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Your Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Entering a Military Marriage

Service member proposing

Thinking of marrying a service member? There are lots of great reasons to marry — and some reasons that may not be strong enough for a lifelong commitment. Successful military marriages call for love, as well as resilience, trust, shared values and more.

Read through these questions as a couple to determine if your relationship is military strong.

  • Can you imagine yourselves together far into the future? Do you share the same basic values? Do you feel the same way about having children and how to raise them? Compatibility goes a long, long way in a successful marriage.
  • Are you prepared for separation? Long deployments, separations and other military obligations bring challenges civilians typically don’t face. You may be apart for months at a time — for holidays, birthdays and family events.
  • Are you strong enough to handle life on your own? During deployment, crises may arise. Make sure you can handle finances, home maintenance and repairs alone.
  • Are you prepared to move often and possibly see less of your family and friends? You’ll need to adapt to new social situations, make new friends and get involved — and be prepared for certain obligations to military readiness groups.
  • Do you like your significant other the way they are, or do you think marriage will change them? Keep in mind, it probably won’t. In fact, military life brings new situations you both need to work on together and rely on each other for.
  • Are you marrying before your significant other is leaving because you’re worried your relationship will fall apart if you don’t? If you doubt your relationship will last a separation, it probably won’t last a lifetime.
  • Do you trust each other with money? Will you be comfortable sharing a checking account and credit card? Have you discussed finances, savings and investments?
  • Do you agree on whether you should both work? Is your career flexible for a military marriage? You need to talk about career decisions.
  • Do you trust each other? Military marriage requires more blind trust than your average marriage. Are you confident both of you will be faithful during separations?
  • Are you quick to lose your temper? Do you criticize one another in public? Are you jealous? Being critical or losing your temper is a sign of an unhealthy or disrespectful relationship.
  • Do you “argue well”? Do you argue over little things? Or avoid conflict? If you have a disagreement, do you talk in a way that respects the other’s contributions, feelings and viewpoints?
  • How do you handle important decisions? Do you discuss them with each other and make decisions together, including military career decisions, such as whether to reenlist? Major decisions take the commitment of two.
  • Do you have educational goals? If so, you may need to earn a degree through an online university or program, or face possible relocation during your schooling.
  • Are you marrying primarily to access military benefits? While this is certainly tempting, by itself it’s not enough reason to enter into a legally binding contract with another person.

How did you do? It’s good to be honest and know a military marriage may bring an exciting life, as well as its own challenges. Be prepared — you are more likely to enjoy a strong and healthy relationship. Here are some resources to strengthen your relationship.

If you have questions, contact your local Military and Family Support Center or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647.

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