Being a military spouse comes with it’s own world of jargon. You learn that there are acronyms for everything, abbreviations, and remember to memorize your social security number. But more importantly, memorize your husband’s–his will always be used more.
But that’s not everything. Never ever set up dinner plans, date night, or weekend get aways. Because 99.9% of the time the plans fall through. It’s just how it goes. Being a military spouse comes with challenges, tears, frustrations, lots of cancelations, hurry up and wait, and loneliness. In fact, unless you are a military spouse yourself, chances are you won’t understand your very best friend who is one. You have to be one to get it. The reality is, there are a ton of high and lows, yes and no’s, and maybe so’s.
Yet even in the midst of all the disappointments, confusion, and isolation, there are a lot of positives too and an unexplainable pride (oftentimes you have to take a flashlight and really search for it).
And when you think you just can’t anymore, I promise usually there’s a moment of good. Like that one friend you made at your last duty station and you really liked but then she moved. Ok, so that sucks. But fast forward two years and now you’re both back at the same duty station. Doesn’t always end up this way, but those moments are worth noting.
You Make Friends Just for the Heck of It
You show up at playdates that you’d never think of going to and you make friends with total strangers and even exchange phone numbers! But now they are your emergency contact just in case something happens and your significant other happens to be gone. Because yes, something terrible always happens the second they leave.
EVERYTHING Breaks Down!
Your husband leaves. Duty calls him. An assignment pulls him away from home. The ship pulls out of port. The plane takes off. Whatever is it. He has to leave. The car breaks down, the washer stops working, the toilet backs up and now the bathroom is completely flooded, the AC stopped working and it’s the hottest week of the year, and all the kids come down with the stomach bug (on the same night!!!). Yup, you’re definitely a military spouse if anything like this has happened to you before.
You Stopped Making Plans Years Ago
Dinner plans? What’s that? Date night? Forget it. Girls night out. Never happens. Relying on your husband’s schedule becomes completely forgettable. In fact, you make plans without him. The random girl you met at the park now is your go-to date for everything and of course, the kids always tag along.
Saying Goodbye Doesn’t Make You Cry Anymore
It’s actually sad that goodbyes aren’t sad anymore. You become immune to them. They happen so often and so they aren’t even that big of a deal anymore. You quickly move on, plan events for the kids, fill up the calendar to make time fly, and go on with each day.
Distance Means Nothing To You
You have friends across seas, in different states, various time zones, but you make it all work. You manage the different time zones and stay connected through the wonderful invention of social media. Plus you get to visit and explore new areas. Friendships in the military last a lifetime.
Holidays with Friends is the New Normal
You find friends who also don’t have family around and you celebrate holidays together. Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, you spend it with friends instead of family. Because let’s face it, these friends are your new family. Welcome to military friendships.
You’re Used to Celebrating Alone
Birthdays, anniversaries, birth of your child, you do it alone. My husband has only been around for 2 of my birthdays and I’ve known him for seven years!
You Choose Wisely What to Unpack
Do you still have boxes of dishes packed away? Or maybe you moved to SoCal and so winter clothes are unnecessary. Plus doing this will make moving next time way easier since you will have a fewer items to pack. It’s all about thinking ahead.
Non-military friends Have No Idea
They try and relate but simply can’t. It’s a foreign world to them. The jargon, the different forms of communication, the acronyms, the deployments, what it means when your spouse is gone for months at time, solo parenting, all of it. And when they say “I understand” ignore them. They really don’t. But of course, non-military friends can also be the very very best. You’ll know a bestie when you find one!
Everyone in a Uniform is Daddy or Mommy
Your child thinks everyone in a uniform is their daddy or mommy and you just smile and keep walking. It doesn’t embarrass you anymore.
Bur at the end of the day you’re so proud of your service member! Plus, only special people can do what you’re doing!