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How Did Military Service Affect Your Marriage?

Posted by on June 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

It takes true dedication and commitment to honorably fulfill one’s terms of enlistment in our US Military. It often requires far more from a person than they could have imagined when they first signed up. And now, with a much smaller military force and repeated deployments to combat, the stress and hardships are multiplied. — But these are also great reasons for citizens to hold our military members and veterans in high regard, and reasons for employers to give them hiring preference. — What has been your experience?

Army

Most Recent Response

Military Wife Speaks Up

As an Army Officer’s wife I do not believe the “Military” affects your marriage. It’s a demanding job granted but so are allot of other demanding professions today. The two people in the marriage affect the marriage and when one or both stop working for the good of it then it is bound for failure. Marriage takes work, commitment, maturity and love from both spouses. Marriage is not for lazy people. I am certain that the marriage retreats are a great program. I am so glad they are there for service members.
Posted by Laura Rhodes

A Warrior’s Response

I agree with you Laura, to a certain extent. The military lifestyle is similar, yet very different, from most professions. I don’t think the majority of civilian jobs run the risk of being shot at every day, or having a IED involved. It’s one thing to go to a convention in Vegas each year to get training, and another thing to go to a sandbox each year to get hazardous duty training.

The risks associated with combat jobs do add stress, and the training involved in this type of profession is ongoing and very routine…even for office jobs in the military. So…I do think the military affects the marriage because the dynamics of the lifestyle such as stress, risks, and separation periods are very unique.
Posted by Torrey Shannon

Misses his wife and kids

My wife and I have been together for 12 years. It is always an up hill battle and don’t ever have any us time. The war in 2003 through a monkey wrench in our lives but we have been trying to cope. I can’t tell you when the last vacation I had with my wife or for that matter any time with just her. I have two wonderful kids but our world is consumed with taking care of their needs. Not complaining just would like some time with my wife :)…. I am lucky to still have her around and we are still working on us. This is a great way to communicate and thanks for listening to me :)..
Posted by Derrick Age

“I Fight for my loved ones”

30 Years and still going strong. In my experience, the military either strengthens or breaks marriages. Jodie’s and Dear John letters have always been around.

As a combat officer, when facing the uncertainty that combat brings, I realized that I cannot and will not fight with the ones that I love. I fight for the ones that I love. This realization can change things.
Posted by John W. Oliver, III

Praises his wife

I appreciate your situation and the old gung ho, tough it out attitude. I think we overlook the challenges of a deployment especially where our young service men and women are concerned. Most of them got married after they joined the service, may or may not have known their spouse for any length of time prior to falling in love and getting hitched. But now that they are in the service. With the Operational Tempo we have been experiencing for some time most have been/will be deployed more than one tour in their first enlistment. They have not had the time to develop those experiences, skills, tools, love, and respect for one another that an officer/senior NCO probably have that allow them to be able to ‘tough out’ the difficult times. James you said it very well – having those circumstances that helped forge the relationship.
I spent over 21 years in the Army got to deploy for Desert Shield/Storm and many short trips before and after and truly loved it. When notiified of my deployment to Saudi I was told I had 48 hours to be ready to go. So a week later I went off to save the world or at least a little piece of it. I met loads of high speed people and dignitaries, briefed and enacted guidance from King Abdullah’s son and worked so many hours I hardly had time to write home. Looking back, I guess the time was there I just failed to use it. While I was gone my wife PCSd to Ft Riley, my attitude was that I am doing all of this important stuff so you handle the move, have a successful company command and provide all the love, care etc our 9 month old daughter needs. She did it!!! Without me.
Well recently the tables were turned and she was activated out of the IRR as an MP officer to duty in February in Civil Affairs with attendance at the associated schools and pending deployment to Iraq with an expected return somewhere between Sep11 and Jan12. I wish that it had happened years ago – while I was still on active duty – it might have opened my eyes and I would have treated her more respectfully, spent more time trying to support her, when I was deployed. I certainly expected her to support me while I was gone, shouldn’t the expectation be the same? I have to say it is horrible to be the one who has to stay home. I have it much easier than she did when I deployed, our three children are nearly grown with two in college and one a senior in high school this fall and it still stinks!
I wish there were some training tool available for those deploying that let you experience the pain and uncertainty of being the one left at home. With all of my years and experience it should be a cruise down Easy St., but if you have not been the one left behind there is no way to understand the challenges faced.
If you were able to deploy and come home with your spouse and family intact you are truly blessed and the person you need to thank is the ONE who held it altogether while you were gone because it happened in spite of you.
Thank you all for your service.
Posted by Robert (Buck) Buchanan

This is a great story. Wish all of our military experienced the same thing.

–My name is Ryan Bell. I am a LT in the Army National Guard. I work for the VA Mortgage Center.com as a day job. I started doing home loans in 2001. In 2006 I made the decision to join the military. When I came back from training and then from Officer Candidate School I was much more prepared for the real world. It allows me to handle high pressure situations better, I am more confident in my abilities, and more of a sense of direction in how to do my best each day.

–The only prejudice I have seen against Veterans has not been in the workplace at all. It happens more in a social environment when some people that are anti-military will start in on you and questioning you. They will blame YOU for some things they may not like about the government. I respond that it is because of patriotic American Soldiers that they are even able to voice their opinion freely.

–The main obstacle is juggling your military life and job with your civilian life and job. You have to be in two different mind sets and people expect you to be on point in each one but in a different way. Sometimes I’d like my civilian job to be more demanding and structured like the military and vice versa.

–The three main advantages of being a Veteran are: 1) it has kept me in shape and on the right track for success in life. 2) When you talk, people listen not because a Soldier is demanding but because majority of Americans respect military members. 3) the benefits of the military such as being able to buy a house with no money down, medical, dental, etc.

–Serving my country has definitely been worth the price. It is something that, once inside a person, will never leave. In a good way. Companies such as where I work at the VA Mortgage Center.com, show respect and honor military service each and every day.

RYAN BELL

Peacenik

I DONT THINK THAT MY PATRIOTISM HAS WAVERED, IN AS MUCH AS THERE IS NO WAY I COULD DISMISS MY COUNTRY (USA), BUT MY MILITARY EXPERIENCE HAS MADE ME SEE SOME OF THE FOIBLES OF PATRIOTISM. _
_EXAMPLE: MY COUNTRY RIGHT OR WRONG IS A PRETTY NONSENSICAL WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS. MY COUNTRY HAS MADE MISTAKES AND WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE MISTAKES…IT IS RATHER INEVITABLE. _
_SUPERPATRIOTS (WHICH SOME ACTIVE AND RETIRED MILITARY PEOPLE IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AS) ARE WAY, WAY OUT OF MY LEAGUE. VFW AND AMERICAN LEGION WARDOGS ARE ALSO OUT OF MY LEAGUE. SIMPLY, I FEEL I CAN DO MUCH MORE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, PEACE, AND AS A BENEFACTOR OF COMMON SENSE AS AN ACTIVE INDIVIDUAL, COMPARED TO THE NORMAL OCCURRENCES IN A VFW OR AMERICAN LEGION, OR AN EXCHANGE COFFEE SHOP. _
___MILITARY HEROS MUST BE RECOGNIZED, MILITARY MISTAKES ARE THE FEATURE OF CLASSES AT ANNAPOLIS, WEST POINT AND THE VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE. GENERALLY THOUGH, WE PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO PAST WARS, BATTLES AND HEROS. HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE RE-ENACTMENTS OF THE CIVIL WAR? _
_DULCE ET DECORUM EST, SAYS MORE THAN ALL THE RE-ENACTMENTS AND WAR MOVIES EVER CAN. _
_SEEING THE HORRORS OF WAR, I HAVE BECOME A PEACENIK, A TIRELESS PEACENIK, PROTESTING ALL SCENES OF VIOLENCE AND INSTANCES IN WHICH A RESPECT FOR HUMAN DIGNITY HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A NEED FOR UNQUESTIONED AUTHORITY AND AN OVERBEARING SENSE OF LEGAL/ILLEGAL. THERE IS NO PLACE IN MY MIND FOR VIOLENCE OF ANY KIND AGAINST ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. _
_WE MUST HAVE RULES, OR COURSE, AND UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE THOSE THAT WILL NEVER HAVE ADEQUATE SOCIAL SKILLS AND WILL TRY TO RULE OTHERS. THESE TYPES HAVE TO BE DEALT WITH AND BE PUT AWAY FOR THE SAFETY OF ALL MANKIND. _
I revile the hollow reasons we are in two current wars. We are a smart people…we can do better than that.

Entrepreneurial Success

I served as a lieutenant in the Army from 1992 to 1996, having attended the University of Pennsylvania on a four-year ROTC scholarship. I’ve found my Army experience to be invaluable in my civilian career. There have been numerous times over the years we’ve I’ve met people and instantly bonded over our military experience. I feel like I’m a part of a huge, welcoming “club.” In other times, my military service has been a great conversation bolster because people always seem to be intrigued and surprised by it. I’m 5’2″ and quiet and so people are shocked to hear I was in the Army!

Also I’m the co-founder and editorial director of Momosa Publishing LLC, publisher of MommyMDGuides.com and the Mommy MD Guides book series. The first book in our series, The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth: More than 900 tips that 60 doctors who are also mothers use during their own pregnancies and births, is “due” next week. I attached a free sneak peek and press release.

Thanks for you consideration! I hope you’re having a great day!

Jennifer Bright Reich
Co-founder and Editorial Director, Momosa Publishing LLC
_The Mommy MD Guides_

Military Mindset

I went from the Navy straight into college using the GI Bill. One of the obstacles I encountered was dealing with todays youth. They were always late to class, disrespectful of the professors and it seemed like they never opened their ears and listened to what was being explained in the classroom. All these experiences were in stark contrast to my life in the military where if you were on time, you were late, you always showed respect, and you learned to listen when instructions are being given.

I do feel that serving my country was worth the price. I may have spent my early 20s under a pretty strict contract, but I still got to do a lot (travel Europe, kayak w/ killer whales, live in Greece for over a year). Returning home, military service is in general respected. My job now is as a Public Relations Specialist with Going to the Sun Marketing, a small marketing/PR firm based out of Montana with an office in Rochester, NY.

The owner is a former officer in the U.S. Navy and I feel like he recognized the worth in employing a veteran when he hired me. He told me he wanted someone who could hit the ground running and accurately follow directions without the need for constant reminders and micro managing. He actually hired me initially as part of an internship through my school. My performance was such that I was recently offered a full time position with the company. I certainly think my military service placed me head and shoulders above other applicants because of the level of professionalism that that service implies. Also because it looks great next to the aforementioned immaturity of some of today’s college students.

I feel this company certainly honors and respects the time I put into the US military. Also, its nice having a fellow veteran as an employer as he understands where Ive come from and the mindset that that experience leaves you in.

Travis Clark
Public Relations | Going to the Sun Marketing
585.210.2287 | travis.clark@gttsmarketing.com

But not all stories about Military Life have a good outcome. Too many military marriages and families break up because of the stresses, separations and difficulties of that particular profession. — This story below is far too common:

I deployed to Iraq at the end of March, 2006 as Staff/Maneuver Officer on a Transition Team (11-man teams that work with Iraqi Security Force counterparts for a year assisting, advising and mentoring). Right before Thanksgiving, 2006, I called my brother, a DA Civilian- so he had DSN, to ask how things were going. He said he had stopped by to remind my family – wife and two sons, at that time ages 8 and older one was turning 4 at the beginning of December), and found that nobody was living at my house anymore. They had moved to California. I was a mobilized Army National Guard Cavalry Lieutenant Colonel, but an attorney as a civilian. I contacted an attorney and immediately filed an Order to Show Cause. The judge wouldn’t return my children then, and at the end of October, 2008 allowed them to relocate to California. I handled my own appeal and won on the issue of relocation at the end of October, 2009. To date the judge made me hire a new expert and we still haven’t seen the children back, although the Appellate Division remanded for a determination of whether the children’s relocation continues to be in their best interests since their mother still hasn’t submitted a Visitation Plan (incidentally, NJ Supreme Court in Baures v Lewis said that without a visitation plan, relocation must be denied – the judge is unrelenting). As a Warrior, I won’t give up, but as an attorney I would like to help anyone that has this kind of problem (attorney’s fees, although I handled two appeals, one by myself and the other mostly by myself – have crested over $80K). Yes it is tough, but that is when the tough get going.

Here is some Good News and an exhortation!

40 years married and many many years of service…No problems here.. Of course we are old school and old school says… Tough it out and do what is necessary! Whipper Snapper Wives and Husbands today take the easy way out! 🙂 God Bless our soldiers and remember if he or she leaves then good riddance… There are 100s waiting to take their place and become a proud military spouse! The kids are being used as a pawn and will soon find out who is the real parent! God Bless all for their service to this country!

Another Good Story

My wife and I recently celebrated our 40th Anniversary as well—30 of those years were spent as an active duty Army family. I wouldn’t say we were old school (not everyone liked the idea that a Battalion Cdr’s wife worked outside the home). But sometimes we had to “tough out” some difficult circumstances. In the end those tough circumstances helped forge the relationship. We both say now that we’d do it all again—knowing that the tough times would be there. And to be honest—the tough times were there but the great times we shared in many corners of the world far out weighed the hard times.
Posted by James H.

As an Army Reservist, (2001-2009 with a deployment to OIF II), military service gave me a depper, more profound sense of patriotism. As American’s, we take great pride in our history, our values, and the men and women that have served our country in the cause of freedom for more than 200 years. For me, wearing the words “U.S. Army” over my heart, and taking an oath to defend the very document which forms a compact between a republican form a government and its citizens, inspired me in the knowledge that I was now part, even if only a small part, of a great chain of defender’s of liberty and our great nation. The transition was one from merely being patriotic, to being a patriot. Thanks, Christopher Missick

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Mark Baird

Hello, I'm Mark Baird and I founded Hire Patriots. My wife and I are 'helpers.' We are concerned about meeting the practical needs of our US veterans veterans and their families. We began a job board for local residents to post chores that they need help with. It has been very successful. Thousands of local US Military and veterans partially or entirely support themselves from our website. We are looking for others near US Military bases who would also like to have a HirePatriots.com website for their location. We also hold welcome home parties, military marriage retreats, job fairs and create military family gardens.

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