I imagine most of you who will read this, are currently military spouses, or considering being one. As the wife of a retired soldier (almost 6 years now – ya – I’m old), I am honored that many young girlfriends, fiancee’s and spouses still contact me asking for advice. Sitting where I am now, makes it a lot easier to give good advice, because I do not want anyone to make the mistakes I made (nope – not perfect). It has taken me 44 years to find balance in my life and I am hoping many of you find it much sooner than that.
Not that I have not been happy along the way, or enjoyed every second as a Milspouse, it is just that life can be very tricky. Throw the military lifestyle into any equation and it complicates things a little bit more.
As one of the original Mil-bloggers writing about life as a military spouse, it is refreshing to know how this community has grown via the internet. People have also become more candid (sometimes TMI). A spouse no longer needs to look very far to find and connect with other Milspouses through blogs or social networking.
That being said, I think I can sum everything I have learned into these 10 tips (scary huh?):
- Get your finances in order – for now, deployments, the future. Understand your finances and work together as a couple.
- Finish your education before you enter this lifestyle if you can. Not to say you can’t get education along the way, but it is much more challenging.
- Develop a strong network of positive people, locally and in cyberspace. Steer clear of toxic or negative energy type people.
- Volunteer as an enhancement to your life and for a possible career resume builders. That is not being selfish, consider your time as important and worth something. Never be unhappy in a volunteer position or let it consume your life.
- Write down personal goals for yourself for now and the future. These do not include your significant other, this is about you, your career, your future.
- Never forget YOU along the way with your busy life. Make time for you. If it is a deployment, do not feel guilty about getting a sitter and going to a spa or enjoying your life.
- When you are unhappy about something, change it!
- Take advantage of ALL the military has to offer YOU; education, travel, discounts etc.
- Deployment stress (pre, during and post) is normal for both of you. Everyone experiences it, so work through it together.