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The military wife life can either be a foreign language to some and all too familiar for others. And it might be familiar because you were a military brat, have friends whose husbands are in the military, or you’re currently living the military wife life.
Here’s the thing. The military spouse life looks pretty different for each household depending on the husband’s branch of service (army, air force, marines, navy), whether they are active duty or not, if they live by close friends and family, and a whole lot of other variables.
But in this blog post, I’ll go over some pretty relatable cool and not-so-cool things about the military wife life. And this can be a good read for those that are already living the military spouse life, about to get married to military personnel, or just simply curious.
10 Cool Things About The Military Wife Life
We’ll start off with the positives of being a military spouse!
1. You get to explore new places.
And this can truly be a great time. So many different towns, cities, museums, restaurants, food, and other things to explore that you wouldn’t be able to if the military didn’t move you every 2 to 3 years.
2. You get to make new friends.
There are so many military wife communities on Facebook that you can join even before you PCS. Or most military wives are in similar situations like yourself where they are far away from their close friends and family and would love to make new friends.
3. If something goes South, you know you’ll be moving again soon.
Sometimes you won’t have the best time at the current duty station, friendships may fall apart, there might be close to nothing to do in town, but just know that you won’t be there forever.
4. You learn more about yourself at each duty station.
There’s no doubt that you’ll learn a bunch of new skills at each duty station. And they might be skills attained by your spouse never being home, something ridiculous that happens at the worst times and learning how to handle difficult situations, and just knowing what kind of friendships works for you and what doesn’t.
5. You get military discounts at a lot of places.
This was one of the perks I was all about growing up as a military brat. This is the list of stores and online sites that accept military discounts.
6. There’s no sales tax at the PX and Commisary.
The PX is a post exchange where you’ll find a lot of things ranging from designer bags to Bath and Body Works products to kids’ toys and brand name clothing for the family. Commissary is where you can buy groceries with no sales tax which can save you a lot of money.
7. Healthcare is inluded.
Going on base to be seen at the hospital may be a pain in the arse but you can’t beat free. Or giving birth at the hospital without an enormous check mailed to your address has its perks.
8. The military gives you BAH (basic allowance housing)
If you live in on-base housing then they’ll pay for your rent and utilities. And if you choose to live off base they’ll pay you BAH to help you pay for housing and utilities. So essentially, you can choose to live below your means and pocket the rest of your BAH.
9. Free education benefits
If your spouse is eligible to transfer their GI Bill to you, then you can take advantage of free education.
10. Patriotism will be undeniably rooted in you
Fourth of July might become one of your favorite holidays. And you will feel a whole different sense of pride being a spouse to someone who serves in the military.
10 Not-So-Cool Things About The Military Spouse Life
Now let’s talk about the downfalls of what it’s like living the military wife lifestyle.
1. Moving to a new place doesn’t always mean it’ll be a better place each time.
Not every military installation is in paradise (or like close to none). But what I do mean is that you might’ve had an amazing time at the last duty station and there’s a pretty good chance that you might hate the next place you move.
2. Your spouse is always working or gone.
Whether he’s on drill sergeant assignment, away for training, in the field, or deployed, just be prepared to be away from your spouse for long periods of time. Or even have them physically next to you without them mentally being there (drill life).
They’re typically gone for 6 to 9 months. And sometimes they’ll be deployed to a combat zone or on a rotation to a different country where it’s much safer and they’re able to contact you more often.
4. You’ll lose friends.
Military wife life is a cycle filled with forever making new friends and losing friends. And some friendships just don’t last especially when you constantly move and are unable to hang out. But you will occasionally make those well-worth-the-drive friends that actively create time to build lasting friendships.
5. You won’t be close to family.
This was one of the most difficult for me especially after having a baby. It’s hard being away from family in general but it can be even harder when your spouse is always absent and you have no one else around you to rely on.
6. A stable career is going to be challenging.
More times than not, military spouses have to put their careers on the back burner unless they have one of those universal jobs. And even then it can be difficult especially when you are trying to grow with the company you work for and move up the ladder.
7. You’ll feel isolated.
You will feel more lonely and isolated than you ever have. But you will also feel stronger and more resilient than you ever have, being a military wife.
8. Your spouse will miss a lot of holidays.
They might physically be gone for a lot of holidays due to being out in the field, training, drill time, or deployed, and sometimes just mentally not be present either due to stress loads at work depending on their rank and responsibilities.
9. You’ll be parenting alone more times than not.
This comes with your spouse always being gone. You will become the only reliable parent that can pick up your children when they’re sick from school or daycare.
10. You will feel like you have zero control over your life.
And that’s because a lot of the time you won’t. In a military spouse life, you can’t just up and move wherever you please. You can’t tell your spouse to put in vacation time whenever you want. There are protocols and a whole lot of them.
The military wife life is not for everyone and you will know as you hear more about so and so’s failed marriages. But that doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed. There are so many free marriage support and counseling resources out there because it is known that military marriages are not easy. But it is also not impossible.
I grew up in a military household and never planned on living the military spouse life. But here I am. There are definite perks and downfalls of being a military wife. But it is truly all how you make it to be! Thanks for reading!