Military Wife Selection Is Serious

Reader:  I sent this to Vox at Alpha game as well….Hi I’m needing some advice about what to do about my girlfriend and you seem to be the best option at the moment. I’m 19 she’s 20 and we’ve been dating on and off for 3 years now. Her grandmother( who she trusts the most)  has had at least 3 divorces and her mom is probably bipolar. I’ve been the one to call things off with her the times that we did split up. I called things off with her because she became increasingly disrespectful and mocking as the relationship progressed. I would get sick of it and break it off with her. My gf and I are once again in a simliar position and right now shes pushing me to marry her in spite of the fact that I cannot find work and am probably joining the Air Force for work. With all her family history and the state of the family court system im more than a little hesitant. We’re both virgins although shes had a lot of highschool boyfriends, some who have come back through the woodwork to cause issues.

Athol:  Short answer…. Oh hell no!

Longer answer…. Alarm surprise statement extreme negatory. Suggest alternate course action improved probability positive outcome. Recommend deploy escape route transversing asteroid field.

Vox said exactly the same thing I did, but with less of a cool geeky style. (You’re welcome ladies!)

Look… you have to have positive reasons to get married, not concerns about why you shouldn’t. I think the scorecard is about 0-8 on that count.

And not for nothing, you really want to be especially careful on the issue of wife choice should you ever intend to join a military service. The divorce, infidelity and non-paternity risks are higher with military marriages than civilian ones. Unless you start off with a great woman, you should simply expect serious difficulties down the line.

Even with a great woman you’re going to have some long periods of walking uphill. There’s the obvious strain of deployments, uprooting constantly, and essentially what amounts to a difficult day to day family life. There’s going to be things that you’re just going to miss out on when you’re away. Your kid walking for the first time and stuff like that. There’s no way to buy those moments back.

Unless she’s actively saying that she’s down to be a military wife, and she actually has a genuine concept of what that means, I’ll bet it all comes to tears for you in the end if you marry her. It’s a job for her as much as it is for you.

Jennifer:  Three years long distance before we married was enough for me. I couldn’t imagine Athol having to go away for a year at random being at all fun. I have a ton of respect and appreciation for those military spouses who do make it work and for those who serve in the military, but these two particular people really don’t seem to be good candidates for making it work together.

Athol:  So did you find yourself snorting at the line that they were both virgins?

Jennifer:  Yeah she’s not. Not even close.

Athol:  Something something something dark side….. you have been well trained my apprentice…

Jennifer:  Shoot me now.


  1. Anonymous says

    Don't bank on her being a virgin.

    As a military wife I have to tell you….it is hard. From what you wrote…don't drag her into your military life…not a good chance you will be married past AIT.

  2. pdwalker says

    One key point – family history.

    What the others in the family have is a good indicator of what she has. That alone should be enough to make you turn away. If you plan to have kids, do you want to risk saddling them with such a genetic legacy?

    I should hope not.

  3. Anonymous says

    Depending on the position…yea I don't see that lasting well through Tech School, maybe first base.

  4. Anonymous says

    The military is hard enough without being married to someone with mental issues and emotional baggage. A woman can make or break your military career. If she's a nutzo it looks bad on you. I'd say avoid this chic like the plague. Join the military and get a job with a transferrable civilian job equivalent and work on your education while you're in.


  5. Anonymous says

    There are many fish in the sea. This girl is acting desperate, and she really just needs to grow up and get out on her own first (away from the fam).

    Just get started on your career, and in 4 years you may decide to stay on or do something different. But just like kids who go off for 4 years of college, no one gets married until they've crossed the finish line.

    I think you'll find that both of you will change quite a bit in the next few years. We all did at that age.


  6. Julia says

    Agree with all these opinions.

    I'd advise breaking up with her and absolutely no more sex with her! I smell a potential "accidental" pregnancy coming along or even a bogus abuse/rape charge, once she realizes it's game over.

  7. Anonymous says

    As woman and as a military S/O – Don't do it! First off, you need to have a strong woman by your side and she doesn't sound like one.

    Secondly, sooo many young girls think that military life is like the show Army Wives and it'll be cool and glamorous and awesome friends and tea parties and omg. Yea, totally not it.

    Three, if the pushing to marry started after you discussed joining the Air Force – Chances are she's seeing money signs. Regular pay for x amount of years, full bennies, etc… We who are/have been in or are in a relationship with someone in call those people tag chasers – They are to be avoided at all costs!!!

    If you have to write into a blog for help deciding (And not saying there is anything wrong with that – LOVE Athol and his advice) then it sounds to me like you already know she's not the one and are looking for a little validation.

  8. Anonymous says

    She's "had a lot of boyfriends" who are coming back into her life?

    Sorry, dude, but there's no way she's a virgin. Virgins don't change boyfriends like they change their underwear.

    Don't walk away, RUN…

  9. Anonymous says

    It's not that she's "had a lot of boyfriends" that makes me snort at the idea she's a virgin.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but would men really come back to her to "cause issues" if she had never slept with them?

    And would she let them "cause issues" (seriously, I love that phrase) if she kept enough distance to avoid sex?

    One, maybe, who was head over heels. But more than one says she slept with them and they want to continue the arrangement.

  10. Deborah says

    Long time lurker who just had to come out of the shadows on this one …

    Athol's advice–and everyone else's–is right on, but seriously, even if you decide not to join the military, this girl is NOT marriage material! She's repeatedly disrespected you, and worse, you've taught her that it's okay, because even though you dumped her, you always took her back. That alone is enough to make her way too high risk as a marriage partner, for anyone, but especially for you, because you've taught her that you won't stand up to her for long. Add in the family history, the personal history, and the rigors of military life, and please please please, for the sake of your future children, pick a better wife for yourself and mother for them!

    My two cents have been added, so I'm scurrying back into the shadows now …

  11. Haim says

    The blog is absolutely fantastic. Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need. Thanks.

  12. Mrs. Yes says

    I met my husband when he was enlisted, we dated long distance for 3 years before we married. Life as an enlisted man's wife is really hard. Money is tight, hours are long, and stress from work is high. That is when they aren't deployed. When they are deployed you are looking at less money and being away from home by yourself.

    For us it made our relationship stronger – but we went in with a strong foundation and only had to endure 2 6 month deployments.

    Military or not – marriage is hard – if you are in a relationship that already struggles there is no way you should get married.

  13. Ian Ironwood says

    If you're still seriously considering marrying her, save yourself some time, money, and heartache and just buy he a house now.

    And there's no way she's a virgin.

    Dude, you're 19. You shouldn't even be THINKING about marriage until you're 25, and even then you should approach it with a LOT of caution and deliberation.

    I was pretty sure I wanted to marry Mrs. Ironwood after a year of living together. I waited until we had four years under our belt before I gave it serious thought, and decided I did want to get married to her. Then I gave it another 18 months, because you don't want to rush into a decision like that.

    It's the most important decision of your life, next to the one about parenthood. Try to give it more attention and deliberation than you do your fantasy football picks or your brackets, and you'll be better off, promise.

  14. Stargate Girl says

    Run, do not walk. If she has boyfriends coming back around, she's been carouseling. She's not a virgin. No way. Marry her and you are looking at a life of constant shit tests.

    You're 20. Take time to enjoy life. Start your career. Enjoy yourself. date other women.

    Mind you, I met the love of my life at 18(he was 20). We went through college together. I was 23 when we married. He was 25. So it is possible to find your "one: young, but she IS NOT it.

    Would advise stay clear away. definitely do not have sex with her. Protect yourself. if she shows up preggars, you will know it was not you.

    It's easy to fall back to dating someone you've broken up with before because you already know each other, there's some history, but remember, there were reasons you dumped her. Stop letting her back in. Break out from that "comfort" zone.

    Best of luck to ya.

  15. Anonymous says

    Consider her thinking WRT getting married:

    He's going to be away through basic training then some form of tech school. He will be subject to deployment. This means I don't actually have to put up with him being around, but get the benefits of his paycheck.

    With him away I can do what I please, when I please. I can fsck everyone I want to and he'll be none the wiser.

    If he finds out, I can divorce him. The military is good about wage garnishment for alimony and child support.

    Given a rocky courtship, I don't think a marriage to her has a ghost of a chance surviving 2 years.

  16. Anonymous says

    “Shoot me now” LMAO. Jennifer’s got jokes! Okay, disturbing thought of Athol and Jennifer in bed, Athol in Darth Vader costume. “Rasssppp, join me and together we will reach new heights of pleasure. Rasssspppp.”

  17. Jane says

    I'm gonna guess by the fact that you wrote that there are reasons that you're considering marrying this girl. If she was all bad, you'd be done, so i'm assuming there's some good stuff there that in your anxiety, you faild to mention. I'm gonna assume that you LOVE her although no one on these sites seems to think that's legitimate, i know that it's a strong influence in behavior. Under those assumptions, I have some slightly more practical advice than "run away." How about if you just tell her, you don't want get married until you're in your mid twenties? You're just too young to make such a huge comitment and you certainly don't feel that it's right to propose before you have all your ducks in a row when it comes to providing for a family. You jsut feel that a husband should be able to do that, so although you love her, you need to wait. Then go ahead and join the air force if that's something you want to do. Then you've got time apart to either cleave or both mature to the point of being ready. I know you don't want to hear this, but really 19 & 20 is SOOOOO young! That doesn't mean that you can't make these decisions, or that relationships from that age can't last. I know that they can. I just mean back then, I couldn't have even imagined my life now, so there's nothing wrong with gently putting this decsion off for a while. No mater how she makes you feel, you DONT have to decide right NOW.

  18. Jane says

    OK, they're WAY young. there's a lot of drama for the sake of drama at that age. And I don't think that neccessarily means she's lied about the virgin thing. Plus, at that age, she might just be a "technical virgin." Teenagers "cause issues" over everything, do you know any? I mean seriously, everything is an issue. Teens tend to do this thing where if they're fighting wiht thier SO, then they text the old bf. and within minutes, everyone in the little circle knows she might be poachable now…To the original writer, don't let everyone convince you that she's lying to you if you have no reason to think that. But maybe there is reason?

  19. SMH says

    Clearly there is love there; but that is not reason enough to make a long term life altering commitment that has consequences. Love alone cannot overcome or mitigate those consequences. If he really loves her – he will love her enough not to rush into a relationship that will end badly. The fact that he has left many times says his gut knows it is not right. Love her; but as a friend from distance.

  20. Anonymous says

    The 10 year thing is true. My friend's husband had an affair in year 8 and wanted to work things out. She says that she's going to pretend to work on their relationship until the 10 year mark and then file. I would feel sorry for him if he hadn't cheated.

  21. Anonymous says

    Its not darth vader anonymous, its darth helmet.

    Children today. No appreciation of the classics….

  22. The MacNut says

    I think most of us are unanimous in saying this girl will NOT make a good wife for the OP at all, never mind a good military wife. Hopefully the OP listens to Athol at least if not the rest of us.

    I'm going to say something controversial here; I think getting married if you're going into military service is a bad idea all around. It's difficult enough maintaining a marriage when both spouses come home to the same household day in day out all year every year. A marriage where they could be separated for up to a year or more just makes everything so much harder. It's really no wonder divorce, infidelity etc., rates are so much higher in the military. Yes a spouse and kids waiting at home can be a comfort, but what happens when the spouse deployed in a warzone gets news that their spouse is leaving for a neighbor and is taking the kids? Or comes home and learns one of the kids aren't his? Or the spouse at home learns the deployed spouse is carrying on a affair with a squad/shipmate? How comforting is that?

    That kind of thing happens all the time in military marriages (I have a daughter who served in the Navy and the stories she's told…), and a big part of the reason is spouses being so far apart for so long and not handling it well. It seems to me that marriage is simply is not made to handle that kind of strain; people generally get married because they want to be TOGETHER for the rest of their natural lives and military marriages tend to be the antithesis of that for most of a serviceperson's time. It doesn't help that most servicepeople get married shortly before or near the beginning of their service, when they're in their late teens-early 20s and most are not mature enough for marriage at that age anyway…

  23. The MacNut says

    With all that said above, to all the readers on this blog who are in a military marriage, let me say that I hope you beat the odds and come out happy and together. But you don't need me to tell you how steep the odds against you are.

  24. Ghost says

    With ex's constantly "causing issues" with their relationship, I'm guessing she goes ass to mouth.

    Seriously, most guys are happy to be done with a girl that doesn't put out. They don't stick around.

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