When a married person joins the military, the spouse joins the military also -- just in a different way. The military will dictate where you live, how long you stay there, what job you do while in the service and many other aspects of your life. While you may be over-the-moon with excitement at the prospect of serving your country, it's important to consider your spouse's feelings as well. There are several things you can do to help your partner adjust to this life-changing decision you've made.
Things You'll Need
- Certified copy of marriage certificate
Discuss your desire to join the military with your spouse, before you make the decision. Weigh the pros and cons, and decide if you're both adaptable enough to appreciate what military life has to offer. Consider the many benefits military life provides and the hardships it imposes.
Talk to the recruiter together. Involve your spouse in every aspect of joining the military. Encourage your spouse to ask any questions and voice any concerns associated with undertaking the military lifestyle.
Encourage your spouse to speak with other military spouses. Your recruiter can put you in touch with other couples who are successfully dealing with married life in the military. Seeing how others make it work may encourage your spouse and offer a sense of reassurance.
Ensure that you have a certified copy of your marriage certificate to gain access to all that the military has to offer family members. Obtain military IDs and sign up for benefits, such as medical and dental insurance, life insurance and other perks.
Accept that military life involves lengthy separations. Not only will you be apart for several weeks during basic training, unless your subsequent job training is longer than 20 weeks, you'll probably be apart while you train for your military career as well. There's nothing to stop your spouse from moving to the area where you'll be stationed -- at your own expense -- while you undergo training.
Celebrate the fact that once basic training and career education is over, the military will pay to pack and move your belongings to your new duty station. You won't even have to touch a box at all, if you don't want to.
Help your spouse contact and join the appropriate family support group, once you join. Each branch of the service has their own version of these spousal programs. These groups work to keep partners informed regarding deployments, social events, group activities and other important aspects of being a military spouse. These groups also offer practical information and tools to assist your spouse with their adjustment to military life.
Tips & Warnings
- Realize that you're both in this together, and embrace every aspect of military life.
- Take advantage of military discounts, freebies and perks that come your way.
- Utilize the services and amenities available on your military base or post, even if you live elsewhere.
- Realize that military life can be stressful. Bring up and discuss any problems immediately, rather than letting them boil over later.
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