7 Things I Wish I’d Known About Military Marriage

Now that you are really married in the whole for-better-or-worse sense of the word, what do you wish you knew?  In a post about her forthcoming book 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Saying I Do, Dr. Laurie Weiss listed 7 things women wish they knew before they got married:

  1. I wish I had known what marriage is really like.
  2. I wish I had known more about myself
  3. I wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry so I could have taken the time I needed
  4. I wish I knew how much family patterns could influence us
  5. I wish I’d known bad behavior can get worse
  6. I wish I’d paid a whole lot more attention to money
  7. I wish I’d known what it really takes to make marriage work

The list seemed kinda sad to me.  In fact, the only thing on that list I would have said was that I wish I had paid a whole lot more attention to money.  That was enough to make me wonder if we military spouses had our own list of What I Wish I Knew Before I Married a Military Guy.  As a starter, I offer here my own list of seven things.  I can’t wait to see your version:

  1. I wish I paid a whole lot more attention to money.  I thought a paycheck every two weeks and a credit card with no balance meant we were rich.  I had no idea the city would make us pay for water.  Doesn’t water fall from the sky?
  2. I wish I knew that you can’t actually kiss someone 24 hours a day.  Somebody has to get up occasionally and do a couple of loads of laundry.
  3. I wish I knew how hard it was going to be to finish my degree.  I only had a semester left to finish in my Bachelors Degree on the day I got married.  I really did think any college would accept my credits or that my own school would accept credits from another school. My mother cried at my graduation—she didn’t think it would ever happen.  By that time, neither did I.
  4.  I wish I knew that loneliness is a physical sensation that you can carry for months at a time.  Now I know loneliness is a deployment accessory– like wearing a heavy coat in August.
  5. I wish I knew how to speak Japanese.  Why did I take French in school?  No one in the military is ever stationed in France.
  6. I wish I knew how important sex can be in a long relationship.  I would tell you more, but my mom reads this blog, so you are going to have to ask someone who seems really, really happy.  Like my mom.
  7. I wish I knew just how it would feel to be married to someone for 25 years.  I wish I knew then that we would actually get closer to each other, more knit together. I wish I knew how it would feel to wake up in the morning and have a full life–kids, jobs, dogs, houses– with one the person you love best in all the world.
Why Didn’t You Tell Me (YDU) is our weekly feature about all the hard-won lessons of military life.  Send your version of YDU to us through our Contact button.

Navy wife Jacey Eckhart is Editor of SpouseBuzz and author of I Married a Spartan??  The Care and Feeding of Your Military Marriage available on iTunes, Amazon, and on www.jaceyeckhart.com.

About Jacey Eckhart

Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at JaceyEckhart.net.


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