Tuesday, August 20, 2013
My guy is in the military. Will he cheat on me?
I got this email recently and wanted to blog my response. I know how I present military men in my writing, so I wanted to clarify things for all of the significant others out there who may be paranoid. Here's the deal: YES. Most military members cheat. Most military spouses also cheat. Also, don't take any infidelity statistics to heart because.. believe it or not PEOPLE LIE. People that are cheaters are typically liars too. There is probably a lot more cheating that happens. In fact, almost every military person I knew cheated at least once. Their partners at home cheated also.
This is why: The military makes marriage insanely tempting. As I said in Just Another Number and Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife, it almost doubles your pay. It provides couples housing. It also allows couples to get stationed together when orders would likely be split if a couple remained "dating." So you have a lot of premature marriages happening out of convenience. Deployments have a "make or break" relationship tendency. Most people coupled up before deployment break up after due to the strain on the time apart. People get together very quickly after deployment because they crave comfort, intimacy, and stability after a chaotic 6 months to a year of chaos.
(Look at the baby boomer period after WWII. That's a more exaggerated, but accurate example).
Foreign ports are just as wild as I described in Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife. That description was NOT slightly amplified at all. Sailors party hard. Sailors make fraternities look like monasteries.
But YES, there are indeed loyal, faithful spouses in the military. There aren't many, but I can think of about a handful that I knew off the top of my head. (That is out of hundreds.. ouch).
BUT WAIT! Before I seem like a cynical, bitter bitch, here's the thing: THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR PARTNER IS A CHEATER. Or that you are a cheater. Or that your relationship is doomed due to the military.
Anyone who takes on a partnership with the military knows that challenges await them. But there are hardships in every relationship. Although I can't speak from real experience, I have no doubt that intimate long term relationships are incredibly difficult. But if you are truly in love with someone, don't anticipate things going wrong before they do.
This is how it should be: Love yourself before you commit to anyone. This should be the case in any romantic circumstance. Make sure that you can happily stand alone if shit hits the fan. Then, go into the relationship optimistically. If you don't trust the person you are with, you shouldn't be with them in the first place. If you do trust them, then relax. If you love them, then enjoy being in love!
There are risks to EVERY relationship. People cheat, like, and steal. They grow apart. They fall out of love. They die. Shit happens. There is risk in everything. But sometimes, it works out. And even if it doesn't, as long as you had fun along the way.. that is all that matters.
Walking away from a love because you're afraid of it ending is like committing suicide because you're going to die someday anyway.
Don't stress yourself worrying about your partner doing something that he/she hasn't done yet. You'll drive yourself crazy. And if they cheat, you'll find out. Trust me. You'll know. The truth always reveals itself. That's why I never lie.
And, let me just put my heart on my sleeve because.. I do that a lot anyway... I miss being in love. Seriously. I date all the time and feel absolutely nothing. I have no feelings. haha. If you feel something, don't walk away from that. Sometimes people are so busy being skeptical that they forget to be happy.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride. ;)