Examining the importance of communication within the military family BEFORE and DURING a deployment.
Hey! Does anyone have a marriage map that I can borrow? Better yet, does anyone have a military marriage map that I can borrow? (I could sure use a military marriage compass, too, if you have one. But I don't want to press my luck by asking for too much at once. So, I'll wait on the compass.)
I tried "googling" (yeah, that's a word) "marriage map" but Google kept giving me links to "wedding map" instead. Thanks Google, but I don't want to know how to get to Don and Susan's wedding! I want a map that I can use to help my wife and I get to that Happy Marriage Wonderland place that I have been hearing about since we got married!
Still don't know what a marriage map is? Don't worry, I think Google is still trying to figure that one out, too.
Seriously, though, I am looking for a military marriage map that my wife and I can use to figure out exactly where we are and navigate to exactly where we want to be in our military marriage. Do you have one?
While learning land navigation during the "evasion" part of US Air Force Academy SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training, it was important to know where I was on a map. Knowing where my destination was on a map was also important, but knowing my location was vital in order to figure out how to get to my destination. Getting lost was no fun in SERE training, but getting lost in my marriage is no fun either.
A whole lot of folks have successfully navigated their marraiges to the Happy Marriage Wonderland place. I figure that someone must have drawn out a map to show other married folks how to get there, too. Likewise, I figure that since there are a whole lot of married military folks who have successfully navigated their marriages through twenty plus years, at least one couple left us married military folks a map. Is my figuring wrong? (What? There is no Happy Marriage Wonderland place? No map either?!)
All joking aside, we need a map. It doesn't matter if you're a male military spouse, female military spouse, or just spouse, you need a way to navigate your marriage to your desired destination. While Happy Marriage Wonderland place is not a real destination, divorce is. From what I have seen, people don't get married with divorce as their desired destination, but married people do end up there quite a bit. I think it is as simple as they got lost.
Think about it for a second. You're married and you don't know where you are in your marriage, you don't have a real destination for your marriage, and you don't even have a frickin' marriage map! You're lost! How long do you think your marriage can survive being lost before it dies?
Let's draw some maps, people! I'm not the first to say it. Thomas Litchford said we need some maps over a year ago. He has some other great points about the needs of struggling male military spouses.
Macho Spouse is here as a way for male military spouses, who have successfully navigated their marriages, to draw some marriage maps for other male military spouses. Not only can male military spouses connect through the Macho Spouse website, they can also lay out routes, courses, navigation, step-by-step for other male military spouses to follow to avoid getting lost in marriage and the military lifestyle. But the Macho Spouse website is only a tool.
We need more civilian male military spouses succeeding in military marriage with 10, 15 and 20+ years in to sign up and contribute what worked for them, what steps they took to make it to where they are now. We need more active duty wives of these men to contribute their perspectives on how they have made it this far without getting lost and divorced.
You may not have a military marriage map that we can borrow, but lend us a few minutes of your time and a few steps from your path. Your contributions can help us draw up some detailed maps, not only for military marriages, but for all other aspects of the military lifestyle. Your contribution just might be all someone needs to avoid getting lost.
Taurus James is the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year from Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Taurus is a 20-year civilian male military spouse and stay-at-home-dad. He is also a minister and composer of Moody instruMental Music. Taurus is a professional IT Consultant and Web Developer, and he built and maintains the Machospouse.com website for free. Find out more about Taurus through his blog: