If I Could Go Back In Time, I Would Give Myself Some Tips On Being A Soldier’s Wife…
First, I would tell her to look up the word, “adversity” in the dictionary and embrace the definition. Adversity is the single-most important word you need to know, because if you can deal with it – meet it head on, look it square in the eye – you’ll make it in army life. Adversity is something you need to be ready to face on a daily basis. You will learn to overcome it – or at least get around it – but you should never run from adversity because it always catches up to you in the end, so be ready.
Next, and this is big one for Newlywed Annie, don’t stress over the moves. I mean it. Breathe. Do NOT go overboard with every little detail. There is no reason on this earth that you need to have to have all your boxes unpacked and house set up in three days. Just trust me on this. It’s going to be ok.
Know that whatever your career goals are, they now take backseat. Don’t give them up; just be willing to tweak them. You will learn that you have many acquaintances, but only a few true friends. Your soldier is one of them. Support him emotionally and professionally, even if you don’t feel supported yourself. Lean on those true friends for that support. Be cautious to anger in any military situation, because you won’t always know the whole story.
Participate and put yourself out there within the military community. Get involved with the FRGs and the coffees and unit functions. No, you’re not in the army, but this is a joint effort. Yes, it’s his job, but you need to support him the way you would want him to support you in your career. And get involved with the programs that the army offers. Don’t hesitate to jump into community service hours. It’s rewarding – more than you think it will be.
Most importantly, you have to step outside your comfort zone for deployments. Each time they go – while they are gone; when they come back – it’s a new relationship. It will never be the same. It’s always changing. If you expect it to be the same you are in for a world of hurt. You have to be selfless and that’s hard, but you can do it. And, it’s worth it. You will grow, but only if you allow yourself to. Don’t hang on to what was, embrace the now and get ready for tomorrow.