Salute to Spouses Blog

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Military life = Happy Life! Yes, it does!

Have you ever met that one military spouse who was so overly positive about military life that it was just annoying? They even talk about being grateful for it?!

Yeah, that is me right now so I apologize in advance. Don’t get me wrong, I am not walking around with a t-shirt on that shouts “Being a military spouse is the best job ever and nothing ever goes wrong!” But I am in a pretty good mental and emotional place right now about it all.

I have been with my husband for 12 years and a military spouse for eight of those. I am no longer “a boot” as my husband would say. Those first few years were difficult and as I look back, I had bitter moments - many of them. But with each PCS, deployment, training and billet came different challenges. With each challenge, a new lesson to learn from and put in my pocket to carry with me for next time.

Lately, my husband and I have had more serious talks about his military future. When he first joined the Marine Corps, it was 100 percent his decision. I accepted the invitation to join him along for this ride and made sacrifices to do so. For a long time I held on to some resentment which I think caused much of my difficulty in transitioning to this lifestyle. This military life thing was hard and I didn’t know what to expect!

Once I opened my eyes to the benefits (living in new places, meeting people who knew what I was going through) I really began to find happiness. I started asking questions. I got involved. Today, I really appreciate that my Marine openly talks about his career with me and makes decisions that are best for our family. The number one lesson we have learned as a military family is communication. This Marine thing may have not been my dream but it is the path we were given and at the end of each day, I am grateful for what we have accomplished together.

Now, back to my annoying positivity! We have started to look and discuss the pros and cons of his extending his career to 20 years. As we list out the advantages and disadvantages of a civilian life right now, we realized how much security we have in my husband’s job right now. Although the benefits may not be glorious to some, we do have a nice roof over our head, food on the table, health insurance and secure income twice a month. As much as I want my own career, I do not have to have one right now to make our ends meet. I am able to stay home with my young children while my husband serves his country. For right now, this works for us. The thought of giving up that security scares me. Civilian life is unknown and terrifying.

So with that, I have looked at this lifestyle a whole new way. Instead of focusing on the things military life has made difficult, I am focusing on what it has given me. Since having that outlook, I have become a much happier military wife. I cannot speak for everyone in the military. But the more I volunteer with organizations on base, the more I talk to my husband about his career and the more I get involved - the more grateful I am for this opportunity.

We may not be in this for the full 20 year haul and things may get more difficult for us in or out of the military, but for right now we are happy and healthy. No PCS. No deployment this year.  What more can you ask for?

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