I want to shed a little bit of light onto a military marriage. When I was in college I remember an argument during a communications class started involving a soldier and a civilian. The soldier was claiming “Being in the military is very different and if you have never been in the military there is no way you could understand” I thought “well we can understand even though we haven’t been through it.” How wrong I was.
Things have come up that Kathleen and I had no clue were going to be stressors on our marriage AND on our relationships with friends and family. To list a few things…
-We have limited time to see family and friends when visiting home. This results in not being able to see all the people we would like to which is always hard.
-Our home is constantly moving. The amount of stress from not having your own home is mind blowing.
-Seeing Kathleen for a few days and then not seeing her for a few days, weeks, or months was a huge adjustment. It does not allow for us to talk about daily life. Imagine finishing a work day where something great happened and not being able to tell your best friend.
The greatest stress factor however is the fact that I now know that our family and friends truly will not be able to understand the stress Kathleen and I are under. This is no ones fault and doesn’t change the fact that our friends and family still love us really well, but unless your in it for real you just can’t understand. I know a lot of people say “but you chose this life” and that is true. However we choose this life so that others don’t have to be forced to and because we love this country, and just because Kathleen and I are strong enough to endure does not make it any easier. We are a military family. With that comes a large number of difficulties that we never anticipated. When I am away, on duty, or at a training center Kathleen is forced to take these things head on and mostly alone. I cannot thank her enough for her courage to follow me wherever this career takes us. What makes her strong is that she has to handle things without her partner there to help. Everyday she shows me new ways in which I am so lucky to have married her.
Even though this life is stressful, and difficult, and a million other things its also kind of amazing sometimes. There are so many things we have gained from living this way. Here are just a few!
- Being far away from everyone we know has really taught us to depend on each other in a way we never would have learned otherwise. Dean and I have come to realize that when we have been put in tough situations relying on each other has built such a strong foundation of trust and theres a lot of relief in knowing that we can come to each other with anything. Im not sure we would have been able to do that so fast if we weren’t forced too!
- Living in a completely new place allows us a lot of room to discover things together which then gives us so many memories and stories to share with our families.
- We have seen God provide for us in SO MANY WAYS. Every time we are looking for a new house, church, job, or just a friend we have seen him provide exactly what we need at the perfect timing. A couple months after we moved to Boston I was really struggling with feeling lonely. Its hard to make friends when you can’t leave the house because there is so much snow!! I decided to look for a nanny job to bring in some extra cash and get out of the house more and the woman who hired me quickly became my very closest friend. God knew what I needed and provided that in a job AND in a friend.
- Being away from Dean is the hardest thing I have ever done but it keeps me very grateful for him. In our almost two years of marriage we have spent more time apart then together and when you realize that you also realize that you don’t want to waste the time you ARE together. That makes the little things seem silly. Its easy to forget about the dishes in the sink when you remember that you can do them after your husband leaves the next morning.
So yes this life comes with stress, and difficulties. A life like this is not for everyone but definately easier with the right person.
Sometimes being a wife is the bomb, other times being a wife is still the bomb. I won’t lie, I think my husband makes it easier than it should be. There are times that I roll my eyes because he won’t stop asking for a PS4 but in the big scheme of things I got very lucky with who I chose to spend my life with. Dean and I have learned a lot in our 4 years together so I figured tonight I would share one of our saving graces with you.
When we were engaged we were introduced to the Five Love Languages which changed the ENTIRE dynamic of our relationship and to this day defines the way that we work as a couple. So let me explain.
Basically Gary Chapman explains that we as humans show our love in Five different ways
Dean is first and foremost Acts of Service, which means that he feels loved most when I do things like, cook him breakfast when he comes home from work or do his laundry, which if we are being honest is so easy because when your a boy EVERYTHING can go into the dryer which really seems unfair. Girl laundry takes a whole weekend and 423 hangers. But I digress…
My love language is words of affirmation followed closely by physical touch. For a long time I would try to show Dean I loved him with these things. I would tell him how much he meant to me, try to hold his hand, etc. Meanwhile Dean would do things like vacuum out my car. Clearly very romantic… haha. It wasn’t until Dean and I took the quiz that we realized how much time and energy we were wasting trying to love each other in ways that weren’t being received. It definitely took a lot of practice and a commitment to training yourself to do things a different way but so is marriage so looking back now I’m grateful for all the practice! Now neither of us is exhausted trying to make the other feel loved which gives us a whole extra ton of love to give! Marriage is constantly giving 100% and part of that is deciding to make YOURSELF better for your spouse. This also means constantly putting your spouse first. Thats a hard pill to swallow because that requires you to check your pride at the door. Every time we have done it though God has really blessed us and our marriage in ways we could have never imagined.
If you are married, in a relationship, or just too busy being great to date anyone EVERYONE should take this quiz. Its awesome to know not only your own but anyones. You’ll even start seeing peoples love languages just by being around them. Click the link to find out! You won’t regret it! Feel free to email us to tell us what you think of the quiz at firstname.lastname@example.org
As you all (probably) know Dean is in the Coast Guard and serves this country every day. That being said Veterans Day is very meaningful to us. The men and women we have met who serve with Dean are some of the most amazing people I’ve met and I especially have enjoyed getting to know their spouses! I am grateful every day to have the freedom to spend the day lazy in bed with my dog if I so choose to and that freedom is very simply given to me by the people who serve this country every day. I will never take that for granted. Im also SO proud to be married to a man who sees serving as a responsibility in all aspects of his life. Serving God, this country, and always serving our family
Happy Veterans Day to all who have served and especially to those who go above and beyond overseas. I am forever grateful.
Y’all we patiently waited but its official! (Though in the military that doesn’t mean much) haha but yes you all wanted to know and now the secret is out!
WE ARE MOVING TO FLORIDA!
get it… steamy… because we will be covered in sweat just getting the mail…. yikes!
Yes I know you can’t believe it either but it’s true! We will be heading down to the sunshine state just about the time we would be getting back those 113 inches of Boston snow. Darn…. Though we may not be as wildly excited about hurricanes and alligators we are looking on the bright side and from what we understand it is very bright there! We are so excited to finally share with you guys the next adventure that we have in store for us Burtons and hope you follow all of them here!
DISNEY WORLD HERE WE COME
Dean and Kathleen.
Oh and Luna!
Dean and I have found that not everyone on this planet is on the same page as us when it comes to their dog. This could be because we have a very strange obsession with the baby that turns us into weirdos who ask her how her day has been when we get home, but I choose to believe its because we just love her more than anyone has ever loved their own dog. Obviously.
One morning I came out of the shower confused as to why there weren’t any curious paws trying to hop into the tub with me when I walked into something a little bit shocking. My husband, the man who I count on to keep our home safe and to be my protector, was sitting with an upside down Luna in his lap INSIDE her crate. Let me just clarify that not only was Luna in her crate but DEAN was inside her crate. He clearly heard me enter the room as the look of “I’ve been discovered” was plastered onto his face. We were both speechless. I guess he just assumed I would take forever to get ready (rude, however accurate) so he would have more time to hide this secret. That was when I realized that not only was my husband the love of my life but he was also ACTUALLY perfect for me. We laughed SO hard. Then I told Dean that I was also guilty of crawling in there a time or two myself.
Thats when you know your with the right person, when they just get your dog on levels no one else could understand.
Im so lucky to have Dean as a best friend because life is so fun with him.
Disclaimer: If you do not own a dog you may not understand, in order to fully grasp this concept the Burtons highly recommend you change that and get a dog. Today.
I have been blessed to be able to visit my family every weekend during A-school. Normally you have to stand duty every certain amount of days. I am so thankful that my classmates are willing to switch around their schedules to allow me to go see Kathleen, the nugget, and the Hennessys. Sometimes it can be a boring ride, 4 hours one way without an iPod hookup, but it is so worth it once I get to see my love. I am very grateful that God has made this a part of our plan.
A-school is just another one of those things that comes with the military life. Another training, more separation, different struggles. God has really blessed us with a home with people we truly love and admire. Dean is advancing in his career with the Coast Guard and I have kind of the most amazing job ever. I could probably be a barista at Thanksalatte for the rest of my life if we are being honest here. Its definitely an adjustment not being in our own home because as we all know Luna is a bit… eccentric, but being in a place where we have so many friends who love us so well has been such a huge blessing and has made this transition very easy. Dean is seriously incredible and has come to visit me every week and I’m so lucky he loves luna that much. HA. Just kidding, he loves me more than our dog. I think…
Luna. That is our first childs name (and by child I mean our dog). But if you are a dog lover then you know what I mean. We needed a dog immediately after moving to Boston. This is because
1. Kathleen needed a friend while i was on duty and
2. Every home needs a wet nose and floppy ears to smooch
Kathleen and I had been talking about it for… basically as long as we had been together. We wanted a french bulldog at first. Kathleen did her research and started calling and emailing breeders. When nobody responded we decided to email a lab breeder for fun. She responded immediately and we knew we were meant to have a little black lab. We picked her up and drove her home, and while Kathleen was in the backseat holding this sleepy, warm, cuddly “nug” as she would call her, I knew she was the happiest wife on the planet.
Kathleen has poured a lot of time and heart into training Luna. Since I was on duty half of the time she took charge and trained Luna. I have to say I don’t think anyone could have done it better. For a 1 year old lab she is perfect. For some she is too much energy to handle but we love that about her. Luna has truly blessed our home and brings joy to us everyday.