Even though this military spouse quote wasn’t written by a spouse or anyone in the military, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s quote sums up my whole secret philosophy about how military marriage actually works.
I think the ability to live a military life starts with being loved deeply by your partner. Before all the programs and all the social support and all the relevant research, there is nothing like having your best self seen and appreciated by a husband or wife to make those great qualities even stronger. For me this means being loved by Brad has made me a more creative person, a more tender mother, a more resilient woman. I know I was all those things before I met Brad, but being loved by him has made those qualities stronger. That is how you recognize what deep love is, isn't it?
The flip side of being loved deeply is loving deeply in return. Loving this one sailor the way I do is exactly what makes our good military life possible. As Lao Tzu notes, loving someone deeply gives you courage—that quality that helps us face danger or pain. I have packed my boxes and moved three kids 16 times because I deeply love this guy. I have slept alone through seven deployments because I deeply love this guy. I keep on agreeing to his plan to stay in the military because I deeply love this guy and I want him to be everything he was ever meant to be. I want him to have everything he wants for himself.
I know he feels the same way about me. That’s why military marriage ain’t ever easy, I think. But the strength and courage provided by loving someone deeply and being loved in return is the bedrock of what makes military marriage possible.
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 and on www.jaceyeckhart.com.