Navigating Life: Going From Service Member to Military Spouse

soldierspouse

Quite possibly one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do was make the transition from Soldier to Spouse.  I’m talking straight from deployment to full on stay-at-home wife.  Before I begin this piece of information, let me add this disclaimer:

While I know that there are male military spouses, I’m using my voice for this writing because it is where I’m experienced and I’m chronicling my personal adventure for those who care to read.  I see you men also!  

What Now?

This is probably the first thing I asked myself.  Start school back up right away or take a small break?  Look for a job?  Eat Cheetos & catch up on my programs?  The answer never came to me, so I did a little bit of everything.  I enrolled in some courses and got Cheeto smudges on my textbooks.  It’ll come to you, trust me.

Feeling Left Behind.

Perhaps one of the most common emotions I went through initially was feeling like I was so far disconnected from the Army life I had grown so accustomed to.  Watching my husband put his uniform on everyday made me sad every now and then.  Mostly though, it made me feel nostalgic.  I eventually got over it by realizing I could do more to support my family by being outside of the military.

No One Gets Me.

This is probably one of the most common feelings that I still experience from time to time.   There are so many nice military spouses and I’ve found many I enjoy being around.  Since I understand quite a bit about what the Army is all about, I often get questions from fellow spouses that I’m more than happy to answer.  On the flip side though, sometimes I want to vent about something military-related or have a discussion and I get the deer in headlights look.  This is why I love my fellow veteran spouses; we can BS about it all.

Regret.

This is one that I haven’t full on experienced in quite a while.  For the first few months of separating from the Army, I began to feel almost like I was in mourning.  I didn’t have the connection with people around me like I had with those I served with.  I would think about all of the reasons why I decided to move on and everything made sense again.  Since I’ve exited the Army, I have found amazing friends along the way that I would not have met otherwise.

While I absolutely loved my time in the Army and wouldn’t change it for the world, there are so many perks to being “on the other side.”  In fact, just the other day, I walked through a whole patch of grass with impunity.  I pass higher ranking folks and look them dead in the eyeballs without so much as a “you good, fam?”  I walk and talk on my cell phone.  I answer CSMs with, “Yeah.”  Okay, okay…I don’t think I’ve gotten that crazy yet.  In any case, I am completely at peace with where I’ve been and the decisions I made for my family.

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