Congratulations, you’ve just married the love of your life! Oh, by the way, he’s in the military and every aspect of your life will dramatically change whether you like it or not.

surprising, new military wife

There’s much more to the military lifestyle than just marrying a man in uniform. Being married to someone in the military can bring on surprising new changes for a new military wife. Here’s 12 things to expect during your first few years of marriage.

  1. Being on time yet taking forever. Your spouse leaves two hours early so he can be there one hour early for muster. But you go visit the id office or be on the phone with Tricare, and see how long you wait!
  2. You need a military translator to talk to your own husband. Learn to pick up on military abbreviations, military jargon, and the military alphabet. And don’t forget learning how to tell military time!
  3. How they strip when they get home. No, not in an intentionally sexy way. They just drop off pieces of their uniform around the house as they settle down. Boots here, blouse there, cover over there… unbuckle the belt here… oh hey….
  4. How you need your service member (or Power of Attorney) for everything. For houses, cars, ids, taxes, documents. Start memorizing his social security number now. And when you don’t think you need your dependent id, you will.
  5. This amazing disorganization of an organization that’s supposed to be organized. His uniform is critiqued down to the last thread, but god forbid someone misplaces a tool and they’re in lockdown for hours.
  6. The amount of spousal and family resources available. From counseling to legal to job services, spouses married to civilians don’t usually get this type of support. Take advantage of it while you still can.
  7. The loneliness. In your hometown, you’re comfortable with your family, your friends, your coworkers and the network you have built. Once you PCS to a new duty station, you have to start all over again. Some adapt well, some have to learn to adapt.
  8. How other military spouses are as crazy as spouses married to civilians. You think seeing women trampling people on Black Friday is bad? Try seeing military spouses at an NEX/Exchange mall when there is a sale on designer purses. Don’t get me started with the commissary on pay day.
  9. All of the overtime hours with no overtime pay. At times, your husband leaves when it’s dark out, and doesn’t come home until it’s dark out. Eating by yourself and packing up the leftovers for him becomes normal.
  10. How the Military can change its mind with a drop of a hat. First you have orders, then you don’t. First the orders are to the East Coast, and now they’re to the West Coast. Or in a more recent example, how you can get PCS orders one day, and then fired the next. Last minute changes should be synonymous with Active Duty Military
  11. It’s a Love/Hate Relationship. From time to time, they come home adamant that they’re going to get out early and leave this life behind. The next day, they study extra hard and wind up getting advancing to the next rank and want to be a “lifer”.
  12. How your husband is one piece of a very important puzzle. To some, it is just a job. But every time there’s a threat of war or terrorism, you tug on your heart knowing that it will in some way or another affect you and your husband.

—-An important note, that after a few years of marriage, all of these points won’t be surprising at all to military spouses.

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