When you marry a soldier, there’s really no manual for the hardships you face as the spouse of a man (or woman) who puts his or her life on the line to protect our country. Watching the theatrical portrayals on television shows like “ARMY Wives” or movies like “A Few Good Men” doesn’t quite do justice to the reality of what it’s really like to be the other half of a military member. The most important things that can help wives in the future lie in five essential steps.
1. Understand your spouse’s job.
For most first-time military wives, we don’t know anything about the job or MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) our soldier works in. If you make the effort to know the extent of your spouse’s job, you can better understand not only what your soldier goes through on a daily basis, but also why your spouse joined the military in the first place.
A Soldier’s career choice in the military is not usually something that happens by chance and is selected by the Soldier in the recruiter’s office. Knowing this will also let your soldier know that you have a genuine interest and concern in what your soldier does every day and when he is in a war zone.
2. Do not befriend EVERY military spouse you meet.
Contrary to the show “ARMY Wives”, not all wives are willing to get together and form a lifelong friendship of togetherness. Most of the time you will hear cautionary tales from other military spouses and soldiers about the horrors of military spouses gone wrong, and the best thing to do is to not just open up and befriend random spouses.
Not only will this save yourself from unnecessary drama, but it will also save your spouse from having to endure any animosity or problems working with the soldier of the friendly spouse who may not have your best interests in mind.
3. Patience is a virtue. You will need to learn this to survive in your marriage.
This may be by far the most important key to a successful military marriage. Not only are you deployed as a soldier for several months to a year at a time, but this does not include training days and schooling (e.g., sniper school, Ranger school, etc.). These can last several weeks at a time and take place in other states where you are stationed.