Before my husband joined the military, I was a SAHM and he worked 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday.
He joined the Army and by the time we hit the first-year mark, we were in the middle of a 15-month deployment, on a post in Germany.
My life changed in so many different ways. Military life was so completely different than what I was used to, in so many different ways.
Over the years, life has gone on, we went through many deployments and a couple of moves. Now as a National Guard family things are different than they were as an active duty one, but not quite the same as when we were civilians.
Some weeks are more military than others. Some years are more military than others. It all just depends on what is going on and what is happening with my spouse’s career.
Once you get to know the military community you start to notice that not everyone’s military journey looks the same. Some include more separations than others. Some include more moves than others.
Some military spouses have moved every few years, packing up and diving into a new home every three years. Others have only moved once or twice as a military family, with plans to stay put at their current duty station for quite a bit longer.
Some spouses have been through many deployments, in a short amount of time. Others have been able to have years in between.
Some military spouses are raising children and others are not. Some spouses will be able to be stationed overseas, and others will never have that opportunity.
Because our military experiences can be so different, it’s important to listen when other military spouses tell you they are having a more difficult time or just can’t seem to figure out the best way to get through the next few months.
It’s important to remember that what worked for you might not work for someone else. That we all have things that frustrate or bother us. And that we might not know what another military spouse is going through.
That being said, even if we haven’t walked the exact same path, there is beauty in coming together and talking about our experience. There is value in sharing what we have experienced and how we have made it through.
Whether you are a brand new military spouse or heading into your third decade.
Whether you have been through 10 deployments or waiting on your first one.
Whether you feel strong at the moment or are struggling with your current situation.
Military life doesn’t always look the same, but we can still learn from one another. The military community is strong, and we can help each other through with encouragement and patience. With listening ears and a desire to help one another out.
How long have you been a military spouse?