Since Justin joined the Air Force, I have heard some variation of, “It’s not just the Airman who joins, it’s his wife too, you’re serving right beside him.” At first, I didn’t really think that much of it. But, the longer I have been apart of this community and the more military spouses I meet, I can’t help but agree. While our service member is adjusting to adjusting to a brand new lifestyle, brand new job- so are we. We have to learn the lingo (why are there so many acronyms?!), how Tricare works and how the heck we are going to travel thousands of miles across the country to our first duty station. But more than that, we have to learn to do all of this without our husbands. While Justin has been off learning to defend our county, I have been learning a thing or two about myself. So here are 3 major things that I have learned or improved upon since becoming a military wife. Patience. Patience with your service member and patience with his branch of service. Sometimes your husband is going to get frustrated. It is human nature to have a bad day every once in awhile. The distance makes it harder to comfort him, but be patient and know that it isn’t you. Patience has never been strong trait for me. Justin could tell you countless times that I have asked him about things I read online and demanded that he know what I was talking about. SURPRISE, he doesn’t have to and he won’t, know everything right away! I think that educating yourself on how the system works is important but don’t expect your husband to have all the answers right away. He’s in a brand new situation and he’s figuring it all out just like you are.
I am sure you have heard the saying, “hurry up and wait,” it’s true so get used to hearing it. Just get comfortable with waiting.. for everything.
Roll with the punches.. because everything can and will (most likely change.) When Justin joined, we were under the impression that his training after BMT was going to be just about a month long…. we were very wrong. Turns out, he had more training after that initial month at a different base..and he would be there for another 4 MONTHS. Needless to say, I was devastated. We had envisioned starting our new life at our first base LAST YEAR. And yet here we are two months into 2018 and one more month to go. It wasn’t easy at first, but I was able to accept it. I have quickly realized that THINGS CHANGE A LOT. The sooner I came to that conclusion, the easier it has been to just move on to plan B… and C and D and E.. you get the picture. My best advice would be to get comfortable with change as quick as you can!
Cherish the little things. Can you believe I miss doing Justin’s laundry and packing his lunch? I miss the way he would kiss me on my forehead and thank me for cooking his favorite dinner. Some days I would give my left foot for moments like that. Often, I get sad missing those small things, but not for long! I always immediately remind myself to get excited because soon we will be back together and we will have so many special memories to share. I will never take those small moments for granted.
I feel as though everyday and every new experience is a new lesson for me. I have become stronger and more independent, because I have to be. I think in turn, that has also strengthened our marriage. Like I said before, military life is hard (and this is only the beginning for me) but it is totally worth it. I am so proud of my husband and can’t wait to see him reach all of his goals and fulfill all of his dreams. We are a team and I love that I am living this adventure with him by my side (metaphorically and figuratively.) We have a beautiful adventure ahead and I am so excited to see where it takes us!
Until next time,