January 20, 2021

How a dual military couple overcame relationship challenges

Military Family Reunited

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Can a dual military couple make it? Can women service members have the career, marriage, and family life they want?

In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews Alyssa, an enlisted Navy service woman, on how she overcame the stigma of being female in the military.

IN THIS PODCAST

SUMMARY: 

  • The love story of a dual military couple.
  • How Alyssa overcame the stigma of being a female in a male dominated profession. 
  • How she overcame the stigma of getting married and having kids young. 
  • The biggest challenges she faced as a dual military couple.

MAIN POINTS:

  1. Alyssa is an enlisted Navy service woman in a dual military marriage.  She and her husband met in the military and they now have two young kids. At the time of the interview, Alyssa’s husband was on deployment.
  2. The Love Story: The couple met in bootcamp. At first she thought the relationship wasn’t allowed due to rank difference and then later found out it was. They then were long distance while she was deployed. Then she found out she was pregnant while deployed which was a major shock for her because she had been told she wasn’t pregnant originally. She told her partner while in the process of leaving deployment but the phone died during their call! She was nervous how he would respond. It was a big shock for their relationship as they were both very young at the time—she was only 19. 
  3. How They Overcame: To make it in their relationship; “‘we spent as much time as we possibly could together” and “we tried to learn more about each other” stated Alyssa. She described how they both grew up in broken homes and they didn’t want to repeat that cycle. So they decided to get married—she proposed and they got married the next day.  At first they kept the marriage a secret because of the stigma in the Navy of females being married and pregnant.

People can get very judgmental of other people’s relationships”

Elizabeth Polinsky 

4.  The family found out right before the birth of their first child because she accidentally told her family that he was her husband and then her family member told everyone one else. They had been planning a wedding after getting married at the courthouse—a common practice with military couples. Their parents were eventually accepting of the relationship. 5. A lot of people worry about getting married too soon or too young, and about whether or not they should have kids—what helped Alyssa and her husband was that they were reflective together, made a very intentional and conscious choice, and committed to the outcome they wanted. 

Everyone needs a tribe..a way to connect with others and get support”

Elizabeth Polinsky

6. The Biggest Challenges of Being Dual Military:

  • Competing with each other with exams, career development, and career progression.
  • Difficulty fitting in because there are not very many females in the military.
  • Feeling like it is not as socially acceptable to have male friends. Some of the wives and the girlfriends tend to feel uncomfortable with female coworkers due to the stereotype of affairs happening on deployments. ​

You can have very close relationships without it turning into something romantic or sexual”

Elizabeth Polinsky 
Army Couple Hugging Each Other

7. Words of Wisdom from Alyssa: 

  1. Communication is key 
  2. Don’t let your command bully you at all; if you want to get married then get married. 
  3. If you decide not to change your last name that’s fine.

In the military it is hard too be your own person”

Alyssa

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to https://relateinstitute.com/ and enter “POLINSKY20”.​

Thanks for Listening!

     

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

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