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24 Tips for a Strong Military Marriage from Amazing Military Spouses

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Military marriage can be tough. Any marriage can be tough. But it’s also possible to foster an amazing relationship despite the deployments and separations. I asked a group of fantastic military spouses who all have marriages of varying lengths for their #1 piece of advice for having a strong, resilient marriage. Here’s what they said:

Strong military marriages are important! Love this advice from military spouses who have been there, done that

Be sure to be in the moment when they are home. Force yourself to focus on that moment!” -Mandy from Cooking with the Bakers, married 12 years

“Pray during the hard times.” -Trista from A Purpose Driven Wife, married 9 years

“Accept that the Army (in our case) is the “other wife” who has more clout than you.” -Karen, married 37 years

“Enjoy the anniversary, birthdays, and holidays you have together and don’t resent the ones you spend alone. Make memories when you can!” – Amanda from Airman 2 Mom, married 8 years

“Plan for the best. Prepare for the worst.” -JD from A Semi-Delicate Balance, married 2 years

“Marriage is not a 50/50 partnership. It is 75/25 and YOU are always giving the 75%. If both of you come into it with that mindset, you will always give more than everything to your marriage.” CJ from Cosmopolitan Cornbread, married 24 years

“Have designated roles in your marriage and then embrace them for the good of the whole. There should only be one “Chief Financial Officer” or “Main Disciplinarian.” Base these roles on an objective assessment of your life– the spouse who is miles away for half the year simply can’t be there to discipline the children every day, and the financially undisciplined spouse can’t run the budget, even if they are the main breadwinner. Learning to “stay in your lane” helps prevent mistakes and establishes stability in everyone’s life, especially during times when so much else is beyond our control.” -Stella from StellaReynoso.com, married 9 years

“Spend time communicating effectively. It builds trust and keeps you connected on an emotional level.” -Judy from The Direction Diva, married 23 years

“Trying to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes (or combat boots) and see things from their perspective, especially in tough circumstances. Understanding and having empathy for one another is so important.” -Courtney from Courtney at Home, married 5 years

“Remember that love is not flowers and hearts and breathless, romantic comedy romance, it is a choice, every day, and takes work. Marriage is a commitment to keep making that choice even when it gets hard because you know it also gets amazing.” -Kim from She Is Fierce, married 14 years

“Keep the “lines” open. Have conversations deeper than the activities of your day, or even put pen to paper (especially when he or she is deployed) if you have a hard time saying it out loud.” -Heather from Military Wife Military Life, married 11 years

“Don’t compare your husband to your friend’s husband. Learn to love the person you married.” -Michelle, married 10 years

“Talk…even when you don’t want to talk. And throw some laughs in there too.” Candy from Candypo, married 18 years

“The old saying, “If we can survive a deployment, we can survive anything,” is not true. There is so much more that this military life can throw at you.” -Jane from It’s Not Me, You Suck, married for “an undisclosed long period of time”

“It’s okay to have moments when you’re upset but in a young marriage, one of my best pointers is to never resort to name-calling. Once words are cast, it’s hard to take them back. We all have our own insecurities and to have them thrown into your face by the one that loves you the most, no number of apologies can take them back. Once name-calling begins, it opens the door for it to be acceptable every time. It’s not healthy to do this when trying to work through an issue. It only creates a deeper one.” -Kim from USMC Life, married 7 years

“Form a two-handed circle. (Google the two handed circle, it’s great.)” -Heidi, married 21 years

“Put each other first, forgive a lot, and remember communication is always a work in progress. I don’t think there is ever a time where you will have learned everything about communicating with your spouse.” -Kathryn from Singing Through the Rain, married 6 years

“For us, the secret is really knowing what we need and being willing to ask for it when the other person forgets/misses it/ etc. For example, I have to have my barn time. It keeps me grounded and feeling like I haven’t “lost my interests” through all the moving and required adaptability. He has his own personal interests that we also make a priority.” -Kristen, married 11 years

“Learn your spouse’s love language and how to speak it– it’s so important!” -Kathryn from Singing Through the Rain, married 6 years

“Only one of you can be crazy at a time.” -Heidi, married 21 years

“Be strong. Remember why you love him and he loves you and don’t give up.” -Jane from It’s Not Me, You Suck, married for “an undisclosed long period of time”

“Marriage is always a work in progress. If you are “talking,” you will learn more about, or more from, your spouse. You can still surprise one another, even if you thought you knew everything!” -Heather from Military Wife Military Life, married 11 years

“Learning to communicate effectively can help strengthen your relationship. The way you talk (and listen) to one another can either build your marriage up or tear it down.” -Courtney from Courtney at Home, married 5 years

“Compromise is not losing. It is winning– it is good for both of you. You don’t ever want to look at conflict (and there’s always some) as a battle with a winner or loser. That’s not a marriage. Leave the battles for the war.” -CJ from Cosmopolitan Cornbread, married 24 years

PS. Check out these 5 ways to make your military relationship stronger.


9 Responses

  1. These are wonderful! Thank you all for weighing in. Our educational 501(c)(3) charity, Country Cures, trains re-entering veterans and their families to rebuild their relationships–because there is no organized effort that offers this training. With the high rates of suicides, homicides, domestic violence, and vets’ kids acting out, something had to be done. Our military sacrifices so much for us–and spouses should get credit for all they do. But spouses burn out. Country Cures shows them how to cope. Bless you all!
    Dr. Gilda Carle

  2. What an interesting mix of answers. I have some new favorites from this list now!

  3. Haha I love the one about the Army being the ‘other wife’ with more klout. These are all great! We are about to celebrate five years, and we get stronger all the time by following great advice like this!

  4. Pingback: Entering a Long Distance Relationship | To Love a Solider
  5. Pingback: Entering a Long Distance Relationship - Loving My Soldier

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