marriage (or any relationship for that mater) if you don’t know what is wrong. Your spouse is the person you should be closest too, there isn’t anything that you should not be able to tell them. Even if that means telling them something that makes you uncomfortable…like your fears about them not being committed.  

After every thing has been openly talked about, I would recommend counseling. I may be biased because I am a therapist, but I think counseling can work wonders. Even if only one person goes, it can still improve the relationship. Both people going is obviously ideal with couples, so that both parties can make changes and work on fixing what was causing the relationship to be rocky in the first place. A marriage involves two people, and both people have to be willing to work on the relationship in order to have a long successful marriage.

But what if only one person is willing to work on the marriage? Or what if he actually cheats? At what point does “divorce” enter the conversation? That is a more complicated question that I think every couple has to make on their own. I do feel that many couples jump to divorce without putting in the effort first to try to fix the marriage. But I also don’t think a person should stay in an unhappy marriage for years trying to fix it while the other person isn’t putting in the same effort.

So I guess my advise would be communication and then counseling, because I do think that those two things can stabilize a marriage before it gets to the point where there is infidelity and divorce enters the conversation. 

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Wife to Wife Wednesday

This weeks prompt from Wives of Faith is:

How has your life changed as a military wife?

My life has changed a lot of ways since becoming a military wife. The one that is most on my mind recently, as I am about to graduate, is my career.

The military has effected my career in both a positive and negative way.

To first acknowledge the positives: being a military spouse lead me to pursue a career in social work.

I was getting my bachelors in Psychology when I met my husband, and I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school (because with a bachelors in psychology you pretty much have to), but I didn’t have a passion for any career specifically.

I went to a LINKS class after we got married (which is pretty much a class for new military spouses that explains the basics of military life) and everyone was so sweet and helpful! I ended up volunteering as a LINKS instructor and also with Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and as a Family Readiness Volunteer.

I loved the experience and I was inspired to become a military social worker.

And here I am, a month away from graduating applying like crazy to organizations like MCCS, Armed Services YMCA, USO, etc. so I can combine my experience with the military and my education as a social worker.

Now to the negatives: as most wives have probably experienced, being married to someone in the military means your career sometimes has to take a back seat.

I love being a social worker, but it requires state specific licensure, which is difficult to get when you move from state to state and each state has it’s own licensing requirements.

There is also the added difficulty in establishing a career when you move every few years.

But overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Yes, the moving may make it a little more difficult for me to establish a career, but it’s part of life when your husband is in the military. I love my career: I love helping people and giving back to the military community that has had such a positive impact on my life.

Wife 2 Wife Wednesday

Wives of Faith didn’t post their question till Thursday, and now I’m not posting my answer till Friday. Oh well, better late than never 🙂

What’s one of the best books you’ve ever read? Why did you love it?

I don’t really have a “favorite book”. But what I can tell you is the types of books I like to read.

I LOVE to read. Since about the age of 12 I would spent most of my free time in my room reading novel after novel.

By the time I moved to college I had hundreds of books, mostly historical romance novels (the ones with the cheesy covers on them of half naked women and shirtless men lol).

I like to read what I call “fluff”. It’s not intellectual and it’s not well written. But it’s certainly entertaining.

Now I am an adult and I still read my “fluff” novels.

Twilight Series, Sookie Stackhouse Series, 50 Shades of Grey, Immortal Insurgents, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, Dark Hunter Series, etc.

I love historial novels, paranormal novels and contemporary novels.

I like my “fluff” because it doesn’t make me think. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s a quick read.

I spend enough time reading text books and thinking when I’m at school and work, so when it comes time for relaxing and “me” time…I chose romance and magic and adventure 🙂

The fact that I get to picture this lovely man as the main character is probably another reason I love my "fluff". How many sexy shirtless men are in Don Quixote? lol

The fact that I get to picture this lovely man as the main character is probably another reason I love my “fluff”. How many sexy shirtless men are in Don Quixote? lol

Wife 2 Wife Wednesday

I’ve decided to start participating in Wives of Faith’s “Wife 2 Wife Wednesday”. Hopefully they don’t mind that I am not a “wife of faith”, I just really like the idea of a weekly prompt specifically related to military wives. It’s about sharing your experience as a military wife with other wives and connecting over common issue and challenges.

Today’s prompt is: How many deployments have you been through with your husband? What are three tips you might share with a wife about to start her first?

I have been through 2 deployments with my husband. His first in 2011 where he served 7 months in Afghanistan. His second was more recent, he was gone for half of 2012 and spent 6 months on the 31st MEU (USS Bonhomme Richard) which is a humanitarian/training deployment.

My tips are pretty simple.

#1) Stay Busy: I learned this one the hard way when my husband left for the first time (non-deployment). He went to FL for 5 months of training and we had just gotten married and moved. I had lost touch with a lot of my friends and didn’t have much of a social life because I was still in the honeymoon phase of wanting to spend all of my time with my husband. But then my husband left and I had all this free time and very few friends. I ended up having a rough time with the separation (depression) and after seeing a therapist began to work at expanding my social network with volunteering and putting myself out there meeting other wives.

It made a HUGE difference to be busy, not only with work and school, but with things you enjoy, like FRIENDS! The days that went by fastest for me during my husband deployments were the days where I was having fun with my friends.

#2) Be Positive: Nothing will make you more depressed and lonely than throwing yourself a pity party. Don’t get me wrong, deployments are suck and we all have hard days, but for the most part if you have a positive attitude then the whole experience will be much easier and go by faster. So don’t ruminate on the negative. Choose to focus on the positive!

#3) Live Your Life: This somewhat connects back to #1 and #2, don’t feel guilty for having fun. I’ve seen a lot of wives who really bring themselves down by feeling like they can’t go out and have fun while their husband is in a war zone, that it’s “not fair to him”. Let me tell you, my husband LOVED to hear about me having fun. If I went out with my friends, or went home to see my family or just enjoyed a good movie by myself, it made him happy that I was happy. Just because your spouse is gone doesn’t mean your life stops.

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They have fun too! My husband stayed busy in Afghanistan by setting up a driving rang so he could continue to enjoy his love of golf 🙂