Having a service member as a significant other can, undeniably, prove challenging. Sometimes it may feel like the two of you are apart more than you are together. And dealing with your spouse’s deployment and the realities of relocating every few years, may sometimes seem like a struggle with no end in sight. While life as a military spouse will never be all champagne and roses, it doesn’t have to be a never ending bout of depression either. These six tips can help you to get a better grip on your role as a military husband or wife.
1. Don’t be afraid to rely on others for moral support. When your spouse is away, having other people to depend on can help you to better cope with the situation. It is important to have good relationships with family members and friends regardless of whether your significant other is in the military or not, but those connections are all the more important if you are dealing with the stresses of military life. Friendships with other military spouses, especially those currently living on base with you, can prove beneficial in more ways than one. Being able to talk to someone who cannot only understand, but relate to your situation and having someone nearby who you can depend on if you need help, can help support a more positive attitude while your spouse is away.
2. Respect military rules (formal and informal). Base rules aren’t just for service members, anyone living on base is expected to adhere the particular set of laws put in place on base. Failure to do so could result in quite a bit of embarrassment in addition to disciplinary action. Though it is not a legal matter, whether or not you keep in line with military etiquette is of much import. Knowing how to address certain people, how to dress when you are on base, and all of the other informal laws of the military, can make life as a military spouse much easier.
3. Don’t leave too much time on your hands. An idle mind is never a good thing. If while your significant other is busy fulfilling his or her duties, you are sitting at home with more time than tasks, you are opening the door for negative thoughts to take over your mind. You’ll soon start to feel a heavier impact of loneliness and a string of other emotions that are equally unpleasant. By planning your days so that work, school, volunteering, socializing, hobbies, or any other activities requiring your time and attention, leave little room for lounging about with nothing to do but think, think, think, you can have better control over the flood of emotions related to your marriage to a service member.
4. Use military benefits whenever you can. Being a military spouse means that you are eligible to receive various benefits and discounts. Some discounts might have a monetary value of $15, while some benefits could hold a monetary value upwards of thousands of dollars. If you are living on a strict budget however, anything can help. If it’s there for you, why not take advantage?
5. Be prepared to go with the flow. When you are in the military, sometimes plans can change quicker than you can react to those changes. As a military spouse you are expected to be able to handle any changes that might come your and your significant other’s way. It is helpful to make plans for the future, but by having an open mind and accepting that those plans may not come into fruition, you can make things much easier on yourself.