Keeping a healthy marriage healthy

Airmen 1st Class Victoria Boyton and Kenneth Boyton, 4th Fighter Wing public affairs specialists, suit up before going indoor skydiving, Feb. 4, 2017 at Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving, in Raeford, North Carolina. The activity, offered by the 4th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation Department, was part of a morale event for Airmen and their families. (Courtesy photo)

Airmen 1st Class Victoria Boyton and Kenneth Boyton, 4th Fighter Wing public affairs specialists, suit up before going indoor skydiving, Feb. 4, 2017 at Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving, in Raeford, North Carolina. The activity, offered by the 4th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation Department, was part of a morale event for Airmen and their families. (Courtesy photo)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

Keeping a healthy marriage healthy: Her perspective

Commentary by Airman 1st Class Victoria Boyton

Being new in the Air Force, moving to a new base and having a new husband, it’s easy to be overwhelmed.

Thankfully, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has many classes and activities for my husband and me to attend together and connect on a deeper level.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center, base chapel and Outdoor Recreation have many activities where couples can sign up and join in the fun.

The A&FRC recently offered a couples class emphasizing the necessity of knowing your partner’s personality using the “5 Love languages” book by Gary Chapman and by taking the “4 lenses” quiz. Understanding how each of us feel love helps us better express and receive love from each other.

Ken and I had taken the Five Love Languages test before. Ken’s love language is words of affirmation and mine is quality time. The workshop we attended allowed us to network with other couples and take the four lenses test to find out what color personality we have.

Knowing our love languages and personality colors help us be aware of the way we both approach and respond to each other. With my husband having a green personality, he thinks of things more logically and wants to know facts. Whereas being a blue type of personality, I have more of an emotional response to situations.

Having a night out together and focusing on our marriage was great, so we signed up for another marriage enrichment class. This time it was through the base chapel.

The night was filled with delicious food, laughter and marriage enrichment advice. We learned about the importance of communication and being understanding of our spouse’s needs. I was thankful for this night out which included over 30 other couples in attendance. We walked away with goodies, full bellies and new friends.

Sometimes couples need to just get away and bond through an activity, and Outdoor Recreation offers events throughout the year.

One activity offered was indoor skydiving. For only a fraction of the price, both singles and couples experienced “flying” in a safe and controlled environment. Although I was terrified of being in the wind tunnel, seeing Ken’s smiling face helped ease my nerves and I entered the wind tunnel with all the confidence in the world.

Outdoor Rec also offers discounted tickets to local attractions and events. Many of the activities are family friendly and are a great opportunity for couples to bond through their mutual interests or experience something entirely new together.

Even though couples do have chances to attend activities together, they may desire to do some activities on their own once in a while. Through the Make It Better program, over 100 clubs are offered on base where each person can find a group that fits their individual personality.

My husband enjoys video games, while I enjoy crafts. Through the MIB program, we are able to attend club events that fit and feed our own interests.

We even get to be a part of clubs we can enjoy together such as the dance club where we learned to salsa dance. Also, getting to meet other dog owners through the dog club with our new puppy Chestnut the teacup chihuahua.

Although being a dual-military couple does bring challenges, I know through the many resources and events at Seymour Johnson AFB we will have many more opportunities to attend events together in the future and receive information about the resources we might need.

For more information about Seymour Johnson Air Force Base events call:

The Airman & Family Readiness Center at 919-722-1123

The Base Chapel at 919-722-0315

Outdoor Recreation at 919-722-1104

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Keeping a healthy marriage healthy: His perspective

Commentary by Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton

As a newlywed couple, it felt odd that my wife and I were going to a marriage class. We don’t need help, in fact our marriage is great! But my wife, Vickey, believes that in order to keep a marriage happy and healthy, we have to go to classes as a preventative measure.

I understand her train of thought, it’s like the proverbial phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Plus, there’s normally free food and it’s a great way to meet other couples and make friends.

I thought it’d be hard to find classes, but the base chapel and the Airman & Family Readiness Center offer so many different events that it’s hard to keep up!

Our first class was the 5 Love Languages hosted by A&FRC, a class my wife has a lot of prior knowledge about and thought it would be fun for us to do together. She was right.

The walls and tables were decorated, candy was spread out and there was food donated from Texas Roadhouse which included heart-shaped chicken. Yes, chicken cut into the shape of a heart which was beyond delicious. Other couples filled the tables and to my astonishment they were all young in age and time in marriage.

Soon dinner was over and I was hesitant to see how the class was going to progress. The usual introductions launched the event, but what ensued was unlike any class I’ve previously taken. I was heartily laughing, genuinely smiling, and legitimately enjoying myself!

The class ended in what seemed like 10 minutes, although over an hour of valuable information had passed. We learned about our personality’s colors, I’m green and gold whereas Vickey is blue. The class showed us how our colors are useful to strengthen our marriage and understand each other better. I can easily say I’d do it again.

Within the next few days we signed up for a Marriage Enrichment class hosted by the base chapel. I was a bit nervous going to a chapel event since I’m not the religious type, but not once during the event did I feel uncomfortable. Delicious food once again started the event, which had roughly 30 couples whose marriages spanned from newlyweds to being married for more than 20 years.

The chaplain went over the things plaguing most marriages; money and sex. He then discussed how to go about the most intimate and personal fights without it becoming a hurtful situation. Even the most seasoned couples were learning things during what was probably the most insightful class I’ve ever taken. Yet on such a touchy subject, laughter dominated the learning environment.

On another occasion, we took advantage of one of the countless activities offered to Team Seymour members through Outdoor Recreation and went indoor skydiving.

Incredible, exhilarating, fantastic, <enter any other awesome word here>, doesn’t come close to describing how much fun it was. Being able to spend that time with Vickey, sharing an experience that was new to us both made the event even more satisfying.

Since then, we’ve taken other classes, been to more events and are continuing to sign up for both. Along the way, we’re learning a lot more about each other and even discovering things about ourselves we didn’t know.

My “happy spouse, happy house” mentality in the beginning changed to wanting to take these classes and do these activities. The best part is we’re enjoying every bit of it, creating lasting memories and building a stronger foundation for our already healthy marriage.

 

For more information check out the base calendar at www.seymourjohnson.af.mil or call:

The Airman & Family Readiness Center at 919-722-1123

The Base Chapel at 919-722-0315

Outdoor Recreation at 919-722-1104


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