I've been a Marine wife for two years now and, so far, it's been a crazy experience. I won’t lie –- I have days where I love this life, and then I have days where I’m ready to move on from it all and start our own life without it.
But either way, the Marine Corps has changed me as a person. It’s taught me so many important life lessons these last couple years and has given me traits that I didn’t have before.
6 Things the Marine Corps Taught MeResilience. It's so important to be able to bounce back from anything the military throws at you. The military can, and will, deal you a rough hand sometimes and you have to be able to find a way to make it work and move on. It's not always easy but it's necessary in order to succeed as a military spouse.
Flexibility. You absolutely have to go with the every day flow of military life. Plans will change, and often, I can promise you that. We have had leave go unapproved for months until the day we are supposed to hit the road to visit family, and, over the summer, our PCS plans were changed several times before the final decision was made. I've learned to not get my hopes up about a plan until it's actually being put into action; almost no schedule is set in stone.
Independence. I've learned how to do a lot since becoming a military spouse. My husband isn't home as often as I'd like, which means if something breaks, I'm usually the one who has to fix it. If the trash is full, then I'm the one to take it out. Now with my husband being overseas, I'm in charge of absolutely everything.
It can be overwhelming sometimes but, at the same time, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing I can do these things on my own and don't necessarily need a man around to take care of me. I'm forced to have my own life outside of our marriage, which I am so thankful for.
Letting go. This goes hand-in-hand with flexibility -- instead of being flexible, yet holding on to hostility, being able to relax is the trait of a well-seasoned Marine Corps spouse. I've learned to let go of control a bit. Not having much control over my life was a really hard pill to swallow when I first became a military spouse. I like being able to make my own choices and create my own life but in the military lifestyle, major life changes are typically made for you.
Patience. This one is still a work in progress since I'm really not a patient person in any way, shape or form. It’s all about instant gratification for me. But, in the military lifestyle, patience is absolutely necessary. Nothing is going to be instant. I've had to learn how to slow down a bit and be more patient. Decisions will eventually be made and the Marine Corps will let us know what's going on when they figure it out. I just have to sit back and wait … patiently.
Strength. I question my strength every single day, and I know many military spouses do at some point or another. My husband is currently stationed overseas for the next year and I go to bed every night wondering how I'm going to make it through the next day, wondering whether or not I'll have the strength to keep going and push forward and make it through this separation.
But I love my husband and there is no one else I'd rather spend the rest of my life with -- that alone gives me the strength to deal with this life on a daily basis. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and I've never felt stronger than I have these past couple years as a military spouse. I feel like I can take on the world and everything that life throws at me, and I think that's the biggest gift the Marine Corps has given me.