We all grew up with the same stories that have the same endings. The prince sweeps the princess off her feet, they get married, and live happily ever after. However, what those fairytales don’t tell you is what happens after the wedding. The wedding is the easy part, life afterward is where the real work comes in. Movies, television, and fairytales would make you believe every day is like the honeymoon. The reality is a successful marriage, especially one in the military is wonderful, but it is also a lot of work.
My husband and I have been married for almost twelve years, all of which have been spent in this crazy military life. We have been told many times we have the perfect marriage. In some ways, this makes us smile. We appreciate that we have a relationship others look up to. While our marriage is good and it is strong, it is far from perfect. We have had our struggles, our ups and downs, just like any relationship. If our marriage seems perfect to an outside observer, it is because we have worked over the past decade to build a strong foundation, growing closer, and never giving up.
Anytime I am asked the question of what makes a strong, lasting marriage, the first thing I will say is trust. In any relationship, trust has to be base of your foundation. Without true trust, everything else will crumble. Especially in this life, saying you trust your spouse is not enough. You have to truly trust them, deep down. True trust is not something you can fake your way through.
In the past twelve years, my husband and I have spent many days, weeks, and months apart from each other. During those times of separation, I miss him and I even worry about his safety at times. What I don’t worry about is what he is doing. If he wants to go out to the bar with his shipmates, then fine. I trust he will make it known that he is married and he will do the right thing.
Love and marriage are amazing. They have their fairytale moments for sure. There is a reason from the time we are little we crave love, and fairy tales draw us in for that reason. Deep down inside we all want to find that person who can make our soul feel whole. Love is uplifting, it is healing, and it is the best emotion we as humans can experience. That does not mean it is easy.
As spouses of military members, we sign on because we love them. That love leads us into a life we cannot even imagine. We are dropped into this whole new world unprepared for what it really involves. The military life has its amazing moments, but it is a hard life on even the strongest of relationships. The key to a successful military marriage is constantly working on your bond. Find ways to strengthen the bond you have with your spouse. Each couple is different. They each have a special something that makes them tick, find yours. It is possible to have a fairytale marriage, even in the military. You may just have to write your own fairytale!