When You Can’t Find Your Milspouse Tribe
With a deployment looming, I was starting to freak out. I didn’t know anyone here. I was feeling a sense of dread as it was. He was going over to Afghanistan this time. And I didn’t have any military friends to go through this with. I didn’t have my tribe. Not like I did before.
That deployment was hard in ways my other deployments were not. I didn’t have my people.
One of the best ways to get through a deployment is to have your own set of battle buddies. The people you can connect with, vent to, and commiserate with.
The people who get what it is like to not talk to your spouse for a week a time. The people who understand why you have to make cereal again for dinner. The people who understand the deployment ache and what that means.
With the military moving military families every 2-4 years, finding your military tribe can be hard. Sure, you can be friendly with people but finding others who you can connect with is a lot more difficult.
There is loneliness associated with not being able to find your people.
You might want a best friend more than anything, but you just haven’t found that person yet. You haven’t connected in the ways you want to connect with other people at your duty station.
In some ways, this part of military life is a given. You PCS somewhere new, your husband deploys within a few months, and you are left feeling empty. You have a new baby right around the time your best friend moves away and it’s months before you can see getting out there and try to make new friends.
Not having any close friends nearby is scary!
What do you do when you need to put someone on your emergency contact form?
What do you do when you are at your wit’s end and just need a friend to drink a glass of wine with?
What do you do when you need that battle buddy, and none can be found?
I can give you all the advice in finding friends. Some of it will work for you and some of it won’t. I can tell you to keep trying, to put yourself out there, not to give up.
But at the end of the day, when nothing seems to be working, your loneliness can kick in, and that can be overwhelming.
There have been times when I have been surrounded by my people. We would meet up regularly, have fun with our kids, go out on ladies nights. We were truly there for one another.
There have been other times when I didn’t know very many people in my city. For fun, I would leave my kids with my husband and head out to the movies by myself. I had no one to call.
In those moments I would miss the times when I did have my milspouse tribe, and I would tell myself that those times would come again.
Friends will come and go. You will connect will all types of people in military life. Some will stay acquaintances, others will become best friends, ones we will always cherish over the years.
Sometimes you will have these sweet friends in your everyday life, other times they will just be people on your Facebook feed.
I can’t say I will ever get used to friends moving away all the time. Living in a military community as I do, this happens all the time. I hate when people move away because even if we were super close, we might not be able to stay that way living in different zip codes.
I miss the almost daily interactions that we had. I miss them being close and being able to plan things together. I miss knowing they were just a short drive away.
But I know life moves on and that times change. There will be new friends to meet, more memories to make.
In the end, those who mean the most will always be in my life and no amount of distance can change that.
Do you have a milspouse tribe? Where did you meet them?
Here are some other posts about military spouse friendship: