Marrying into the military can be overwhelming-I distinctly remember trying to learn the different ranks and various acronyms and etiquette when dating my husband years ago. Even all these years later I still can’t always remember it all but over the past seven years of being married to my Army man I’ve learned quite a few real-life lessons about military life. I decided to ask some other military spouses what their advice would be for those new to the military life and the response was overwhelming!
Here are some general tips on military life from those who’ve been there:
You must learn to be flexible because the Army doesn’t work around your plans. Things are always subject to change at the last minute.
-Yohanna G. Former soldier and Army spouse of 10 years
Be Open. To new people, new places, new experiences. It is the easiest piece of advice to give and sometimes the hardest to follow. You will live in places you have never heard of and have no earthly desire to be in. You will experience things that you have never dreamed or perhaps never wanted to experience. You will meet people from hometowns and backgrounds so different from your own that you cannot imagine having anything in common. If your goal is to create a measure of what you know and are comfortable with, you will find yourself constantly fighting against your reality. If you leave yourself open you will find that the place you never wanted to be may be the places you create the fondest memories. You will find beauty in experiences, good and bad, that you never dreamed of having. And you may discover that the new neighbor or fellow wife who is so vastly different from you is your strongest support, your dearest friend.
-Kelly W. Army spouse 12 years
…form your own opinions on military life. While one person may hate a particular army post/hospital/unit FRG/unit, etc, try it for yourself and then form your own opinion. Everyone’s experiences are different and while people say those things to be helpful, it could taint your own experience or keep you from trying it for yourself.
-Cymonne G. Former soldier and Army spouse of 10 years
When you marry a military man, you also in a way marry the military. It’s not a 9 to 5 Monday to Friday type of a job. You have to be understanding, flexible and most of all his biggest supporter. He doesn’t want to be away from you anymore than you want him to be away, but know that even though you are both out of each other’s sight when he goes (away), you’re never out of each other’s hearts.
-Brooke H. Navy spouse 3 years
What one piece of advice would you give someone marrying into the military life? What do you wish someone had told you?