When we get a big group of military spouses in the one room at our Military.com Spouse Experience events around the country, we meet spouses with tons of experience making military life work for them. These are people who know how to power through deployment and who have taught themselves to look on the bright side.
So it was no surprise when we asked a small group of spouses at our Norfolk, Va. event early this year why military life makes them happy that they had no problem coming up with a fantastic top 10 list. These were people who had been married to their servicemember for somewhere around 10 years -- so we knew their advice is sage.
Maybe military life is bumming you out today. Maybe you've been thinking you'd be happier if your spouse left the service. But here are some things that make military life happy for some spouses -- maybe they can help you, too.
10 Reasons Military Life Makes Us Happy1. All the different people you get to meet. Where else are you constantly thrown into new situations with people from around the globe? Even if you lived in a very diverse civilian neighborhood, you may never have a chance to talk to your neighbors. Military life makes it hard to escape meeting new and different people -- and that's a good thing.
2. It makes us appreciate our families more. You don't know how much you like something until it isn't around for awhile. The same applies to your servicemember. And the military gives us plenty of opportunities to remember why you married him in the first place.
3. Oh the places you'll go! It may sound cliche, but you really can see the world when you join the military. Were it not for military life I would never have had a chance to poke around rural Georgia, call Kentucky or Tennessee home or live in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, Wa.
4. Uniforms -- BAM. We still just can't get over how sexy a man in uniform is. Whether they be whites, blues, greens, mess or dress -- they are all fiiiiine.
5. Learned independence. Some people are born independent. They have no trouble running out the door to new adventures. The rest of us would prefer to lean on someone all the time. But military life doesn't really give you that option. If you can't learn to be independent it will eat you for lunch. The freedom you find after you spread your own wings is exhilarating -- and worth being happy about.
6. Homecomings. It just doesn't getting better than a military homecoming. Whether it belongs to you or someone else, all those warm fuzzy homecoming feelings and the adorable babies in their red, white and blue outfits are just too good to forget.
7. Military life builds strong bonds. Maybe "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is actually true -- and the spouses who wrote this top 10 list said it was true for them. Whether those bonds were found in military friendships made of steel thanks to deployment or between them and their servicemember, they said these kinds of relationships just don't happen in the civilian world.
8. Every day is different. There is certainly nothing hum-drum about military life. The spice of it is part of what makes the spouses who wrote this list happy, and the unknowns of military life are key to that.
9. Military traditions. It's not just the predictability of the traditions themselves that make us happy, it's that feeling we get in our chest when they are being carried out. It's the ...
10. PRIDE. Pride in our service, pride in our servicemember, pride in our country. Military life makes us proud and HAPPY.