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High Tech:
A Help or Hindrance to the Military Marriage?_
By Marshele Carter Waddell

In the last decade, achievements in technology have succeeded in shrinking the communication gap experienced by spouses and families of deployed military members.  While these gadgets have the power to do much good, relationship damage is just a click away.  

Without a doubt, the Internet, email, cell phones and digital cameras have revolutionized the way military spouses communicate with each other.  High tech can be a huge help in bridging the distance between lovers; however, it can also be a hindrance, causing instant, irreversible hurt to a marriage that's already under abnormal strain.

Maximize high tech in your military marriage by following a few simple guidelines:

•Pre-Internet military couples are forever grateful and continually wowed by the speed and accessibility of email.  Our young adult children have never known life without it.  We remember the days when getting a letter every other week was amazing.  Today, couples can email, chat, text and comment one another 24/7!   Keep in mind that the spouse at home may have much more opportunity to communicate in cyberspace than the deployed spouse.  Lines are long for available computers.  Troops can go for weeks in the field without Internet capability or accessibility.   Discuss each other's limitations and avoid much disappointment at both keyboards.    

•Use your camera cell phone to send encouraging snapshots of you and the family.

•Keep a phone journal.  Jot down the happenings around your home and your questions on a notepad by the phone so you're ready when your sweetheart calls.  Try not to talk the whole time.  Pause.  Breathe.  Let your loved one share his heart, too.

•Don't use email or phone calls to harp on the petty or your pet peeves.  Time is short and connections are precious (not to mention expensive).  Savor them.  Treasure them.  The thorns in your side will only dig in more deeply if they get misconstrued and misunderstood at the other end of the fiber optics.

•If you are steaming hot under the collar and simply must vent, type your email, but do not hit send.   Save it as a draft for at least three days.  After the third day, reread and delete it.  Talk to the Lord first and then to another trusted friend about the issue before you confront your spouse, preferably when you have calmed down.

  

•Download personalized videos to your family web site for your loved one to enjoy.

•Create and share a blog of daily love letters just between the two of you.  

•Upload digital photos of yourself and create an online scrapbook just for him.

•Build your own MySpace together and be one another's one and only friend.

•Choose a day of the week to "fast" high tech.   Pen your honey a handwritten letter on special stationery.  Forget emoticons; doodle your feelings for him/her in the margins.  Your sweetheart will read and reread your handwritten letters.

•Make it a daily habit to print out all your emails to your spouse and all his/her email to you.  Don't worry about saving the environment right now.   Your letters, whether they are delivered by the postmaster or a webmaster, are priceless and can be shared with your children and your children's children.

Our wireless world offers capabilities that can take a byte out of the distance wedged into the military marriage.    However, husbands and wives are wise to exercise caution, self-control and discernment in their use.  

*Other Internet Resources *

Author Marshéle Carter Waddell explores the emotional and spiritual battlegrounds common in the experience of today's military wife in her first book, *Hope for the Home Front*.   Marshéle shares personal experiences and offers Scriptural encouragement to millions of others who bear similar burdens of fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, temptation, frequent moves, single parenting and separation from loved ones in her book and its new companion Bible study.  Visit her web site, www.hopeforthehomefront.com.

Your installation's support services

Depending on your service branch, your Fleet and Family Support Center, Marine Corps Community Services, Airman and Family Readiness Center, or Army Community Service Center can provide you with information and support.  

Military OneSource

This free 24-hour service, provided by the Department of Defense, is available to all active duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families. Consultants provide information and make referrals on a wide range of issues. You can reach the program by telephone at 1-800-342-9647 or through the Web site at [Link Removed]

Syndicated columnist and author Sarah Smiley has a web site full of articles, links, and information for military spouses and families, www.sarahsmiley.com.

Syndicated columnist, Jacey Eckhart’s  recent book, “The Homefront Club ” collects all the best techniques, skills and strategies for building strong marriages and great military families.  Visit her web site, [Link Removed]

For hope and help with PTSD issues and other resources for military families, visit Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry, www.militaryministry.org. and www.ptsdhealing.org.


Marshele, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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