5 Sure-Fire Ways to Sabotage Your Military Relationship

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Unilever & Operation in Touch via MSB New Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

Military relationships are tough. Here's exactly how destroy yours.

Military relationships are just like any other relationship, to be very honest. We just have a few other obstacles and circumstances to take into account. Every so often, I receive email and Facebook messages from readers who have relationship questions or stories and are asking for help and advice from me. And many times, relationships that are in trouble have a few similarities. Of course, you’re only half of the equation– both people have to work to make a relationship work. Here are 5 toxic things attitudes and behaviors that you can avoid in your relationship:

Fall for the Romance

Many people (even those in the military community) see military romance as uber-romantic. Of course, there are the heart-stopping moments, like the first kiss after a deployment. But the truth is, a military relationship is just as hard and just as messy as any other relationship. Deployments and separations won’t make it easier. Moving every few years won’t make it easier. And pining away for the stereotypical romantic moments won’t make it easier either. Instead, look for the romance in the little moments– when he picks something up at the grocery store just because he was thinking of you. When you write a little note to her to tuck into her lunchbox. And you never, ever have to wait for deployment to kiss them and knock their socks off.

[Tweet “Look for the romance in the little moments– not just the big ones. #milspouse #relationshiptips”]

Assume the Worst… All the Time

Military relationships usually have to endure a pressure-cooker of frustration and fear. It’s easy to give in and let the doom and gloom over take you. (I know what this feels like: I was convinced John wasn’t coming home from deployment. And it made every single day more difficult than it had to be.) Make the conscious decision to pull yourself up and have a positive attitude (at least most of the time). It will make life so much easier when you look on the bright side of things.

If you find yourself unable to pull yourself up, you may need to seek help. Please do. Military life can be really tough.

[Tweet “Make the conscious decision to pull yourself up and have a positive attitude. #milspouse #relationshiptips”]

Refuse to Trust Your Partner’s Word

So much of a military relationship is spent separately– deployments, geobaching, AIT, TAD/TDY, boot camp, not to mention long hours and weird shifts. Learning how to trust your partner is integral to any relationship, but it is absolutely paramount to functioning in a healthy military relationship. Remember that part of being in a relationship is learning how to be vulnerable and to trust someone else. There’s being smart– like noticing when something is wrong or when stories don’t add up– and then there’s being hyper-vigilant for no reason– like being upset when your partner speaks to another woman (or man) at a Christmas party. Be confident in your partner’s ability to do the right thing– that they are honest with you and treat you and your relationship correctly– until you are given real, concrete, substantial evidence that points otherwise.

[Tweet “Part of being in a relationship is learning how to be vulnerable and to trust someone else.#milspouse #relationshiptips”]

Play the Victim (or Martyr)

It’s healthy to sometimes throw yourself a pity party. (Trust me, I’ve eaten enough chocolate chip cookies and cried to enough movies to know that.)  But it’s not fair to your partner (and it will wear on your relationship) if you are always playing the martyr or victim. If something is truly upsetting you or you feel completely put out (like the hubs bringing 12 people over for dinner without telling you), of course bring it up and deal with it constructively. But if you find yourself getting upset over small, seemingly inconsequential things or if you always feel put out, ask yourself what the real issue is. And then readjust your attitude.

[Tweet “Readjust your attitude. #milspouse #relationshiptips”]

Military relationships are tough. Here's exactly how destroy yours.

Blame Your Partner for the Military Stuff

Say it with me: It’s not my partner’s fault. For the majority of military decisions, your partner has little to no input… and if he or she does, they might just be picking the best of two bad options. Being upset with them for a PCS, training, or deployment is a waste of time and energy because your partner has to follow orders. Find a way to deal with the disappointment, frustration, anger, and fear that doesn’t involve blaming your partner. (I know, I know, it can be hard.)

[Tweet “Find a way to deal with the disappointment, frustration, anger, and fear that doesn’t involve blaming your partner.”]

There are so many things in relationships that we can’t control– especially in military relationships. But it is possible to stop toxic practices and attitudes when communicating and dealing with your partner, if you’re willing and able to try.

These tips are for relationships that are abuse-free. If you think you are experiencing domestic abuse– regardless if it is emotional, physical, sexual, or mental– seek help from a trusted person and know there are people who care about you and want to help you.

Disclaimer: This information is purely for entertainment purposes only. I am not a therapist, doctor, or other licensed individual. If you need help, please seek the appropriate accredited individuals. 

One Response

  1. Great post as always! With Zack being in Japan for the next year, I’m feeling rather bitter and frustrated =/ One of the hardest parts is remembering that this isn’t his fault. It’s so easy to project all my anger and frustration on him right now which is completely unfair. The second day after he left, I got upset and sent him a rather long text, complaining about how “he doesn’t put me first” and how “our marriage means nothing to him”. Of course I said this out of anger and hatred for the military and didn’t really mean it, but about 10 minutes later, I instantly felt guilty and apologized, explaining that I was feeling defeated and left behind. Rather than him getting mad at me for the first text (which is what I expected him to do since I was being ridiculous), he responded by telling me he understood and that I had every right to be upset. It’s only been a week and I already feel like our communication has improved tremendously. It’s hard to remember that this situation is just as upsetting for him as it is for me. It’ll be a rough year, but I’m trying to stay positive and keep moving forward to get it all over with.

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