Every marriage experiences highs and lows, and the pros and cons of being a military wife aren’t totally dissimilar to those of being a civilian wife. However, the unique aspects of military life does add another layer of challenges and rewards to the mix.
If you’re considering marrying someone in the military or if you are a brand-new military spouse seeking insight into your potential future, you’ve come to the right place. SpouseLink is home to a community of MilSpouses, offering you the chance to connect with and learn from one another.
Read on for more honest insight into the advantages and disadvantages of being a military spouse!
2 Pros of Being a Military Wife
The pros and cons of being a military wife aren’t always black and white — some aspects can be considered both a pro and a con. We’ve broken this article down to include two clear pros, two clear cons, and two things that fall somewhere in the middle.
Endless Opportunities to Make New Friends
Building a large network of friends is a great way to enhance your quality of life. As a military spouse, you will continually find yourself practicing your people-meeting skills. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry. Being in the military and being part of a military family, you will find there is almost a built-in welcoming crew wherever you go.
Whether you’re an introvert or just missing friends who live far away, other military families and spouses understand. They know what you’re going through and are often willing to help you and connect on the level you’re comfortable with. Conversations become super easy because you all have something massive in common: you are married to a service member and have to undergo a lot of the same things.
If you’re finding it difficult to navigate the pros and cons of being a military wife, get plugged into your local military family community. You will find so much comfort and be able to watch as your kids meet other children who can relate to them as well.
Access to Mental Health Resources
While there are a lot of pros and cons to being a military wife, one of the biggest pros is all the resources and help you have at your disposal. The military understands all the unique pressures you face as a military wife and want to make your life easier, healthier, and more comfortable. As the various emotions settle in, take full advantage of all the mental health resources at your disposal. Press into a healthy life and use what’s available to you to improve your life and your family’s life.
2 Cons of Being a Military Wife
Spending Long Periods of Time Apart
There is a lot about military life that’s difficult, and there’s a lot about being a military spouse that’s difficult. Active-duty servicemembers spend so much of their life away from home, which can cause considerable stress for all involved.
When you marry a member of the military, you marry the military. While there are a lot of amazing things and benefits to living a military life, this way of life presents many difficulties. A lot of married military members and their spouses encounter unexpected hardship throughout their life together. Unfortunately, married couples with at least one spouse in the military are at a greater risk of divorce than fully civilian couples.
Though this is an obvious potential drawback , rest assured that not all hope is lost. The good news is that by doing your research now, you know what to expect and can prepare accordingly. In fact, one of the benefits available to military spouse is access to Military and Family Life Counseling (MFLC). Even if you’re not a “therapy person,” scheduling the occasional check-in appointment for the two of you is an excellent way to take preventative action and keep your marriage strong enough to get through the tough times.
Frequent Change Can Be Hard on Children
Whether you love it or hate it, the frequent moving around is a lot to process for an adult brain, let alone a child’s. It’s not uncommon for children to struggle during a move — leaving their old friends and trying to find new ones can cause stress they don’t know how to handle or process. Children have to get used to new places, new groups, new rules, and new locations.
When facing continuous change, it’s important that you’re able to maintain a stable environment for them. Pay attention to your children as you adjust through military life and make sure they have all the help and resources they need to properly adjust.
2 Things That Qualify as a Pro and a Con
For many military spouses, this is a huge pro, while for others it’s a bit of a con. It’s normal for your family to move every 18 to 36 months when you’re married to someone in the military. While that means you get to travel a lot and see a lot of new places, it also means you live in one area for a short amount of time.
This means a pro of new experiences and a con of complicated logistics like transferring kids between schools, meeting new neighbors, and constantly having to relearn how to exist within society in a healthy, successful way.
It can be fun and exciting, but there are times when this aspect of military life gets old — especially when you don’t have much of a choice in where you go, when you go, and how long you get to stay there.
Living a Unique Life
It’s no secret that military life is an interesting life. You never fully know where you’ll go next, who you’ll meet in the following move, or what adventure is waiting for you around the corner. That’s amazing news for anyone who likes living life flexibly but can be draining for those who prefer to plan things out a decade in advance. Always remember, when you marry a member of the military, you’re sure to have a unique life.