7 Military Life Truths That Drive Military Spouses Nuts
It was this week, 12 years ago, that my husband re-joined the Army and I became a military spouse. I have learned so much about this life over the last 12 years from other military spouses and through my own experiences. There are some pretty amazing things that have happened because of military life, and there are some pretty frustrating things that have happened too.
There are some military life truths that we military spouses don’t like. Often times there is nothing we can do to change them, sometimes we can. But either way, they really drive us nuts sometimes!
1. The Military is in control of so much of our lives
As much as we don’t want the military to be so much a part of our lives, as much as we say that is HIS career, not OURS, the military is going to be in your business. From your healthcare to where you live to whether or not you even get to spend the summer with your spouse, they are always there.
And sure, some spouses do distance themselves quite a bit, but even they will find that the military is always right around the corner. The best thing to do is embrace it, recognize it, and learn how to work with the military system the best way you can.
2. Our spouse missing the birth of our children
So many of us military spouses have had to give birth without our spouses by our side. Whether they were deployed to Iraq, in South Korea, or even across the country training, the military made it so they could not be there. This can be an overwhelming thought before it happens but if you talk to people who have been through it, you will find that with the right support system, giving birth without your husband is something you can handle.
3. Not all military housing is good
Not everyone likes their military housing. Some of it is older and more run down. Some of it doesn’t make sense for a growing family. In a lot of cases, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about this. You can always move off post/base, but sometimes that isn’t even an option.
4. Not everyone we meet is trustworthy
Sadly, not every military spouse you meet is going to be trustworthy. Just because they married someone who serves, that doesn’t mean they are a good person. So you do need to be careful about who you trust and who you put your faith in.
On the other hand, most military spouses are worth getting to know. We come from different backgrounds and different places, but we all know what it is like to miss our spouse, and we can help one another out. The military community as a whole has a lot to offer.
5. The pay isn’t always enough
Military pay isn’t always going to be enough. Many military spouses will find that their budget will require another type of income. While good financial planning and budgets go a long way, sometimes life is just too expensive.
If your spouse is lower ranking, it can feel quite overwhelming, especially if you have a few kids too. If you are a spouse looking to work forward in your career, knowing that money will help, and you can’t find a job, you are going to be pretty upset with the situation.
Remember, that as your spouse moves up in rank, their paychecks will get better. Don’t be afraid to go after your own career dreams and make sure to have a clear budget. Being on the same page as your spouse when it comes to your money will also go a long way.
6. TRICARE can be a pain
TRICARE gives us some fantastic benefits, but sometimes TRICARE can also be a big pain. Between waiting for appointments, waiting on referrals, and being told they don’t pay for something we think they should, dealing with them can all be a big headache.
The best thing to do is learn all you can about TRICARE and any changes that will happen in the future. Learn who to call and how to ask for what you need. Learn about the benefits and work hard to make sure your family is getting them.
7. We can’t always find our people
One big piece of military spouse advice is to find some good friends to get through a deployment, or through military life in general. But it isn’t always so easy to find our people. Sometimes we have to go months or even years without a best friend nearby.
As much as you put yourself out there, sometimes you can’t find anyone to click with. The only real solution to this is time. Remember, in the military community, someone is always leaving, and someone is always moving in. And every day is a new chance to find your people.
In the end, some of these truths can be changed. If you don’t like your military housing, you can move, or even work for change. The pay isn’t enough, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your own well-paying career. Not everyone is trustworthy but we can be that friend others can depend on.
What truth about military life drives you nuts???