I never thought I would be a military spouse. When I met my husband, he was 25 and had already served a few years in the Army. Little did I know that life would lead him back to the military, and make me a military spouse.
There have been so many surprises along the way, and I have learned so much. Here are just a few truths about military spouse life. Can you relate?
You might be told X will happen, but that doesn’t mean it will
There have been so many times in the last 15 years when military plans have changed. From deployments to trainings to appointments. Military life is all about change. Nothing is ever set in stone and it is probably best to assume nothing is going to happen a certain way until it actually does.
Military life isn’t fair!
Your spouse might deploy a lot more than other spouses. You might not ever end up at the “best” duty stations. Some service members take longer to promote than others. The best thing to do is celebrate when you are the one to get good news and be humble when you see that your friend or neighbor has not.
Not all military housing is created equal
When we moved into our orange duplex at our 2nd duty station in Germany, I cried. That house was amazing! And to think we got that amazing house just because we moved to a new duty station, not because of rank or position. That the two homes could be so different was amazing to me. Some housing is much better than others and that can be a frustrating reality of military life.
You will grow without your spouse by your side
During military life, you and your spouse will grow. You will change. Everyone does. Sometimes this will happen when they are not home. During a deployment, you can grow and change and because you have, life can be a bit of a challenge once your spouse gets home. Keep this in mind during the redeployment period and remember why you decided to be together in the first place.
Your parenting will look a little different
Survival mode is very real and sometimes being in survival mode means you let things go and your parenting will change because of that. Try not to let this get you down, real-life sometimes doesn’t mix with our ideals. Do your best and at the end of the day, give yourself some grace.
You will surprise yourself
During the last 15 years, I have done things I never thought I was capable of. I have been stretched and have become stronger because of everything I have been through. Military life will mold you into the person you are meant to be. And you will look back and might be surprised about everything you have had to go through to get there.
When military life is over, you might not want to leave
As much as you think you are ready to leave military life behind, doing so isn’t as easy as you think the transition will be. You might find yourself missing parts of military life and wondering why you and your spouse decided that chapter needed to be closed. You might get upset that your spouse had to leave because of medical issues. Give yourself time to adjust to the after military lifestyle.
The “worst” duty station might be your favorite
There are a few duty stations out there that have the reputation of being the worst place you could get stationed. Places you really don’t want to go and for a lot of them, there is a good reason for that. But sometimes, the “worst” duty station may be your favorite place.
Maybe you have figured out how to bloom where you are planted or maybe you just made some amazing friends, but whatever reason you will always look back at that duty station as some of the best years of your military life.