22 Tips for a Better Military Spouse Life
Are you a new military spouse? Maybe you have been living this life for a few years now? Maybe your spouse is about to hit 20 years? No matter where you are in your military spouse journey, there are certain tips that can help you along the way. Certain things to remember so that you have a better overall experience.
Here is a list of 22 tips to help you have a better military spouse life-
1. Take it a day at a time- You will find that in your military life journey, you will have bad days, especially when your spouse is away. Take these days one day at a time. Try not to look at all the days you will have to get through. Sometimes that can be too overwhelming.
2. Sometimes you will need to take it an hour at a time- Sometimes you will have to take things an hour at a time. This is especially true during the first or last weeks of a deployment.
3. Don’t forget about you- When your spouse joins the military, it can be easy to feel like you don’t matter anymore. That you are just there to support your spouse. But you are much more than that. Don’t forget about yourself and what you need. That is important as well.
4. You are much stronger than you think- During your time as a military spouse you will go through situations you never thought you would be able to. I never thought I could make it through a 15-month deployment but I did. I never thought I could handle having a baby without my husband but I did. You will surprise yourself with what you can get through that you didn’t think you were able to do before.
5. Look at the calendar differently- Sometimes you will celebrate holidays and birthdays later on than you normally would. That is okay. If your spouse has to be away for Christmas, celebrate the holiday early. If they are going to miss your anniversary, celebrate when they get home. The calendar looks different to us military spouses and that is okay.
6. Learn about your bills & how to budget- If you don’t already know about what bills to pay and when they are due, you need to find out. You will need to be the main person in charge of paying the bills. Or at least know how to do it. Why? Because sometimes your spouse will not be able to. They could be deployed or somewhere where they could not do anything with your finances. You will need to know how to pay the bills and how to budget so that you can make the best of the money you and your spouse make.
7. POA is your best friend- POAs are a must. You can get your Power of Attorney on post through JAG or through a lawyer. Consider getting special POAs for situations that might come up.
8. Find good battle buddies- You need some good friends in your military life. Friends that can help you through the hard days and friends you can make memories with through the good ones.
9. Be a good friend- You should also be a good friend to others. Be there for people and be a listening ear. Sometimes all someone needs is someone to talk to.
10. Be flexible- Flexible is going to have to become your middle name when you are a military spouse. You can’t always plan on anything happening the way you want it to. You will have to adjust.
11. Stay away from drama if you can- Drama is going to happen at some point in your military life, trust me. Drama can happen in your neighborhood, in a group you are in or even on the soccer field. Do your best to stay away from drama and confront it if you need to. Walking away from the drama is also a good choice.
12. Ask questions- If you don’t understand something, ask questions. Ask a friend, your FRG or even your husband. You won’t always get an answer but asking is helpful to learn more about this military life.
13. Be wary of rumors- Rumors are going to happen. Rumors about deployments, rumors about redeployment, rumors about the Command. Just keep in mind a rumor could be half true or not true at all. Just keep that in mind when you hear something that isn’t fact.
14. Have a backup plan-Having a backup plan is a good idea. You might even need a backup plan for your backup plan. You never know when things will change and you might have to abandon your first plan.
15. Follow your own dreams as much as you can- Did you always want to do something as a career? Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams as much as possible. This is sometimes harder to do depending on your spouse’s career but if you are creative you can make things happen.
16. Don’t be afraid to be you- Be who you are. The military spouse world is made up of a lot of different types of spouses. Be you and find your tribe.
17. Lower your expectations- Sometimes lowering your expectations a little bit can help with your frustration levels. Talking to your spouse every day when they are deployed might not be possible and expecting to be able to can make life really hard. Just try to lower expectations a little bit to help cut down on your frustrations.
18. Get involved in the military community- Get involved. Join a club, go to post events or visit the FRG. You never know who you might meet or what kind of experience you could have.
19. Don’t be afraid to ask for help-Sometimes asking for help is difficult but don’t feel bad if you need to do so. Sometimes a short Facebook post can result in many helping hands.
20. Say No- Know that if you feel like you have too much on your plate, it is okay to say no. You don’t always have to say yes.
21. Say Yes- Sometimes we can get in a rut where we don’t want to do anything. Where you just want to stay home and chill. Try to put yourself out there if you find you are in a funk and need a way to get out of it. Say yes to something new. You might really enjoy yourself.
22. Write love letters- Write love letters. Send them to your spouse. Have fun with them and enjoy being able to write to each other in this way. Most likely when your spouse comes home you will not write these types of letters anymore.