The Hardest Parts of Being Married to a Military Member

When we all think of what the hardest part of being married to a Military member would be, it’s always the same.

The D-word.

Yes, I am talking about deployments. A word we are not allowed to say in my house.

However, we have been very lucky not to have experienced that aspect of the Military, and I thank God for that every single day. Whether or not we will in the future is up for debate. Sadly, it is the harsh reality of many Military members and spouses out there.

But what else can be hard about being married to a Military member? It’s smooth sailing otherwise, right? Not really…

While these are most definitely not as bad as living without a loved one for a significant amount of time, there are some other things to keep in mind when marrying someone in the Military.

You’re not always going to understand what they’re going through

One argument my husband and I have had over and over again for the past year was that I wasn’t understanding exactly what he was going through. We all have bad days sometimes; it’s what makes us human. And while this difficulty might not be exclusive to the Military, it’s definitely something to always keep in mind. Their hard days are probably completely different than yours, and the best thing I have found to do is admit that you may not understand completely what is going on, but that you will always be there for them and that everything will be okay in the long run. A simple hug and some love will go a lot farther than you think.

Learning how to communicate with Tricare

If you’re like me, I hate talking on the phone. Sadly, a lot of the time when it comes to handling issues it involves a lot of talking on the phone. If you decide to use Tricare from your significant other, be prepared to do some digging before you figure it all out. I have been using them for a year and I still don’t know exactly who to call for what reason. It’s definitely do-able, but it might be a bit frustrating before you can make one or two easy phone calls to get into the doctor you need. The biggest thing to avoid is to decide to put off going to the doctor when you’re sick because you don’t know who to call or how to do it. Don’t feel stupid. They deal with newbies all the time, and no question is a stupid question. Don’t be afraid to ask them who you need to call or have them spell things out for you. More often than not, they are happy to help you out.

Having plans change… a lot…

Never set anything in stone. EVER. There is always a chance that your plans will change. This was one of the hardest things to get used to for me because not having a plan and a routine drives me up a wall. It’s something I still struggle with, but at one point I had to make myself learn to let things go and be really good at rescheduling. Date nights might be pushed back, Valentines Day might be celebrated a week early, and dinner on your birthday might be pushed back for a couple of weeks while you both find time in your schedules to go out and have a nice time together. Don’t get caught up on these things. Taking a bath and watching Disney movies on your birthday with a big glass of wine might not be what you planned, but it’s a wonderful time either way. And I can promise you that your husband/wife will make up for it as soon as they possibly can.

Missing your family

I absolutely couldn’t wait for my fresh start in a new city with my husband. I knew I was going to miss my family, but I never knew just how much. When we first moved, not having my mom around to help me figure things out or push me into doing things I needed to do was one of the hardest parts of leaving home. I got over that after a couple of months and I found my bearings, but recently my beloved grandmother (gramma) passed away. Luckily I had warning and was able to make the trip home to say goodbye and extend my trip to be with my family for the funeral, but since then I realized just how much I missed my family. I wasn’t able to see gramma as much in this past year, and I felt like a horrible granddaughter for not calling more, not visiting more when I was home, and like I could have put in so much more of an effort to be in her life more. Not only that, but my cousins have had babies I had yet to meet, they had new jobs, new houses, and I wasn’t able to be there to share in that happiness with them. Since then I have made it a point to become a much better family member, even if it’s just FaceTime and coffee with my cousin once a week. Since then I have realized just how much I miss every one of them. I find myself often having to remember that I am supposed to be on this journey, and more than likely you will too. Remember how much you love your spouse and that you can make the balance between this time of your life and your family. Most likely the Military won’t be your forever.

Making friends

For many spouses, making friends is no problem at all. For others, though, it is one of the hardest things to do. While a lot of it depends on how well you make friends in general (I am horrible at making friends, because I am super shy until I get to know someone), a lot of it also depends on where you are and if there are resources around you to meet people. There are usually family events once every month or two to help you meet other people your spouse works with and their families. Sometimes this is great, other times they’re not so great. The family events I’ve been to have been sort of awkward, and I know that I am partially to blame for that. We all know that being new anywhere is hard and being shy definitely doesn’t help. My advice is to make yourself keep going. I make sure to attend as many events as I can, and even if it is just saying hi to a familiar face every once in a while, it’ll help you know people around you and feel a lot less alone in the long run. Personally, I have had more luck making friends with my neighbors rather than people my husband knows. But it is all about what you make of it. Even getting a furry friend might be the difference between loneliness and feeling like you have a partner in crime. We’re all here for the same reason and finding even one good friend can make all of the difference.

another dexter (2)

My husband and I decided to adopt this little man last September, and I cannot express how much company he gives me when I am feeling lonely. We adopted him from a shelter in our city and we have not regretted it for a minute. If you’re looking to get a dog or cat, please look to animals in shelters first. There are plenty of adorable and loving pets that need loving forever homes!

Exploring your new hometown

This is one of the more fun challenges of moving somewhere new. As mentioned, I am someone to loves to have a plan and be organized. So moving to a new place was just as scary as it was exciting. Finding the best coffee shops, grocery stores, a nice gym, a place to get your nails done; it’s all very exciting but can be extremely overwhelming. Especially when your spouse isn’t always there to explore with you. The area in which we live now is totally different than where I grew up. Since there are some not-so-nice neighborhoods around, I felt much safer going exploring with my husband rather than by myself. But when your husband is working crazy hours and getting home late in the night, it might be hard to get yourself out there and explore. This got to me in the beginning because I started to feel so confined and alone at home. I hated being inside, but was nervous about ending up somewhere I shouldn’t be going out to a place I didn’t know. For anyone feeling this way, it takes time. If you do not feel safe going somewhere alone, trust your gut feeling and ask your spouse or a friend to go with you. Talk to your neighbors about things to do, places to eat, places to avoid, and where to get the best produce in town. Not only will it give you some insight into your new hometown, but it can also lead to a new friend.

Finding work

This was one of the biggest challenges for me after moving. Previously, I had been a college student working hard in my family business and maintaining good grades. When we first made our move, I was still finishing up some online classes to officially graduate and get my degree. After those few months, my job hunt began. It was awful. I applied on Indeed for hours every day to no avail. The only emails I was getting were rejections. Others didn’t respond at all. I was so bored and I felt so useless. Now that I was done with school I needed something to do. While this may not be a struggle everywhere you go, where I was just wasn’t interested in hiring me. And the sad truth is, if you’re young and married in a Military town, many employers are cautious with their hires because they want a person long-term. Long-term isn’t always something you can promise when your spouse is in this line of work. I was lucky and was able to return to a previous job position working from home, but not all of us are that lucky. My advice is to keep looking and keep trying as hard as you can to find something if you need it. There are resources the Military may provide to you for help; take advantage of them. If you find something that isn’t quite what you were looking for, just remember that your time there might be limited anyway. And you never know until you try!

Finding hobbies

Moving to a new place also means that your favorite kickboxing gym is hundreds of miles away. It might mean that the friends you used to hike with are back at home or that your favorite craft store doesn’t exist in your new city. It’s not easy, and I won’t lie and say that it is. But there is so much room for growth and opportunity. Try new things, find a new passion. I have tried so many new things since I’ve moved here because the things I used to do back home aren’t available here. I started this blog, I tried my hand at painting, and even made some new lifestyle goals. If you want to know more about my journey into a new lifestyle visit the Love tab and try out my new self-love: mini seriesYour new home is probably going to be a lot different, and even if you prefer your hometown or a previous location, try to make the most of where you are. View the new and different place as an opportunity rather than a burden. Not everywhere you go will be your most favorite place in the World, but it’s so important not to let it get to you. Keep on keepin’ on, you’ll find something to enjoy anywhere you go as long as you look hard enough.

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