When you are marrying a Marine, you probably need to think about where you are going to live and how you are going to get a job and what everyone is going to wear to the wedding. That’s the fun part. But do you have to worry about fitting in, too?
“I’m a social butterfly but I also stick to being by myself. I have a loud personality but my fear of being thrown into the wolves’ den if I don't make the cut, is quickly killing my sunny personality If I lose myself to be the perfect military wife, I will become depressed? I don't want to depress my husband. Can I get some suggestions?We love nothing better than making suggestions around here. And the good thing about us is that we won’t judge you if you don’t take our advice. Just add it to all the other advice you are getting from other people and make your own decision.
Since I was sort of a loud bride myself, I remember being in the same place you are now. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me back then.
1. This isn’t a wolves’ den.I don’t know what you have heard about military spouses, but the vast majority of us do not belong to any ‘wolves’ den’ these days. There isn’t a ‘cut.’ There are not people hanging out in groups considering feasting upon you. In fact, the problem you should worry about is not meeting anyone at all. Social isolation is more of a problem in military life than cliquey groups.
2. Extroversion can be an advantage.You describe yourself as loud, sunny, a social butterfly. I’m guessing that means you are an extrovert—you get your energy from being around other people. That can be a real advantage when you are moving around with your Marine. Extroverts are a little more motivated to meet strangers and maybe even to make friends of those strangers. Use that sunny personality to your own advantage. Military spouses are often drawn to people they perceive as positive.
3. Extroversion can be a disadvantage.One of the things I love about extroverts is that we think out loud. One of the problems of being an extrovert is that we think out loud. A lot. My girlfriend Jeanne, a Navy wife and fellow extrovert, used to say that as an extrovert you can expect to put your foot in your mouth at least once a week. “Learn to apologize,” she told me. Works like a charm.
4. Find your tribe.No matter where you are in life, you are going to find yourself in a group. From daycare to high school to work teams to the old folks home, people arrange themselves in groups. In military life, just like in every other part of your life, you will find groups that like you and groups that don’t like you. And that’s OK. One of the marks of being grown up is that you attend events hoping you will find someone you like, not worrying about whether anyone will like you.
5. Keep the love light burning.It is great that you are thinking about your Marine and thinking about how your life experience will influence his. You will be a profound influence on each other, but you can’t be everything to each other. Marriage doesn’t work like that. Military spouses often say that finding a job or developing outside interest helps you develop some friends of your own and contributes to a loving relationship with your husband.
What else do you think this bride needs to know?