October is a special month for me. Sure it means that fall is here, which I absolutely love, but more importantly it is the month that I met my husband, and a few years later, got engaged.
When we met (5 years ago!) I did not think the relationship would turn into what it did at all, mainly since it would be a long distance relationship, during college, sounds not so fun. But then you fall madly in love and who cares? You just want to be with that person. But, it is much more than that.
I remember about 3 months into knowing my husband he asked me, “What would you think of being an Army wife?” At that point we weren’t in love but for him it was important to know how serious of a relationship we were in. Because if it was going to be serious, and I wasn’t open to the idea of moving and dealing with deployments, well, it might not be worth the time. You can probably guess what my answer was based on where we are today.
I share this story because I think that this conversation was important for us, and for all couples, no matter what your career or life is. You need to know the other person’s deal breakers. I have a friend whose dream was to live in NYC and work for magazines, and she does, and her husband moved there for her, for her dream. But that was a discussion they had to have. I know other people who have broken up very serious relationships because it became evident that what they wanted in their life was different than the other person.
Now all of that being said, is it an easy choice? No. As our relationship grew, the idea of moving and dealing with deployment became more real. It’s not a fun thing to think about, your loved one going away for a year or more, moving often (but you could see the world potentially…), and in some ways, having their career dictate a lot in your lives. By the time we got engaged about 3 years after meeting, we had discussed a lot of this, as well as how we deal with finances, when we wanted kids, and other long-term relationship stuff. Not only was marriage about being with one another, it was about both of us being happy and healthy and having someone there for us.
Deciding to marry when we did, shortly after his graduation, and not later, was partly because we wanted to be together, but more than that, we thought that the likelihood of him deploying a year or so later was pretty high, and we were right, he did, my fall foliage wedding on our 5th anniversary would not have been able to happen (yes that was my grand plan at one point, we had a beautiful summer wedding instead).
We talked a lot about the Army lifestyle, where he wanted to be stationed, where I wanted to live, and where we didn’t want to live. We got to choose Washington, a decision we made because of the potential for jobs here for me (and there was a high likelihood that the unit in Germany he’d go to would be moving to the US soon, making our time there short). But what I wanted mattered to him, and that means a lot to me.
I know that I am really gushing about our communication and his support, but I think these are key to a successful relationship, no matter what you do. I can say that my husband believes in my abilities more than me some days. And I need that. He cares about what I am doing (like today he asked me about the traffic to this blog). He’s cheering me on while I figure out what the heck I’m doing with my life. Do I miss New York? Of course. But sometimes love trumps a few things, or is just putting me on a different path, whatever the reason it’ll work out.
For the record, I think my answer to his question nearly 5 years ago, was that I was open to it. It wasn’t a dealbreaker and I knew that it can be a great life because of my family members who have served and do serve now, but it was a hesitant answer, I was 19 at the time after all, but I’m so glad it all turned out to be this life I have now.
What did you discuss when deciding to get married? Any deal breakers in a relationship for you? Would you move around the world for someone you love? Or would your loved one do the same for you?