Things I’ve Learned From My Parents’ Military Relationship

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The last month feels like a dream to me. My husband got home from a year-long tour, we PCSed to a new duty station in Virginia, we had our formal ceremony in my hometown in Texas and went on an amazing cruise adventure in the Caribbean.  It’s crazy to think that I’m now living under one roof with my husband…finally.

For the first time EVER in our relationship, we are together for Valentine’s Day. That in itself is almost unbelievable, but ’tis the life of a military significant other, right?!

The more I think about it, my relationship reminds me of my parents’ relationship.

They, too, started their marriage while my dad was active duty in the Air Force. It seems like they spent as much time in their marriage together as they did apart. Since my dad’s retirement, that’s changed though, and they spend all their free time together. I like to think they are making up for lost time.

<insert sighs of contentment here>

Anyway, I admire my parents for their strong marriage and love for their family and each other despite all odds. They are my ultimate role models. I’ve mentioned here before that I have a rock star mom that is guiding me as a new military spouse, but both my parents as a whole are teaching me countless lessons that are truly valuable in my own military relationship.

5 Things I’ve Learned from My Parents’ Military Relationship

Here’s just some of the things I’ve learned from my parents:

It’s never too late. 

My parents never had an “official” honeymoon, but throughout their marriage they have been able to travel to a lot of beautiful destinations together. They consider every new adventure as a honeymoon in itself and enjoy exploring new places like they never have before, whether the military sent them or not!

Time together is precious, so make the most of it.

My parents met in Japan  knowing that their days were numbered. My mom was due back to the Philippines and that’s when my dad took it upon himself to sweep my mom off her feet. Months later, they were engaged – and months after that, they were married. They truly made and continue to make  the most of their time together each and every day.

Absence DOES make the heart grow fonder.

After every homecoming, I felt the energy between my parents when they looked at each other. It’s amazing what you remember as a child and I know that their relationship mode helped me form my ideas about what to expect and put into my own relationship.

Support each other and compromise is key.

My mom supported my dad in his military career and my dad supported my mom in her career. When the Air Force closed down the base my father was stationed to in Texas, it seemed like we would relocate to the DC-area.  That wasn’t the best move for our family at the time, so my parents decided to live separately  for a couple of years for the benefit of the family.  It’s that give and take that makes their relationship a success.

Remember why you fell in love.

As you get older, lots of things change. Especially for my parents, they’ve moved to so many places and changed in so many different ways. One thing’s for sure, our house is always filled with pictures of their wedding day 31 years ago! And there are albums everywhere of their time together in Japan where they first met.

I, too, cherish the time my husband and I first met and that duty station. I know years from now, I’ll look back at it the same way with love and care as my parents.

Thanks for the great example, Mom and Dad!  Happy Valentine’s Day to all of  you!

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