Military spouses all come from different places. Some met their spouse after they were already in the Military. Others started the journey together after a few years of marriage.
Some met, married and became a military spouse 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 service member.
But how do you support your spouse’s military career if you are frustrated with the Military life and want something different? What if your career is on hold because of military life but you don’t want to wait anymore? What is the best way to support them when life gets in the way?
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.
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 as well as a general plan of what the next few years will look like. For my husband and me, when he joined, it was for three years, then we would readjust and see where we were at.
Keep in mind that things can change when it comes to military career plans.
There are a lot of people who wanted to make it 20 years but had to get out for different reasons. Things change and the whole family has to adapt. This can also be extremely difficult for the service member and the spouse.
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.
If you enjoy 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.
The most important thing, military or not, career military or one enlistment, is that you are on the same page and support one another.
This isn’t always going to be easy, but it is something we military spouses know too well. And as times change, it will get easier and easier to be able to accomplish your own goals, right along with your service member spouse.
In today’s military, military spouses work full-time, they go to school, they work from home, and they work hard for change when there are roadblocks.
Being married to a service member, unfortunately, means you will have to sacrifice something.
Maybe you assumed you would be raising children down the street from where you grew up, but now your spouse just got orders to Germany. Maybe you assumed that you would stay at the same company for years, but then the love of your life felt they needed to join the military, and all that changed. Maybe you never thought you would have to say goodbye to your spouse for months at a time, but that is exactly what military life has brought you.
The reality is, supporting your service member isn’t always going to be easy but there are little things we can do to show we care. From care packages, to love letters, to simply being the person back at home they can count on.
Be open with your spouse, check-in with one another, and be the one they can count on during military life.