Related Spouse Articles

  • How to Save Money on Your Military Wedding
    Military.com|
    While marrying into the military may not be quite as glamorous as typically portrayed by Hollywood, it does have its perks. Her...
  • I Do, I Do, I Do...Or Do I?
    CinCHouse.com|
    Before you commit to a marriage, ala Department of Defense, make sure you at least go into the situation with your eyes wide open.
  • You Married Into the Military. Now What?
    Military.com|
    Here is how to start getting information and find a community that can help you in the best and worst moments as a military spo...
  • Bride and groom
    Newlywed Scavenger Hunt
    Jacey Eckhart
    Marry into the military and you are guaranteed to feel like an idiot. You are NOT an idiot. Here are 10 things to get you off t...
  • female Army retiree
    Military Protocol 101: Help for the Rest of Us
    Military.com|
    Military social occasions and ceremonies require a basic knowledge of etiquette and protocol. We can help.

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    Military.com
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Military.com
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military.com
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Military.com
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Military.com
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Military.com
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military.com
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

The Curveballs of Military Life

If you would have asked me 10 years ago where I would picture myself at this point in my life I would have answered: a mom, maybe married to some sleek businessman, a writer working on my second book, doing humanitarian work overseas… anything that did not involve the military.  Never would I have guessed that I would marry a soldier.  I like stability.  Roots.  A predictable home. 

Funny how that happens, isn’t it?  You know what your life will look like; you know how you’re going to get from Point A to Point B and have listed all possible diversions and goals between the two.  But as soon as you try to start moving down your own path, in swoops a gigantic curveball you didn’t see coming that knocks you off course.  I would classify marrying a man in the military as a massive curveball, for myself at least.  There is no predictability in that. 

What city do you want to live in?  Orders will come letting you know where home will be.                

Is he going to deploy?  Yes.  But that date could move 4 months in either direction on the calendar. 

Will he be home in time for dinner tonight?  In theory, yes.  But you better make sure that a good episode of Project Runway is on tonight in case his release from work comes at 10 pm versus 5 pm.     

It’s hard to anticipate how difficult this life is.  You can talk to all of the military wives you possibly can, you can read books, you can go to spouse classes, but the only way to truly learn about it is by living it.  It is a hard life to live, but it is possible to live it well.  To accept life and adjust.  It’s easy to resent your husband over the fact that it was ‘his job’ that moved you across the country away from your family and friends and now you’re left to fend for yourself.  But don’t let yourself go there.  It will start an ugly snowball effect that will not be good for yourself or your marriage.

The military life presents you with many challenges, stressors, and yes, opportunities that you likely would not face in another life.  PCS moves, training trips, deployments, new careers, new neighborhoods, new everything are all likely and all almost promised when entering into the life of a military wife.  All are stressful, but can be dealt with in ways that are healthy and productive.  

Whether your husband is deployed, on a TDY trip, or out in the field, much of the time you’re left to fend for yourself.  Embrace this time and use it to take care of yourself.  There are many things you can do to use this time apart for your benefit and growth. 

1.  Learn something new:  Are you ever jealous of your friends that can turn out a handmade crocheted scarf or baby blanket in just a matter of hours?  Ask them to teach you and voila, you now have presents to bring to baby showers that everyone will love.  Have you always wanted to learn to paint?  Cook?  Scrapbook?  Skydive?  This is the time to go learn a new skill.  It will be fun and you might even make some new friends in the process. 

2.  Take classes:  Remember how you wanted to become a Realtor?  Now is the best time; you have more free time to study and become the best realtor your town has seen.  Did you want to be a nurse, teacher, or a personal trainer?  Go get certified and you’ll have a job before you know it. 

3.  Get in shape:  Start walking, lifting weights, or running a few times a week.  It’s a great way to release any pent up feelings you have inside that you didn’t realize were there.  You’ll feel better about yourself, and let’s be honest, it will just make homecoming that much more fun. 

4.  Plan date nights:  With your girlfriends.  Any "Grey’s Anatomy" fans out there?  Get a group together, show up an hour early to drink wine and chat and then watch the show together regularly.  Make Mondays your night to meet up for margaritas and tacos.  Find a playdate group to meet with at least once a week.  The possibilities are endless. 

5.  Travel:  Go visit that friend in New York who is studying at culinary school.  Grab another wife of a deployed man and go tour through Europe. 

Experience life.  It doesn’t only exist when you can share it with your hubby.  Yes, memories are that much sweeter when shared with him, but you can use the time of him away to do things that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do otherwise.  Embrace this time, appreciate it, and use it for good.     

Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion...

Military News App by Military.com

Download the new Military.com News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!

© 2016 Military Advantage