Building a happy marriage when you’re tired, and worn out is hard, especially when you’re a military family. Military life is always changing, moving at light-speed and feels like a whole different world sometimes. The one constant is the commitment you and your spouse made to each other. It’s definitely hard when your work schedules never line up, your spouse is on shift work or never has any days off. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about those 24 hour duty days.
I’m not going to lie, it’s not always easy and I know that maintaining a healthy, happy marriage is on a lot of women’s minds. I see it everyday in the support pages for military wives/girlfriends/spouses. Sometimes with a lot of desperation and conviction in their voices. Well, I hear you – a lot of us do.
You want a happy marriage filled with love, happiness and feelings of being connected to one another.
Make time for each other.
Any time together is time well spent. Even if it’s a quick 30 minute meal. Anytime of day: breakfast, lunch of dinner. This at least gives you a bit of time to chat and catch up about what has been going on in your lives. Sometimes my husband and I feel like passing ships in the night, its tough – but we try to at least share a bit about our week, things we’ve accomplished or how work is going.
Don’t try to change your partner.
This one is a tough one. You fell in love with your spouse for a reason. A few years might of passed and people do grow and change, but don’t try to make them into something they are not. My advice is to change and grow together. Also, don’t feel bad if you’ve changed on your own. That’s okay. For example: I quit smoking and lost almost 30 pounds to become happier with myself. My husband didn’t push me to do that, and I don’t push him to do things he doesn’t want to. Yeah, sometimes I rag on him for still being a smoker, but hey – I still love him just as much.
Communication is key.
This definitely falls in with the “make time for each other” point as well. Communication in any relationship is the utmost important thing. Communicating about the good going on in life is great, but communicating about the problems, issues, or things that are upsetting you is even better. Make sure you express your feelings in a positive, non-attacking way. The last thing your going to want to do when your exhausted in your marriage is to attack your spouse with an argument. Granted, yes, fighting is a natural thing in relationships, but remember that you respect and love one another. I will admit, this is one of our biggest challenges. My husband and I are both so stubborn, sometimes its really tough to convey our thoughts to each other. Make sure you truly listen and hear what your partner is saying. Show respect by paying attention and listening.
Don’t base your marriage on others relationships.
THIS! So much this! Do not base your relationship on what you see others doing. Each relationship is different and needs to be nurtured in its own way. If I tried to be like every perfect couple I come across, I’d fail miserably. The biggest thing is that I’d be someone different. And my husband fell in love with me and all of my quirks. Here’s a good post on why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other military spouses. You can apply some of those things here as well.
Learn from each other and your experiences.
Take the time to learn from each other and your experiences. Know when to do things and when not to do things. For example: When I’m hungry, I’m cranky. I know that when I’m hungry, it’s not good to start a serious conversation because I’ll most likely get worked up and start a stupid argument.