I’m always amazed by the emails I receive and the posts that I read on various message board forums from new military spouses who are trying to grasp this whole military spouse lifestyle. Like the other day, I’m reading a message from a new spouse who asks, why her soldier is always headed off to participate in training exercises and leaving her and the children behind.
Understanding the new spouses frustration, I quickly composed an email expressing my concern and understanding of her situation. I shared with her a list of support networks and available resources and closed my message letting her know that she was not alone and that a team of dedicated spouses and civilians stand ready to provide her with emotional support and empowerment.
I have not always been a military spouse, when I met my husband, we were both soldiers, we trained all the time, together, a part, for days, weeks, or months at a time, it was our job. We understood that even though we were married soldiers, the mission came first. When I transitioned from soldier to military spouse I understood totally the life I’d chosen, I also understood that even though my role had changed, my husband’s did not and the mission was still first.
If I was going to live the life of a military spouse, it would take a lot of internal motivation, self empowerment, and commitment to make this lifestyle work for me. For the majority of my husband’s career he stayed deployed and/or training somewhere. I spent many days, weeks, months, and even years maintaining the homefront and raising a family, alone. And yes, I missed my husband.
I learned early on that I was not the only spouse with a deployed soldier and that my time would be better spent occupied with things like, self development classes, seminars, workshops, volunteering, working, surrounding myself with empowering spouses, visiting relatives, and writing letters to my husband.
Chances are if you’re married to an active duty soldier, know that the mission is first, like it or not, the mission does come first. As a military spouse you must accept the career decision of your active duty soldier and then you must find a way to make this lifestyle work for you.
The military services continue to implement programs, support networks, and resources that help you accomplish your personal and professional goals. If what you need to accomplish your goals is not available, don’t be shy, bring it to the attention of your family support center, ask for help, get out and network with other spouses and/or community leaders.
The military lifestyle is not always easy, establishing your own career while supporting your active duty soldier is not always easy, separations or deployments for any length of time is not easy, but you chose this lifestyle and now you will have to make it work for you. Whining and complaining will get you nowhere, being proactive and involved will open doors you never dreamed possible.
Your selfless service, support, dedication, commitment, and resilience as an active duty Army spouse, Navy spouse, Marine Corps spouse, Air Force spouse, or Coast Guard spouse is invaluable and should never be looked upon as simply mediocre. You are a part of the military family and we all have a mission to accomplish, let’s work together to accomplish that mission.
Until my next post,