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The Young Brides' Guide to the USMC pt 2: Adjusting to Civilian Life
It's true that you're never too old to stop learning, and that includes learning in marriage. And guess what? That's even more true when it comes to a successful military marriage. No matter how long you've been married, there's always something new to experience and learn.
Having said that, there are still things that I'm learning as a USMC wife, and believe that they need to be passed along. One of which is that life is not always going to be revolving around the military. And it's times like these where it could be either wonderful or incredibly stressful. However, there is a balance that can be achieved by remembering a few simply tips to help you and your spouse get through the uncertain times.
Stay in touch with your friends - both military and civilian. By keeping up with both groups, you'll still feel connected to all fronts - home and away. Keeping in touch with your military pals will assist you in more than just a good buddy while your spouse is gone, but also while they're home. You'll have yet another support system even while your partner is home. And keeping in touch with your civilian friends will give you that much needed sense of "normalcy" and also provides a "getaway" from the military lifestyle. Trust me, allowing some sort of relief from military life is needed and refreshing, for both you and your spouse.
Allow your Spouse Some Down Time
Many husbands that I've talked with have all told me this one important insight: that they like to come home and have a little bit of time to adjust from work mentality to home mentality. They need their "down time" so that they can relax, and enjoy their time home with you. And you know what? This is even more vital from military spouses. So when they come home, from either their regular duty work days or even deployments, let them wind down before pushing them out the door for date nights or engaging in old hobbies.
Start Doing Hobbies Together Before the "Uncertain Times"
Now, this may seem contradictory regarding the above advice, but believe me, this is also key. Do things together that are fun and that you both enjoy. Seriously, this is good advice for all married couples, not just military! By doing things together - rock climbing, hiking, cycling, dancing - it creates good memories to remember while you're apart. Oh, and guess what? It also gives you common ground when your spouse gets back (after, of course, the "down time").
And MOST Importantly...
Stay positive, upbeat, patient, and understanding. I know, this is a lot to throw out at once, but even so, it's all of these things that help you to stay level and sane. Do things that make you happy, and help pass the time. Be supportive of your spouse; their job is severely stressful, and they want to come home to a serene and loving atmosphere. And that part is up to you.
The military life is far more demanding, simply because you and your spouse are almost constantly living in unclear and ever-changing times. Even so, there are key ideas to keep in mind, such as the above, that will dramatically help in keeping your life (relatively) smooth, and your marriage peaceful.