Can I Really be an Army Wife? (Ask Kathryn)

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Today’s letter is from a Sarah, a soon-to-be Army wife. Sarah is wondering if she is cut out for military life and all of its hardships and ups and downs. Military life is hard, but no matter who you are and where you are right now, I hope this encourages you.

Dear Kathryn,
I’m so thankful I ran across your blog. I’m being faced with the decision of whether or not I can be an Army wife. I’m terrified of making the wrong decision, whichever decision that may be.

A little about myself: I am warm, caring, planner, nurturer, overly loving, etc. My significant other is currently an Army Jag intern in Hawaii, but has become very cold, calculated, and somewhat difficult to deal with. We have been discussing marriage a lot more, and his priorities are the following: career (military or not), kids, and then me. Is this a structure that can work in the military? Is this common?

Again, thank you for your blog. It is helping me more than you know!


Can I Really be an Army Wife?

Is the Army Wife Life for me?

Hi Sarah,
Thank you for contacting me, I am glad you are enjoying my blog! Being a military wife is hard and something every future military wife has to work out for herself, I think. I know it took me time to think about if I was really ready for the type of commitment where the military always comes first.

As far as your partner’s behavior, it sounds concerning. Why would he all of a sudden be acting that way? Has he been on a recent deployment? Has he experienced something recently that would cause him to change or act in this way? I would deal with that before thinking about marriage.

As far as your future husband’s priorities, I do not agree with them. Yes, the military sometimes does have to come first in cases of deployment, long work hours, and training, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. A husband can still prioritize his family while still keeping his commitment to the military. Also, I believe that your spouse ALWAYS comes first before the kids. When you put each other first everything else with the kids falls into place. Your marriage relationship is important and if he is not willing to put that first then I would be careful.

I personally believe that your spouse and your marriage ALWAYS comes first before the kids. When you put each other first you will see a better marriage and everything else with the kids will fall into place. Your marriage relationship is important and if he is not willing to put that first then I would be very very careful about marrying him.

I hope that you both will get more time to talk about these things in detail. Talking about your expectations and his and getting to know these things before marriage is going to help you a lot. Good luck!

See Also: How do I Prepare to be a Military Wife?

What advice would you give to Sarah? Have you ever felt this way?

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  1. I read through your response Kathryn, and I guess I’m a little confused. I mean no offence to anything you said, or how any one really feels, but I ALWAYS hear the military comes first. Always. You know the saying….if they wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one. There are times when this bothers me, yes, but as a military wife, it’s just another things that I deal with 🙂 There are going to be many MANY times when my husband can’t or won’t tell me things. When he signed on the line, he promised that the military would always come first, no matter how long we’ve been married or how many kids we have. I agree that she shouldn’t feel this way, or have been treated like this, but I find this to be the situation in any gung-ho military relationship. Best wishes!!

    1. I think the military does have to come first like I said – when it comes to work and such and of course there will always be things that your husband cannot tell you, but I always believe that as often as he can the wife should come first. Like I said, it may not always happen that way, but when he can it should. I know that my husband cannot always tell me what’s going on at work and I know that deployments and training come first, but even in that I know he esteems me higher than that. He loves me and tells me what he can when he can and he is gentle about explaining things he may not be able to tell me. In that way he puts me and my feelings first as much as he can. Make sense? Sorry if this was confusing to you!

  2. 1) Is this a recent behavior change?
    2) Is he currently in law school or is this a career change? You said INTERNSHIP so I assume that he is in second year, headed to his third year.

    During law school, I saw a number of marriages dissolve because the law school student tends to over analyze everything in life. Significant others use descriptors like: argumentative, must prove his/her point, cross-examine, brusque etc. I met my husband when we were both in law school. During discussions, he frequently has to remind me to stop cross-examining him. It is very hard to turn it off.

    That said, counseling is great option to make sure that both sides are “fighting fair” (again, a law student might not want to seek counseling and will most likely try to “prove” his/her side of a disagreement).

    1. Great Answer Hannah! I wholly agree with the counseling if she decides to pursue the relationship. She is not married yet, just dating so that would be up to her.

  3. Dear Kathryn,
    I’ve enjoyed finding your blog and reading some about you and your ministry here. As the wife of a retired soldier (Army), I can honestly say that God used our 22 years in the Army powerfully. While it definitely had it challenges and difficulties, it was a good life.

    I would have enjoyed a blog like yours during those years–most of which there wasn’t even internet! : )
    It’s always good to have people who are in the same situations to help us through and point us toward the Lord.

    So glad you are doing this ministry. I pray God richly blesses it.

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