Could it be Both?
That’s the leadership phrase that can save a military marriage.
My husband and I have been married for almost 17 years. During that time we’ve navigated 5 deployments, 8 PCS’s, childbirth, isolation, and unexpected friendship. You know, the usual for the average military spouse.
We are currently living in Rome, Italy (yes, the heart of COVID-19) where we serve as diplomats and I run a business as a leadership trainer. After spending time developing – and learning from – the best leaders worldwide, a dawning awareness has crept over my brain: Military spouses are some of the world’s best leadership trainers in disguise.
You see, my husband and I have had at least 3-4 marriages during those 17 years together. We’ve fallen apart, pulled ourselves back together again, and found new ways to be resilient. Pretty sure we’re currently working on marriage number 5 as the kids and I navigate COVID-19 lockdown here in Rome and he serves on his fifth tour in Iraq (here’s to crossing fingers that the fifth time’s the charm). We’ve been through ALL of the wild situations, and just had to roll with the punches. Well, in leadership that’s called “Agile Management,” and is one of the hottest commodities currently out there.
Who knew we could garner careers just from living our everyday milspo life?
So, while my husband and I have all of the tools up our sleeves on how to struggle through and make it work out in the end, it was truly my professional training as a leadership developer that taught me how to do so with style – and fun. And one of the best of those many tools that it gave me was this:
It taught me that there’s never just one side to any story. And – most importantly – it gave me the tools to help my strong-personality-type husband to see that truth.
Y’all, the military members that I know tend to be STRONG personalities. I mean – they blow things up for a living, they go to Ranger School AND LIKE IT, and they seem to yell at each other and do flutter kicks for fun. Being a girl from Nebraska, raised by two Chemistry professors…this is weird. It’s a weird, crazy country that I entered out of love, and it took me years to find a way to speak their odd language. It was years fraught with confusion, disbelief, and…well, more confusion. So, in service to my fellow milspo sisters and brothers, let me cut some of that time down for you.
I give you the gift of “Could It Be Both?”