I’ve been on both sides of the grass. Believe me, it’s not greener on either side. The military is a rough life. It’s rough for the military member, it’s rough for the spouse. There are however, a few mistakes that I see made all of the time. They are basic mistakes, but they can serious effects on your enjoyment of the military.
5. Never leaving base.
Believe it or not, there are women out there, who have never left base. They shop at the px and the commissary. They know exactly one person, and God help them if they ever had to go somewhere without their husband. The first two weeks we get to a new base I drive. I drive everywhere, see what’s there. For all I know, this is the only time I will ever be in that state or area. I want to know what’s out there. The military gives you amazing chances to travel. Take advantage of it! See the sights. Live! We’ve invited newer people over many times, you know the biggest reason they won’t come? We live off base. Why? Because it forces me to get involved. So get out there. Explore. Find the little mom and pop coffee shop that has the best coffee ever. Find the little craft store that has amazing prices, or hand made items. Enjoy it! You may never be in that part of the world again.
4. Expecting to have the same friends.
You had an amazing group of friends when you got to base. Time passed and now you look around, they are all gone. Then the blow comes, your spouse got another set of orders HERE! Make the best of it. Don’t let yourself become a loner. Get back to the basics. To make a friend you have to be friendly. Get out there. You are probably already involved with a group of some sort. From the gym, to walking the dogs, school for your children or a job. Any of the activities you do is the perfect opportunity to make new friends. So the next time you see someone you don’t mind being around, ask what their plans are for the weekend. Grab coffee, get out! You can do it. We got to this base almost six years ago, I have one friend left from my original group. So what am I doing? I found a facebook page for families and kids. Asked if people wanted to do play dates, take my dogs out to the park. At least there, I’ll meet a few animal lovers!
3. Spouse Pages are not bash pages!
What you say can come back and bite your husband in the a$$. Do not forget, your spouse is responsible for your behavior, and your bashing someone on a spouse page does get back to the Commanding Officer. Your CO has every right to kick your butt off of his base. You are not entitled to the benefits of military living. Your husband can end up in some serious trouble, and even be kicked out for your actions. Don’t believe me? There’s been several incidents on our base of that happening. I stood security long enough to “guard” those proceedings. If they will send a girl to military court over some dread locks, you can believe your command will send your spouse to mass for your disrespectful attitude. I’ve seen people loose their base passes over it.
What you say does get around. I know who on base to stay away from. I know whose husbands are on the hot list because their wife is out of control. Spouse pages are created to support each other, to let each other know what areas are good and what restaurants are terrible. They are for the spouses to connect and get information, and to learn what to expect while their spouse is busy. I know some high rank people who are on the spouse pages just to see what happens. They never say anything and you don’t know they are there, until your spouse is standing in front of them because of you.
2. Just because your husband doesn’t contact you, doesn’t mean he’s cheating.
This is one of the biggest insecurities I see in military wives. I know it’s hard. I know it’s lonely. I’ve been the one gone, I’ve been the one at home. I get it. Stop thinking that just because he is gone, he is cheating. Nine times out of ten, I’ve found that it’s the person at home cheating.It drives me nuts as a prior military member. There are times when the military will cut all contact, or times when they are so bone tired that it’s a choice between eating and sleeping. Contacting you? Not even in the picture. If your husband’s command is moving, forget hearing from them, it’s not going to happen. It’s for YOUR husbands safety, so stop bitching. I’ll admit it’s hard to be home, but have you ever been at sea? It’s hell. PERIOD. End of story.
1. You are not your husbands rank.
I can’t get over this one. I was at a restaurant with my family for lunch the other day. A group of military wives sat down at the table behinds us. Not a big deal, it’s great that these women have found friendship in such an unstable career. What I didn’t appreciate was their content. They were talking about some new girl they met and how her husband was a lower ranking sailor. Everyone starts out at a low rank. Don’t forget that! This poor girl would never really fit into their click, just because her husband didn’t wear the right rank. NEWSFLASH: your supporting you husband in his career does not entitle you to treat other people like crap. I’m glad you support his career, but you do not serve in the same way. You are not entitled to treat people badly because their husband is at the beginning of his career. We don’t all carry Coach purses. We don’t all have the perfect dressed kid. We are all military wives. Don’t you remember how hard it was when your military man was gone? Everything was new, everything was scary. Stop being stuck up and help the poor girl out.