Beyond the Arch of Swords: Making Military Marriage Last

Written by Barbara Eastom Bates

Melissa Wallace of Camp Pendleton, California is a tall, wispy woman, with a soft voice and gentle smile. The wife of 25-years to a Sgt. Maj. inrepparttar Marine Corps, Melissa and her husband John talk wistfully aboutrepparttar 122025 life that is soon to be behind them, as Sgt. Maj. Wallace prepares for retirement. Melissa and John were married in 1976. Several years later, followingrepparttar 122026 birth of their first son, John enlisted inrepparttar 122027 Marine Corps in hopes of finding a better life for his young family. Togetherrepparttar 122028 Wallace’s have seen four states, two countries and added three more sons to their family. They have survived two overseas tours, one that was unaccompanied, and an average of three deployments a year forrepparttar 122029 last 20 years. They celebrated their silver anniversary this past fall. There is no doubt that Melissa and John have faced challenges that have crumbled lesser marriages. Yet, looking at them today, there is no doubt they are as much in love asrepparttar 122030 day they married.

Melissa reflects, “Throughout John’s service torepparttar 122031 Corps, I’ve often been asked what it’s like to be married inrepparttar 122032 military. At first thought, I’d reply that marriage is marriage no matterrepparttar 122033 circumstances. But to say so would deny allrepparttar 122034 positive effectsrepparttar 122035 military has had on our life together, and there have been many. Marriage inrepparttar 122036 military is tough. It is full of every challenge and adversity you could imagine. Yet, it’s those challenges that make us stronger and ultimately make our marriage better.”

Emily Travis can relate to challenges. A new bride ofrepparttar 122037 military, Emily and her husband Todd are currently undergoing a six-month separation, just two months onrepparttar 122038 heels of their nuptials. Emily is 20-years old and away from home forrepparttar 122039 first time in her life while her husband, Naval Petty Officer Travis, is “on a big, gray boat, oceans away.”

“I miss him dearly,” muses Emily, “but I try not to dwell on that. I wouldn’t have chosen to have my husband away from me, but since he is, I’m taking this as an opportunity to show Toddrepparttar 122040 strength of my love for him. It takes real effort to nurture a relationship like ours, and I feel fortunate to haverepparttar 122041 chance to prove I’ll be here for him no matter what, regardless of how long I have to wait.”

The day-to-day details of marriage military style may vary, butrepparttar 122042 underlying theme isrepparttar 122043 same. Marriage requires commitment, understanding and patience, even underrepparttar 122044 best of circumstances. The demanding circumstances of military life lend even more importance to adhering to these values. Relationship expert Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D., author of Real Moments, writes, “Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get, it’s something you do...marriage is not a wedding ring, or a piece of paper that proves you are husband and wife, or a party that says you’ve been married for twenty-five years. Marriage is a behavior—it is how you love and honor your partner every day…it is a choice you make, not just on your wedding day, but over and over again, and that choice is reflected inrepparttar 122045 way you treat your husband or wife.”

Melissa Wallace shares a tradition that she and her husband used during deployments and other separations to enrich their marriage. “We kept individual journals allrepparttar 122046 time. The journals were written for each other and were like one big, long letter of all our hopes and fears and feelings. Whenever John would go away, we’d exchange them. With these journals, it was almost like we were still together, because we’d share allrepparttar 122047 day-to-day things you miss out on when you’re apart. Not only that, but we always seemed to learn new, special things about one another we wouldn’t have known otherwise. We still cherish these books years later. It’s like a chronicle of how far we’ve come in our marriage.”

The History of Pearls

Written by Brannon Smith

The exact time when pearls enteredrepparttar history books is unknown, as they were discovered long before pen was ever put to paper. 300 B.C. is one ofrepparttar 122024 earliest written recordings of pearls. Marco Polo also wrote of pearls in his travels. They were prized for their magnificent beauty and natural allure by royalty and commoners alike. Pearls arerepparttar 122025 most natural of gems as they need no cutting, polishing or other work to bring out hidden brilliance. Except forrepparttar 122026 nucleus implanting, they are totally created by nature and ready to admire right out ofrepparttar 122027 oyster.

Pearls pop up in early history as a highly coveted gem, revered by rulers ofrepparttar 122028 ancient civilizations of China, India and Rome. According to Xhao Xi Gou, a writer ofrepparttar 122029 Sung Period,repparttar 122030 ancient Chinese “did not value gold or jade, but valued pearls for they were far brighter”. In ancient China, pearls were used not only for adornment, but also as currency. They served to enhance their owner's image, imparting an air of authority and grace.

In Rome, pearls were assigned such tremendous value that entire military campaigns could be financed onrepparttar 122031 sale of a single pearl. The Romans ranked pearls as their most precious commodity. The Romans sent so much gold to India in exchange for pearls that a serious trade imbalance developed andrepparttar 122032 Roman economy weakened significantly. It was only a matter of time before Rome's pearl decadence contributed torepparttar 122033 decline ofrepparttar 122034 Roman Empire.

Ancient Hindu writings refer to pearls as bringing longevity and prosperity. The writings also tell an ancient story of Krishna who brought pearls to give to his daughter as a gift on her wedding day. This Hindu story is one ofrepparttar 122035 earliest known accounts of pearls andrepparttar 122036 wedding experience.

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