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I won’t even lie, I feel weird writing this, because I do not feel like I have been doing “this” for that long. Markus has been in the military for 9 years total, some Army National Guard, some active Army. All I know is it is different than civilian life, although, I try to make it as “normal” as possible. Whatever that means.
The military spouse life is going to be different for everyone. Not all of us are married yet, not all of us have kids, not all of us live together, not all of us were together for his very first day, etc., so, I will try to make this as relatable to everyone as possible.
Let’s start with what I like to call…”The Call”: Ugh, I remember this like it was yesterday. “I ship out next week.” QUEUE THE WATER WORKS. What? We have been together every day for the last year, now I don’t even get to talk to you for 4+ months? Lesson: IT IS HARD; some couples don’t make it through. Your soldier has people telling them that “You are out cheating with Jody” almost every day. It gets in your soldier’s head. You can only write letters, and occasionally might get a phone call. Basic Training also might have changed now, so take this with a grain of salt. Lol. Honestly, this was probably the hardest part of our relationship. No, I’m not saying it gets easier, you just learn more as time goes on.
DO NOT WEAR YOUR SPOUSES RANK. Mmkay? Heck, don’t even talk about it. I don’t even talk about my husband’s job. If someone asks “what does your husband do?”, I usually say, “mm something with logistics.” There are military spouse cliques, and this is them trying to get you. They will probably dig to find out exactly who your spouse is. I’m not saying we are all like this, trust me, you’ll learn more about me throughout this blog. I am not part of the drama that comes with this lifestyle.
You’ll probably join Facebook groups that have to do with your duty station, ad being a military spouse, for example “Army wives of JBLM” or “Spouses with kids at JBLM”, somethings along those lines. These groups are useful, and there are so many different kinds, food, crafts, playdates, house décor, housing, etc. Although, they can come with a lot of drama, similar to the drama in the above point. I’m more of a “lurker” on groups like these, and post my own questions, I don’t usually respond to others, especially on controversial topics. I do think these groups are important to join.
Housing. Discuss if you want to live on post or off post, if you want to rent or you want to buy. Some areas its best to buy, because of pet restrictions, rent being ridiculously expensive, and other reasons my brain isn’t thinking about right now. Sometimes, you’ll need to start looking off post, because the waiting list for on post housing is outrageously long, and living in a hotel isn’t an option for that long, for most of us. We usually settle these debates by making a pros and cons list.
Deployments. Trainings. Field exercises. Schools. And whatever else the military can take away our spouse from us for. THEY ALL SUCK. Separation sucks. Being alone sucks. Doing everything on your own sucks. Sometimes not knowing when they are coming home SUCKS. Being ready to leave in 72 hours, and watching them leaves sucks. Changing plans all the times sucks. All of it sucks, but remember it sucks for them too. They don’t want to leave all the time, but ya know, Duty First (is my Fort Riley showing?). I thought it’d get easier with kids, I would have someone to keep me occupied all day, for me, it’s even harder now, now my kids cry because daddy is gone. Give yourself pity party days, give yourself grace, find something to do that is all yours and no one else’s. Do not lose yourself.
Now enough from me, I asked some fellow military spouses what advice they would give to new military spouses, here we go:
“Air Force here. My best advice is ‘suck it up and deal’. It may sound mean, but it’s not meant that way. The mil life is one curve ball after another, the sooner you learn to suck it up and deal with it and handle whatever is thrown your way, the sooner everything becomes easier. Complaining and fighting things changes nothing. Learn what you need to do and when. Know what you need from your spouse, from yourself, and what you need in a friend base, remove any BS from your life, and be a badass that knows her shit and is surrounded by support, and is a supportive person.”
“You don’t have to be friends with everyone, you don’t have to like everyone, but you should be nice to everyone… the military is smaller than you think and you WILL cross paths again! 🤣 ” Air Force @kid.food.explorers
“Air Force spouse for the past 19 years… best advice is stay true to you! Be your authentic self and don’t be afraid to ask for help! – Michaela Rosales- Honest Talk International”
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Hurry up and wait..” – I actually LOL’d at this one.
“No news is good news”
“Embrace the Suck! Air Force Wife 20 years!”
“Don’t wait on him to come home. Become fully in love with YOU. Be confident. But not a brat lol. Be kind to everyone but don’t feel that you HAVE to find best friends everywhere. Enjoy each day. Have an identity other than “his military spouse” because the military does not care about you.” Air Force wife and military brat. www.camoandchaos.com @camoandchaos – YOU ARE MORE THAN HIS SPOUSE…remember that.
“Invest in your other relationships and make sure your support system is secure and in place before he has to be gone for any extended periods. You will need people to lean on when your favorite person and primary support can’t be there right in the moment, even if they can answer online. Sometimes you need a hug! I am so grateful I learned these things earlier in our marriage. It helped whether he was home or not, whether he was gone long or short.”
“Never wait for people to come to you or bring you in. You have to build your own tribe every time you move! I know it can be incredibly uncomfortable, but it’s way better to put yourself out there and have a community than to be alone! “ @TheWaitingWarrior
“Don’t go out and buy expensive furniture with your wedding cash until you have an assignment that is longer than a few years. It will be destroyed.” – LOL’d again.
“Make sure you’re contributing at least 5% of base pay to the TSP, and contribute to both of your IRAs.” – Good practical advice here!
“Please recognize the signs of toxic people. Don’t feel obligated to bend over backwards for people who barely talk to or only talk to you when they need something. You don’t have to join any teams or buy something just because they pretend to be your friend. Be yourself and you’ll attract like-minded folks.” @paranormalhousewife
“Treat every spouse/significant other with kindness and respect regardless of your or their husband’s rank. Life is too short to be petty or judgemental. Plus you might miss out on a friend.” @heathergoffrier https://StrongWithGrace.com Navy wife.
“Invest in yourself as a spouse. Find your passion and pursue your own outlet either professionally or creatively. I started my own business which has both connected me to my community and given me purpose within the military lifestyle. “@thepatriotbelle www.thepatriotbelle.com
“Be the one to initiate making friends!!!” Www.spouseconnexion.com
“See everything as an opportunity. Stay positive.” https://www.jenniferalambert.com/stop-complaining-about…/
“Run your own race.”
“Don’t do this life alone. Get yourself out there, build your tribe, and get involved in your community. This life can be extremely lonely and isolating but it doesn’t have to be. “Army Spouse @strength4spouses
“Get support. Embrace change. Crying is ok! Not easy!”
“You have so many people who want to help you and get to know you. Don’t wait for someone to reach out though, make the first move!!! Join groups with people who are in the same situation or share a common passion. You may make lifelong friends that become family and others will only be in your life for that season. Live in the moment and don’t wait for a person or perfect scenario.”
Overall, be true to yourself. The military life is a wild ride, be involved as much or as little as you want to be. Make yourself happy. Have support. Stay true to YOU… and as always stay confident <3
If you haven’t given your advice, leave some good stuff in the comments. If you have questions as a new military spouse, feel free to reach out.
Cakes + Confidence
Stay Confident <3