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Any MB veterans have any ideas about how to work on eliminating LBs and fulfilling ENs while the spouse is deployed? I was kind of surprised that I did not see any info about this in the Military Marriages room. smile

Love Busters
1. Selfish Demands
2. Disrespectful Judgments
3. Angry Outbursts
4. Annoying Habits
5. Independent Behavior
6. Dishonesty


Emotional Needs
1. Affection
2. Sexual Fulfillment
3. Conversation
4. Recreational Companionship
5. Honesty and Openness
6. Physical Attractiveness
7. Financial Support
8. Domestic Support
9. Family Commitment
10. Admiration


This is tough. Most of these require some sort of physical presence. Even in the case of a couple who is separated (living separately because they are prepping for a divorce), one can easily pick up the phone or mail things..maybe stop by to visit if invited, etc. Not the case with a deployed spouse.

I can see where during telephone conversations (if you are lucky enough to have them) you can avoid LB 1, 2, 3, and 5 or give EN 1, 5, 7, 9, and 10...but with a Deployment & the need for the household (and you!) to keep going, IBing is almosta must while AHs are virtually a non-issue and SF is on hold.

When the deployment ends and your spouse returns, your spouse may go into IB mode to cope. Your spouse may even have PTSD making him / her withdraw emotionally from you.

How do MB prinicple address these issues which are unique to military couples?


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I've been wondering the exact same thing. Thank you for asking and I'll keep checking for answers.

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I've been wondering the exact same thing. Thank you for asking and I'll keep checking for answers.

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Dr. Harley started this forum to answer those kinds of questions. If I recall correctly, he was looking for long-term successful military marriages. There were some people on here who had heard of long-term military marriages, but no posters of how to actually do it. Everything was wiped out in the server crash Fall 2009.

From my perspective, H and I had 30 year and 28 year Army careers. During peacetime, it was possible to deal with the stresses that come with military life. Since 2003, with multiple deployments and long separations, the M fell apart without us even noticing. We both retired in 2008 and have been working on recovery ever since. It has been the most difficult time in both our lives


I cannot name one long-term successful military marriage.

AM

Last edited by armymama; 03/14/10 09:45 AM.

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AM,

I can't name one successful marriage in real life. I mean - sure - Dr. Phil claims to have a successful marriage and the Harley men make this claim too - but these are not people I know in real life.

What I mean by that is: There are no married couples I know who seem to be truly in love and happy with each other - military or not.

It seems like everyone has issues, either they just stay because it's what they know ...or for the kids...or because they are afraid to be in the dating game again....or maybe because they fear financial ruin / lifestyle changes.

I was hoping someone would have something to help the military folks, but this thread has been up a few days now with no substantive replies. frown

Anyway - retired mil couples are not "in" the military anymore, so their marriages are not plagued with the physical separation issues that the active duty folks are. The MB principles should be able to help them...


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I've asked my hubby if he knew of any couple who are still happily married and he could not for the life of him think of one couple - other than the ones who are just starting out with a year or less of marriage.

Every couple he knew at least one person had cheated and the marriage is over, and at least 2 who are miserable in their marriages but as one of his friends put it "it's too late to do anything about it now."

Makes me sad...

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In another thread MelodyLane said Dr H examined this issue and found no solution.

This is bad news...very bad news.

I guess my DH and I are lucky we made it 10 years and lucky to be retired now. Hopefully the damage is not irreversible.

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA


I guess my DH and I are lucky we made it 10 years and lucky to be retired now. Hopefully the damage is not irreversible.


Chris, doesn't your H want a divorce, though?

I do agree the damage is reversible. Dr Harley talks about case studies of couples who hated each other and their marriages were turned around.

The only people I know who have truly happy, passionate marriages are folks I have met through Marriage Builders, including Dr Harley and his wife and Steve Harley and his wife.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane


Chris, doesn't your H want a divorce, though?


Please click here

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane


Chris, doesn't your H want a divorce, though?


Please click here


Didn't you come here because your H said he wanted a divorce? Did I misunderstand that?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Sorry Moderators, I'll rephrase.


Melody Lane, did you click the link? Not that you have to read my story if you don't want to - but considering all that I have shared I considered your question to be very disrespectful.

My perception is that the folks here think military marriages are a lost cause. Someone even alluded to the belief that military people should get married. It's your right to think whatever you wish, but it is very cruel considering what military people sacrifice for all of us. Imagine an active duty person coming to this website for help and reading this:

Your marriage is doomed.
Your marriage should not have even happened.


This is 100% awful.

moderators note: for future reference, it is against our TOS to remove moderator edits. We will leave this post this time, but in the future, please do not edit your post after we have edited it.


Last edited by Fireproof; 03/21/10 12:51 PM. Reason: TOS - personal attack, removed moderators edit TWICE - do not edit this post again
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Chris, my post was not meant to be disrespectful, but yours WAS. It was a personal attack.

It is not disrespectful to point out that military marriages have a extraordinary high rate of divorce and to actively seek solutions. That is what this forum is for, after all. To find solutions. And solutions cannot be found if the truth is not faced. No one said "your marriage is doomed." In fact, my post stated the opposite, that the "damage is not irreversible." crazy

p.s. I didn't click on the link because my comment addressed the reason you came to the forum. I don't need to click on the link for that.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Yes it WAS disrespctful and I apologize to you and to the moderators (once more)for that. I was upset and I reacted. Since my post was inappropriate, I changed the wording & I believe that at this point my thoughts are laid out in a more respectful manner.

You didn't click the link because you don't feel you have to. Check. Thanks for being honest. Hopefully, other people are still reading my story and watching out for me as I am trying to do MB. Maybe I can still get a few helpful responses and support for my situation.

Anyway, it doesn't appear that the Harley's are currently working on a solution to help military couples. I read here that they couldn't find any successful military couples to study.

To me, the responses here to my questions about that seem to be:

Military marriages are doomed.
Military marriages shouldn't take place.

No one typed those out specifically - but, infortunately, it's a definite theme which I saw in what was typed out. I have no doubt that other military people who venture into this room will reach the same conclusions. That is extremely disappointing.

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
To me, the responses here to my questions about that seem to be:

Military marriages are doomed.


And this is true, military marriages have an extremely high rate of divorce. [no one ever said they "shouldn't have ever happened" or implied any such thing] There is nothing wrong with stating a true fact.

Dr Harley stated that divorce rates for military marriages are higher than any other marriages. And that is what this forum was set up for, to find solutions. So maybe you can help in that regard?

Ideally, what Dr Harley was searching for was a couple who was able to maintain the romance in their marriage even though separated.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
And this is true, many military marriages ARE DOOMED given the extremely high rate of divorce. [no one ever said they "shouldn't have ever happened" or implied any such thing] There is nothing wrong with stating a true fact.





Still going with this? Wow...

Many military marriages are DOOMED

Many military marriages are DOOMED

Many military marriages are DOOMED

Looking around this forum, many marriages period are doomed. But who needs to come here and read that.

I hope to the Almighty God that no active duty people read this thread. They would be in despair.


Quote:
Dr Harley stated that divorce rates for military marriages are higher than any other marriages. And that is what this forum was set up for, to find solutions. So maybe you can help in that regard?

Ideally, what Dr Harley was searching for was a couple who was able to maintain the romance in their marriage even though separated.




You may not have meant your post to be disrespectful, but that is how I took it...along with your subsequent statement about not having to click the link. And now the DOOM post. (sigh)

People here have each other on ignore and I used to think that was silly, but now I can see why some people feel that they have to do it. Sometimes it's easy for certain folks to overlook how a topic may be a sensitive spot for another person, and for some people, sometimes with all the stuff they're going through in our own marriages / lives it's difficult to have empathy for others and understand how something simple they type could cause a big gaping injury to another person.

I am grateful for those folks here who are able to have empathy & for those who were kind enough to take moments out of their time to read my story + help me out by being supportive and providing information to me.

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Chris, feel free to put me on ignore if my posts bother you. It is a widely publicized fact that military divorces are reaching epidemic levels. IT is not "disrespectful" to state a true fact. Dr Harley made the same statement in his initial post when he started this forum in search of solutions.

But the goal here is to turn this trend around by finding solutions. And the first step to finding a solution is to face the truth. The truth is that military divorces are "epidemic" and are on the RISE. They have risen almost every year in the past 9 years. There is nothing "disrespectful" about stating the truth.

Sorry if the truth offends you, but you can always avoid this forum and put me on ignore if you choose. I am ok with that.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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To the moderators: Again, I apologize. I understand about the TOS now. Thanks for the clarification:

Do not edit post after mod edits. Got it. smile

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**************edit***************

Last edited by Fireproof; 03/21/10 11:46 AM. Reason: TOS - badgering, disrespect
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Originally Posted By: markos

I've heard from a number of folks whose husband or wife were deployed, and been forming the conclusion for awhile now that for that reason I would never want to advise someone to marry someone in the military. I know that makes me unamerican or something. But marriage is more important to me than the military.

Then the more I've studied marriage builders, the more I've thought "You can't work these principles under that kind of situation." This has strengthened my initial opinion.

Now, we have many friends who have been in the military, including some with very good marriages. But for most of the examples I can think of, the husband was deployed and the wife was able to be with him, along with any kids. I can name two really good looking marriages I know of like that, and if I think longer I'll bet I can think of more. But living with your husband in base housing is radically different from having your husband deployed to the other side of the world, isn't it?

The only thing I could think to say to people in such a situation is that I know people fall in love over the internet all the time ... even to the point of having an affair. So perhaps while deployed they can deposit as many love units as possible through long distance communication. I would certainly advise it. And I would advise them not to reenlist or anything like that. Again, unpatriotic, I know. But I care more about my friends' marriages than seeing them save the country.

I guess if you're willing to sacrifice your marriage for the country, well, then, you'd have a different set of priorities.

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If you have a problem with a poster, please notify the moderators and let us handle it. Stop disrupting the forum and keep your posts relative to the topic rather than the poster!

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*********************edit*******************

STOP!!!

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Fireproof,

Sorry I did not see your post. I was writing mine when you posted it. Asyou instructed, I clicked the "notify" button and submitted my concern.

Thanks for your patience. I am a relatively new member.
Have a good day.

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Chris, I'm sorry if you don't like it that I value marriage more than America's military policies.

You might note that in the Old Testament, ancient Israel's military policies allowed a man to go home to meet his new wife's emotional needs. Would be cool if America did too, wouldn't it?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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I'm sorry that this is what you understood from what you read here.

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
I hope to the Almighty God that no active duty people read this thread. They would be in despair.


I am at a loss as to how ignoring data would help them. I want them to be helped. Dr. Harley wants them to be helped. I don't think pretending that separated marriages can work out well when you don't know of a single separated marriage that has worked out well is a good way to help any body. I don't believe it would somehow fill them with optimism in such a way that it would cause their marriage to work out well as a result.

If it takes deciding not to reenlist to save a marriage, then I'd rather people do that and save their marriage. It's a question of values, and you're welcome to value things differently from me, but I value American marriages more than America's military. I would hate to think that other people's lives and marriages have to be torn up for my benefit.

Almighty God's military policy was friendly to marriage, including a provision for soldiers to meet the emotional needs of their brides, giving them an opportunity to go home before each and every battle. Perhaps America's policy is not compatible and needs to change.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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Hi Markos,

"Military marriages ARE DOOMED." --> may be true (may not be true)..but certainly cruel.

"In addition to typical relationship challenges, Military marriages face unique challenges which go above and beyond those experienced by non-military couples." --> truthful & on point, yet not cruel.

That was my point.

I am no advocate for delusions. I firmly believe that reality / realizm solves problems; however, we can be "real" and truthful while being kind.

I hope that clears things up.

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
Hi Markos,

"Military marriages ARE DOOMED." --> may be true (may not be true)..but certainly cruel.


Chris, you are the one who said "military marriages are doomed." That was YOUR concoction. This was in response to a discussion about the very high divorce rate amongst military families. That is NOT CRUEL to state this true fact. IT is CRUEL to pretend there is no problem.

This forum was started by Dr Harley at the behest of some military chaplains because of the problems in military marriages. The purpose here is to find solutions and it is out of line and INAPPROPRIATE to label Dr Harley and others as "cruel" for acknowleging a real problem and looking for solutions.


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Chris, here are your quotes:

Quote:
Your marriage is doomed.
Your marriage should not have even happened.


Quote:
To me, the responses here to my questions about that seem to be:

Military marriages are doomed.
Military marriages shouldn't take place.


Quote:
Many military marriages are DOOMED

Many military marriages are DOOMED

Many military marriages are DOOMED


Here is what I said:

Quote:
Dr Harley stated that divorce rates for military marriages are higher than any other marriages. And that is what this forum was set up for, to find solutions. So maybe you can help in that regard?


Which is "cruel?"


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I have stated my side of things and my side of things does not include labelling Dr Harley (or anyone else here) or a belief on my part that military marriages are doomed. These are blatantly strawman arguments.

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Originally Posted By: ChrisInNOVA
Hi Markos,

"Military marriages ARE DOOMED." --> may be true (may not be true)..but certainly cruel.


But I'm not actually saying that stuff. These are your rewordings of things I've said, projecting your thoughts onto them. What I said had an awful lot of nuance in it, which you are skipping over.

I didn't say military marriages are doomed.

I did say I think I would advise people not to enter into such a marriage because I would be fearful the deployment situation would be too hard on their marriage. I don't know a solution, so I know ahead of time that I'd have no clue how to help and encourage them if they came to me some day, so, yes, I'd advise them not to.

I also said I thought the current policies aren't right.

And I said, quite brazenly, that I value marriage more than the military. I understand this would probably get a lot of people pretty emotional.

I don't think anything here translates to "doomed."

Would it be cruel for me to tell a young man "I don't think you should enter the military, because you could be deployed to the Middle East and it might wreck your marriage?" Is there a way that I can reword that to make it less cruel? Would it be cruel for me to tell a young woman "I don't think you should marry him, because he could be deployed, and it might wreck your marriage?" Is there a way that I can reword that to make it less cruel?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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No you didn't say that Markos. And I never said it was you. What you said was that you don't think military people should get married.

At this point I'll leave you & Mel to it.

I have bigger fish to filet.

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I could really use some help with the questions in the original post. How is it possible to even do any of the steps when a spouse is on deployment?

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Smiley,

I think the lack of posts shows how hard this really is. A key factor in building/maintaining a passionate M is spending hours of undivided attention together. And, of course, this is impossible during a deployment. My H first deployed in 1996 to Bosnia. During that deployment, we were able to get together twice during the deployment - once for a long weekend in Budapest (I flew in from Washington DC for that weekend) and once when H came to the states. We went on a family vacation to the Bahamas. In between, we wrote, called and emailed. Our M did pretty well during that deployment.

H next deployed to Kuwait/Iraq in 2003. Communication was more dfficult and we weren't able to speak as often. During that deployment, H came home on R&R and does not even remember it. The stress level of the war in Iraq was so high. He then deployed again and was gone for nearly 4 and 1/2 out of the next 6 years. The M really went down the tubes without either one of us realizing it. I think the differences were the amount of time apart and the inability to really stay in touch with each other.

We have a son who is in the Army now. My advice to him if he were to fall in love and marry would be to regard his service as something to be proud of and to leave the military. And we come from a family where many have served long careers.

AM

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I realize this thread is old, and I'm just a lurker but felt compelled to sign up so I could add to it.

I've been lucky that my husband has always had the internet while deployed which really opens up the options. Email and webcams do a lot for a separation like that. We would play games together online. I would record things on my phone, just little love you messages, or the sound of our son laughing, and especially once he learned how to say dada, and then I could email those to him. He would put them on his ipod, so he had a little playlist of "home"

Despite the near everyday emails I still wrote him letters most days just so he would feel special at mail call. I sent packages, and sent him things to give to his guys. He also reciprocated, sending me precious little things and love letters. I still have all of them.

I put in a lot of effort to make sure he had a say in things in our day to day lives. He picked out what our son wore for his first birthday, he picked out gifts for our moms on mothers day, etc.

Again we were lucky with the internet access and also that we started dating as long distance so we were used to adult phone activities, lol. I was used to being married to my telephone.

It was definitely stressful when he came back. We had to ease back into the groove slowly. We had both done a lot of reading about how to cope after a deployment and I think that helped, we could talk about it and know what was normal and would pass with time.


I don't think military marriages are doomed. I think there are a lot of factors that go into military divorce statistics. Most get married very young, or because there is a pregnancy. The vast majority won't have family or lifelong friends around as a support system. I think a lot of young guys idealize marriage, and want out of the barracks, but don't think about the responsibility side of it. We have met many couples who don't make it very long at all, but we've also met some really strong couples in this life. It's not impossible, but I do think you need to be very proactive. The military offers free marriage retreats, free counseling etc. Heck, I just got free books about marriage, and PTSD and raising military children.

We put a lot of time and effort into our marriage. We avoid temptation. You won't find us out at the bars, and H doesn't hang out with the younger single guys outside of work.

I never thought I would be married to a Marine, living in Japan over 7000 miles away from any family....but here I am. It's really hard sometimes and everytime my H has to leave I have a little cryfest and then I pick myself up and find a way to use it to my advantage. I have way more than I deserve and I'll be darned if I don't do everything in my power to keep it.

We definitely didn't follow all of the LB's and EN's while he's gone but we also didn't know about them yet. Dishonesty...well it's better for all involved if he keeps certain things from me. He fills me in on the terrifying details later, when he's home and safe.

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 29
K
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Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 29
Hey,
I would like to share what I've learned through the years about this.
First when the spouse is deployed, you should basically Plan A. (if i understand the plan correctly)Avoid LB's which includes complaining about all the work and stress about being separated. Send the deployed spouse letters everyday, send stuff from the kids if possible, send items from home that are allowed(cookies, favorite candy, mixed cds,). Keep phone conversations positive. You have to become independent, but let the deployed soldier know that you are their number one fan. Work on a hobby while they are deployed, remember that you need to keep them in your heart while away, so when they return it can be joyous. Keep in mind it takes a little time to re-adjust to their return. Another mistake I see is the forcing co-habitation to fast and hard. Don't dump chores and to-do list on each other.
Another thing I've seen, is when a soldier marries someone who knows nothing of the military life, the unknowing spouses seem to have a hard time adjusting. Regardless, military marriages do add a new level of stress on a marriage. It takes patience, understanding, and commitment.
I've seen a decline in marriage period. It is not just military. I think people just dont believe in it anymore as a whole. Sometimes it gets tough and you have to work together. Maybe society has taken the "If it was meant to be, it should be easy." We all seem to forget that vow "for better or worse". Just some thoughts...


B.W.{Me}- 28
W.H.- 32
M-8 years
2 kids
Putting pieces together.
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 48
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rpg Offline
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WOW.

I came to this thread hoping to see some kind of answer for military marriages. Instead I've read that my marriage is doomed about 150+ times.

I don't feel so good anymore.


Me: BH
Her: WW
D-day: 14 Nov 10 (EA+PA)
Married for 12 years, 4 kids.
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 151
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 151
I have seen a lot of soldier's who have good healthy marriages. It does take more work, but it can be done. I don't really feel like I can give any advice because I'm not sure I can say my marriage is the most healthy. I do believe that both people in the marriage have to really want it to happen because in the military it is too easy to get out of. Some spouses disappear while their soldier is deployed. Some soldier's just stop communicating essentially disappearing themselves.
I think you really as a family have to prepare for deployment, not just the person being deployed. You have to have a plan and a goal. Right now divorce in military is at about 80%....I'm hoping not to fall in that stat, but will see I guess.


When I vowed for better or worse - I meant it!
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