How to have A Healthy Marine Corps Marriage…

At least once new and seasoned spouses have all asked themselves the same question:  How do I maintain a normal & healthy marriage; if there is one?!  There are no simple or quick fixes and let’s face it; being a Marine Corps wife can compound the challenge. There’s no 9-5 civilian job to mull over.  At the very beginning we discuss funeral wishes, Wills & POA’s when most  couples are still in the honeymoon phase.  Absolutely no one has a perfect marriage but hopefully we can all learn from others’ experiences to obtain or maintain a healthy marriage.

1) Communication. Learning the art of having a solid positive communicative foundation in your relationship is a hurdle you have to learn to jump because issues only get more complex as the years go by.  Active listening means just that LISTENING.  Not nagging or thinking of a come back as soon as they open their mouths.  Fluffy surface stuff like “hi/bye, kiss me, I love you” get you nowhere as well.  I mean deep conversations into the how, why & plan of action for confrontational in-laws, finances, overspending, financial planning, how to raise your kids, ect.  Two people have become one and finding a neutral ground of compromise is a delicate balance.  Compromise doesn’t mean submission it means you can have an honest conversation without feeling slighted or run over.

2) Maintenance.  You get out of your marriage what you put into it.  You don’t overheat your car without getting it checked out; the same concept goes for a marriage. Aboard almost all bases there are counselors & classes like the 5 Love Languages and the 4 Lenses which introduce you to personality types and how to mesh them into your relationship so both parties feel validated, important and respected.  People go to the doctor for regular check-ups & maintenance is the same thing to prevent serious issues.

3) Reality. We live a unique life where it takes tremendous effort to communicate & maintain our marriage due to unaccompanied duty stations, deployments, trainings, ect.  Marine Corps marriage is a huge reality check. Priorities have to shifted because reality is you cant get upset when he isn’t around or remembers to celebrate that second Wednesday in June when you two kissed for the third time under a full moon and you were wearing red heels with your favorite jeans.

4) Salt & Pepper. Everyone knows salt and pepper are always added and additional spices as needed and so should be certain things in a marriage.  Always have undeniable love, respect, support, thoughtfulness, understanding and patience for each other and the spicy romance & extra goodies should automatically follow suit.

We’ve all heard the saying that anything worth fighting for won’t be easy and thats exactly what Marine Corps marriage is.  Marriage is meant to complement your attributes and personality so while you’ll constantly evolve into being a better person and an outstanding Marine Corps spouse because of your Marine remember to enjoy the ride along the way.  A spoonful of sugar will not make our lives easier as much as I’d love it to but leaning on each other for support and following the steps above may help a bit.

Planning Valentines Day for Men

Men can be pretty interesting and irritating creatures. Being that we’re married to the few and the proud makes life even more unpredictable & audacious. Even if he’s deployed you know your man and if he’s outgoing or a home-body hopefully you will be able to relate and utilize some or all of these suggestions to have a passionate Valentines Day! With some creative thinking you may just get some naughty time & fireworks at the end of your special night.

If your man says in his most cynical grumpy voice, “Valentine’s is just another day!” Don’t fall for it! It’s a cop out to not do anything at all. Tell him you’re not renting a helicopter to take you to an island to renew your vows like you’re on a tv show but the day can serve as an opportunity to reconnect with each other. He needs to suck it up!

Do you shop or not shop for him? It’s a huge thing now a days. Homemade means heartfelt. I say that it can be hard to figure out what to get them in general so do whatever you want to do and don’t feel bad for not crocheting a damn thing! Buying for men on any holiday is insane but especially this one since this isn’t the manliest of man days ever. Those little lollipop inserted cards were cute in 2nd grade but what about now?

Thanks to Pinterest “I’ve seen the light” (in my best southern preacher voice) and perfected the art of man-gift giving. For our Marines it isn’t quantity but quality ladies! I got a standing ovation for my Christmas gift buying skills so here are ideas for receiving a standing “O” yourself on V-Day:

Couple time: yes you have to touch him! hold hands, watch the sunset, walk on the beach or set some paper lanterns up (but not in California you’d probably go to jail)

Message/Poem: daily love notes enhance a marriage anyways to fill that “love tank” so on VDay make it spicy or corny but always from the heart

Scavenger hunt/O-Course: make him work for it! He can read instructions when he comes home that will have him seeking out his gifts or you in the end

Music: remember making tapes from the radio? They were so awesomely heartfelt & special. Make him a compilation of love songs to set the mood either on the IPod or a CD.

Food: the way to his heart is through his stomach! Cook/Bake at home or go out but 4 courses will get his attention!

Photos/Boudoir shoot: everyone has a tasteful temptress in them! No granny panties tonight! Check out that ‘skinny ladies’ secret or a normal sized persons lingerie store & buy some lacy items to cover your naughty bits! Do your hair & makeup then strike a pose for your love either before or on V-Day. He’ll never see it coming! (Deployed spouses: clothing is not optional for so many reasons!)

Retail: store bought/homemade doesn’t matter but a nice tactical Fossil watch, gun store gift card, hand sewn one-point sling harness, painted picture frame, mancave signs, truck accessories, ammo, tickets to his favorite team or a surprise trip to the gun range you set up will have him very fired up!

If you run out of time & all else fails, read the steps below and repeat!

Step 1: Make sure to put all phones on vibrate or silent so the mother-in-law/kids/dealership salesman/bill collector/Avon rep/librarian can’t interrupt!

Step 2: Melt some chocolate

Step 3: Meet him at the door with a smile on your face and not much else

Chocolate can make anyone smile!