To me, Marriage is a sacred vow. Whether you’re religious or not, athiest or not, feminist or not, something in between, etc. It doesn’t matter. When you get married you pledge your committment to another person and you promise to love them and be their person until you die (usually).
It saddens me to see people using their marriage as a toy to dangle in front of their significant other’s face when things go poorly. The people who do this won’t care left or right what I’m saying but the people who see this happen, know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve seen so many people jump the gun and get married because their significant other was joining the military. Hell, we got married a month before boot camp, albeit, we’d been together for almost 6 years already. Next year we’ll celebrate 10 years together and 4 married. But this isn’t about me and Superman.
For the love of god, don’t get married because your significant other is joining the military and got orders elsewhere. Where exactly did you think s/he was going? S/he sure wasn’t coming home. I see facebook statuses of people who literally use their marriage as a pawn. They threaten their spouse with divorce or give them a pat on the back for not being divorced already. I see them flip their socks while their spouse is deployed because they don’t have time to skype with them constantly. They can’t do anything for you from the desert. You need to learn to do it on your own.
There are plenty of people out there who got married young, had a kid or didn’t have a kid, already had a kid, whatever and they work just fine. You want to know their secret? They communicate with their spouse, they respect their spouse, and they grow up together.
When you get married, you’re a team and when one member of that team is not holding up their end of the proverbial marriage bar, they need to be called to the carpet. There is always leeway and compromise in a marriage and if you think that you’re going to marry someone and run the show, I feel for your potential spouses because there will likely be more than one.
There are times when I want to duct tape my husband to a chair and just lay into him because he only listens to a fraction of what I’m saying (how many times do I have to tell him to stop putting that lid in the dishwasher – wait, he’s loading the dishwasher… hmm). He makes me bonkers sometimes. But we are a team, he’s a much better team member than I am, I’m more of a solo act but I’m working on it. He’s a great teammate usually. Yes, he’s forgotten where the trash can is, doesn’t ever pick anything up off the floor or put anything away, and is overall an absentminded slob, but I love him. I wouldn’t threaten to divorce him because he’s busy with his job. He puts me ahead of most other things, it wasn’t easy getting to where we are and it took a lot of arguments and hurt feelings for us to make our points. But, that’s just it, isn’t it? Marriage is about compromising, not blasting your spouse on facebook. Yes, I rant about him on twitter, but he’s not on twitter – he has no idea what I’m saying. Chances are, I’ve already sent him that text message and he’s conveniently ignoring me until I find my temper cap because it’s obviously blown off. I would never throw up a status message about leaving him and then tag him in it. I respect him too much for that. He’s not perfect, neither am I but we do respect each other and sometimes we need to be reminded what respect is because we forget.
The divorce rate amongst military couples is ridiculous, partially because they weren’t ready to get married and partially because their partner changed. There’s no denying that being in the military or even married to the military changes people, it just is. It’s a matter of whether or not you can adjust as a team or not.
Don’t get married just so you can go with them. Get married because you love them and you want to be with them forever. Get married because they are your person and you can’t live without them.