Army life is one of the most exciting things I have ever had the chance to experience in my whole life. I have really enjoyed the travels to exotic places, the trainings, the friendships I made along the way, and almost everything else that involves living in this lifestyle.
As an Army soldier, I can proudly say that I served my country for 15 years, and even when I experienced many great things along the way, the real challenges came toward my way when I decided to become an Army wife. Yes, besides been in the military myself, I also dated and married a soldier.
I have to be honest and say that dating a person who spends his days serving his country isn’t as bad as it sounds. It does have its challenges though. As a member of the armed forces, you are the one either making hard decisions related to whatever job you have been assigned to, or following orders based on other people’s hard decisions. In my experience as a soldier, that wasn’t too difficult for me to handle. I actually loved it. However, after I became an Army wife; that’s when the real fun started.
If at this moment, you are dating a soldier or are planning to marry one, continue reading. Below, I will share with you five (5) of the most important things you need to know before becoming an Army spouse.
1) Be ready to move from place to place every three to four years: This is a very though one. You basically will not have a steady household. Your life will be full of packing and unpacking activities. Every single item that your family owns will be packed and unpacked a total of 5-7 times throughout your spouse’s whole military career. So, get ready for this. I can tell you that out of all the things I have experienced so far; this has been the most difficult one to digest. And, that’s not even including the fact that as of today, I am still waiting for my stuff to be delivered to me, which was send out of our previous post close to four (4) months ago.
2) Spouse’s deployments may be a little too hard to deal with sometimes: Another very important thing for you to know. There is a big chance that your spouse will get deployed at least one time during his entire military career and when that happens, you will be left behind in charge of all the family’s responsibilities. Either you like it or not, you have to put your big girl or big boy’s pants on and take charge. As an Army spouse, you will have two choices when it comes to dealing with household responsibilities while your spouse is deployed. Either you do it, or “you do it.” There will not be any room for self-petty. And, this is especially true when there are children involved. Of course, the military provides helps for families of deployed service members, but it will be up to you to keep things moving.
3) Get ready to put your career on hold. At least, for a while: This one is not that difficult, but it really sucks. If you had a career before you joined the Army spouses’ club, there is a big chance that you will have to put it on hold while you follow your spouse around due to his/her military assignments. You may have a chance to work while in the new places but overall, you have to understand that your spouse’s career will become a priority for now on, and yours will have to take the back seat; at least until your spouse’s retirement day comes or you decide that you had enough. Sad, but true!
4) Be ready to experience things in your daily routine that may test your marriage more than what normal marriage experiences would: Another important thing to take in consideration is the ways your marriage will be tested again, and again, and again. This could be very difficult to handle and will require you guys to build strong communication plan to overcome these events. This will be one of the hardest “tasks” for you to deal with, but not an impossible one.
And, last but not least;
5) In some cases; you know your spouse is in the military but you don’t even know what he/she does for living: Depending on your spouse’s job, he/she may not even be allowed to discuss with you what he/she does. This is a very difficult process for spouses to deal with because it prevents them from feeling empathy when dealing with their spouses not being able to attend a birthday party or a school activity for their children. He/she may know the reasons why, in some cases, he/she can’t be an active part in planned family event, but may not have the authority to disclose the information with anyone. And, as a supportive military spouse, you have to understand that, and be okay with it.
As you can see, my dear friends. Military life is not as glamorous as some people think it is; but I can promise you that, it’s not as terrible as others want it to make it look like. People say that it takes a strong person to be a military spouse and I have to say that I agree with that statement 100 percent. People also say that behind every successful person, there is a great spouse. In the case of a military family; I strongly believe that behind every successful soldier, stands a strong, independent, and fearless woman/man whose main job is to sacrifice his/her one well-being so that the service member can do his/her job to the best of his/her abilities without having to worry about what’s going at home. That’s exactly why I say that even when the service members are the ones serving their country, they do it because they have a stronger person fighting for everything else at the home front.