Supporting Your Spouse’s Military Career
Military spouses all come from different places. Some spouses met their husband after they was already in the Military. Others started the journey together after a few years of marriage. Some met, married and became an Army wife all within the same year. Ask any group of spouses about how they became one and you will find there are a lot of different answers.
One thing is clear. No matter when you became a Military spouse, you want to do what you can to support your husband. How can you really do this? How does it work if you are frustrated with the Military life and want something different? What if your career is on hold because of it but you don’t want to wait anymore? What is the best way to go about it?
When it comes to the Military, some people join for just a few years and others make it a career. Some service members don’t know what they want to do when they start. My husband and I decided to try three years, then he reenlist for five more. Then it was time to move on. Some service members want to go career and decide not to, others want to do a couple of years and then end up going career.
The main thing is figuring out what your service member is thinking, what will work best for your family and some general plan of what the next few years will look like. Keep in mind that things can change. There are a lot of people who wanted to make it 20 years but had to get out for different reasons. Plans changed and the whole family has to adapt.
Keeping the line of communication open is very important. There is a BIG difference between a soldier who wants to be in for the rest of his career and one that is getting out in a couple of years. They have different goals and should make different plans.
You need to know where your spouse stands. If the Military is something they have always wanted to do, if they have signed up and working towards promotions, you need to be able to be there for them. That doesn’t mean you have to think Military life is the most amazing thing ever. You might hate some of it. When you hear he has to deploy, you might want to run for the hills. Don’t. Stand by him. It will be worth it.
If you enjoy the Military life and your spouse really wants to get out and do something else, stand by them too. Be there and work together to come up with a plan for after the Military life.
I am not saying all this because I think Military spouses shouldn’t have a right to their own career or anything like that. I really think it depends on the couple and what they want for their lives. There are a lot of options and a lot you can do to work around one person being in the Military when it comes to the spouse’s career. I just think that at the end of the day, it is important to be on the same page about your plans, work towards goals together and really stand by each other, no matter what you decide to do.
How have you personally supported your spouse’s Military career?