The Military Spouse Life
I have been a member of the military community and been living the military spouse life for almost 11 years now. During that time I have met so many military spouses. Both in person and online. I can’t help but look back over the years and the people I have met. How some of them have this military life down pat and others stuggle a little bit more. My heart is with the military community and will always be, no matter how many years take me away from my personal experience with this life.
From when their spouse first leaves for boot camp until they try to make their way through the transition back to civilian life, we military spouses have to go through situations that others do not. We put our spouse on an airplane and send them off to one of the most dangerous places in the world. We do this holding the hands of our children that don’t quite understand why Daddy has to be away for so long. We do this knowing they have a dangerous job and they might not come back.
We Military Spouses…
We military spouses make friends with people from all over the country and the world. We might be coming from different places with different backgrounds but we have one thing in common, the love of our service member and the desire to support them throughout their career.
Support might be moving to the middle of nowhere, away from anything we have ever known. Support might be giving up our own career knowing that we could not stay where we were and learning to adjust to a new normal that could take us places we could never have imagined. Support might be being a solo parent for months on end while our husband goes to school to move up to the next rank.
We military spouses have to learn how to adjust even when we really don’t want to. We might love where we are stationed and then one day our spouse comes home and tells us we are moving to the other side of the country, in a place we never wanted to go. We have to bloom where we are stationed but sometimes that is easier than others.
We Military Spouses…
We military spouses get to go places and see things we would never have had they never joined. I have a child that was born in Germany! Another country! Sometimes I think about that and take a step back at this life that we made just because of my husband enlisted one day in 2005.
We military spouses have seen hardships. We have seen friends lose their husbands, either to war or years later to something else. We have seen marriages that seemed so strong fall apart. We have seen our own husbands differently than we ever thought we would. The fact is, war changes people and when your husband has been to war, he will change. Some service members handle these changes better than others. Some don’t handle them at all. And yet, the military spouse tries her best to support her husband through everything, even as things do not go as planned.
When I meet new military spouses I want to hug them. And I am not a big hugger. I want to let them know that this life they started is going to be a hard one but in a lot of ways, it will also be a good one. That they might not be the same person five or ten years from now but because of this military life they will grow and will most likely become a better person through everything they have to deal with. That life will not always be easy, that they might cry a lot and that friends will come and go. That their faith will be shaken and made stronger. That their ideas about marriage and even motherhood will be shaken to the core.
Military Spouses Are Strong…
A military spouse is a strong person. They have to be. Not because we were made of something different, but because we had to stare challenges in the face and became stronger through them all.
The military is different than it was back in 2005. We are still sending people to war, but it looks a little different. There have been more budget cuts and BAH has changed. Still, a lot of what I went through back then as a new military spouse holds true. And will hold true in the future, no matter what the military looks like.
The military spouse life can be complicated, stressful, unique, amazing, unexpected, lovely and hard all at the same time. The military spouse life is not going to be for everyone and some can not handle what they have to go through. Most do and come out the other side knowing more about the world and themselves.
If you are a new military spouse, know that you are now a part of a strong community that wants to help you through what you will encounter in the years to come. If you are not such a new military spouse, know that what you have been through has been challenging but you have learned a lot from everything you have dealt with and that can help others. Share your stories and your experiences.
The life of a military spouse can be a good life. Find the support you need to get through it, make your home a peaceful place, find good friends and remember that your spouse loves you, even if the military takes them away.