My military spouse life today looks completely different than it did back 15-16 years ago. For one thing, back then, my husband was active duty Army, and we were stationed in Germany. What was going on in the world, and Iraq and Afghanistan at the time were very different than what is going on today.
Technology was a bit different too. We didn’t have as much access to our service members when they were deployed, and it was harder to connect with them overseas.
I still experience the ups and downs of military life. The back and the forth. The good and the bad.
When your spouse first joins the military, or you marry a service member, military life can be a big shock to the system. For some things change a lot. You go from a civilian spouse coming home at 5 on the dot to a deployment. You can go from your parent’s house to your own house halfway around the world. Military life comes with a lot of changes.
But we spouses, we adapt, we have to.
We work to find community. We try to find people we can connect with. We don’t want to go through all of this alone.
We hit the speed bumps, which can really throw us off if we don’t see them coming. We know they might be ahead but we can lie to ourselves and pretend they won’t affect us. But then they do. And we can feel pretty sad about it all.
But then things change. Life changes. Things get easier, if only for a little while.
You might PCS to a new duty station, closer to home. A deployment might get canceled, or you meet someone you click with so well, that you know you will always have each other’s back.
When that happens, you start to feel like you can do it. You can rock whatever comes at you. And you know what? That’s such a wonderful feeling.
But it is okay if that feeling doesn’t last. Because sometimes this military life can be so hard.
I have learned over the years that I have to take care of myself, no matter what is coming my way. I have to find those times for self-care, even within the crazy. I have to find friends to be with and talk with. I have to balance my life so that I don’t become too overwhelmed.
And after all these years, I am still tweaking things. I am still figuring out what works best and how to get through time away from my husband or any other military struggle that comes up.
If you are new to military life, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything you have to deal with.
From TRICARE to PCSing, from the MWR to DEERS. There is so much to know.
The reality is you don’t have to know everything right now. You will learn over time and you will figure out how best to get through this life.
So many military spouses have come before you and will help you on your journey.
There are so many resources out there, from organizations like Blue Star Families offering different events to companies like MilSpouse Conversations offering places to connect and talk with each other. I also have blog posts on topics such as deployments, PCSing, and more.
If you are new to military life, know that there will be ups and downs in this lifestyle. Not every day will be good but not every day will be bad either. And those really bad days? You will figure out ways to get through them. To get to a better place.
What helps you get to a better place when you are feeling down?
If you are in the San Diego area, come to the Spill THEE Tea – Conversations with a milspouse panel sponsored by Blue Star Families on September 8th, 2022 from 6-8 pm PT. Sign up here.