Can Your Marriage Survive Military Retirement?

Military couples go through a lot of challenges and experiences that civilian couples do not often have to face, such as periods of separation due to deployments, training exercises or temporary duty. There are a number of other unique issues that many couples have to face that can tear them apart such as combat-related injuries and psychological issues that they are left with. If you are coming up to military retirement, you and your spouse may both be breathing a sigh of relief. Finally, you have made it! Or have you? How can your marriage survive military retirement?

Choosing Where to Live

After spending 20 years or more being told where to move to by the military, making up your own minds about where to settle can be incredibly difficult. The military will pay for one last move for you, so make sure you are both in agreement as to where you will go. Take your time to decide what would be best for you as a couple and as a family. Making quick or hasty decisions can lead to further stress later on.

The Retirement Ceremony

The retirement ceremony is a traditional way to mark a person’s transition from active duty to civilian life, but it is not a legal requirement. Some choose to slip away quietly with a small family gathering to celebrate their new status, rather than involve their former colleagues. Speak to your spouse about your expectations, plans and how you feel about whether you should even have a retirement ceremony. If you want a retirement ceremony, that can be arranged and adapted in accordance with your personal wishes.

Open Communication

Just as open communication was the glue that kept you and your spouse together over the years while you were in the military, so it will continue to keep you both close as you embark on your next journey together as a couple. Do not let the stresses and strains of out-processing, moving house, adjusting to a reduction in pay and other issues stop you from communicating openly and honestly with your spouse about your fears and concerns for the present, and for what the future holds.

It is perfectly normal to be afraid of what the future holds, especially when you have spent your whole adult life being closely supervised and instructed on how to act and conduct yourself. Now you are on your own to decide all that for yourself. But for married military retirees, they are not really on their own. They should lean on their spouses even more so than ever before to help them with their transition. Doing so will keep a couple strong.

Military retirees need to maintain stronger marriages with their spouses now than ever before, as transitioning can be very challenging and stressful. Your marriage can survive military retirement if you are supportive of each other during this time of change and transition. Lean on each other for support, communicate openly and you will find that your marriage will continue to go from strength to strength.

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