We all know that military life
is very different, but no one
truly understands these
differences until they are
thrust into it. I learned a lot
as I reflect on my first year
as a spouse (Some things I
learned the hard and
1. Motivation clothes apparently aren’t “cool.” You know when you buy something and you love
wearing it? You put it on and you can’t wait to show everyone! Then you see the look on people’s faces. You hear the whispers and giggles. I am so proud that my husband is a Marine and LOVE wearing USMC clothing. I learned quickly that it’s not “cool” to be supportive. I will be the “motto wife” until I die lol. Maybe that means I will be wearing an “I love my accountant” shirt later in life. (Do they even make those?) The point is let people laugh and whisper, because they secretly want to wear it too.
2. Be as supportive as you can. This may be generalizing, but if every military man is like mine his plans change every thirty seconds. We are always told to be flexible in the military, but the biggest obstacle is trying to figure out what life after the military will look like. Every week it changes, but I’ve learned to
always be supportive. He is generally just as frustrated with himself
3. Make the first move. My first two months at our duty station was spent with Netflix and tears. I didn’t have any friends and I didn’t know how to make them. Everyone is waiting for each other to make the first move. Host the girls night! Meet at Starbucks! Get out of the house! Everyone is just as lonely and
awkward as you are.
4. Embrace being lost. I’m pretty sure they make all duty stations super confusing to encourage
teamwork. I cannot tell you how many miles I have spent circling buildings. “Why are they numbered?” “How are they organized?” “Couldn’t they replace the numbers with a sign that actually says what the building is?” I’m pretty sure I won’t understand this base until the week we have to PCS, and that’s fine with me. I’m just trying to remember that the commissary is closed on Mondays.
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5. Be flexible with your goals. This is so important and I cannot express it enough. We get made fun of and called all kinds of awful names as military spouses. (I was shocked the first time I experienced this, but it happens a lot) Most of us have left our careers and education plans to follow our husband’s job. This should be celebrated, but instead it’s looked down upon. 1. Shake off the haters just like T Swift. 2. Be flexible. You might not have the job or educational opportunities you want long term, but there are amazing schools that help spouses reach short-term goals. It’s okay to break up your goals into smaller more
attainable actions. Find what works for you and your family!
6. Appreciate time. We have a unique lifestyle that almost forces us to have real appreciation when we have quality time with people. Appreciate your spouse, your new friends, your spouse’s friends, your
coworkers. Anyone can be ordered across the country or across the world in a moments notice. Enjoy those moments you spend laughing with your friends.
Welcome the guys that come over, eat all your dinner, and sleep on your couch. Savor the spontaneous dates in between field ops with your hubby.
Military life has plenty of ups and downs, but like most things it’s a learning curve. What things would you add? What did you learn over your time as a new military spouse?