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Becoming a new military spouse is an exciting time. A journey awaits you, complete with peaks and a few testing valleys. Being married to a military member introduces you to a different world from regular civilian life. Here are seven things you need to know as you make a smoother transition to military living.
Learn the lingo and the etiquette.
From acronyms to military jargon to valued traditions, military life comes with a language of its own. Make sure to familiarize yourself with commonly used words and phrases and what is expected of your spouse as a service member.
Embrace a positive outlook.
You may have had to make sacrifices to be where you are now, whether that means giving up your job or moving away from your hometown. The difference between a positive and negative outlook can mean the difference between being happy and being miserable. Although it may be challenging, depending on the situation, do your best to find the good in everything you encounter and focus on all the military spouse benefits.
Check all the legal boxes.
The transition into a military marriage comes with paperwork and steps to be completed so you can enjoy benefits and a safe, secure lifestyle. Obtaining a military ID for you and other applicable family members, as well as getting set up with health care services, are included in this list. Visit your Community Service Center or Family Support Center for a full checklist of things you need to do and paperwork you need to submit.
Take advantage of military spouse benefits.
One of the best aspects of military life are the benefits available to you at no cost. Health care, educational benefits, counseling, recreation centers, and discounted travel for family members are some of the highlights. Knowing what resources are available to you can help you make the most out of your experience.
Find a hobby.
While this transition into the life of a military spouse may seem overwhelming now, the dust will settle, and you will have time for yourself. Make sure to make the most out of this time by building a life that expresses your individuality. Revisit an old hobby or find a career you love that works with your new lifestyle. Taking time for yourself will help you stay grounded and productive.
Be prepared for sudden change.
Unpredictability comes with the nature of the military lifestyle. You may have to pick up and move across the country with minimal notice. Your spouse may have to leave unexpectedly. Adaptability is a strength greatly appreciated in military families, as things can happen and change quickly.
Surround yourself with the support of other military spouses.
As helpful as the available military spouse benefits and resources are, others married to a military member might be your greatest asset when it comes to getting adjusted and thriving to military life. Not only are they going through similar challenges, but many of them are seasoned spouses and well-versed in common problems and their solutions. Befriend other military spouses in your community and create a valuable and mutually beneficial support system.
With preparation, the transition into military life can not only be smooth but rewarding and enjoyable as well. Seeking support from others and taking advantage of your military spouse benefits can help you make the best of deployments and other challenges that come with the lifestyle. Remember that military life is temporary, and the best way to make the most of it is to enjoy the unpredictable ride.