Getting married is one of the biggest life decisions a person can make. In marriage, a person decides to form an intimate bond with another human being that is publicly recognized and for the first time, “I” becomes “we”. It is this very nature of marriage which puts it at odds with the expectations of military service. “There is an old saying in the Marine Corps that was given as "advice" by gruff, old, first sergeants to young enlisted Marines when they would mention marriage issues: "If the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one!"” (Thompson 22). The military is incredibly similar to marriage. Both institutions have members take oaths to uphold certain values, both are celebrated through ceremony and tradition, and both emphasize selflessness over selfishness. However, the two are destined to clash as the military requires total commitment from a recruit. The military expects personnel to do what is best for the institution, not what is best for individual or his or her spouse. As is often the case, what is best for the military is not necessarily optimal for a happy marriage. Long separations, the threat of injury or death, and constant relocations often do not bode well for relationships yet are expectations of military service. Though, many marriage couples have survived and even thrived with one spouse serving in the armed forces, none would say it was easy. The focus of this paper will be exploring how military service effects marriage.
Individuals who enlist in the armed services come from the demographic that is also most likely to have a failed marriage. While the military is a reflection of society and service members come from all socio-economic and racia...
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...“Military research has shown that, in addition to being more likely to reenlist, married members have fewer depressive symptoms and lower rates of job-related problems” (Lundquist 4). Yet while the service member reaps these benefits, the nature his or her military service often prevents the spouse from pursuing a career. “The geographic structure of the military career makes family portability a necessity, which necessarily deprioritizes spousal careers. Military spouses are often unable to accumulate work experience and face higher rates of unemployment than civilians” (Lundquist 4). Marriage interconnects the lives of two individuals. If a spouse is in the military and the couple wishes to live together, it is necessary that the non-military spouse is willing to sacrifice his or her own personal career ambitions during their significant other’s military service.
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