Can education help my military marriage?
Yes. Here are 4 reasons how!
This is an iceberg. Let’s first take a deep breath and acknowledge that a military marriage is not the same as being married to a civilian, even if you yourself are or are not a veteran. Relationships with active duty servicemembers and veterans are different. Whether you are a significant other (SO), fiance, or spouse this post is meant for you!
This is a tough subject for me because just being educated doesn’t make you employed. I was underemployed for a very long time. But that is another story. This is about how education can help your marriage.
Let’s get beyond that. Please know for the rest of this post I mean a quality education- not a piece of paper that didn’t teach you any new skills and cost thousands of dollars. A quality education comes from a regionally accredited school or program.
Here are my top 3 reasons how education can help your military marriage:
#1. Doing it for yourself!
Let’s talk about you.
You have your own goals, interests, aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Education can help you build a skill set, hone an expertise, or give you experience you need to get there.
You’ve sacrificed in so many ways. Don’t let that dream inside of you flicker or fade.
You’ve got this. Serving your own wants and needs amidst the hectic military life will help your marriage.
It will help your mental health, sense of belonging, relationships, and understanding of the world.
#2 Money : It might not be obvious, but more income means less problems in a military marriage.
Whether you choose to work outside the home, start a business, or work remotely having more income is nice. Especially considering that many military families struggle with finances.
We (typically) don’t talk about it. We’re not proud of it. But the VA loan for home buying exists for a reason- military families struggle to meet the status quo more than civilian counterparts. The food bank and local churches that give out food at military housing is not without cause. Education is a way we can benefit ourselves, and there are ways for spouses of lower ranking servicemembers to do it.
We move more. We have incidental costs. The furniture that doesn’t fit after a PCS is a mild inconvenience, but the cost and disruption of your living space is something others don’t understand. The wear and tear of a car during a PCS is just part of it.
Living with little or no debt, avoiding financial stress, and having diversified income sources helps yourself and helps your marriage.
Investing helps you think ahead, plan for the future, and be smart about finances in a way that a single income military family is so often unable to do.
Being financially secure helps a military marriage.
#3 Your military spouse’s career is not guaranteed.
Here’s the reality, friends. Your spouse can be one deployment or one training accident away from being hurt and medically discharged. This is a reality we all know about but always hope for the best, despite it being true.
Many service members want to work until retirement. I’ve even heard my civilian coworkers demean how 20 years is so short of a time to earn a pension. They don’t understand the risk of 20 years in the military. But getting to 20 years is a longevity that many don’t reach and medical reasons contribute to those numbers.
You know how the military instills being prepared?
Getting educated is part of that. You, as a spouse, are ready to become the breadwinner if you need to. I’m here to tell you there are opportunities out there that you need to take advantage of, now. Be prepared, be proactive, and help me help you get started. This will help your military marriage because whether active duty or reservist, you want your marriage to thrive beyond military life.
#4 Let’s get patriotic for a moment: We can’t forget our role in supporting military readiness.
The reality: military spouses being educated helps our country.
That is why the government has recently expanded MyCAA eligibility- because there is a real benefit to it.
It has been proven that military spouses who have used MyCAA are more likely to be employed and there is a higher amount of retention of active duty personnel.
According to a Rand Corporation study that was released in 2018, the service members whose spouses had used their MyCAA benefits were 6 to 8% more likely to still be in the service three years later than those who had not.
This leads to better quality of life and improves America’s military readiness.
Spouses are a valuable sector of the workforce, contributing to the economy, and a more stable home life leads to better military readiness. Also, we can’t forget that a service member’s security clearance also relies on financial stability.
Whatever speaks to you, I hope that the patriot in you understands. This will help your military marriage because less stress in your spouse’s career is better for everyone.
Those are my four main reasons how military spouses can help their military marriage through education. I know them from experience! With education you can have a more fulfilling, healthy, and financially stable marriage. Being married to a servicemember is not the same as being married to a civilian, and we need to take extra care of ourselves and education is a way to do that.