4 Realities Of Being A Military Spouse That Are Important To Know So The Hard Days Don't Get You Down
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4 Realities Of Being A Military Spouse That Are Important To Know So The Hard Days Don't Get You Down

A spouse's guide to surviving relationships in the military.

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couple kissing
Kaitlyn Rudinsky

Here is my relationship in a nutshell: My fiance and I met in high school, dated for a few months, and then I moved states to attend college. A few months into my freshman year of college, he officially enlisted into the U.S Navy and was shipped off to boot camp. After boot camp came A school, and then just by the grace of our good karma, he was sent straight out on deployment for the better half of a year. Now mind you, he is still deployed and hasn't even been in the military for a year yet. Just let that sink in.

And I already know what 90% of civilians are thinking right now - I'm only in it for the benefits. I can guarantee the "benefits" do not make up for nearly as much stress and frustration the military has already caused me. AND, since we are not married yet, the military doesn't recognize me as a anything but an "insignificant" other so we aren't even getting any of these benefits. So maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't stick with someone through all of this just for free health care.

It clearly isn't all about traveling the world and having uniform-wearing eye candy, so here is really what to expect when you are a military spouse.

1. Communication will be limited.

Personally, I like to call myself a veteraned long-distancer. My fiance and I have been doing long distance for over a year, and I think we do it pretty damn well, all things considered, but military long distance is a different breed.

I can only speak on the Navy side of the military, but boot camp was around two months long with only a couple of phone calls home. Therefore, most communication was through carrier pigeon. Oh, I mean the mail. Letter writing is a very intimate form of writing commonly used in the days before the Internet, but now it's 2020, so having to wait two weeks for your S.O. to get your letter and respond to it is pretty painful. Especially because by the time they respond, you already forgot what you wrote!

Luckily during this deployment, we are able to talk through Facebook Messenger (Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg) so I have not resorted back to my letter-writing days yet. I know I'm one of the lucky ones because I know other Mil-Spouses who haven't talked to their S.O. in weeks. Each situation is different, but don't go into this expecting they will be able to FaceTime all day and all night like you used to. (Nor will they be able to watch all those funny TIkToks you've been sending them.)

2. You probably won't see each other as much either.

I don't have experience being married yet, but I can assume this is universal and goes for everyone.

If you're currently doing long distance, it's hard making time to see each other, let alone while they are in the military. Pre-Navy, we saw each other about once every other month for about a week at a time. It was hard since we were young, dumb, and broke, but we made it work.

Now everything you know about traveling, throw it out the window. Don't bother with expensive itineraries and planning huge trips, luck will have it their leave will get cancelled less than two weeks before and you'll be back at square one. And even the time they do have off, they will probably just want to spend it relaxing and catching up on sleep. But one thing you will come to learn is that everything happens on the military's term. They are technically government property now and any freedoms they had they turned over when they joined.

3. You'll get a lot of hate (even from strangers).

I really don't know what it is about being in a relationship with a service member, but everyone feels entitled to not only have an opinion, but also voice it to you. I don't have enough fingers to be able to count the amount of times I've heard I'm ruining my life by getting married young or that my spouse is sleeping around simply due to him being in the military.

Not only are these comments hurtful, but they are also completely unnecessary and untrue. The worst is from family. Hearing your own family doesn't support your decisions can not only hurt or damage your confidence, but it can also hurt your relationship. People who were supposed to be there to support you no matter what are instead portraying such negative attitudes towards you that it leaves you with a pit in your stomach. Not a good feeling.

4. You'll gain the biggest family ever.

I know, military relationships sound horrible, and trust me, they can be. But once you are in one you, will be a member of the most supportive group of families ever. Everyone looks out for each other, and there are countless people looking out for you. I've already made lasting friendships with wives whose husbands simply work with mine. There will always be someone you can vent to, get coffee with, or even to ask which supermarket carries the best produce (yeah, I don't get it either).

You'll never feel alone again when being with a service member because you'll always have a village behind you!

P.S. Please do not become the wife who demands "You will address me by my husbands rank" - nobody likes a military "Karen." Oh, and watch out for Jody ;)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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