Military Wife

The Real Reason Being a Military Wife is So Hard

You probably don’t know this, but when my husband and I were first dating, I actually asked him to get out of the military.

I saw a future with him.

I saw marriage with him.

And nowhere in that equation did being a military wife exist.

Because as a child of multiple divorces (Yes, both my parents divorced twice. Once from each other, and once each from a second marriage), I knew what every marriage goes up against—the tough stuff.

Being a military wife is hard and there's a reason for it | Military girlfriend | Military spouse | Military significant other | Military family

image by PO1 Jon Rasmussen, identified by DVIDS

I saw military life as a huge barrier to a successful marriage. From deployments to moving all the time to the consequences of war, military life takes regular everyday marriage problems and catapults them towards troubled waters.

Well, at least in my mind that’s what I was thinking.

My husband and I broke up for a period of time over the whole military thing. I wanted him to get out, and he wanted to stay. In the same breath, he wanted me to leave my life behind to follow him, and of course, I wanted to stay.

Neither one of us wanted to leave behind the life that we loved.

After being separated for a period of time, I was in a very dark place. Miserable without him, it was easy for me to see that civilian life without him was FAR WORSE than any military life with him.

That was the beginning of my journey into this military wife and mom life. That was the moment I decided to put on my big girl panties and do this military life thing. Maybe you’ve felt that moment too. The moment when you realize you’re not just gonna tough this thing out, you’re gonna rock this!

And that’s why being a military wife is so hard…

Because you have to put on your big girl panties—A LOT.

Being a Military Wife is Hard Because….

You’ve got to hold it together when your service member leaves to work in a really dangerous place for months on end or more.

You’ve got to be okay with moving half way around the world from your family.

You’ve got to be okay with your service member missing all the special stuff like birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or gasp….the birth of your child.

You’ve got to be okay with putting your career on the back burner sometimes because moving all over the place and maintaining a career isn’t as easy as it looks.

You’ve got to be okay with letting go some of the control in your life because Lord knows the military is going to make some big life decisions for you.

You’ve got to be okay with leaving close friends and family behind while you start a new life.

You’ve got to be okay with having a courthouse wedding when you really wanted a big one because military life or a deployment prevented it from working out that way.

You’ve got to be okay with facing way more drama in the military community than you ever wished.

You’ve got to be okay with parenting alone and feeling lonely sometimes.

You’ve got to be okay with making new friends over and over and over again.

You’ve got to be okay with spending as much of your marriage apart as you do together.

You’ve got to be okay with talking about death, dying, and the traumatic effects of war.

You’ve got to be okay with finding the positive in the midst of really, really hard.

You’ve got to be okay choosing happiness in the midst of some really challenging circumstances.

And you will be okay…

Because you are strong, resilient and tougher than even YOU imagine at this very moment.

But it’s all of these things, and so much more, that make life as a military wife so hard sometimes. Because you never realize how many big girl panties you are gonna need until you are neck deep into this whole thing.

It’s a lot of big girl panties.

It’s just a lot.

Want more on military life?

How do you work through the challenges of military life? Let’s chat in the comments!

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119 Comments

  1. Dear Lauren,
    It is nice of you to share all these information with all these military wives. I was once one of you all. One thing I can ever read or see is about, what about the wives that end being divorce, how broken harder we end after following our dear husbmads and support them through the military carriers.

  2. Hello Lauren,
    It is the great of you to share all these information. I am a Japanese and I have an Aussie Military partner as my first experience. I respect his great service however I concern risk of his job. Something different between life of JSDGF and American/Australian Army is different how risk at such deployment etc. so your website helps me learn.

  3. I am not a military wife but have such respect for all of you, I happened upon this site while doing some research for a book I’m writing and couldn’t stop reading. God bless all of you.

  4. What happens when you can’t do it anymore? When you’ve been strong for too long, your kids have special and medical needs, and your own health is falling apart? And your husband doesn’t care because he’s too wrapped up in his career? What happens then?

    I’m sorry, but I’d rather be alone and single than in a loveless marriage where I’m at the bottom of the priority list. I want someone who will give a crap whether I exist, who will be there for me, and cherish me. I deserve to be loved. We all do.

    I think the military is perfect for single men who make it their whole life. It was not designed for families or for married couples to be one. There’s a reason the divorce rate is so high.

  5. It’s sad to know that military spouses have to be okay with parenting on their own and feeling lonely most of the time since their partner is deployed. My sister is marrying a military guy, who’ll be leaving for the Middle East in five months. I know this would be hard for my sister, so I’ll suggest she takes advantage of military family counseling. Thanks, Lauren.

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