5 Ways to Keep Your Military Marriage Strong

By Kathryn Sneed on Wednesday, September 4, 2013

5 Ways to Keep Your Military Marriage Strong

After our servicemen are deployed, so many come home to discover a strained marriage and children they barely know.

I can’t imagine how tough that must be, not only for them but for their families.  That is why I love posts like this one from HWC contributor, Kathryn Sneed.  

Posts like this that help strengthen our military families so once they’ve returned from fighting to protect our freedoms, they are able to truly live a life of peace.

So if you know a military wife, share this post with them.  They’ll thank you for it.

Until tomorrow…make it  great day!

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Over the years, I have learned a lot of lessons about military life and marriage.  

Keeping my marriage strong has been important to me because I know that although the military lifestyle can be tough, marriage is still our responsibility and there are plenty of things I can do to help keep it strong!

Below are ways I have learned that have helped strengthen our marriage through the tough times, and separations, and I believe they can help keep your military marriage strong too!

5 Ways to Keep Your Military Marriage Strong:

1. Communicate!
You’ve probably heard before that communication is the key to any relationship, and that is so true! Communication is especially important in a military marriage because of how stressful the lifestyle can be. If you are not talking things out with your spouse, you are keeping it all in and eventually it will hurt your relationship.

Communicate honestly, your feelings about the lifestyle, the job, the mission, and even deployment.  Yes, sometimes there are things your spouse may not be able to tell you about the job or the mission, and that’s okay.  But with effective communication, you and your spouse will still be able to talk through important things about your family and about your marriage.

2. Savor Each Moment.
As a military spouse it can be very easy to see the difficult aspects of the military lifestyle.  For a lot of military families, separation is big part of life and it can be easy to see each moment as less and less time until your spouse leaves again. Instead of looking at it like that, learn to savor the moments you have with your spouse.

Go on a date, take a vacation, do things you might not normally do together – just have fun! Focus on the good and appreciate the small things in your marriage and family. Then, when your spouse is away again, you will have these wonderful moments to look back on and remember.

3. Have Understanding and Patience.
Understanding and patience are so important in a military marriage because of the toll the lifestyle can take on the military member and even the spouse. There will be days where your spouse may be having a bad day at work or maybe they have pulled away due to an upcoming deployment. These are times where understanding and patience are the keys to getting through each day.

Being understanding will help lessen the tension between you and your spouse, and being patient will help both of you learn to get through each day and each tough time, step by step.

4. Talk and Laugh Often.
If there is one thing I’ve learned as a military spouse it’s that I should never be too busy to laugh and talk with my husband. Time together is precious and sometimes laughter is few and far between, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take time out for it! It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine and I definitely agree. Sitting together talking and laughing is a great way to strengthen your relationship and it’s definitely something you won’t regret!

5.  Make the Best of Time Apart.
Time apart from your spouse is usually inevitable in the military, but learning to make the best of that time is going to help the separation go much easier. Instead of pulling away during this time, use it to grow closer to your spouse and learn more about them. Make the best of these separations, by having a good attitude, setting some goals to accomplish during this time, and learning to encourage each other through it.


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Kathryn is a 20-something stay-at-home mother and military wife. She keeps busy by taking care of her special needs son and blogging about faith, marriage, motherhood, military life and more at Singingthroughtherain.net. In her spare time, she likes hanging out with friends and going on date nights with her husband!

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comment Policy
  • http://www.encourageyourspouse.com/ Lori Ferguson

    Thanks Kathryn – Wonderful insights for all married couples in addition to military spouses! I especially like the idea of setting goals to accomplish while you’re apart.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      I’m with you, Lori! I’m not a military wife but realized so many of these points can be applied across the board.

      • Mary Shelton

        It’s interesting because I am a military spouse and my husband is in Korea right now and we are visiting friends and family. I hear how some of my friends talk to their husbands (and vise versa) and think I would never say that to my hubby or get mad at him for that silly thing, or wow, if only they knew what it was like to be apart for a really long time they would appreciate each other more. I do get frustrated with my hubby and we do have our fights but we never name call and we care about the other’s feelings and we always resolve our issues because when he leaves, all I ever want is his safe return and for him to know without a doubt that I love him and he can trust me and vise versa. I greatly appreciate all he does because I know first hand what it’s like when he’s not there. In some ways I think military spouses have a greater opportunity in relationships because of this fact. The whole don’t know what you got till it’s gone, we always have reminders as military spouses.

    • Kathryn

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Gladys G. Patindol

    Thanks Kathryn for these words of wisdom. I am also a military wife. I know the agony of the long separation can get through your nerves. It took strength to keep yourself happy and healthy while he is away and try to control the lonely feelings you felt. And when he is home, and you are with him,
    you will wish you have the power to stop the time just to make the moments last forever for it is a little hard when he had to go back again. There is also the “Military Drama” to contend with. The question of fidelity is a pure torture. The waiting period between calls is also an agony . All you have to do
    is wait. He will be busy and distracted, but you will only be waiting. You will be checking your mail every day, checking your email several times a day, and if you forget your cell at home when you leave, you will have a panic attack. Every call is precious, and if you miss one, it is one of the most discouraging
    nights you will ever have.

    You also have to contend with the fear of the death of a spouse, you have had to raise a child on your own for a while, keep your finances in order and you have had to keep sane while doing it. You change as a person when your soldier is away, and he changes too. You have to be able to accept the fact that the person you are committed to is going to come back a different man (sometimes only slightly, sometimes drastically). Being a soldier’s wife is indeed a tough job and is not for faint of hearts. So I salute to MILITARY WIVES for their courage and integrity for it is not easy to put yourselves aside and be what he needs for the name of LOVE and FAMILY. God bless.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      We salute you too, Gladys!

    • Kathryn

      So true! So much goes into this life. Thank you for sharing and thank you and your family for your service as well.

  • Carlie Kercheval

    Kathyrn, as a fellow military wife of 13 years, I know all too well what is involved with the wars our nation has been fighting. We just ended deployment #5 (each one was 12 months or longer) last summer and are now separated again for training. It isn’t an easy feat – but our family is called to it and my husband and I continue to fight hard to keep our Christ-centered marriage alive and thriving. Your tips are great, and if others will heed to them, they will make a difference. It is hard to believe that in the last 10 years of my husband’s service to America – we have spent over 7 of them apart. But by the grace of God you’d never know it as our love for one another continuously blossoms because we take our marriage seriously and put it first. I have managed to stay active and positive throughout our separations while homeschooling our 3 precious babies (our oldest entered into 8th this year) and fulfilling the ministries God has placed in my heart. It can be done. Everyone has to find their own groove and make it an absolute unified mission to stay connected and it works! We are deeper in love today than we were when we met over 15 years ago. Bless you!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      I love learning more about your marriage, Carlie! You are an amazing family to watch. Happy we met :) .

    • Kathryn

      So true – every bit you said. Thank you so much for sharing and for your positivity! God bless!!

  • http://judithwholeheartedhome.com/ Judith

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas for marriage. It is so important to keep our marriages strong.

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      Thanks, Judith!

  • Deborah Thomson

    Thank you very much for this beautiful article, and advises!! My husband and I are celebrating 6 months of marriage this month. My husband is not serving in military but for a visa issues we are not living in the same country, he comes every couple months for short visit. distance is hard, but never decrease my love for him, contrary I’m madly in love with my husband than ever, every time he comes is like a honeymoon :D Thank you very much for this club

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      We’re so honored to have you in this club, Deborah!

    • Kathryn

      Long-distance is so hard. Keep on keeping on and God bless! So glad this was able to help.

  • Harmisha Cairns

    This is really good to read, my husband leaves for BMT in October and I am gonna miss him so much but he’s doing this for our family and that’s what makes it worth it

    • Kathryn

      Basic Training was some of the hardest days for me. Just write to him whenever you can – keep a journal or something, and pray hard. It is definitely worth it, and God will be with you both. Good luck!

  • Tuesday

    Pray. God created marriage so talk to Him about it!

    • http://www.happywivesclub.com/ Fawn @ Happy Wives Club

      And everything else, right? Good words.

  • Stephanie

    I love this post! I think you hit major points that could cause major problem in your marriage if you dont address them. We learned a lot of these lessons through our years of marriage.

    Thank You,