Loving a service man or woman is tougher than it seems.
My husband and I dated 2 years before he joined the United States Coast Guard and we just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Not knowing any other military wives, I had to go through this life-changing experience alone. Of course, family and friends were there for support but no one really understands unless they have lived through the lifestyle.
When my S.O. (significant other) graduated boot camp, the spouses received a few booklets and pamphlets and I immediately felt overwhelmed. What they couldn’t prepare me for was the hardships I was going to have to face as a military spouse. ThoughtCatalog explains the difficulties and challenges dating or marrying someone in the military.
1. It’s difficult fitting in with people
You either meet the experienced MILSOs (military significant others) who may have kids, or other MILSOs who were military brats. It’s hard to find people to relate to.
2. Civilians don’t get it
Some civilians may not understand why you would date someone in the service. Or even worse, they’ll throw the “you signed up for this” card whenever you vent. Don’t take this to heart, they simply don’t understand.
3. Following your S.O.’s work conversation takes decoding
The military speaks in acronyms and it’s okay if you don’t get them right away. They have trained for months to learn acronyms and with time, you’ll be able to pick up on them as well.
4. All you can do is listen to work-related struggles
When they come home and they vent, you might not understand what the “big deal” is but they still need a shoulder to lean on and a a hug. Sometimes, all you can do is listen.
5. Get ready for the snarky “jokes”
There a few people who look down on spouses and think we are nothing but leeches (including the military). What they don’t know is that we are writers, fitness trainers, mothers, and lawyers.
6. Future will be up in the air
You can’t R.S.V.P. for anything because you don’t know where you will be at that time.
7. Important decisions get put off
Maybe, for most people, 28 is a good age to talk about buying a house and raising a family, but for me, it has to wait.
8. You’ll develop a love/hate relationship with Skype
Sometimes, the signal is great and sometimes the signal gets lost when your sailor or coastie is out at sea – especially during hurricane season.
9. Your S.O. belongs to the military, period. No questions asked.
Essentially, you’re dating (or married) the military. When they have to go, they have to go. This is their job.
10. Meeting your S.O.’s higher-ups is intimidating
Especially when you have blue-dyed hair, like me. It’s nerve racking. By the time I got comfortable around his co-workers, it was time to pack up. I had to accept the fact that some are judgmental humans, not gods.
11. Airports will be bittersweet
Airports can give you that sense of happiness when you finally see your S.O. after months apart, or sad because you have to say goodbye. Either way, emotions run wild.