How to Survive the MilSo Life

Life, in general, has its ups and downs. Every day you learn something new, whether good or bad. Those good days can be great, thrilling even. But those not so good days can be exhausting. When you throw the stress of being a military family in the mix, there’s a whole new level you never knew existed.

Now, our story is a little different due to the fact that we *were* dual military. So I went into this marriage knowing full fledge what I was getting myself into. Hell, I got myself into it before I got myself into marriage. A lot of time I see the wives leaving their service member because “it’s just too much”; the early mornings, the late nights, the weeks at a time gone, the fricken months at a time gone, they “just can’t do it anymore”. But I knew. Whether my spouse ended up being military or civilian, I was going to inflict that stress, and even pain, into someone that I loved. I just happened to fall in love with another Marine. Worth it.

So for those sleepless nights wondering when your love is coming home, or those lonely days that seem to drag on while he’s out in the field. Whether he’s on a boat in the middle of the ocean or he’s just simply on duty, here are a few ways that you can prevent yourself from going bat shit crazy.

Come to terms with it. This is the number one problem. Spouses think, oh I can control everything now that we’re married, we’re adults, we have a house and/or kids and pets. Nope. You’re wrong. He might be your spouse, but he is property of the government. They will do with him what they please, whether it’s convenient to you or not. So just accept that he may be gone for your birthday, he may miss the birth of your child or he may not miss anything at all. Whichever hand you get dealt in this situation, learn to live it. Embrace it. It won’t last forever and at the end of the day, your spouse is worth it.

Find a hobby. Run, paint, read, write. Whatever it is that you are passionate about, take it and run with it. It isn’t healthy just to sitting at home watching reruns of FRIENDS for the 4th time in one year…. okay, well it’s not terrible but you know what I mean. Time flies when you’re having fun, so find something to pass the time while your lovey is gone.

Talk to your family. Nothing is worse than being ripped away from everything you know, everything you love, and being stuck into this random town with these random strangers and only having your spouse. Yes, of course your spouse is good company (why else would you marry them), but sometimes you need a little break. Family is always going to be there, for comfort or laughs, or just even to bullshit with. I think I talk to my mom more now than I ever have in my life and you know what, it’s fricken awesome!

Find good, quality friends. This one might take some time and patience. Let me rephrase that. This one WILL take some time and patience. Everyone gets to their new duty station and immediately wants to find their new bestie for 3 years. Well, not everyone clicks Glenda. It’s not that easy. In my Marine Corps career there has been 1 constant. It’s been 3 years, I’ve meet one single human who has been with me the whole way. Physically, not by choice. But we didn’t have to stay friends, but we clicked. Now she is my family away from family and that will never go away. In the mean time I have found 2 other go-to girls who I happened to just get lucky with, most people I talk to can’t find that many. So take your time and be picky, you don’t want to surround yourself with Negative Nancys and Annoying Amys. My momma always told me, if you have 1 friend you’re lucky and if you have 2 you’re blessed. God is looking out for me cause I somehow ended up with 3.

Whatever you do — DO NOT STAY LOCKED UP IN YOUR HOUSE! Get out of that white walled jail cell while you can. Whether it’s to the dog park, play ground, or you are simply going to walk around your local TJ Maxx … get the f**k out! You will drive yourself mad staring at the same walls all day and you’ll find yourself resenting your spouse.

So please, ladies (and gents), Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, or whatever Branch your spouse is, know that you are NOT alone. You have a support system you just have to look. And whatever you do, don’t give up. It’s hard, but I promise you that it’s worth it.

That’s all she wrote,

Makenzie

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