Posted on Feb 10, 2021
Cohen Veterans Network
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It's not a secret that marriage and relationships in the military face a number of unique challenges. How do you strengthen your relationship? What advice do you have?
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Responses: 24
SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth
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My wife and I have been married going on 41 years, we've had our ups and downs, but we worked on the problems and we're stronger for the work that we put into it RallyPoint Shared Content
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SPC Brian Pritchard/Hall
SPC Brian Pritchard/Hall
>1 y
Keep as much as you can at the “office”. But always be up front.
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SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth
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SP5 James Shaffner
SP5 James Shaffner
>1 y
My wife and I have been married for 21 years and have never argued! We both have different personalities, which I think is why there are no arguments. My nature is non-aggressive, and hers is confrontational. I never make decisions based on anger. When I was in Vietnam in 67/68, I used the same decision-making method during confrontations with the enemy.
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SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth
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Lt Col Scott Shuttleworth
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Several things...
1.) For us our religion plays a major role nd we have always put God first and each other second.
2.) Never leave each other without saying I love you and meaning it!
3.) Always be open and honest...I mean brutally honest...we have had some frank decisions...she will tell me well you screwed that up and I will tell her the same.
4.) Encourage and lift each other up daily. A man can't walk a mile in a womans shoes and neither can she walk a mile in a man's...know each others strengths and weaknesses. Lift up your partner and pick up in their weaknesses and carry the torch and they will do the same for you.
5.) Never go to bed mad...all it does is stew and you wake up angry. We have had some long nights and watched the sun come up before but we settled it.
6.) Never say anything in anger...once it is out there it is out there and it cannot be taken back and sometimes those wounds don't heal or it takes a very long time...know your limits and sometimes it is better to walk away, cool off, collect your thoughts and then reengage.
7.) Do the little unexpected things...occasionally do the laundry, run the vacuum, do the dishes, if you cook then cook dinner, go on surprise dates, plan an unexpected get away weekend...little things matter.
8.) Stay faithful to each other. Little innocent lunches, drinks after work etc can turn ugly real quick...just don't go there. Advice I got from an old Chief when I was first married...If you feel you are tempted, turn your @$$ around and run like the wind...don't say goodbye, don't say I'll text you later, don't say anything...just run home to your spouse.
9.) Make your spouse feel like they are the most important thing in the world to you.
10.) Laugh at each other and for each other...anger just breeds more anger. When my wife used to get mad at me, I would do this crazy simulated pole dance and strip tease (with my clothes on) and she couldn't help but to start laughing.
11.) Don't go crying to momma and daddy when things get rough because they will...money, cars, kids, dogs religion etc. you will fight over something...those folks that say they have never had a fight or argument with their spouse are well, hear me clearly, ARE LYING!!! It will happen but handle your business in your own home...don't drag parents, friends acquaintances etc into it...unless it gets physical, then call the cops if you have to.

Just love each other and only each other in that way. Enjoy the ride...marriage is great when you find the right person...my wife is absolutely my best friend in the entire world and I couldn't imagine taking this life's journey without her.

Maj Marty Hogan Lt Col Charlie Brown 1stSgt Glenn Brackin
Cpl Craig Morton SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth COL Mikel J. Burroughs
LTC Stephen C. CPL Dave Hoover PO3 Bob McCord
Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen Sgt Wayne Wood PVT James Strait
SFC Jack Champion MSgt David Hoffman MSgt Stephen Council
PO1 H Gene Lawrence 1SG Steven Imerman SGT Steve McFarland Cynthia C.
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Cohen Veterans Network
Cohen Veterans Network
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Lots of wisdom in here! Thanks for sharing!
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SGT Steve McFarland
SGT Steve McFarland
>1 y
Realize that you won't do everything perfectly, but it shouldn't be for lack of trying. Great list and perspective Lt Col Scott Shuttleworth.
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COL Doctoral Candidate In Emergency Management
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Thank you for this great response! shared it with my 2 unmarried daughters this morning.
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CPT Special Forces Officer
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Ma'am,
I don't believe that there really is a set of rules that will ensure a successful marriage. I have been married for 35 years and neither my wife nor I came from particularly happy families. Nevertheless my parents were married for 35 years (separated by death) and her parents were married for 54 years (also separated by death). What has made all of these marriages "successful" at least from the point of longevity, is refusal to give up. I believe that many if not most young adults expect that the experience of marriage will not change over the course of time. Nothing could be further from the truth. I also personally believe that young people today (18 - 35 y/o) are at a significant disadvantage due to shortened attention spans. Every difficult thing I have successfully accomplished throughout my life was based upon dogged determination. I thought about quitting dental school everyday, but always put it off until tomorrow. This also applied to most Army schools (especially the "Q" Course), seminary training, and of course marriage. If marriage is not viewed as a lifetime commitment then it is just too easy to give up and move on. So I will simply use my father's phrase "stick-to-it-iveness" (i.e. the refusal to quit) is the major thing required for a long and and "successful" marriage. Of course there is always luck :-)
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SSgt Owner/Operator
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We set rules for fighting. What is considered below the belt (never hit below the belt), how to apologize after, how to talk through what set it off. One of our rules was never go to bed mad. So, early on in our marriage we greeted plenty of sunrises together.

30+ years later our fights, when they happen, last less than 5 minutes and is usually triggered by outside stressors that something one of us did finally trips the scale.

Date nights! Being married is no excuse to no longer court your spouse!

The 5 Love Languages. Get the book. Read it *for yourself*!!! Learn to speak in a language your spouse speaks. (Quality Time? Acts of Service? Gifts? Touch? Words of Affirmation?)
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Cohen Veterans Network
Cohen Veterans Network
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All excellent tips! Thanks for sharing!
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