Gaining Independence as a Dependent Military Spouse
From the military’s point of view, the spouse and the children of a service member are considered military dependents. This word, “dependent” isn’t always easy to take. The word means we are dependent on someone else, on something else. That we might not get a say, even if we want one. Decisions will be made that affect us profoundly, that we have no control over.
And while we understand this is what the military calls us, through our years as a military spouse, we gain independence. We gain this skill when we go months at a time without our spouse by our side. We gain it when we have to move away from our comfort zone. We gain independence because we have to and because there is no other choice to do so.
The military pushes you to be independent
When your spouse leaves for the first time, whether they are gone for a short training exercise, basic training, or their first deployment, you will be pushed into independence in ways you otherwise wouldn’t be. Even simple things such as taking out the trash, buying the groceries, and putting the kids to bed will all fall to you. You will learn how to do what you need to do to keep things going in your home, your job, and with your kids.
The military life teaches you more than you thought possible
While you know you will have to be more independent in this life, what you learn from the time apart might even surprise you. Military spouses are often stronger and can deal with more than they think they can. Through being forced into a more independent role, you will learn more than you ever could have imagined.
That independence will help you in all areas of your life
The independence you gain from living the military spouse life will help you in all areas of your life. You will find that you can get through different hurdles you didn’t think that you could. You will become a little more confident in your parenting abilities. That your independence will even help you on your career path.
That gaining that independence can hurt sometimes, even if it is a good thing
Some military spouses go straight from their parent’s house to their first home with their servicemember. They might not have ever lived on their own before then. This new world can be quite scary and having to step out of your comfort zone doesn’t always feel good. There will be times over your years as a military spouse when gaining that independence might hurt, but that is all apart of the growing experience.
Being independent is a good thing. That skill will take you far. Even though the military calls you a dependent, know that you will become more independent over the years and that by doing so you can help achieve any goal you might have.
How have you become more independent during your time as a military spouse?