No marriage is perfect and this is something we all understand. Just because we are married to the military life doesn’t mean that our problems are not the same as civilian couples. Military marriages can be just as hard and are no different when it comes to have problems. Unfortunately some military spouses cannot handle the life and struggles of being married to a soldier or being in the relationship at all no matter the reasons. When this occurs it is more than likely during a deployment when the spouse is feeling low and lonely.
The result of these feelings comes out in a dreaded Dear John letter. Writing the letter is ok, it is good to get your feelings out; writing things down can help to clear your head and assist you in moving on and away from the bad juju’s. However, after you write it and read it over, destroy it. Almost half of all military suicide is due to soldiers getting Dear John letters while deployed or on training then coming home to nothing. Their spouse/partner has left them with a broken heart and an empty house. All spouses of soldiers go through stages when a deployment or training is brought to the table and no one is saying that you cannot have these feelings; but how you act on them is another story.
If you ever find yourself feeling the need to write your soldier and tell them that the relationship is over, stop, think and ask yourself these questions:
- How would I feel if that was me getting this letter?
- Is our problem that bad that it cannot be worked out when my soldier is home?
- Am I just overly emotional about my soldier being gone?
- Should I see advice from another military spouse first?
- Am I still in love with my soldier?
Sometimes splitting up has to happen and if you are that serious about ending the relationship then remember that your soldier is away and can do nothing about this. Waiting until you have the chance to talk in person is always idea. Talking on the phone is not great but is way better than just getting a letter. At least that way your soldier has some say in what’s going on. A letter makes things final, while a phone call leaves room for you and your solder to find a possible solution.
The most common subject in a Dear John letter is the spouse or partner ending the relationship because they have found someone else to be with and is unable to hold out for their soldier to come home. Cheating or breaking up doesn’t always stem from the spouse not caring or not being in love with their soldier; this comes from the basic human need for someone there with them at that particular moment in time.
All can be avoided by keeping busy and not putting yourself into a position where you will be tempted to stray or question your reasons for being with your spouse. It goes both ways even in a marriage outside the military. Being in a relationship with a soldier doesn’t have to be that hard and it is what you make of it. Being able to hold strong and true is what makes military spouses special.
We are our soldier’s heroes. Everyone makes mistakes but have faith in your solder that even if a mistake is made and you feel heartache and pain the odds are he or she feels the same way. Talking with a deployment support group or even just another military spouse can help to open your mind and heart to another way of thinking before you make a drastic decision that could end your marriage.
Let’s hear it from the readers. Would you send the letter, wait to talk in person or on the phone? Soldiers, would you rather get the letter or a phone call? Post your comments or email them to [email protected]
Portland Women’s Relationship Advice Examiner
Portland Military Marriage Examiner