Marriage in the Marine Corps part 1 of 6
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  1. #1
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    Marriage in the Marine Corps part 1 of 6

    CV05-SH-1 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS MARINES AWAITING TRAINING (MAT) PROGRAM

    INSTRUCTOR GUIDE

    LESSON TITLE MARRIAGE IN THE MARINE CORPS

    PF08 JUL 98

    INTRODUCTION: (3 MIN)

    1. GAIN ATTENTION. Imagine yourself in a situation where your platoon is being sent into combat. As you're waiting to be airlifted into the combat zone, you hear that half of the other platoons that have already been committed have been wiped out. Think you'd be a little concerned? You bet you would! Some of the first things that you'd want to know are:

    "Why are they suffering so many casualties?"

    "How big is the enemy force?"

    "Is the enemy using biological or chemical weapons?"

    Again, you'd want to know why half the Marines did not survive the battle.

    We should be similarly concerned that marriages in the United States experience the same 50% casualty rate and that the statistic of failure is even higher among first-term Marines. Why do some Marines' marriages end in divorce while others last?

    2. OVERVIEW. This lesson will focus on how marriages are affected by the realities of service, the reasons why some of those marriages break up, and the resources that can provide assistance to those about to be married, recently married, or who would like help in their marriage.

    3. INTRODUCE LESSON PURPOSE. The purpose of this period of instruction is to familiarize Marines with the special challenges a Marine Corps career presents to a married couple. The material in this lesson will not be tested. There are no terminal or enabling learning objectives.

    4. METHOD/MEDIA. This period of instruction will be taught by lecture/group discussion. A 24-minute video, Marriage in the Marine Corps, will also be shown.

    5. EVALUATION. You will not be tested on this material.

    INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE:

    Show Marines the video "Marriage in the Marine Corps" (24 min.). Upon completion of the video, lead Marines through a 46-minute lecture on marriage in the Marine Corps.

    TRANSITION: Having watched the video, you understand some of the challenges a Marine Corps career presents to a marriage. The choice of a mate is so important because it affects you for the rest of your life. In the "old Corps," most Marines did not worry about it; they simply could not afford marriage. That's not the case today.


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    Part 2

    BODY: (46 MIN)

    1. MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE STATISTICS: (5 MIN)

    a. Marriage Rates. The marriage rate in the Marine Corps continues to rise. Figures on Marine Corps marriage rates show that in 1980, 33% of Marines were married. Five years later that number increased to 44%. In 1993, the marriage rate among Marines was approximately 49%.

    b. Marriage Age. While the number of young people in the United States has been declining, the number of married Marines between the ages of 17 and 21 has continued to increase. The number of divorces among first-term Marines has, unfortunately, also grown significantly.

    c. DIVORCE STATISTICs.

    1) The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world.

    2) Studies show that in 1980 when the divorce rate peaked in the United States, divorces occurred in one out of every two marriages.

    3) While the civilian divorce rate has remained constant into the 1990's, the Marine Corps has seen its overall divorce rate increase.

    a) Between 1980 and 1993, Marine Corps divorce rates jumped to 77%. Looking at the percentage of divorces among enlisted Marines only, there has been an increase of 95%. If one looks even more closely at the increase in divorces for first-term Marines, privates through corporals, the divorce rate has increased 117%.

    b) The majority of Marines marry and divorce during their first term of enlistment. Data has further shown that military personnel are inclined to remarry sooner than civilians.

    c) When one or both partners are still "on the rebound," 40% of military second marriages end in divorce within the first five years.

    INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE:

    Probe the class by asking questions.


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    Part 3

    TRANSITION: Now that we have an idea about the marriage and divorce rates in the United States and within the Marine Corps, let's discuss some of the reasons first-term Marines have given for getting married.

    2. WHY MANY FIRST-TERM MARINES MARRY: (10 MIN)

    a. Make more money. When our military went to an all volunteer force, pay was increased and family entitlements were expanded to attract more recruits. By calling attention to family benefits such as Basic Allowance for Quarters (BAQ), separation allowances, and commuted rations (COMRATS), the military itself created the "financial illusion" that married military couples make more money than single personnel. So a number of first-term Marines believe they can support a spouse and children on their military pay and live comfortably in the process.

    b. Escape loneliness and the barracks life. Some Marines marry to escape loneliness and barracks life. While barracks life subjects you to room inspections and does not usually allow you a choice of roommates, married life allows you to choose your "roommate" while avoiding the hassle of inspections.

    c. Sex. "Sleeping around" may end a Marine's life through disease. It may end their career through legal procedures in the case of adultery, sodomy, rape (to include statutory/underage or lack of consent), or indecent acts with a minor. The risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, including AIDS, is greatly reduced in a faithful marriage because no diseases will be acquired from outside the marriage.

    d. Love. There are divorced couples today who say: "We loved one another very much, but love was not enough." Many people misunderstand love; they think of it as an emotion, then they wonder why their commitments last only as long as their feelings. Marriage is a partnership of common values and goals.

    1) In order for a couple's love to grow and mature throughout life, the couple needs to be willing to work with each other on critical marriage issues such as finances, children, personal responsibilities, and goals.

    2) If a couple's relationship is grounded in a deep and mature respect for one another that produces actions which show their commitment to each other, the chances of entering into a life-long and happy marriage are greatly increased.

    e. Pregnancy. Another reason for marrying is pregnancy. "I got her pregnant, so I had to marry her," or "I wanted my child to have a father" are reasons given for marriage.

    1) Those who make that commitment need to realize the difficulty a third person will bring to the early years of a marriage. The unexpected financial demands of an extra mouth to feed and the time-consuming physical needs of a baby are painfully difficult for a young couple. Either or both partners may become resentful of the situation and the loss of "freedom" enjoyed when he/she was single.

    2) People who marry because of pregnancy very often find themselves unable to make a success of the marriage.

    INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE:

    Probe the class by asking questions.


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    Part 4

    TRANSITION: Where do things go wrong in a marriage? Let's look at some of the reasons why marriages end in divorce.
    3. WHY SO MANY MARRIAGES END IN DIVORCE: (16 MIN)

    It is disturbing to note that Marines interviewed after going through a divorce have said that they did not take part in any marriage preparation classes or counseling. In fact, one young, first-term Marine made this interesting comparison:

    "I prepared more for my bungy cord jump; checking the site, checking the equipment, rope length, catch lever,
    receiving line, and double checking everything again and again. You want to make sure everything is good to go before you do it. But for my marriage, I didn't do anything but go to the Justice of the Peace."

    a. Marines Lead Unique Lives. Statistics show that the things that make the Marine Corps unique are among the things that add stress and difficulty to marriage.

    1) Problems with money, lack of maturity, and children from previous relationships.

    2) Extended separations.

    3) Frequent moves.

    b. Money. Many Marines mistakenly believe that by getting married, they'll have more money. While married Marines do qualify for some financial help such as BAQ and COMRATS, and sometimes separations allowance when deployed, they also acquire extra expenses. If there are children, expenses are even higher. Several points must be kept in mind:

    1) Base housing is not always available and off-base housing in many areas where Marines are assigned has been found to be unaffordable to young enlisted families.

    2) If you and your spouse are planning for him/her to work, recognize that there is always the possibility of unemployment. Even with a college degree, or other qualifications, there may simply be no jobs to be had.

    3) The high cost of child care often offsets the income that may be earned by a spouse with a low paying job.

    4) While dependents qualify for medical benefits, limited military medical staffing may require dependents to be cared for at civilian hospitals. This will result in an out-of-pocket expense for the Marine.

    5) It is not uncommon to see a divorced lance corporal with two children. The amount of alimony and child support that can be ordered varies widely in different states. The court will decree that you establish an allotment, and your pay will be withheld to assure timely payment of both alimony and child support.

    6) Marriage during your first term of enlistment should be thought out completely. Getting married to collect BAQ and COMRATS is not the answer to raising your income, because the extra expenses will always exceed the amount of increase.

    c. EXTENDED SEPARATION. As Marines, we are the "911 Force" for the country. You will be deployed at a moment's notice. Many may be aware of the Marine Corps' rapid deployments to such places as Panama, Liberia, Southwest Asia, and Somalia. Your duties require you to be deployed 40% to 60% of your fleet time. This is especially true during your first tour of duty as a junior Marine. Because of this, it becomes extremely important that a Marine's spouse have the essential maturity and ability to carry on in your absence.

    d. FREQUENT MOVES. You have chosen a profession that requires you to transfer to duty stations where the Corps needs your skills, and not necessarily the place you choose. Marine families are transferred from one duty station to the next on the average of every 2.4 years. Although the Commandant is taking steps to make tours longer at each duty station, the frequency of these moves is still a financial and emotional burden on the Marine family. Assignments to overseas duty are a real possibility. There are two basic kinds of overseas assignments:

    1) Accompanied. The Marine Corps provides support and housing for the spouse and dependents with the Marine.

    2) Unaccompanied. The Marine goes alone. The Marine Corps family must be adaptive and flexible in response to the challenge of living in a foreign culture without the close support of family and friends. These frequent relocations can be especially difficult for a young spouse who is away from their family for the first time.

    e. LACK OF Maturity. While an immature individual may tend to act impulsively, a mature person generally thinks about the long term effects of a decision before undertaking a particular action. For example, a Marine reports to his first duty station, a large base, and decides that he needs "wheels." Rather than calculating what kind of vehicle he can really afford, he purchases a late model sports car at a local used car lot. Later he discovers that:

    1) The interest rates make the car twice as expensive as originally estimated.

    2) There are mechanical defects that were not initially visible and will cost an "arm and a leg" to repair.

    3) Insurance is often unaffordably high. This cost can also increase if the Marine subsequently receives even just one traffic ticket.

    Deciding whom you will marry is a far more important decision than what kind of car you will buy.

    f. INFIDELITY. A recent Gallop Poll reported that an overwhelming majority of Americans are faithful to their marriage vows. People who are separated from their spouses for extended periods of time, however, can be tempted, particularly when they are under stress or when alcohol might lower their inhibitions. Marines who face multiple deployments away from their spouses need to commit themselves to remain faithful to their marriage vows. While infidelity may be portrayed in a casual fashion in some afternoon television soap operas, adultery is deemed a criminal offense under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    g. CHILDREN FROM PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIPS. The number of marriages involving partners with children from previous relationships is higher in the military than in the civilian sector.

    1) Being a step-parent is difficult enough, but adding long-term separations and frequent moves makes it even more challenging.

    2) Many young Marines have not yet acquired the unique parenting skills necessary to raise children from a previous relationship of the spouse. While the anticipated arrival of children in a marriage can help foster stability and increase the chances that a couple will remain together, children from a previous relationship add challenges that many people find they are not ready to take on.

    INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE:

    Probe the class by asking questions.


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    Part 5

    TRANSITION: Now that we have identified some of the reasons why some military marriages fail and end in divorce, let's consider some recommendations that might increase your chances of enjoying a happy, successful marriage.


    4. WHAT A MARINE CAN DO: (15 MIN)

    a. Studies show that chances of success in finding happiness in marriage and avoiding divorce are much higher among couples who practice a particular religion and attend worship services together regularly.

    b. Besides religious involvement, the chances of success in marriage are statistically higher among those couples who participate in marriage preparation/enrichment programs.

    c. Now that you are aware of some of the problems that lead to divorce among first-term Marines, consider these three recommendations:

    1) DON'T RUSH IT! Do not risk your happiness and life on what may be an impulsive and hasty decision. It also takes a certain amount of time to get to know a person well enough to be sure that you want to spend the rest of your life with that individual. As we all know, meaningful friendships take time to develop and mature. The better you know the person you are going to marry, the greater the chance that you and your partner have compatible expectations of marriage and are ready for the commitment.

    2) CONSIDER SUPPORT FROM THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY.

    a) While 50% of American marriages end in divorce, that number drops to 20% among those who worship together regularly. Generally speaking, unless a couple shares the same faith, most couples from different religious backgrounds will marry in the church or synagogue of the partner whose faith and practice is stronger.


    b) Some religions have particular marriage requirements that include mandatory marriage preparation and a period of notification (e.g., six months) to reduce the risk of premature marriages which are more prone to end in divorce.

    c) While chaplains may not be familiar with the specific requirements of all religions, they are ready to refer Marines to chaplains or civilian clergy of the particular religion in question.

    3) ENROLL IN A MARRIAGE PREPARATION/ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS.

    a) Studies have shown that couples who enroll in marriage preparation or enrichment programs increase their chances of marital happiness. Such courses are designed for couples preparing for marriage and those who are already married. They help couples enhance their communication and conflict resolution skills. In addition, couples have the opportunity to explore their values and marital expectations, as well as those of their partner.

    b) Marriage preparation/enrichment allows couples to discuss not only what they have in common, but also to share honestly their feelings about differences. Couples who have a similar cultural background and upbringing also have an increased chance of marital success. Additionally, similar values and life goals contribute to martial satisfaction. For example, one partner who is extremely interested in pursuing a college education may become extremely discouraged if his/her spouse is non-supportive of this goal.

    c) Two areas that are frequent and significant sources of conflict between military couples that are covered in marriage preparation/enrichment programs are: finances and attitudes regarding children and child-rearing practices. Generally speaking, finances cause more arguments between young military couples than any other issue.

    d) Most bases provide regularly scheduled marriage preparation and enrichment programs. Marine commanders strongly support these programs, encouraging attendance for Marines--and their prospective spouses--who are about to marry. Most spouses recognize the challenge that marriage in the military entails, and participate eager to learn all they can to increase their chances for a happy and successful marriage.

    d. MARRIAGE RESOURCES. Many chaplains, Family Services Center counselors, and civilian clergy use marital surveys in their counseling. One survey available both for couples who are preparing to marry and for those who are already married is "Marriage and Military Life." This pamphlet reviews "critical areas" of married life and is designed to help couples evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship. Additional reading material and videotapes regarding marriage preparation and enrichment are also available.

    INSTRUCTOR'S NOTE:

    Probe the class by asking questions.


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    Part 6 (end)

    OPPORTUNITY FOR QUESTIONS: (1 MIN)

    1. QUESTIONS FROM THE CLASS:

    2. QUESTIONS TO THE CLASS:

    a. QUESTION: Will a Marine make more money when he's married?

    ANSWER: Yes, but the additional money will not cover the new expenses (rent, laundry, transportation, extra food, etc.).

    b. QUESTION: What are the two basic kinds of overseas tours?

    ANSWER: Accompanied and unaccompanied tours.


    SUMMARY: (1 MIN)

    During this lesson, we discussed marriage and divorce in the United States and the Marine Corps, reasons people marry or divorce, considerations a Marine should make before getting married, and the resources provided within the Corps to assist Marines increase their chances of enjoying a happy and successful marriage.


  7. #7
    Awesome info here TracGunny. Certainly makes me think twice about it. Do you mind if I ask where you got the Period of Instruction from?


  8. #8
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    Forgot the Link...

    http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/downloads/mat/Pf08-lo.doc.

    Sometimes, just sometimes, I get really, really lucky on a Google search...


  9. #9
    Awesome, thanks TracGunny!


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    Marriage by the Numbers!?

    February 13th - 6:39 am ET
    Researchers say how couples resolve differences is major factor in whether a marriage will last
    PAUL RECER
    AP Science Writer

    SEATTLE A researcher believes he can predict the outcome of most any marriage with a few squiggles on a chart. John M. Gottman said a 20-year study involving more than 600 married couples shows that by carefully plotting how a husband and wife interact and then reducing those observations to a formula, researchers can tell which marriages will succeed and which are heading for the rocks.

    In a report at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Gottman said studies by his Relationship Research Institute and the University of Washington show that how couples resolve differences is a key factor in whether a marriage will last.

    The methods used by couples for conflict resolution can be expressed mathematically or on a simple graphic to predict how the marriage will endure. In effect, math has now found a place in love and marriage, he said.

    To gather the data, a team of researchers observed video tapes of couples in interviews by marriage counselors and noted how husbands and wives responded to each other. Gottman said his team found that there basically are three types of stable marriages.

    The first is a husband and wife who routinely avoids conflict. When a difference of opinion arises, said Gottman, "they will never argue. They will listen to the other, but will not try to persuade." Such marriages, which he calls the "avoiders," may be unemotional and distant, but they endure.

    A second type is a volatile relationship "like two lawyers in a courtroom," said Gottman. "They can argue at the drop of a hat.

    They are the Bickersons," he said. Such marriages tend to last even though there are frequent and impassioned arguments.

    The third type of stable marriage Gottman calls the "validating" couple. They listen to each other, respect the other's opinion and only occasionally argue. "They pick the issues they fight about," he said.

    Trouble in marriages comes when the couples are a mix of personalities that do not mesh in resolving conflicts. For instance, a husband who is a volatile arguer married to a wife who is an "avoider", or one who flees from disagreement, may be in marital trouble, he said.

    "Couples like that are usually heading for a divorce," he said.

    Researchers mathematically chart the marriage interactions by plotting not just what is said, but also how it is said and the body language and facial expression behind it. Emotions such as anger, harshness and hostility get a negative number, while humor and an eagerness to talk lovingly about the partner get a positive rating.

    When these data points are given values and plotted on a chart it produces a line that dips below a neutral point into negative territory, or a line that soars above the neutral point.

    Gottman said follow-up studies have shown the system works. He said an "escalating negative affect", or a steep descent on the chart below the neutral point, predicts a couple will divorce within 5.6 years after marriage.

    A more gentle descending slope below the neutral point, suggesting an "emotional disengagement," predicts a divorce within 16.2 years after marriage, he said.

    Charts with lines rising above the neutral point plot marriages that last.

    By using the charts, Gottman said it is possible to help stabilize some marriages. For instance, there's little hope for a marriage where the wife is an avoider of argument and the husband thrives on heated discussion. If she can be taught to respond to his verbal attack while he can learn to tone down his volatility, then they might find a happy middle ground of marriage.

    Gottman said in marriages where this counseling has been applied, about 65 percent of couples remain together for at least one year. This research, however, is still in an early stage, he said.

    Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

    http://wire.jacksonville.com/pstorie.../1893856.shtml


  11. #11
    Registered User Free Member cmbell's Avatar
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    New PVt's PFC's and LCPL's should wait a while before getting hitched. Barracks life was not bad. Drink a little alcohol. Go have fun. I was married when I enlisted in the Marine Corps. It was not that good, but again I was married to a phycho b**ch. But thats a different story......

    CMbell


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    Unhappy

    I think I am included in all the reasons for why
    "first term Marines get married"
    I thought everything would be great.....then I get sent to Okinawa for a 12 month unaccompanied tour, not too motivating!

    Throw in some impossible debt + a son that doens't know what you look like = and you have a barracks rat /alcoholic


  13. #13

    "Marriage in the Marine Corps

    This si one of the best post that I have seen.


    I know I'm going to get blasted for this but here goes. We have an all Volunteer Arm Forces, so what do the Recruiter do? They will take anyone who wants to join the Marine Corps all they have to do is complete Basic training and then they are Marines, right? Then after they have become Marines they can get married at any rank from Pvt to who ever. I wish that the Marine Corps would go back to the way they did in the 40's, if you were married you couldn't enlist in the Marines as an enlisted man, now I believe that I am right here, you would have to be E-5 or above to get married without your C.O. approvable; It may have been difference with Officers. I have been married for almost 47 years now, it hasn't always been easy, even as a Staff NCO money was tight when I had to deploy, with 4 kids never seem to have enough to pay all the bills, so had to go without a lot of things that we needed, family had to live in low rent housing or live with family. When I was in the States things were difference we could make ends meet. Ever with the pay that our junior Marines receive and all of the added benifits that they pile on doesn't seem to be enough. seems as if the less you make the less you get, and the more you make the more you get, should be the other way around.


  14. #14

    Cool Why Do Marines Get Married So Young?

    June 18, 2004
    Why Do Marines Get Married So Young?


    by Master GySgt Billy Stewart
    Special to Henderson Hall News


    In my personal opinion, I believe that there are four major decisions that will shape your life. These four decisions will direct the path that your life will take. I guarantee it. The first decision is the spiritual route in life you will take. The second is what career path you will venture into. The third decision is when and who you will marry. Lastly, the fourth decision is whether or not you will have children. While all these decisions are extremely important and intertwined, my column this week will tackle the controversial topic of marriage and our young Marines.

    At every unit I have been assigned, the most time-consuming leadership task is taking care of young Marines and their personal problems. The largest array of personal problems stems from Marines that are married. More so, these problems are usually quite common within the Sergeant and below ranks, and especially with first term Marines. This continues to be a constant lien against our already over tasked operational schedule, and a readiness degrader. Approximately 50% of the fires that I tackle everyday relate in some way to a young Marine's marriage. Do you believe that Marines get married too young, or for the wrong reasons? Our former Commandant General Mundy felt this way. So much that he wanted to institute a policy prohibiting first term Marines from marrying. Of course, he was challenged openly by many organizations and he vision was shot down. Many Marines believe as General Mundy did, and to a certain extent, I do too. Often times, individuals attempt to challenge my opinion concerning this topic. I think it is time to openly discuss what goes on within in our Corps concerning young Marine marriages and the motivation behind them. Be advised that opinions and assumptions that I make in this week's column are solely my own and those derived from a vast majority of Marines that I have served with over my career.

    Initially, let me begin by discussing the optimistic side of things. What about Marines that get married for all the right reasons and have their house and lives in order? Good on them. In my humble opinion, these individuals do not represent the majority of first term Marines that are married. However, these marriages are extremely significant and are in need of great recognition. These individuals represent the well thought out process of marriage. They possess the strong personal foundations needed for marriage, coupled with the self-discipline and sacrifice required to handle a life long decision and commitment. In a nutshell, they have conducted an intense "recon," and they are mature and ready to negotiate the mission of marriage. Basically, their reason for marriage is a deep desire to love and spend the rest of their life with their spouse. I congratulate and applaud these young Marine families that subscribe to this mindset.

    However, we have to be realistic. Equivalent aged young civilians do not marry at the same rate that young Marines do. Most married Marines thought longer about their enlistment into the Corps than they did about their decision to get married. The Marine Corps has one of the highest marriage rates for first term service members. Let's discuss the reasons why.

    Marines from the ages of seventeen through their early twenties are in a much different situation than their civilian counterparts. Unlike an average civilian, Marines are far away from home at an extremely young age for extended periods of time. In addition, they are for the first time in their lives experiencing freedom without parental accountability and separation from life long friends and loved ones. Unlike their civilian counterparts, Marines cannot get home as frequent on the weekends or on summer break. This often causes ties to friends and family at home to be stretched to the limit. Marines often develop close relationships very quickly. Besides, most Marines combat loneliness and separation through these relationships. Many situations and ideas arise through these relationships, with the end result most often being marriage. The reason for premature marriage may be obvious, but is certainly not discussed enough; it is the problem of infatuation and the misunderstanding of marriage.

    It's no secret that young Marines are involved in intimate relationships, living together, and talking about marriage often times after only a few weeks of knowing a person. The aforementioned relationships paint a false sense of security called "infatuation." This is when two people become fascinated and somewhat obsessed with each other. It seems as though everything is going great, the loneliness has subsided, and the couple can only see the good in each other. It is during this period of time where many Marines run down to the county courthouse or nearest chapel and make a life long decision.

    This life long decision is made without really understanding its implication or what will lie ahead in the years, months, or even days to follow. Soon after the marriage and the "infatuation" period has ended, the Marine finds out that the couple doesn't agree on many major issues such as spiritual beliefs, child raising, career paths, or finances. It's then that the rest of the baggage shows up on the doorstep. The couple discovers dirty laundry that was not discussed before marriage such as personal problems, various forms of debt, or dysfunctional family problems. This list is endless and so are the responses from the Marines sitting in my office as their world is falling apart from their premature decision to get married. The most repeated comment I hear is, "I didn't know what I was getting into." If the lack of understanding concerning marriage or the "infatuation bug" doesn't lure a Marine towards matrimony, the love of money and the desire to get out of the barracks will.

    A Leatherneck will never admit to it, but there is something about receiving BAH and Comrats that continually pull young Marine towards a marriage license. How do I know that? Well, I know this because I have watched Marines sacrifice their whole paychecks just to get an apartment out in town while only having to maintain a room in the barracks. I have witnessed Marines involved in unauthorized "contract marriages" only to receive monetary benefits. Although these are extreme examples, many Marines still believe that getting married will fatten their wallets and get them out of the barracks and the dreaded clutches of field day. Little did they know that they were hopping from the frying pan into the fire. With marriage comes personal and financial responsibility for a spouse and possibly children.

    The financial benefits run out extremely quick. A Sgt's and below pay is not prejudice and it does not discriminate. It continually remains to be inadequate to make ends meet at times. It all depends on what debt was brought into the marriage, what financial decisions are made, and if children are involved. Besides the lack of funds, past baggage again shows up. A Marine soon finds out that along with his/her spouse, they also gained their spouses debt, child support, or past credit history. These are just other examples of the well known "blinded by infatuation syndrome." While struggling with the lack of financial freedom, a Marine soon realizes that "field day" never went away. He or she now cleans up after a spouse, children, and possibly a pet that leaves reminders around the apartment. Only now the living quarters has tripled in size. Again, if money or the escape of field day doesn't push you towards the tuxedo or bridal shop, maybe being the though of being a parent will.

    Finally, it's no secret that Marines having or fathering children push the issue of marriage. Marine marriages are sometimes the byproduct of a pre-marital pregnancy. This sends a Marine into the "instant responsibility mode" immediately. With this responsibility comes all of the aforementioned marital issues that I have discussed.

    This is not the optimal reason to cause one to choose the bonds of marriage.

    While controversial, the fact remains that Marines do not always get married for the right reasons. The divorce rate within the civilian population is over 50%. I believe this rate is even higher in the Marine Corps. The hard reality is that most young Marines are not ready to get married during their first term. Moreover, while many can handle marriage, the strain of holding a marriage together and the responsibility of being a Marine often proves to be impossible for young Marines. Marriage is decision that should have life long implication. Be prepared to seriously ponder your decision. It will be one the most important one you'll ever make. Semper Fi.

    http://www.dcmilitary.com/marines/he...y/29689-1.html


    The Drifter's Wife

    Ellie


  15. #15
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    One thing I don't see in that post, Miss Ellie, is the necessity of the Corps wife to be able to function like a Gunny when deployments, training cycles and oveseas matters come up - and to be able to maintain the fiction that nothing could be done at home properly without the Marine being there.

    The one thing I was told by a Senior NCO at our wedding was - Congratulations - you have married the Corps as well as the Marine. That line of thought helped a lot in good times and bad - maybe someone shod say it to the new wives coming in.


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