Did you know that there's an 80% chance of getting divorced while in grad school? They wait until you're in stats class to let you in on this little piece of trivia.
I was thinking about this number as I left for class last Thursday. I hate leaving them so much, work, class, studying. Sometimes it feels like I'm never at home. But since Joe's been on leave, he's made me dinner every night before class. He listens to me vent about my professors and assignments. And rubs my head when I come home with a headache. When I heard about the divorce rate, compounded by all of the military family stats, my head started to spin. I told Joe about it. After a short pause, he told me that I would always have all of his support because he wants me to do my best, no matter what. Our future depends on this degree (no pressure, Sara). His ability to ETS depends on this degree. I finally decided that I should just let it go and feel lucky that I have so much support from Joe. It feels very shelfish though. After being the Army wife for almost 4 years now, dropping everything for his career, it feels very selfish to need some help.
My grandpa used to tell his children, marriage isnt a 50/50 split. Sometimes your partner cant give all 50%. You have to be willing to stick around and make up the difference. And sometimes you cant give 50%, all you can give is 20% or maybe none at all. But you have to be married to someone that understands that and will support you anyway. My mother said this saying became real for her while she was in grad school getting her masters in architecture. She had a husband and 2 children and couldnt give anything to her family, school took it all. But my dad stuck it out, as hard as it was. They've been married for almost 30 years now.
Thankfully, Joe and I don't have kids yet, but there are some weeks where I feel like I certainly haven't help up my end of the deal, but come Friday night, Joe and I snuggle on the couch like all is right with the world. School isnt forever. But I'll become more busy before this journey is over.
Just like the deployment separation, I'm hoping this experience makes us stronger as a couple and more solid in our marriage. Life is all about how you react to things. If we know the possible outcomes, we wont have the need for the gut reactions. Knowledge is power. That 80% divorce rate is the most likely outcome. But if we know that already, we're ahead of the game and can fight for our marriage when we need to.