Oct 30, 2013

A Modern Woman's Guide to life + love: Marriage

Just in case you haven't been following along - check out the rest of this series here.

When I feel in love with my husband - we were just kids. (As if we are mature now, ha!)

Go back in time with me...
Its my freshman year of college. I'm in English class, sitting next to a friend and his dorkier friend. His friend is tall and lanky. Stoic doesn't cover it - he's evasively quiet. He's attempting to grow out some beard-ish-thing. Then there's me - wearing a tacky sweater, ill-fitting jeans and the attitude of a total freshman-girl. I talk often and loud to make up for the lack of profound thoughts in my head. It works for me.

Fast forward a year - he's changing the headlight on my car + asks me out. And then we're serious, and I've met his parents. He occasionally comes over for dinner. flash. He's joined the Marine corps - we begin having serious conversations about officiate vs. terminate.  flash. We're on a hike. He's on one knee. We're engaged. flash. Its the day of our wedding. flash. We're married. Our two day honeymoon is over and we're kissing good-bye at the airport. flash. We move in and start our life together and things have never been the same.

It hasn't always been easy - but it has been nothing but blessings + lessons. Being married to my dear Husband comes with such joy - but as you can imagine, you don't just marry the man - you marry the Corps. From the day you say "I do", you also pledge a lot of "I don'ts". You don't get to choose where you life. You don't control your schedule. Your husband is married to the military, first.

Military marriage can be tough + confusing. The truth is that a huge percent of military marriages, sadly end in divorce. After a year of Marine-wife-hood I still have a lot of learning (and acronym memorization) to go. But there are some simple things that Husband and I have applied to our lives that make this life easier.

Here are some tips I have picked up in my first year of marriage to my Marine:

b e   p a t i e n t .
Your husbands time + schedule is no longer his own. Military men (and women) often work long + odd hours. My husband sometimes works weeks without days off - including weekends, folks! The truth of the matter is, he doesn't want to be at work anymore than you want him there. SO many of our early fights were about him being late to this, or taking too long on that. The moment you learn patience for him + his schedule the faster you can enjoy your life as a mil-spouse. And remember to be Semper gumby. (always flexible, as things always change!)

n e v e r    b l a m e    h i m .
I hear so many of my military-spouse friends say to their husbands "You're the one who went and joined the Marine Corps." Or "You don't get to complain, you did this to us." When you are married this is no longer appropriate. You are now part of a "we" and "we" are in it together. The truth is that you didn't enter into this marriage unknowingly to a military man. You chose him. You said yes. You don't get to blame.

t a l k    t h r o u g h    e v e r y t h i n g .
In the first few months of marriage - we went weeks without discussing some important details. For starters, I felt depressed in sitting around the house doing nothing - and I became super-wife. I mowed the lawn, I fixed house issues, I utilized the power tools, shopped, cleaned + generally kept things in order. What I didn't know was that while I was trying to help my husband have restful evenings - he felt unnecessary + useless while at home. He wanted to help. While this could have been easily solved it went this way for some time.

g o    t o    b e d    a n g r y .  
There are so many times where life as a military wife has seemed less-than-glamorous to me. Despite my sweet looks, I can sometimes be downright mean. When I get mean, I talk crap. I could win awards for the crap I talk. I can lecture my husband for an hour about his "sub-par" husband behaviors and "his inability to love me how I'd like to be". The truth is that tension can sometimes be tight in a marriage - and women - sometimes we just need to shut up and get a good nights sleep. Somehow "important" issues disappear in the night, like magic.

If you have any questions, comments, or just need someone to talk to, You've got my ear! Please email me at itbritt.blog@gmail.com.

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