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Action Plan

1. Vision for your marriage

What in the world is a “vision” for your marriage? It seems people place more effort on planning a two week vacation than they do their marriage. Each partner might have a different idea of what the vision behind their marriage would be, but generally they lack a unity in vision. Vision in a marriage will sustain you during the difficult times. Vision creates an island of certainty in life’s swirling waters.

Questions to ask:
A. As a couple what do we believe the future holds for our marriage and family.

B. What aspirations do we hope to accomplish together in the next year, 5 years, and 10 years.

C. How do you plan to get there? What is working for you?

2. Pre-deployment (Preparing your marriage for deployment)
The preparation for deployment as a couple is vital for the possible 10-15 months of deployment separation. This critical step in the action plan cannot be minimized.

Questions to ask:
A. What support network do you currently have for your marriage and family?

B. What have you done to prepare each other and your family for deployment? Is your plan written down?

C. Have you developed a game plan for staying connected?

3. Deployment (Finding the “good” in living apart)
For starters, just know that every marriage has its challenges. How you choose to face these challenges as a couple will determine your outcome. If you give yourself an out, then you have failed to commit to moving through the tough times together. Looking for the good in living apart will help keep perspective in your marriage and help you maintain a positive attitude during the hard times.

Questions to ask:
A. What are things you can do, according to your spouse, to serve your spouse during deployment?

B. Knowing you both will be changed by this experience, what will you do to grow closer through the changes?

4. Reintegration (Living together after separation)
“Deployment was hard but working through all the issues that war can leave on a soldier and family is honestly what is the hardest.”

Questions to ask:
A.    How has deployment affected the strength of your relationship

B.    Have you planned time as a couple to get reacquainted? If not, consider doing so.

C.    How do you plan to use the counseling resources made available to you and your spouse? As a tune-up or last resort?