It’s a question every active duty member of the military has contemplated at least once in their military career. For most families this means discussing what it will mean for them as a whole unit. But for a dual military couple it means looking at more than just whether or not the family can handle it. Trying to balance a dual-military marriage, even without children involved, is not always as easy task. While we have to talk about the same topics, our point of view is a little different than a traditional military couple.
Jessica and Eli, a dual-Coast Guard couple, were the first couple I spoke to about this issue. I wanted to know how other couples tackled the discussion about who will re-enlist. Jessica said that for them it was never an issue because they came into their marriage with an understanding that it was a passion both of them have. They have managed to maintain their marriage and their careers in the military because they communicated their expectations from the start. At one point Jessica was stationed east coast while Eli was west coast. Their marriage may have been dual-coast, but they made it work because their careers and their marriage were both priorities and neither wanted to be the reason the other gave up on their passion.
It’s possible to have a successful career as part of a dual-military couple. It is vital that you both stay on the same page. There will be challenges. There will be duty stations away from each other. There will be over-lapping deployments. But a couple that wants to make it work will find a way to support each other’s career choices while doing everything they can to make the most of their own military career.