Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Dana...(TDY)Temporarily Divorced for a year???

First I would like to thank you for this email. I havent received one of these in a while and I will try to answer it as best as I can. I will paraphrase and leave out any personal demographics, as always.

Today, I was asked if I ever heard of TDY...Temporary Divorced for a year and should military spouses be concerned....

 Yes, I have heard of the term a few times before. I really dislike the term because its a pretty derogatory stereotype...

Yet it is true is some marriages. I have heard that it is an accepted behavior in some marriages or relationships. I was told that its a way for each person to have intimate relationships when the service member is deployed of at a temporary duty station. 

Do I agree with it? 
Well, I say to each its own. If that works in some relationships and it doesn't create any issues then do you. But personally, no. 

 Do I believe that it is healthy? 

Personally no. I believe that if you are married it should be between two people with no outsiders (temporary mates). I believe that if you feel that you have to do that maybe the commitment to marriage isn't quite there yet. 

One of the hardest things to deal with in a marriage with a service member is the absence. I truly believe that a couple should seek marital or relationship counseling to help handle the absence of intimacy, if the situation is too hard to deal with. (But this is also coming from someone that is planning to get my masters in Marriage Counseling) I believe that seeking a mediator can be a good thing. Seeking out advise and assistance can give another perspective and also offer ideas to keep intimacy going in a relationship even when the service member is away. Also talking to your mate is key. You need to know what they need and what you need in the relationship while he or she is away. Even I have different things or practices that my husband do to try to keep intimacy alive, even when he is miles and miles away. 

Another thing we must remember is that intimacy is not always sex. These are things that you need to be open with your spouse about. Know what intimacy means to each other. Once you know, you need to identify want each other is comfortable with and try to move from there. I cannot stress this enough....COMMUNICATION is key! You have to communicate to each other your needs in order to have them fulfilled. 

If sex is a must, then maybe we are talking about something deeper than what is on surface and that in itself needs to be faced and handled. 

Do I think that majority of service members and spouses believe in the Temporary Divorced for a year?

Absolutely not! As military families we have and can maintain healthy relationships. But like any other healthy relationship, we have to remember any relationship takes hard work and dedication. 

I hope that answered your question. Please feel free to email me if you should have any more questions. I am not a professional counselorand can only offer you "friend to friend" opinions. When in need of counseling as a military spouse, we can always call ACS for referrals to professional counselors. 

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