Ouch – that hurt!
I’ll never forget our first trip home to Florida after moving away. I was talking to one of our very best friends, and when the conversation somehow shifted to the topic of my marriage, our friend stated:
“Well, you only got married because he joined the military.”
I really don’t believe that our friend intended for the comment to come out the way that it did, but it hurt nonetheless. Regardless of his intention, he vocalized something that probably others had thought about our marriage, and maybe yours for that matter.
While our engagement and wedding timeline may have had a shorter timeline than most, I like to think that it was accelerated, not rushed. Although word choice is just a matter of semantics, the word “accelerated” to me implies that something was going to happen but was just hastened, while “rushed” gives the connotation that something was entered into quickly, haphazardly and without thinking.
Although my husband joining the military may have moved up our timeline, I believe that before he joined the Navy we both already knew our marriage would be more a matter of “when” than “if.”
Now I will be honest: There is sometimes a stereotype associated with military marriages and dependents that you may have seen or heard before. You know … they just got married so that he could get more BAH, he met her five minutes ago but wants her to move with him, she just married a military guy so that she could just quit her job and stay home and become a dependapotomous (not my word and I definitely DO NOT condone it!), etc. And unfortunately in some cases these stereotypes have validity, given that military divorce rates – albeit declining year over year – have long been a point of discussion and concern.
Nonetheless, there are also many military marriages that have had a more accelerated start than traditional marriages and have resulted in long, happy marriages. Marriages accelerated by the military are no less valid, genuine and full of love than those marriages that take place after years of engagement.