How the Military Has Made Me a Better Wife
Being a military spouse (or significant other) takes a certain kind of person. You will need to be independent, loyal, strong, patient, and supportive. You are going to be on your own sometimes, you are going to have to deal with a lot and it is stressful, lonely, and can have a lot of down sides. However- it is also so exciting, and you will never be more proud of your spouse. In my case, I think my husband being in the military has made me a better wife- and mom for that matter.
I put this one first for a reason. There is going to be a lot of distance between you and your spouse and if there is no trust- or one of you breaks it- it will NOT be a good thing. I wasn’t always trusting (and not because my husband has ever done anything to cause mistrust).
I’m a correctional nurse- I have spent the last three years of my life being lied to by liars. It changes a person, you think everyone is lying to you and you are always questioning. However, when my husband was in tech school 1,450 miles away and almost his entire class was female- I had no choice. I had to trust him, and it was easier than I thought.
Not only is my husband the definition of a great guy, but he called me every chance he got. He was either in class, studying, or on the phone with me. Granted, he is older than most of the people there and not really into going out and partying anymore. But he also takes his military career VERY seriously. He is always professional (I know this because I worked with him at the jail). Also, when I went to visit him- everyone I met knew just about everything about me and our son and were very excited to meet us. I think he probably annoyed his class with how much he talked about us.
I have always been pretty independent but I also haven’t been alone much since I was 17. So I haven’t actually NEEDED to be independent, until my husband left and I was about to give birth. If giving birth without your spouse doesn’t do it, raising a newborn by yourself will for sure!
(To read about my experience giving birth without my husband —> Click Here) I’m not going to lie, its not easy (kudos to you single moms out there!).
Thankfully, our son was not a colicky baby, but even easy babies are hard sometimes. I had help from our families but I was by myself most of the time. If I learned anything from the situation, it’s that although I want my husband around all the time- I can hold down the fort when he’s away.
It takes a lot of strength to deal with your spouse being gone, you will miss them and it will be hard especially if they are somewhere with little to no communication. It takes even more strength when you have kids or are going to be having kids when they are away. I had a couple rough days, especially before my son was born. However, I found a strength [deep, deep down] that I didn’t know that I had.
It took strength every time his little cousins asked where he was (which was literally every time they saw me). It took strength when I was lying on the operating table for my c-section. It took strength those nights when our baby was crying, and I was crying. You will become stronger than ever thought was possible when your husband is in the military, you have to.
Two weeks. It took about two weeks before I got my first letter from my husband when he went into basic. I am NOT a very patient person (and neither is my husband). I would watch the clock until 16:00 when the mailman would come. And I would become frustrated when there was nothing there.
When he graduated boot camp he didn’t get to come home, he had to go to tech school. So again, I had to learn patience because what else am I going to do? Not to mention every time I had my son in the car and he screamed and screamed and screamed. I couldn’t pull over every 5 minutes, nor could I sit in back with him so I had to be patient and just get from point A to point B.
There are many times you will have to find patience from within, and you will. Like when my husband told me that he failed one of his tests and that he wouldn’t be coming home for another two weeks. All I could say was “Okay” because what else am I going to say? Then he said, “I’m just kidding, I got a 90” and I burst out crying and he felt really bad. And then it took patience not to reach through the phone and smack him.
I have learned that my husband will always consider our family first and that he will do his best to make the right decision, so therefore I will support him with those decisions. That doesn’t mean I have to always be happy about it though. I wasn’t happy to give birth without him, I wasn’t happy that he couldn’t come home after boot camp, I wasn’t happy that he had to start training the day after coming home.
However, when he was away I knew it was harder for him than it was for me (After all, I had the cutest baby ever to keep me company) so I was always positive and ALWAYS supportive. I always asked how he did on his tests, I always wanted to hear his stories, I always made the time to give him the support he needed.
That’s not to say I didn’t lean on him. There were a few phone calls towards the end when I needed his support, but its a two-way street and I never have to worry about him not being there for me. At least with boot camp I could control my letters, but when he calls several times a day he is bound to know when I’m not happy or when I am stressed out. Luckily he [usually] knows what to say.
I will never forget when I went to visit my husband at his graduation and he was holding our son and he asked for his pacifier. I handed him his pacifier and he said “how do you expect me to give that to him?” like it was impossible for him to hold him AND put a binky in his mouth at the same time.
Damn, I had to hold the baby, put a pacifier in his mouth, cook dinner, pay bills, and feed the dog all at the same time. Okay maybe thats a small exaggeration, but you know what I mean. I definitely learned to grow 3 extra arms when there is no one there to say “hey can you hand me that?”
I appreciate every single moment that my husband is home. Not that he NEVER gets on my nerves or says something stupid, but I always have it in the back of my mind appreciate these moments because the next time he is away, I will miss them.
I love when he makes our baby laugh while I change the diaper, or how he empties the baby bath while I start getting his PJs on, or how we always read the bedtime story as a family. I appreciate watching TV together at night and spending his very few days off as a family.
I almost don’t want to put this on here because I am, and always have been, proud of my husbands accomplishments. However, I have never been more proud of him than the day he graduated boot camp. I knew what he scarified and what he had to give up, and I was so proud of how well he did, and how strong he is.
It’s not always easy to be the significant other of a military member. You learn a lot about someone when distance separates you. You learn a lot about your relationship. If you make it through, you will be stronger for it and so will your relationship.