The military is vast and affects everybody’s lives in some way. Charities like Helping a Hero are there to help wounded and other returning veterans return to civilian life in the best way possible. They also support military families, however, which is something that is often forgotten. Indeed, few people really think about how difficult it is to be a military spouse, be that a husband or wife. So what are some of the reasons why the life of the military spouse is difficult?
Married to the Military
Key reasons as to why so many people struggle to be married to someone in the military are:
- It is difficult to remain calm and composed when a spouse has to leave to go to very dangerous locations, sometimes for several months.
- If someone is deployed for longer periods of time, or transferred to a new base, it means uprooting the family and leaving a social life behind.
- Those who are in the military often have to miss very important family moments. Things like childbirth, anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, first steps, and so on, are often missed.
- The military spouse will find it very difficult to build a career of their own, because they will often have to leave and they will find it more difficult to find a job elsewhere.
- The military spouse often feels as if they are not in control of their own lives. The military will make all the big decisions, and there is very little that can be done about it.
- It is very difficult to build and maintain lasting friendships with others, again because it is possible that the spouse is redeployed somewhere else.
- Very often, military wives in particular do not get the wedding they wanted, simply because they weren’t stationed where they hoped they would be. The vast majority have courthouse weddings because of this, instead of the church weddings they have dreamed about most of their lives.
- The military community is a pretty dramatic community, with a lot of office politics.
- Military spouses often feel like single parents.
- Being married to the military means having a long distance relationship very often.
- Active duty military often have to deal with very difficult issues, including death and mental health issues.
- Finding happiness, choosing to see the positive, takes a massive toll.
All that being said, however, military spouses are resilient, strong, and tough, often more so than they ever imagined themselves. They accept that their life is hard, but also that their life is unique and special in its own way. Nobody feels love for their partner as a military spouse, because few people have to miss their spouse as much as what they do and be on tenterhooks for so much of the time. It takes a lot but, at the end of the day, it is worth it and there are organizations out there to help provide support.