We received dozens of excellent essays and responses to our “Blue Star Stories” initiative that began last month.
Our first prompt for the Military Spouse Central community was this: “What are some of the things only a military family or military spouse would know?” You sent us some incredible responses, and we wanted to highlight a couple of them over the next few days.
Our second reader essay is from Army spouse Melissa Hall. She’ll receive a $50 credit to the Veterans United company store. Check out her outstanding response below, and look for the October writing prompt soon.
-Adrienne See More
Marriage, if it is going to last, is about more than just being in love. True love means that you are not just in love, but you are also friends.
Military couples have many added obstacles in marriage. Strong marriages have strong foundations in friendship. Don’t worry, you do not have to like your spouse all the time, but a relationship should have a healthy friendship and this friendship needs to be tended to and nurtured over the years. This friendship will help you grow together over the years as a couple.
Homecoming is a hard thing to prep for as a military spouse. It’s hard to keep your mind from wandering. The imagination runs wild, and after being on your own so long, it feel nice to hope and fantasize about how all of your worries and your loneliness will melt away and magically your family will move forward without missing a beat.
Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case.
It’s key to remember that a successful reintegration and homecoming is one that has few expectations, because disappointment can really sour everything. One area that expectations are hard to manage is in the bedroom.
When Christine Lay’s husband came home, she described the feeling as “amazing,” if she could even put her excitement into words.
You might know Christine as the mother whose son, Jamey, received a service dog from Veterans United Foundation. But there’s a lot more to this military spouse. Her husband, Andrew Lay, returned home in July to El Paso, Texas, from deployment after being away for nine months.
I have been to many pre-deployment readiness meetings. After half a dozen of these meetings, there is one piece of advice that is practically burned into my forehead: “You should not bother your spouse with trouble and problems at home.”
Military spouses need to be focused on the mission at hand, not worried about finances, broken down cars or fights between teenagers and mom. Keeping things squared away is the best method of helping your spouse during deployment.
I agree, in theory, but some advice can be taken too far. It can even be abused and hurt your relationship. See More
Your wedding day is a magical celebration of love and commitment with the people who care most about you. If you and/or your spouse is serving our country, you know how the military becomes your life and your lifestyle. Adding the right touches to your military-inspired wedding is a great way to add your personality, and it can also make the big day more meaningful to you both.
The possibilities are endless. You can do anything from something subtle that only the two of you will know about, or you can incorporate military traditions into your ceremony and reception. At the end of the day, your wedding will be a reflection of you, and these tips can make your day more important to you and your guests. See More
One of my pet peeves is when people ask me if it is hard to love a military guy. Deployments are hard. Moving is hard. Worrying is hard. Other people will say, “I don’t know how you can do it.”
But loving someone in the military is easy as pie. Really.
Part of loving someone is supporting them and going through all the things that are hard about life, together. So, we make do. We deal with unscheduled duty and training and he misses some birthdays and family events, but we make do.
We’ve moved three times, and each time we moved, he got called away at the last minute for duty right before moving day. I was left to juggle packing and children and movers on my own, but we make do.
I fell in love with a person who happens to be in the military. Being in the military is a part of who he is and I wouldn’t change that about him even if I could. So, we make do.
I have many requests recently for advice about helping your marriage in the military — here are the six essential pillars to help “make do” when the times are rough. See More