Ambitious Military Wife
Q: My partner and I are both in the military. I'm only 20. We've been married for a year but spent the last 10 months apart due to our orders. She was interested in staying overseas for another year, in the interest of her career, and I supported her in her decision. Now we're due to spend another year apart. She already has orders to come back to my duty station once her tour is complete but she prefers to get stationed closer to her home. I'm not really interested in going there and I feel like I'm making all of the sacrifices. We've had some disagreements which would have been resolved had we been together but I feel like the distance is driving us apart. Should I continue to support her choices and potentially spend the next 3-4 years apart? -- Zane
Dr. Susan: You two need to spend SOME time together and have a genuine heart-to-heart. Your marriage could certainly be at risk if you spend the next three or four years apart. One year apart has been hard, two is going to be VERY hard, and any more than that ... well, I wonder why your wife would even push for that. Usually when two people make the commitment to marry, they at least try to live in the same place whenever possible. It's something they WANT, and it shouldn't feel like a sacrifice on anyone's part.
You married young, and you've both probably done a lot more growing since joining the military. Life is one compromise after another, but you both need to be equally supportive of one another. It makes sense that you believe it's her turn to give a little. From the standpoint of aiming toward a long and happy marriage, you both need to do whatever you can to be together. I urge you to talk this complicated situation over with someone at your base or hers.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.