When I ended up marrying into the military, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I knew some friends and family who had been in the military, but I had never been around the military life much. The challenges and blessings of being a Navy wife came as a surprise… here are 4 things I didn’t expect:
1- Since marrying into the military, I’ve learned to do so many handy things around the house.
When Adam is gone, there is no one else around to do those heavy-duty chores that usually my Mr. Fix-it does. I have fixed screen doors, refinished furniture, replaced filters, hung heavy paintings…. Maybe these things sound trivial to you, but I am always proud of myself when I accomplish something I didn’t know I could do. Basically, anytime I would normally say, “Honey, can you help me XYZ?” and I can do it on my own, it’s pretty cool.
2- I didn’t expect to have such a hard time figuring out whether or not to work, and how to get a job.
As a spouse, our hubbies have automatic jobs, automatic social groups, and an automatic schedule. Lucky them! I found it very aggravating at first to figure out what job to pursue, then to see if I could even get a job. I have a teaching degree but we lived places such a short time, I didn’t always go the subbing or teaching route.
It felt very discouraging to have a Master’s degree and not be using it. It was frustrating to be told that I couldn’t be considered for a position if I couldn’t be sure how long I could commit to working there. I felt like a slacker sitting out in the sun enjoying myself while hubby went off to work each day.
3- I didn’t expect to enjoy moving around so much.
I’ve moved a lot in my life. Since heading off to college, I moved every year for 10 years straight. And that was before I met my husband. But I never liked it. It was stressful and caused me anxiety.
Moving is still stressful, I won’t deny it. And it can be hard to meet new people, adjust to a new place, and find a job as I mentioned above. But there is an excitement about moving to a totally new city and experiencing a new part of the country.
I have great memories of going to the Ben & Jerry factory in Vermont, hanging out in Boston and New York, enjoying the beach in St. Augustine, Florida, and hitting hot spots in San Diego. When I leave here, I’m sure I’ll have amazing memories of the scenic views and beautiful greenery.
Even when it’s daunting to think of packing up and moving again, I have these great memories to remind me of all the adventures that are ahead.
4- I didn’t know that I’d make such good friends in such a short time when marrying into the military.
Tagging onto the above excitement about moving all over, I didn’t imagine that I could make such good friends so fast. And, that even when we moved apart, I would still stay connected with so many.
As a Navy wife, I have found that most military spouses make friends fast. Really, it’s just because we have to. Sometimes we have times where making friends is more difficult or takes longer (see previous post). But due to knowing how short we are at a duty station, it seems like people just dive right in and start hanging out.
I love having friends all over. It’s fun to Facebook stalk them (lol!) and keep up with new babies, moves, and all the fun going on with them. It’s great to visit them: I can’t wait to visit my friend Taffy in Hawaii soon! We met when our husbands were both stationed at Newport, RI.
Military wives are an amazing group of women that I’m proud to be a part of. I have been blessed by all the lovely ladies I’ve met along the way.
We military wives put up with a lot and go through a lot for love! But I’m thankful to say that going through these challenges has made me a stronger person. Military life is not always easy, but joy comes as we grow and persevere and enjoy the life we’ve chosen by marrying into the military.