I love learning more about marriage. Whether it be by reading articles or by examining my own marriage and gleaning lessons from it, my marriage is one of my top priorities and I love learning how to make my relationship with my husband even stronger. Now I’m by no means an “expert” in all things marriage….not even close but I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things in almost-four years of marriage.
While having a husband in the military definitely comes with its own set of unique challenges, it also comes with unique opportunities to learn…more about your spouse, more about yourself, and more about your marriage. I’m also coming at this topic from a little different perspective today–5 marriage lessons from the perspective of a military spouse.
1// RELAX AND BE FLEXIBLE
Sounds easy enough right? It’s not….at least not for me. I’m a worrier by nature and I like things to be organized and in a set schedule (please tell me I’m not the only gal like this!). Aaaaand most of the time my schedule does not coincide with US Army’s! Which is quite unfortunate because more often than not that’s the time table that runs my household. Let’s just say I’ve done my fair share to keep Netflix in business!
It’s super easy when things don’t go as I’d like to get upset or to only dwell on what’s gone wrong. But I’ve learned my best choice is just to take a deep breath and go with the flow. Some days that’s definitely easier to do than others, but hey it’s a work in progress!
2// ENSURE QUALITY TIME TOGETHER
Have you heard of the 5 love languages? Both my husband and I have quality time as our primary love language which makes things a little tricky when he spends so much time away from home. Obviously we try to make date nights a priority as much as possible but sometimes it just isn’t in the cards that week. What I’ve found that works best for us is setting aside at least 30 minutes a day to just….talk. Sometimes it’s right after Zach comes home from work, other times we sneak a little exercise into it and take a walk together, still other times it’s through texting or phone calls.
However we do it, we always try to make spending time to connect with each other a priority.
3// BE UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTIVE
When we first got married, Zach spent quite a bit of time away. I remember feeling so lonely being in a completely new place virtually by myself–an ocean away from family, friends and everything I was used to. I’m ashamed to say that in those first few months I grew bitter towards Zach’s goals to succeed in the military a little more every day. It took awhile before I realized that this bitterness was causing me to be even more unhappy with my situation and, on top of that, was causing added stress to my marriage that didn’t need to be there!
Do I still sometimes find myself getting bitter over missed birthdays or months spent apart? Unfortunately yes, but then I remind myself that all those things are a part of my husband’s job and he absolutely loves his job. So I make the decision to be as supportive of him and his goals as he is of mine. Attitude really does change your outlook sometimes!
4// COMPROMISE AND COMMUNICATE BETTER
We all know this is a biggy, right! I’m quite a talker and Zach tends to be more of the strong silent type *insert eye roll here so sometimes it’s quite a struggle to actually communicate with each other instead of just talking at each other and never listening to the other person’s viewpoint.
I’m hoping that this is a skill that comes with age too. You know, so when we’re 70 and sitting in our rocking chairs, we’ll just have to look at each other to know what the other is thinking. #bliss
5// SAVOR THE MOMENT
Am I the only one who thinks it’s so easy to forget to savor the here and now? I know I get so caught up in what I have to do tomorrow or next week and what I didn’t do yesterday, I forget to take a moment out of my day and find the blessings I have right at that moment. If there’s anything these three years as a military spouse has taught me, it’s that you never know what life might bring. It’s so important to see the silver linings in things and take time to appreciate the people you love!
Ready for a little introspection? What’s one marriage lesson you’ve learned from your own marriage?