Seven Thousand Miles Away, U.S. Navy Couple Struggles to Protect Own Marriage, Family

“Max” and “Abby,” not their real names, are separated by more than 7,000 miles while he’s deployed with the U.S. Navy to Okinawa, where more than 50,000 U.S. military personnel are based. Abby and the children remained in the United States.

The couple have struggled to stay connected during their time apart using an exercise known as the PAIRS Daily Temperature Reading (“DTR”). The DTR, originally inspired by the late Virginia Satir, has been modified by PAIRS Foundation as a skill for helping couples and families proactively care for their relationships.

Despite more than 15 years of marriage, kids, and much they’ve built together, Max and Abby know the sacrifice of military service comes with unique challenges that could threaten the stability of their family. With encouragement from their Navy Chaplain, they made a commitment to using the PAIRS DTR as often as possible throughout their separation.

“Max” and “Abby” gave permission to share the parts of their life captured through emailed Daily Temperature Readings with the hope that their efforts to protect their marriage and family will encourage and help others too.

Follow along their journey here or begin your own here.

Okinawa | February 2, 2016


Hey baby,  I appreciate you calling to make sure I was up today.  I was, for the record, but still in bed.  I appreciate you supporting me and sticking by me all these years.  I appreciate your sense of humor and your bright beautiful smile.

New Information:

So the audit is over. The only two ratings are Unsatisfactory and Satisfactory.  I got a Satisfactory.  So yay, I am happy about that.  Now it’s over! She said that she can tell we have done a lot of work and called the transformation in the last month and a half “remarkable” and “a great achievement”.  I think D and I are going to be put in for some sort of award. Nothing big, but hey, beats a firm handshake and a steely look in the eye.  I got back to my room at six and it is now a quarter to eight.  I am exhausted. I can’t wait to fall into bed! I hope you had a good day yesterday and last night.  I loved the screenshots you sent! They was funny!


I am puzzled by where things stand with my packet and stuff now.  By the time you are going to lunch, the command all the way up to the top is going to know that I passed this thing.  Meanwhile, B. is still struggling to get a passing score and they are on the shit list. I say I am puzzled because, I am hopeful that this will really put me on the radar to get some push on my paperwork.  We will see I guess.

Concerns with Recommendations:

I am concerned with talking to you. It has been a while since we have had a talk. I mentioned the movie “The Intern” to my chief and he and his wife watched it last weekend. He said thank you for the tip on how good of a movie it is (I told him that you told ME about it) and he really enjoyed it. He said it led to a LOT of discussions with his wife. Which it did with us too.  Well, not a LOT I guess, but it did spark some conversations.  I miss those kind of conversations with you.  I miss YOU in general!

Wishes, Hopes & Dreams:

So I hope you are having sweet dreams and I can’t wait to see your face when you wake up! I love you!

Follow along their journey or start your own with PAIRS DTR App.

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