For better or for worse. When you’re married, that’s how it goes. When you and your spouse love each other that much, you’ll weather any storm together. For married couples in the military, storms are a given. Being in the military is a lifestyle like no other, and the wives of servicemen know this firsthand. Military wives are proud of their husbands; they’re proud to be married to someone who is doing so much for their country. They can feel a certain pride in themselves, too, for being the person who can hold down the fort, so to speak, when their husbands are away. As you can imagine, being a military wife isn’t easy, and there are more difficulties than just being separated from their husband. Here are some of the challenges of being a military wife.
Being Put Second to Service
If servicemen are taught one thing, it’s that their duties as a soldier come before anything else. Their first and primary role is in serving their country. This means that by default their wives and their marriages are put second. Even though military wives understand this fact, it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s something that they have to adjust to and come to terms with along the way.
Life Revolving around Service
Because the military is put first, it means that a military wife’s life revolves around her husband’s service. This means a lot of different things. One of the biggest challenges is having to move whenever her husband is re-stationed. It’s also difficult to make plans because a serviceman’s schedule can be very unpredictable. Everything that she does is dependent on what her husband’s duties may be. This requires a great deal of patience and understanding.
Pressures on Base
Military wives, even though they’re civilians, have military duties, too. It may be unofficial, but military wives are expected to play a certain role on base. They’re expected to socialize with others, follow certain etiquette, and participate in different things, such as volunteering. It can be especially hard if wives don’t feel that they “fit in” with the other military wives on base.
When a husband is deployed, a military wife must take care of everything on her own. If they have children, she essentially has the role of a single mom. Her husband is not around to do so much as take out the trash, and so she is left to look after absolutely everything. She is the sole person responsible for all everyday duties, from cooking to cleaning to coordinating the children’s schedule. It’s also imperative that she understand and take charge of the family finances, as well as keep up with things like home and car maintenance.
Maintaining a Sense of Self
With so much dependent on their husbands’ duties, and so much to take care of when alone, it’s easy for military wives to lose their sense of self. It can be very hard for them to establish their own career, especially because of frequent moves. Military wives have to work even harder to make time for themselves to relax and pursue their own interests.
Victoria Willkens is a military wife who has also spent time in the US army herself. She loves to write and often covers topics ranging from good items to send a deployed loved one to new robots used in the military.
Photo Credit: michael_h_reed