Way harder than anyone imagines when they are just dreaming about it.
Disagreements on how to squeeze a toothpaste tube, whether to sleep with the window open or closed and how to spend money.
Now include the everyday ups and downs of marriage into the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan, or anywhere in the world our military is stationed.
Now add the fact that both Mr. and Mrs. are deployed to Iraq, not once, but twice on 12 month tours. That’s the day-to-day reality of Nathan and Jennifer Williams. In a recent chicagotribune.com article, Associated Press Writer Hamza Hendawi profiled the lives of this couple and the trials they experience in an army marriage. Nathan and Jennifer have been married for five years, but because of deployment and separate training commitments have only been together probably two of those years.
Even though they serve in the same brigade and are only six miles apart in Iraq they only get to see each other once or twice a month. Their relationship has to exist with mainly phone calls.
Although very upbeat, they worry about how all the separations could affect their relationship and how the possibilities of so much tragedy could turn them into different people.
Something we don’t always take the time to stop and think about is the future of the military families now and in the future. Then there are the families where one spouse serves and the other spouse stays behind. The National Military Family Association has a whole list of recommended readings to help with all the feelings that these spouses and families experience.
We should all be exceedingly thankful for everything everyone serving our country is doing on our behalf, and that includes the spouses and families. We should also not take for granted the privilege of being together every day and having the luxury of discussing the right way to push toothpaste out of a tube.
Nathan Williams puts it best; “I cannot wait to experience the routine boredom people say always come with marriage.” I hope they are disagreeing on their toothpaste tube very soon.
Are you in the military? Do you have a story about your marriage you can share?