Why Society Has To Change Its Views On Military Relationships
Politics and Activism

Why Society Has To Change Its Views On Military Relationships

Sometimes young people do make good decisions.

Nichole Bishland

It's time that society changed its view on military relationships, specifically towards young adults. A number of my close friends are in relationships with people in the military, and I hear the things that people say to them for wanting to get married young or be committed with someone that can be halfway across the country for months at a time. Some comments are more disrespectful than others, for example, my roommate is engaged to a Marine and was told that she was stupid for getting into a committed relationship with someone who is most likely not going to live long enough to make it to their wedding day. Just the blatant disregard for the feelings of military spouses is unreal. Aren't we as a society the ones who support true love and making things work "for better or worse"? I just don't understand how people preach about real love and believe in real life love stories but then put down those who actually try to follow their hearts. Now, I understand that their are negatives to getting married young, but these people want to spend the rest of their lives with someone who isn't guaranteed a tomorrow. We can't harass them for wanting to marry someone that might not be alive a year from now. My friend once told me that she'd, "Rather be his widow forever than lose him and not have his last name to show for it." Can't we go easy on her, and people like her, for following her heart and marrying the person she loves?

Another comment that military girlfriends/wives (considering all of my friends are girls in relationships with military men), receive is, "Why don't you just wait?" There is a huge factor that these people are missing when they ask this question. Why not wait? Maybe because, like I said before, their significant others are not guaranteed a tomorrow. They could be deployed at any moment into a war zone and never come home. If we as a society believe in love we can't blame them for wanting to make the best of the time they have together. So what if they are 19 or 20 getting married? 50 years ago this wouldn't have even been an issue. This generation of millennials has been proven to push back commitment and focus on themselves but that doesn't mean that people who stay committed are wrong for doing so. Just because they are married young doesn't mean they can't still have a life. My roommate is going to school, has a job, has her goals and a long list of accomplishments, is the most independent person I know and her fiance is nothing but supportive of her. They have a strong, healthy relationship and it really is irritating to see people try to break them apart because of their age. Yes they are young, but they aren't dumb. And I know that every story is different and that some people in military relationships get married for the wrong reasons and it doesn't work out, but why punish and degrade those who are staying committed for the right reasons based on a few bad examples?

These people have it hard enough as it is, not knowing whether their spouse will return home everyday, not being able to see or talk to them for periods of time, so why do we shower them with negativity as a society? There is such a thing as constructive criticism. Saying something negative and disrespectful is not going to help the situation in anyway. Being supportive while also expressing some negative things that may come from young marriage to a military person is what we as a society should be doing. After all, we are the biggest believers in true love and fairy tales. Not everything young adults do is horrible and life-ruining. So showing a little positivity towards the young people involved in military partnerships isn't that far out of reach.

You don't see the struggles they go through for love and what they put themselves through. All you see is a naive young person making a dumb decision, but what if that's not actually the case? What if they actually planned every last detail and went over the pros and cons in their head countless times to figure out if this is truly what they wanted? What if they asked themselves whether they were ready to face society's negative opinions and stereotypes or keep their thoughts and love to themselves because it may be too much to handle? I admire each and every one of them for following their hearts and overcoming society's stereotypes and negative interpretations of their choices.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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