Today marks two months that I’ve been married to the love of my life. It’s been one heck of a roller coaster, although I can honestly say there have been far more ups than downs. Regardless, I’ve learned that marriage is difficult sometimes and, from what I’ve seen, being married to someone in the military usually makes it even more difficult.
So, without further ado; I present to you a mere fraction of what I’ve learned during these first two months.
1. Patience, patience, patience.
2. It’s incredibly hard to plan things when you’ve got a spouse in the military, so it’s important to stay flexible.
Oh you made plans to go out of town during the four-day weekend? Well that’s too bad, because it turns out there’s a mandatory base-wide hike going on that Friday as well as formation taking place on Monday. For anyone who hasn’t learned this yet, “last minute” is almost synonymous with the word “military.” Of course, they don’t always screw over your plans, but it does happen more than I would like for it too. The best way to survive these kinds of situations is to be flexible. Also, don’t purchase any tickets or passes that are nonrefundable until your spouse’s leave or special liberty request gets approved (unless you know for a FACT that it will be approved). But again, having flexibility is the best way to go.
3. ALWAYS ask about military discounts.
Seriously though. If you’re also new to being a military dependent, you might be surprised to find out how many places offer a discount. Even if you don’t think a certain place will give you a military discount, it doesn’t hurt to ask! (Just make sure you have your ID on you.)
4. Get used to combat boots and camis lying all over the house.
As a slightly OCD individual (okay, maybe more than slightly. . . It depends on who you ask), I like it when the house is always clean and everything is in its place. I function better, I’m more productive, and I find myself less stressed when things are tidy. Even though my husband is very neat and clean (for a guy, that is), he still leaves his crap all over the living room when he gets home from a long day of training. And you know what? I leave it there. Yep. I leave it there and don’t say a single word about it. It took a lot of will power at first, but now I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me. I mean, come on, the man is clearly exhausted! Why start a senseless argument about his uniforms when you know he’s just going to put it back on the next day? (And then leave bits and pieces of his uniform all over the house again the next day, too.) So, other new or soon-to-be military wives, no matter how raging your OCD is, please take my advice and just let it be sometimes.
5. Big or small, changes take time.
This goes along with what I said earlier about having patience, but I just want to reiterate that changes take time. I’ve definitely learned this over these past two months, as there are still some little changes that my husband & I are both working on. I’ve learned to have patience with my spouse and to avoid starting a fight, no matter how frustrated I am.
6. Girl time is important, and it’s even better when you can have girl time with other military spouses (or even girls in the military).
Being a new wife doesn’t mean you have to spend EVERY bit of your free time with your husband. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love every second that I’m blessed to spend with my hubby, whether we’re hiking up a mountain or watching netflix on the couch. However, girl time for a wife is just as important as bro time is for a husband. Moving to a new state has meant that I’ve had to make new friends, but it’s been extremely exciting and I’m lucky to already have some close girlfriends who are military wives or in the military themselves. They usually understand the challenges that come with marrying into the military, and for that I’m extremely grateful.
7. Be the first to say “I’m sorry,” forgive quickly, & forget about the past.
This is self-explanatory. The past is over, and it’s time for us to get over it, too. It doesn’t matter if it was a huge mistake that happened a few years ago or a booboo that occurred yesterday—in the words of my good friend Elsa, “let it go!” There’s no reason to hold a grudge. From what I’ve experienced, bringing things up from the past never helps anything. It only digs up old hurt or anger and makes any situation worse. Be the first to say “I’m sorry,” forgive quickly, and forget about the past. You’ll be so much happier if you can do this.
8. Always carry a purse (or some kind of bag).
Turns out guys have a lot of crap that they constantly need you to hold for them. While this is something I actually learned while my husband and I were dating, I was yet again reminded of it after we got married and I was with him every day again. I can’t recall a time I’ve decided to leave the purse (or other bag) at home and have been grateful that I did so. So, my rule of thumb is to always carry a purse when going out (especially if my husband is with me!).
9. Sometimes, sharing is hard.
Ah yes, learning to share. This has probably been my least favorite learning experience of marriage. Even someone who grew up with forty siblings could tell you that sharing can still be a little difficult from time to time. Being married has helped me realize how selfish I can be and it has definitely taught me a thing or two about sharing.
10. Marriage. Is. Awesome.
No matter what people have to say about settling down and tying the knot (especially at a young age), I personally think that deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone you love far more than yourself is an extraordinary thing. I know I’m still in that “honeymoon” phase, but I have to admit that marrying my best friend has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I understand that some people are scared of commitment for whatever reason, but I honestly see nothing wrong with making that commitment once you’ve found the right person. Sure, marriage is hard sometimes, but it’s also a freaking blast and I wouldn’t want to spend my life any other way than with my other half.
These are just a few of the things I’ve learned in the beginning of this journey and I know I still have many, many more things left to learn. Hopefully I’ll have the rest of my life to figure those things out :)