Everybody said you were crazy. "Don't marry anybody in the military," they said. And the advice continued. "They are gone all the time." "They will cheat on you." "You will ruin your career." "Have you read anything about PTSD?" "What if she comes back a different person?"
But the two of you fell in love. Big love. And that love made you sure that you were the exception to the fears -- that you could do it. That this time, love would conquer all.
We thought the same thing.
A lot has changed since the early days of your marriage. You've probably moved somewhere far from family and friends. You might have kids. You've probably experienced deployment, work-ups or long separations. You've likely also dealt with homecoming.
You know what long hours of training mean at home and what the stress of military service is like. You know that sometimes it feels like love does not actually conquer all. You know that none of this is easy, but you hope that it is all worth it anyway.
But if you're like us, at some point you've questioned that hope. Military marriage is hard, really hard. How can our military marriages and relationships stand the test of time, deployments and homecoming if everything is always such a battle?
We believe the answer lies in two parts: action and solidarity. A successful military marriage isn't something that just passively happens. You have to work on it, you have to want it - you have to fight for it.
Military marriage is a love war. And it's a war we want to win.
But we know that we cannot win the battle without help. Wars are fought in community, and we need to hear along the way from those who are fighting with us. Our struggle to make our marriages and relationships better is the struggle of every military couple. No one fights alone.
That's why we are starting a new series on Military.com called Love War. Through it we will seek, above all else, to be real. We want you to know that there are other real military spouses out there going through exactly what you're facing in your military marriage. You are not alone and, no, you're not the only one experiencing whatever it is that is on your plate.
By being real, we hope that we can also offer you help. Military marriage is full of real challenges - but there are also real solutions. We will bring you tips, tricks and help from top military marriage experts as we dive headfirst into making military love work for us.
Your wedding day may not have included thoughts about how hard this was going to be. But we promise, no matter what, the love war is worth it. We hope you'll fight with us.