As the wife of someone in the military, I’ve heard it all, especially in our age of the internet. People, including other spouses, like to hide behind their computers and voice their opinions about what us spouses do or don’t do. I either ignore it or read it as a form of entertainment. You should try the entertainment part, it will seriously provide endless hours of fun. I promise!
Some military spouses like to play the one upper game. You know, my husband has been on more deployments than yours or my husband missed the birth of all 8 of our children, yada yada. Like that somehow makes them better. Others feel that they are actually part of the military and hold the same rank as their husband. Then their are the ones who feel that their role as a wife is somehow harder than the wives of civilians. They are sadly, Sadly, SADLY, mistaken. They want to complain when their husband has duty or works past 4. Apparently they’ve never been to this place we call the real world. Then there are the ones who stray the minute they have duty or deploy. The ones who clean out their bank accounts while their spouse is fighting for their country. They give spouses a bad name, which gives us the stereotype of being cheaters. I bet 9 times out of 10, there isn’t any cheating. The marriage dissolves due to the added stress in our lives or it just ran it’s natural course. We just always manage to hear the crazy stories. We hear and read about all the things that spouses do wrong, but how do we know what to do right? How do we avoid being on some of those Facebook pages? Well, common sense for one, but we all lack that at times. Ask my husband, he’ll tell you how often that one leaves me.
So, how does one become a good military spouse?
I’ve got 2 pieces of advice for you.
Love you spouse and have the desire to want your marriage to work.
If you marry for the right reasons, meaning love, and not for the benefits or because he is leaving for basic or PCSing, your marriage has a fighting chance! If you love your spouse, you’ll support them in their job. You’ll be their cheerleader and act properly at functions because you don’t want to embarrass them or get them in trouble. When they deploy, you’ll keep yourself busy with a job, the kids, or volunteering with the unit. You’ll be more than happy to send all the care packages you can. All that extra money? Sure, you might spend some after you’ve discussed it with him, but for the most part, you’ll save it for something you want in the future, together. Your marriage may have extra stressers thrown at it, with the moving and absences, but really, our marriage isn’t any harder or any better than anyone else’s. It’s not a competition. The love combined with respect for your spouse and wanting to make your marriage a success, means you’ll be fine.
My sister told me once that she couldn’t marry someone in the military. She didn’t think she could handle the lifestyle. It’s not easy. It does happen that someone knows what they are getting into, but once they are actually living the life, the realize how much they hate it. If they want to make their marriage work, they’ll figure it out. It won’t be easy and they’ll both have to make sacrifices, but it can be done. Don’t we all make sacrifices anyway?
*I know I refer to wives as being the crazy ones, but I’ve never met a crazy military husband. They’ve all been totally normal, supportive, and drama free.