The Truth About the Military Spouse Community
I have noticed something, and it makes me sad. Military spouses who have no desire to be involved in the military community because they think everyone is awful. They don’t want to try to be friends with other military spouses because they believe all military spouses are the same and that they don’t want to be involved in their drama.
I just have to say, that in the 12 years I have been a military spouse, this has not been my experience.
Are there terrible military spouses out there? Yes, of course. Just like there are terrible civilian spouses out there. Terrible people are everywhere but so are amazing people. And the military community has a lot more of them.
Do military spouses cause drama? Yes, they do, but you know what? There is drama everywhere else too. There is drama in a civilian neighborhood, there is drama in a civilian school, there is drama just about anywhere you find other people. Life has drama.
When you shut yourself off to the military community as a whole, you are shutting yourself off to the ability to meet other people who understand what you are going through. You shut yourself off to the opportunity to meet people who can become family. You shut yourself off to making some amazing memories and getting to know your neighbors and your community.
If you are feeling like no one understands you, if you feel like you are the only military spouse who believes a certain way, I guarantee you are not alone. I guarantee that there are other military spouses out there, in your own military community, that believes the same way that you do.
When you are new to military life, the community can feel a bit overwhelming. There is so much to learn, so many terms, so many traditions. You can feel a little lost.
When you get to your first duty station and don’t know a soul, you can start to feel invisible. The school is asking for an emergency contact, and you don’t know anyone local, let alone anyone you would trust with your children. You see other spouses with their friends, and you want that, but you are not sure how to get it.
You might be a seasoned spouse who is moving for the sixth time in ten years. Things didn’t go so well at your last duty station, so you tell yourself that this time you will stick to the civilian side of things. You will stay far away from the military community. But then your spouse deploys, and you are left alone, wondering how to make it through, wondering how you will do so without any battle buddies.
The truth is, our military communities are filled with people, and people do make mistakes. They are filled with good experiences and bad ones. They are filled with happiness and sadness. They are filled with men and women who all want to live the best life that they can with the people around them.
So whether you are brand new to this life or whether you have been a spouse for a long time, try to reach out and find the good in your military community. The good is there, I promise.
You can see it when one spouse loses her child, and her friends are there to help her through. You see it when one spouse loses her husband, and her battle buddies are right there by her side. You see it when a mom is having a baby and her community rallies around her and offers support.
The truth is, not everything is going to go smoothly. In a military community, you will find drama, you will find people who ignore you, you will find people who won’t understand you. But they do not make up all of the community. They should not ruin things for you so that you swear off military spouses for good.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be guarded or careful. Opening your heart to everyone you meet isn’t always the best plan. But you can go into your community with hope. You can work hard to be the type of friend you are looking for. You can work hard to make the military community a better place.
What do you love about your own military community?