Should I Marry Before or After the Military? Pros and Cons Explained

by | UCMJ | 1 comment

Deciding when to get married is a significant life choice, and if you’re considering a military career, the timing becomes even more crucial. You might wonder whether tying the knot before or after joining the military will better serve your relationship and personal goals.

Both options have their unique challenges and benefits. Marrying before enlisting offers emotional support and financial benefits, but it also means dealing with long separations and the stress of deployments. On the other hand, waiting until after your service can provide stability and a clearer picture of your future, but it might delay your personal life plans. Understanding the pros and cons of each option can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your life aspirations.

Weighing the Pros of Marrying Before the Military

Stability and Support

Marrying before joining the military provides emotional stability. With a spouse, you gain a support system that helps manage the stress of basic training and deployments. Marriage can strengthen your emotional resilience, aiding your adaptability to military life. Joint decision-making often becomes easier since you and your spouse can navigate challenges together.

Military Benefits for Spouses

Military benefits for spouses enhance financial stability. Spouses of service members have access to healthcare through TRICARE, which covers medical, dental, and mental health services. Housing allowances (BAH) help with living expenses, ensuring families have stable accommodation without financial strain. Educational benefits, like the Transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill, offer spouses opportunities to pursue higher education. These benefits ease financial burdens and contribute to long-term career development.

Benefit Type Description
Healthcare (TRICARE) Covers medical, dental, and mental health services
Housing Allowance (BAH) Assists with living expenses
Educational Benefits Offers higher education opportunities through the GI Bill

These advantages highlight marrying before starting military service as both emotionally and financially supportive.

Challenges of Marrying Before Military Service

Separation and Communication

Marrying before military service presents unique challenges in separation and communication. Deployments and relocations can separate you and your spouse for extended periods. Communication barriers arise due to differing time zones and limited internet or phone access. Balancing time for connection becomes difficult when juggling military duties and personal relationships. Addressing these issues by setting clear communication plans and expectations is crucial.

Financial and Emotional Strains

Financial and emotional strains accompany marrying before military service. Frequent relocations and deployments can disrupt your spouse’s career and financial stability. Budgeting becomes more complex with variable military pay and allowances. Emotional stress arises from long separations and uncertainties tied to military life. Building a strong support network and seeking financial advice can mitigate these strains, ensuring a more stable relationship.

Advantages of Marrying After the Military

Personal Growth and Maturity

Marrying after the military service allows you to develop personal growth and maturity. Military experience often instills a strong sense of discipline and responsibility. Individuals can use the time after service to transition to civilian life, reflect on their experiences, and better understand their life goals and priorities. This maturity can contribute significantly to a stable and fulfilling marriage.

Financial Stability

Military service can provide valuable financial benefits like steady income and educational opportunities. By waiting to marry until after your service, you can solidify your financial standing. You may have had the chance to save, plan your finances, and take advantage of military education programs like the GI Bill. This financial stability can alleviate many common stresses in a marriage.

Considerations for Marrying After Military Service

Transition Challenges

Marrying after military service comes with unique transition challenges. You may face difficulties adjusting to civilian life, navigating employment opportunities, or finding a new sense of purpose. Military routines often differ significantly from civilian routines, requiring time to adapt. Support from a spouse during this period can be instrumental, but it’s crucial to acknowledge that both parties need to be patient and understanding. Communication plays a vital role in easing these transitions, helping to align expectations and support each other effectively.

Timing with Career Goals

Aligning marriage with career goals can be strategic after military service. Post-service, you might use educational benefits like the GI Bill to pursue further education, enhancing your career prospects. This period allows you to establish a stable job, set career trajectories, and achieve financial security before entering marriage. Discussing career aspirations and planning jointly with your partner ensures that both of you are on the same page regarding future goals. This consideration enables you to build a more solid foundation for your marriage.


Deciding whether to marry before or after your military service is a deeply personal choice that depends on your unique circumstances and priorities. Both options offer distinct benefits and challenges. Marrying before can provide emotional support and access to military benefits, while marrying after allows for personal growth and financial stability.

Whichever path you choose, clear communication and strategic planning are essential. Consider your long-term goals, the stability of your relationship, and the potential impact on your career. By weighing the pros and cons carefully, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision that supports both your personal and professional life.


post page form.


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page ( Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.