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Marriage at War: The Struggles of Being a Spouse to a Soldier in Combat

Military marriages are definitely unique in their challenges and triumphs. In spite of experiencing some of the highest stress levels of any couple type, men and women of the Armed Forces have one of the lowest rates of divorce. This is truly remarkable when you consider the experience of people, whose spouses are active-duty and placed in combat zones.

Recently Quora took a look at this very phenomenon with the question, “What does it feel like to have a spouse who is a soldier in an active war zone?” 

Here’s an excerpt from the wife of a Marine, Deborah Gahm

“At home, we continue on with our lives.  I went to work, our daughter went to school.  I told her teachers that her dad was deployed in case it became an issue at school.  I counted on my friends and family when I needed help.  I also set aside 930-10 pm as my time to cry if I needed to, if the day had just been too much.  Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t but I always knew that it was my time to be sad/mad/and whatever else I needed to feel.  

“I am a firm believer in that you shouldn’t spend your life worrying  about things that you can’t control.  I approach deployments like that.   There is nothing I can do here that will change what is or isn’t  happening to him there.  Of course, there was plenty that he didn’t  elaborate on.  Things that happened that I am only recently finding  out.  It’s ok though, if I had known all the times that they had been  engaged or ambushed, I would have worried a lot more.  

“When you are going through it, you think you’re doing great.  You don’t cry or get upset very often.  You take care of everything.  You hold your tongue when people say stupid things.  You are grateful for the prayers of friends.  You say your own prayers.  You just deal with what happens one day at a time. 

“But… you don’t realize how much latent stress you carry with you.  You get used to it and it’s not until he steps off that plane and it all drains away that you know how much stress was hidden away.  

“I love my husband very much and even though we’ve been through a lot.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  Well, maybe that year when he first got out of the Marine Corps and grew his hair long – it just wasn’t a good look for him.

“We still laugh, and love, and really what else matters?” 

Highly recommend checking out Mrs. Gahm’s full post to get a glimpse of the day-to-day. 

Have any of you, or are any of you, married to soldiers in active combat zones? What is your experience like? Share in the comments section. 

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