Time and time again you hear about military couples having problems. Yes, I know that is a very broad term…problems! But you see it over and over again. Some of the problems I’m referring to consists of communication issues or simply not understanding the way things work. Army wives, as do the other military spouses, go through a ton of stress! Whether its dealing with deployments, husband’s chain of command, plans being smashed into pieces or any of the other numerous issues associated with being a military spouse…keep your chin up! Here are a few tips to help get you through some of it!
The stress will definitely be a factor! DO learn to deal with it and take each day as it comes. DON’T whine and complain about it all the time though. Letting as much as you can roll off your shoulders will pay off….I promise!
DO enjoy and make the most of your time together. DON’T take any of that time for granted! Far too many times there will be things that come up or sudden events (earthquake in Haiti) that cause your husband to have to leave quickly. And don’t use “lack of money” as an excuse not to do things to spend time together. There are tons of things to do as a couple for little to no cost at all! Think simple ladies!!!
DO have pride for your husband’s courage, accomplishments, service, etc. DON’T wear his rank! Spouses hold no rank whatsoever. Your husband’s rank is his and his alone. He earned that rank with time served, courage, dedication, dependability and many other accomplishments. Pretending that you wear that rank is not only wrong but tacky, in my opinion of course! 🙂
DO get used to being around and meeting new, different people. Having an open mind and not judging others based on their looks, accent, age or religion will be very beneficial! Accept the fact that everyone is different, yet a friend can come in many shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds. DON’T get caught up in the drama of any groups or cliques. You will already have enough on your plate without having to deal with the issues that reflect typical highschool behavior. Now, am I saying that all military spouses participate or reflect this highschool clique issue? NOPE…JUST SAYING THAT IT IS BEST TO STAY AWAY FROM IT WHEN YOU SEE IT!
DO support and stand by your husband. No matter what…be there for him and keep in mind he goes through a great deal of shit! DON’T try to do his job for him. You are not active duty and therefore, the job is his and not yours. There is a difference in being supportive and being controlling.
DO look forward to time together. DON’T make plans too far in advance! Trust me, write it all in pencil! Dates and times will change very often!
DO respect his chain of command. Understand that orders are orders…you don’t have to agree with them or like them, but he has to follow orders regardless. DON’T go to his chain of command for every little thing that goes on with your life. An emergency situation is one thing… wanting time off for a beach trip or family reunion has zero impact on orders.
DO take advantage of the nice privileges and benefits offered to active duty and dependents. Be grateful for them too! DON’T act like you are special or entitled to anything just because your husband serves in the military. Here again, his career and rank are his! Assuming and expecting things in return for his service is wrong!
DO form your own opinions about the FRGs. Being involved with the FRG of your husband’s unit could turn out to be a great experience for you. You will hear several different points of view on this subject. My best advice, make up your own mind! DON’T expect a FRG to cater to your every need. I know that sounds harsh, but please understand that FRGs work best when you all work together. The ol’ “Give and Get” idea comes into play here. All spouses working together will make a strong group.
DO give your husband some free time to unwind. Before you freak out and do the eye roll thing, let me explain! LOL I know some wives work and some don’t. Obviously, if you both work full schedules, you both need some “down-time” to unwind and relax. If that is the case, talk it out with your hubby and work out a schedule of taking turns sleeping late or whatever. If you stay home, give him a little free time so his stress level doesn’t exceed the limit. Playing the Call of Duty and Halo games seem to be the most common form of down-time when they get home from work. DON’T whine or complain when he does this. Remember, he has been up since sometime around 0500 maybe and may not get home until 1730 or after. He’s had a long day…give him a break. LOL I can just see the eye rolls ladies!
DO keep in mind that whatever post you are stationed at has several resources available for your husband and your family. There are support centers that can offer tons of assistance with all kinds of issues ranging from financial planning to PTSD. There are also several websites that will point you in the right direction as well. The FRG should have all this information readily available for you too. DON’T assume you are alone or not accept help. Before and after deployment packets are also available to help you cope and plan for the changes associated with them.
I hope this helps you adjust and/or maintain your stress level as well as keep your relationship happy and healthy! Let me know if you have any questions!