Many people have been telling me that the military lifestyle is different. One thing that stood out was the constant reminder that you have to be strong, you have to be independent, you need to adjust quickly, and things of the same nature. I didn’t really take these things into heart until I became a military wife myself.
The Constant Adjustment
I am blessed with a loving and responsible husband who provides for our needs, who gives me the opportunity to see the world, and who always honors me in front of his co-workers in the military. This made the adjustment process easier to bear for me, since I had to adjust to three different things at the same time: adjusting to the military lifestyle, adjusting to a new country with a different culture, and adjusting as a wife and homemaker. It wasn’t a breeze, I had my ups and downs, but I thank God that I was given this opportunity to serve one of those men who serve the country.
As I write this post, I wanted to share with you the things I have learned as a military wife, and how it changed me for the better. If you are a young military wife struggling through the new lifestyle, or a seasoned one who may be discourages, I hope that this post will shed light on your journey.
5 Things I Learned As A Military Wife
1. It is not about you, but it is still about you
You’re probably wondering why I used this contradictory sentence as my first point. It’s contradictory because some women may feel like they have been dethroned once they become military wives. Why did I say this?
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I say this because at some point this is what I felt at the beginning of my journey. Prior to my marriage, I was a busy career woman. I had an in-demand job back in the Philippines, working as a Speech Pathologist. I could say that I pride myself in that, it made me smile to see my accomplishments on the wall and feeling like I made a difference in people’s lives. I had that life for 5 years. That was my crown, my throne, my accomplishment.
The marriage was a 180 degree turn from that busy career life, into a more slow-paced, domesticated life. Being a military wife humbles you from that high road and helps to you stop and smell the roses. I realized that life is more than working hard and making money. It is also about appreciating the small things, and cultivating your relationships with people.
So it may not be about your career or your accomplishments anymore. You may feel like your husband takes all the credit and you’re being overshadowed by his accomplishments in the military.
But let me tell you this: Without you, your husband wouldn’t have accomplished what he has accomplished in his career. It may be his career, but it is both your achievement. You are not behind his success, you are beside his success and that is what makes you valuable.
So do not be discouraged. Even the littlest things you do for him is something that contributes to the betterment of your family.
On being a military wife: You are not behind his success, you are beside his success and that is what makes you valuable.
2. You are stronger than you think
I am blessed to have assignments where I get to be with my husband all the time. I only have to adjust with the household and environment changes per move, which isn’t too much of a big deal since I loved to travel when I was still single.
As for wives who experience the loneliness of their husband’s deployment, or the extra burden of caring for their children without a helping hand, this is what you will discover:
You are stronger than you think. Just when you thought that things can get more difficult, you will realize that the experience can only make you stronger. You will learn to manage the household efficiently even by yourself, do things you never thought of doing when your husband is away, and you can say to yourself, “I did it!”.
Do not be overwhelmed. Take things step by step and you can get the hang of things. Just tread on your journey and don’t stop, no matter how slow you may go, and you will soon find yourself making it through your goals.
3. You are never alone
Military wives may find themselves in a sea of isolation thinking that they are the only ones experiencing this challenge so unique that nobody can relate to them.
As you struggle, there’s another wife somewhere out there who shares the same challenges. Understand that you are never alone in your journey, and if you feel like you do, speak up to your husband or find a community that can help you out.
The military is very accommodating to their spouse’s endeavors and they are willing to help you succeed in all possible aspects of your life.
4. Time to find yourself
I’m not saying that the military lifestyle is less busy than the civilian life. This was the case for my life though, as I pursued my career back then, I had lesser time for my other passions and hobbies. However, I saw many military wives throughout my journey so far enjoying what they have always loved to do the most. I saw women who did volunteering, making crafts, doing church ministry or simply just caring for their families.
When I entered the military lifestyle, I was able to return to my passion in writing, and was given the opportunity to work as a writer for a company at my own chosen time and place. It was an amazing opportunity that I got to help my husband, even if he doesn’t ask me to.
I found many aspects of myself that I wouldn’t have found if it weren’t for me slowing down on my career and thinking about what else I can be good at.
5. You’re in for a great adventure
Any adventure won’t come as easy. I had my share of ups and downs, but I like to see it this way: Being a military wife is an adventure that not all people will get to take. Your family will become part of something bigger. You will get to experience the world in different perspectives you wouldn’t have otherwise seen being a civilian. And even if it is hard, it is still part of your story, and like any other story, you have the choice to own it, and rock it!
Take the next step
Did you enjoy this post? If you did, I recommend you to take it further and grab a copy of your own “Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives”. This is a book that has helped many women through daily inspirations during the struggles of being apart with their husband and the challenges of the military lifestyle. If you are interested, you can have your own book by clicking the link below:
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