When military personnel is deployed during a war, we never really think about the families they are leaving behind. Just that they are going to defend our country and that we are thankful. But the life of a military spouse and family can be hard and something that civilians don’t quite understand.
Whether it be the pride they feel for their service member or the string of acronyms that they don’t understand, only military spouses will understand these few quirks that come with the marriage.
Besides A Few Things, Your Life Is Normal
Contrary to popular belief, military spouses lead a normal, boring life just like the rest of us. Sure, they might move around a bit and skype their partner more frequently than us “regular folk,” but that doesn’t make their lives are any less normal.
We would bet money that military spouses binge-watch the latest Netflix series and that their fridge is stocked with all the latest organic produce. And dare we say it, they might be on one of those fad diets.
You’re Not Fazed When It Comes Time To Move
It might feel like you just got settled into your new spot, but when the time comes, your partner’s reassignment doesn’t faze you. You knew that moving 10 times more often than a civilian was going to be part of the gig.
The good news is that you’re used to it at this point so you have packing down to the most organized method humankind has ever known. It’s honestly a personality trait that you should put on your resume.
You’re More Used To Moving Than Staying Somewhere
Being a military spouse makes you a partial nomad. Granted you have a roof over your head and most likely wear shoes when you go outside, but you’re more used to moving around from place to place every two to three years than staying in one place too long.
If you’re somewhere for more than two years you start to wonder when you are going to have to raid the nearest Home Depot for moving boxes. You might just have them hoarded in the garage just in case.
It’s Always Fun To Explore A New Place
After those moving jitters get out of your system, you’re actually very excited to explore your new temporary home! It’s fun, you never know where you’re spouse is going to end up being stationed.
You might end up somewhere tropical and then in a few months, you could be snowed-in your house with nothing but a cup of hot cocoa to keep you company. The point is that your adventurous life is anything but boring.
You Know How to Make Friends Wherever You Go
Considering all of the moving around, you know that it is important to make friends. After all, your partner is going to be off on their assignment so you’ll need some companionship. What better way then to make friends with people who know what you’re going through?
It’s actually quite easy because you’re all in the same boat. The word community is the best way to describe the life of a military spouse because you find it wherever you go.
You’re Probably In Better Shape Than Your Partner
With your partner gone all the time, you have to do something to stay active. Military spouses are in as good as shape if not better than their partners. They have plenty of time to go to the gym, swim, or even try running a marathon in the city they’re stationed in.
But let’s be honest, they mostly stay in shape so their partner knows what they’re missing back home while they’re deployed.
Combat Boots In The Middle Of The Floor Means They’re Home
You probably trip over combat more than anything else in the house, including your own feet. The thing is you trip over them and then can’t help but smile because combat boots lying in the middle of the floor means your partner is home and you get to be with them.
And maybe yell at them for the millionth time to put their boots away. Hey, it’s all about routine in the military. And with only 2.5 days of leave earned each month, you have to throw in the playful arguments when you can!
Your Life Is Full Of Acronyms You Don’t Understand
Somehow your life is now a string of acronyms you like to pretend you understand. When your partner talks about work, it’s almost as if they’re speaking a different language and you are getting about every fifth word. BAH, anyone?
It’s fairly similar to tenth-grade Spanish class when you had no clue what your teacher was saying. At least you’re not tested on the acronyms and you’re able to jot them down and Google later!
The National Anthem Means More To You Now Than Ever Before
Even if it’s just on TV, when you hear the national anthem you feel a huge sense of pride in your partner. They are putting their lives on the line to save their country from any possible threats. If you ask us, that’s a pretty selfless career choice.
You also know that you’re not the only one who chokes up during the anthem, the entire military community feels that sense of appreciation of what it stands for and the cost it represents.
You Started To Say “See You Later” Instead Of “Goodbye”
Between all of the moving, spouses deploying, leaving behind family and then new friends, it might seem as though your life is a long list of people you’ve said goodbye to. The thing you’ve learned though is that it’s not goodbye, it’s more of a see you later.
Goodbye just sounds too final. And when you’re a military spouse, a finality, like a goodbye, while your partner is deploying is the last thing you want.
Everyone In The Family Knows The FaceTime And Skype Ringtones
The best way for spouses to see their deployed partners is via FaceTime or Skype. Most places will have WiFi, so why just hear their voice when the option to see their face is readily available?
But spouses and partners know that internet access in foreign countries can be spotty at best. That’s why most people will bring their own laptops. It gives everyone peace of mind to know that you have a reliable way to get in touch with loved ones.
You Would Give Anything To Have One Night Alone
Even though being alone with your partner is something everyone strives for, it means something different to military families. Service members tend to marry at a young age, starting families in their early 20s.
This means when they come home from deployment it isn’t just you waiting anymore. There is an entire family, most likely including a kid or two and a dog. So even if you want a night alone, you know that they only have so many days to visit and you have to share their time.
Silly Games, Sunflower Seeds, And A Pack Of Batteries Means So Much More
Out of the service members that were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, 20% suffered from acute stress, depression, and anxiety. Military spouses know that something as small as a letter can be the difference between service members feeling those bad emotions or wearing a smile for at least a little part of the day.
There’s no telling how much downtime they have, so sending something as silly as a hand-held game and snacks from home begins to mean so much more.
You Will Never Stop Being Amazed At Their Achievements
When your spouse is all done-up in their dress blues you are never short of amazed at how decorated they are. The military badges awarded to them are authorized by the United States Armed Forces and signify rating, qualification, or accomplishment in several career fields.
You’ll probably never get tired of watching your spouse put on all of their medals and ribbons because you know what they had to go through in order to earn them.
Homecoming Means Something Different In Your Family
To civilian families, Homecoming usually means a high school dance that centers around a football game. To military families, it’s still a happy and celebratory time, but the word means something so much different. And not just for the partners but also for the children.
More than 900,000 children have experienced the deployment of one or both of their parents. That’s a lot for a kid to take on at a young age. Homecoming means that their parent(s) are coming home and that they get to hang out with them for at least a little while.
You Know How To Be Alone
Not to say that you enjoy living alone for most of the year, but you knew that was part of marrying your partner. Ninety-three percent of active-duty military spouses are female, so at least there is a good sense of community with the other females who have a loved one deployed.
You know that the best way to “forget” about the deployment is to stay busy and join some clubs with the other ladies. Your partner is going to be home in no time!
You Are Amazing During Emergencies
It might just be that you’re used to high-stress situations because of who you married but, let’s be honest, you’re better off for it! Whether its an actual medical emergency or more of a “can you help plan this last-minute birthday party for a three-year-old” you know what to do and you never panic.
You’re the go-to person for people who are ever stuck between a rock and a hard place. The fact of the matter is, you’re very experienced about taking control of a situation.
You’re Kid Is Always “The New Kid”
You know it’s hard on your kid moving every two to three years based on your partner’s assignment. Especially when they’re younger, being the “new kid” is very difficult for the first few months of living in a new location. They have to get into another routine and make new friends.
It eventually gets better, but you know that the first few months of living in a new spot are never easy. All you can do is push your child in the right direction. They always find their way.
Many Spouses Want To Work
Your partner is deployed and if you have kids they are most likely at school, meaning you probably want to get out of the house. Contrary to the stereotype, military spouses actually want to work! It’s just difficult to start a career because of all of the moving around.
Spouses usually have to accept positions in which they are overly qualified. According to the 2019 Department of Defense report, military spouses on average are paid $3 per hour less than their civilian counterparts.
You Get To Fall In Love Over And Over Again
Although the deployment periods can be hard, military spouses are kind of lucky, in a way. They get to fall in love with their partners over and over again when they return from their time stationed overseas.
It’s actually quite romantic. While civilians might forget why they fell in love with a person, military spouses are able to relive the magic each time their service member comes home. Excuse us while we go swoon over how cute that is.