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Future Navy Wife Terrified of Navy Life

The Navy life is definitely tough, but it's not impossible.  You will get lonely and there will be times when you don't have friends but you can deal with it.  

I highly recommend making friends with other wives on your husband's ship.  That way, when your husband is deployed so is theirs.  You can lean on each other.  During my husband's first two deployments I spent most of my time crafting--an activity I love to do but I don't do it when hubby is home because it makes such as mess (and since I was the only one there I didn't have to clean it up everyday).  

You will want friends that aren't on his ship too.  Those are great friends to have when your husband has duty.  

The best part about being in a military relationship is being newlyweds over and over again.  I always joke with my husband that the Navy keeps our relationship strong because when he gets home I am so happy to see him and by the time we start arguing he gets sent away again only to come back for another happy reunion.  The cycle goes on and on. 

I must say, the military life gets harder when you start having children.  My husband missed most of my pregnancy and didn't meet my son until he was 2 months old.  We recently PCSed from Norfolk, VA to San Diego, CA.  I came here not knowing anybody.  I have met a few neighbors (we are in military housing) and they are sooooo awesome.  They are such a great help when I need a sitter for medical appointments and such.  Even though I only know a few people I still have help when I really need it.

Military wives are a breed of their own.  We know that we can't do it alone and try to help each other whenever we can.  I have never had a friend call and ask if I needed something from the store just because she was there but I have that now.  It's great!

Being away from family gets hard (especially with holidays, weddings, and funerals) but you'll find a way to make it work.  It also has it's plus side--your inlaws can't "stop by" anytime they want!!  (Mine surprised us with a visit in September and I'm quite certain that won't happen again!)  Your families will have strong opinions on how to raise children too, and you only have to deal with the criticism a few times a year.  

The thought of living a military lifestyle is intimidating but it really isn't that bad.  It's not going to be life as you know it, but you'll make it the best you can.  Take the opportunities that are given to you and you'll be just fine!


I have been a Navy wife for almost ten years and, although it hasn't always been easy, it has definitely been an adventure and now I couldn't imagine NOT being a military spouse!  I'll be honest, it isn't fun packing up every few years and saying good-bye to good friends...but each move has given us the opportunity to meet these amazing people who we never would have had the chance to meet in the first place!  Now we have friends scattered around the globe and it is so exciting when our paths cross!  As for deployments, I had a toddler and a newborn the first time my husband deployed and this was such a tremendous time of personal growth for me...I learned that I was stronger than I gave myself credit  Some advice when you relocate:  1) unpack those boxes ASAP and make your new home a place your hubby can't wait to get back to; 2) get out of bed and go outside, explore your new surroundings, learn your way around town (your husband will be impressed!), look for the good things your new zip code has to offer; 3) do put yourself out there and meet new people...join a spouse's group, rowing club, church, MOPS (when you have little ones), etc. But stay away from drama queens who only know how to criticize...they will bring you down!!; 4) once you're settled (at least six months for me), invite your family to come visit. They will be so proud of you when they see how well you are doing and realize how strong you are! I hope you enjoy this amazing adventure you and your future husband have ahead of you!!

um, if his family is great and supportive, then slooooowwwly integrate them into your life.  This site doesn't have a bunch of in-law threads for nothing. 

 Obviously, every family is different, but the experience we've had with my in-laws is a common one I hear.  When we first got married, I nagged DH to call his parents once a week.  He was resistant and after year 2, I gave up, b/c he said "watch, if I don't call, they won't call" and they didn't, for months!  When he does call them, first words out of their mouth was angry yelling that they'd been waiting for him to call.  (should have been HUGE red flag). I still visited, called, included them, not knowing they were turning around and lying, trying to get DH to divorce me behind my back for years, and I never knew bc DH and his many nice relatives didn't have the heart to tell me. (thank goodness I had DH monitor all conversations, so when they'd tell a lie, he didn't have to wonder if it was true).  I did recognize that they were very hurtful to DH and critical of him, but DH seemed okay, so I just swallowed my tongue to keep harmony.  Stories like these never end well. I think we as women try to live up to some fantasy beloved-daughter-in-law thing... which you rarely see son-in-laws getting all excited to butter up the in-laws...  just a warning to be cautious... That said.....

I am enjoying reading the responses!  AFwife1993 was a really excellent one, and so upbeat, and everyone wrote wonderful and very true things. You got some great advice. Wishing you the best of luck (and great in-laws!)

DH and I met at 18, married at 21 -- I was not from military family either, and all my family lives near each other.  When we were dating, we spent every single day together, and two weeks post-wedding, he left for 6 months.... so you are in good company here

  We have been together a decade, and still best friends.  I think the best things to know are:

 #1.  Flexibility!  You need an adventurous spirit, willing to roll with the punches and find something to be glad about when everything around you has run amok.  DH makes me laugh when everything is terrible, and that's how I knew he'd be the best person in the world to marry.  If you've got that, you've got enough!

#2. You and DH either grow together or you grow apart (also true of your relationships with friends/family back home).  So even when he's on ship, you'll want to have a ritual and a way of communicating.  Love is like a bank account -- you have to put more in than you get out, and that is especially true with military.  

#3.  Every Christmas, I ask DH for a love letter and a plane ticket!   Then, when he has a long TDY, rather than hang at home, I pick a friend to visit and fly off   It's also helpful to take a class or volunteer wherever you are stationed.  The best way to find like-minded friends is to do something you love.

Welcome to the family!

I am active duty Navy and I'm going to tell you what your anxiety is going to do to this relationship if you continue down this road.  First of all, I am tired of people complaining of military life when both parties knew it was going to be hard.  I have seen it happen to quite a few of my buddies where his wife is unhappy of the choice THEY made TOGETHER to join the military.  Because of her unhappieness, and her inability to cope with the new lifestyle THEY chose, it has made both of their lives a living hell.  Always worrying about the unexpected, complaining about him always being gone takes my shipmate's mind away for his work because he is always worrying about what is going on at home.  If moving down the street stressed you out, then you should've read more into what the military does.  They move you around A LOT.  You may get stationed across the country or world from your family.  There is a wonderful thing called Skype that has been invented to help you to see your family.  My wife and I are currently doing that.  We are a country apart from eachother but skype does help.  You will be able to keep in contact with your old friends.  Do you really want to be staying in the same place and not doing anything adventurous with your life?  The military offers adventure for you...not to mention a "free" roof over your head with all utilities taken care of.  You may not think you can make friends, but just a simple conversation, or question, can ignite a long friendship.  Family will always be there for you no matter where you go and you can always visit them or vice versa.  You need to get over your fear of leaving and be your own person.  To be blunt, this is military life, you chose that life when you BOTH decided this is what he was going to do.  If you don't think you can adjust, get out now before you make your lives hell, because I sure as hell do not want to be serving with someone who is wrapped up in this.  It puts my life, my shipmates lives and your loved one's life in danger. 


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I am a Marine wife of almost 4 years, I've been with my husband since the beginning of his Marine Corps journey and we're currently on our third deployment. I know where you're coming from, but there's no reason to be scared.  You can't help who you fall in love with, and not having him in your life would be worse than dealing with a deployment. The military life basically forces you to grow up, most of the time you move away from friends and family. But you make new friends. Not everyone will be welcoming and friendly, you will learn which ones to stay away from, but you will also make some great friends! You can always visit your family, it's not like you'll never see them again. 

Deployments are not the end of the world! When my husband joined, I knew he'd have to deploy. But I never thought he'd keep volunteering to deploy, with his job guys  normally deploy every couple years. He's volunteered and deployed every year since 2009, and when he reenlists he told me he'll keep doing that. He loves doing his job. Deployments never get easier, in fact it gets harder to keep letting him go, but I keep in mind that he's doing what he loves. Deployments are also YOUR opportunity to be independent, you get to take up any hobby you want, get a job, get involved with your family readiness groups, volunteer at the base you'll be stationed at. Those activities will also be a great way of meeting new people. 

The military life is what you make of it. He's in the military because it's what he wants to do, and the military can be demanding. So don't blame him when he has to deploy or stay late at work, it's not his fault. You know he'd rather be home with you but the country needs him more. Cherish the time you do have with him. When he leaves, don't lock yourself in your room. It'll only make the deployment a heck of a lot harder to deal with. He believes in you, he needs you to be strong for him. Everyone has the ability to be strong, the only thing holding you back is yourself. Believe me, I was dependent and scared to do anything on my own when I met my husband. Him joining the Marines forced me way out of my comfort zone. Him deploying all the time goes against my wanting to be with him all the time. But instead of collapsing under the weight, I wanted to make him proud of me so I step up to the plate every time I need to. And now I'm a very strong woman, capable of handling just about anything that happens while he's gone. Believe in yourself, you can do this!


Mrs. Edwards

 

You are at the beginning of a most excellent adventure!  Allow me to tell you mine, and see if it fits into your dreams of the future...

I met DH at 18, after living in the same rural town since I was 5.  My best friends were: a dog, a horse, and a wild and crazy neighbor, whom I am still close to 35 years later.  Fast forward to 1990, I meet the love of my life, and he is Air Force.  Assigned to a rapid deployment team (Red Horse).  We date for 2.5 years, got married a month before he has orders to his next base, and I move out to the New Mexico desert with no job, no furniture, and a ring.  Oh, and a husband who deployed 3 months later.

Guess what?  I loved it!  Not the being away all the time part, but 22 years later, I truly believe that that time apart was a big piece of us staying together.  It made us WANT to find each other again, not take each other for granted, to live our fullest lives.  I went with him to the Middle East, to Germany (visit, not to live) and truly enjoy hearing his stories of trips to China, Panama, you name it...places I may not want to go, but am glad that he found them interesting while doing a tough job.

The perks on the other side, if he makes it a career, are worth it.  Our daughter is using his GI Bill for college in 4 years.  My tuition for a 4 year degree was mostly paid for by military assistance.  He now has a settled, government job, as do I.  In this economy, the value of the TSP, liberal leave, and guaranteed employment is nothing to scoff at.  Sure, there were years I wanted to shake the Air Force by the neck, but it wouldn't have done me any good.  Sure, there were times that I was scared of: death, infidelity, losing my self-identity inside of his military identity...but none of that happened, and was just a waste of my spirit.  I grew up as a military wife.  As a person who returned to my home area, to regain friendships with people I've known since kindergarten has been a wake up call.  They knew how hard this life was at times, and stuck by me through it all.  And my family is so much stronger because we were forged in the military. 

Good luck!/WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/happy.png


~Jen

@Amy I see where you are coming from on the IL front...at first my MIL tried to undermine our marriage.  But b/c the military moved us far away from her, it was MUCH easier for him to cut the apron strings.  After the 5 year mark, she just kinda gave up and eventually turned into my ally.  I think she had a stereotype of a young military wife, and when it was clear I didn't fit it, she backed off.  If we had lived in the same town with her as civilians, that never would have happened. She was always civil, but would drop comments that got my hackles up.  At one point I just told her over the phone shortly after 9/11 that I was scared for him and she broke down (first time ever) and said she had the same fears.  I got to comfort her: explaining what his training was like beforehand, how we had talked about the what ifs, oddly she was comforted by my acknowldegement that he'd be buried in her home town if anything happened.  I realized that while we were having this conversation b/c of the greater risk his job has, women have to deal with death all the time.  Just b/c he's military doesn't predispose him to death that much more than my girlfriends' husbands.  Odd how a conversation about death could bring us closer.

OK-this post is not upbeat, but you get where I'm coming from!


~Jen

MarineWife6132,  I loved what you put in your response.  I couldn't have said it better. 


Mel. "Life...it is what it is. Suck it up, deal with it and move on."

Hi Ladies. I've been dating my sailor for almost 3 years now, since we were 18 and in High School. In a little more than a year (on our 4th anniversary), I'll be a Navy wife and I'm terrified. I don't handle being alone very well and to be with him after the wedding I'll have to move from the only Home I've ever known (in NC) to somewhere I've never been (probably FL). I'll be moving away from my family and my lifelong friends. And I have several questions and concerns. Mostly, I'm worried about making new friends with the other wives on base, I assume they're friendly and open and kind but I've had the same best friend since fifth grade (and we'll both be 21 at the end of April). It's been so long since I made friends that I'm not sure I remember how. I'm also really worried about dealing with the separation, not just from my sailor but from my family. I looked at colleges based on how close they were to home and picked one a comfortable 92.5 miles from road I grew up on, and where my parents still reside. How can I handle moving 425 miles to another state when the stress of moving down the street the only time I've ever moved stressed me out for weeks? Lastly, I'm concerned about the loneliness. I miss him now, while he's safe and sound, tethered to base because he's still in training. I get a good morning and a good night text or phone call everyday and I talk to him during that day a lot too. And I still find myself crying into my pillow at least once a week (including while I write this). He hasn't even been deployed yet and I'm already ready for his 4.5 more years to be up. (He's a AWR Rescue Swimmer and apparently their contracts are for 6 years, not 4) I didn't come from a military family and always swore I'd never marry a man with a dangerous job (i.e. policeman, fireman, soldier, sailor, etc.) yet here I am, ring on my finger and a pile of wedding and MilSpouse magazines at the foot of my bed. Please respond if you have any advice on any of my questions. I need a lot of guidance. Thanks Ladies

To all of you new and soon to be wives....WELCOME to the "sisterhood".  I say it with quotes because there are wonderful husbands out there as well.  The best advice I can give you is to embrace the new life and the changes.  Is it always easy no but then marriage is not easy regardless.  There are activities and ways to become involved with other spouses and those might be some good opportunities to meet other spouses at your new location.  I continued to attend school and graduate school while married and I am sure that helped since I was able to make friends there as well.  Please maintain a hobby or school or work or volunteer activities for yourself as it will help when they are deployed.  Also you will be amazed at how quick a deployment goes once you have a groove.  That said I have been a Marine wife for more than 13 years and I still cry when he leaves or when I am lonely.  Then I look at pictures or write him a long email and I feel better.  Finding confidants is also a great way to get through.  A great friend at work was a Navy wife for more than 24 years and she listened when I needed and understood and was someone I could open up to or even find spouses on here that can "listen" albeit over the computer but you get my point.  I am sending happy thoughts your ways!

I'm a soon to be army wife and i know exactly where you are coming from. I never have gone to far from home, and I'm worried about pretty much starting a new life. Were pretty much going in to the dark, we don't know how its going to be ect. But i was the same way when my soldier was at training, i was a wreck, constantly upset crying, and missing him. So far, reaching out to other people and reading a lot about the army life has settled me down a bit. It reallly helps to talk to people who were/ are in the same posistion as me. I'm now not so scared but looking forward to the future, although it's definitely going to be hard! I wish you the best. And congrats on the marriage!

PM me any time if you wanna talk or just need someone to vent to!


 ok so i used to be in the same boat about 2 years ago. im not from a military back at all and the longest ive ever been away from my family was 6 months. i was scared like no other. i will say the first year about my husband left for boot camp was the worst. we saw each a total about 21 days max due to boot camp, training and 2 deployments. if i were to give you any advice it is to become close to his family if you aren't already. i can honestly say if it wasn't for his family helping me out so much i would have gone crazy. plus also think of your life as one huge adventure now. you get to meet new people, see things most people dont get to, and go places most can't either. just keep you head up and know that with every crappy deployment there is always an amazing home coming that is worth the wait.

I know from personal experience how hard it is to move away from your family and everything you know, I also know how difficult it is when your husband is gone specially when you have kids. But I've been a Navy wife for 11 years and married for 14. It is one of the things I'm most proud of, Navy life is very rewarding and it gives us many bebefits including job security. You will grow and become a very strong woman, don't worry about making friends. Everyone is in the same "boat" as you, away from family and sometimes alone, but never feel lonely. You will have some great Navy sisters to help you along the way. If you stay positive and with a good attitude, any challenge will be easier to overcome. Think about the places you can go and the things you'll get to do that would never happen if you'd stayed where you are. The Navy has many resources to make your transition easier. Check out www.gocompass.org. It's a an official Navy program sponsoed by Navy Family Line, other branches have simmilar resources too. This is a class for Navy Spouses, it was designed and is taught by navy Spouses who have become mentors. There are a few locations accross the US and also overseas, I took it after 7 years and wished I had taken it long before. Everything I knew that the talked about during the class I had learned because something had gone wrong and I had to figure it out on my own. I highly recommend you take this class, it will also be a great opportunity to meet some new people. Send me a message if now or ever you need more info or support. It's not the easiest life but I wouldn't change it!

herwsky wrote:

I am active duty Navy and I'm going to tell you what your anxiety is going to do to this relationship if you continue down this road.  First of all, I am tired of people complaining of military life when both parties knew it was going to be hard.  I have seen it happen to quite a few of my buddies where his wife is unhappy of the choice THEY made TOGETHER to join the military.  Because of her unhappieness, and her inability to cope with the new lifestyle THEY chose, it has made both of their lives a living hell.  Always worrying about the unexpected, complaining about him always being gone takes my shipmate's mind away for his work because he is always worrying about what is going on at home.  If moving down the street stressed you out, then you should've read more into what the military does.  They move you around A LOT.  You may get stationed across the country or world from your family.  There is a wonderful thing called Skype that has been invented to help you to see your family.  My wife and I are currently doing that.  We are a country apart from eachother but skype does help.  You will be able to keep in contact with your old friends.  Do you really want to be staying in the same place and not doing anything adventurous with your life?  The military offers adventure for you...not to mention a "free" roof over your head with all utilities taken care of.  You may not think you can make friends, but just a simple conversation, or question, can ignite a long friendship.  Family will always be there for you no matter where you go and you can always visit them or vice versa.  You need to get over your fear of leaving and be your own person.  To be blunt, this is military life, you chose that life when you BOTH decided this is what he was going to do.  If you don't think you can adjust, get out now before you make your lives hell, because I sure as hell do not want to be serving with someone who is wrapped up in this.  It puts my life, my shipmates lives and your loved one's life in danger. 

I have to agree with this. ^^ Military life is hard and REALLY stressful at times but you both knew that it was going to be in your future. I came from a military family, I am prior service Air Force and now I'm married an active duty Marine. While it is tough living this life, it has some great rewards, like traveling on Uncle Sam's dime! I have seen many spouse drive themselves crazy because they couldn't handle military life. Behavior like that can take it's toll on the service member. It WILL take time to adjust but if you can slowly get over your fears, this life will be surprising rewarding.  


"There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say." -Geronimo
Air Force Veteran & Marine Wife

i used to be the wife who needed the hubby to be close and to be honest you get used to him being a away and when he comes home its so much fun i love being away from my family but was also scared to move out of state and now i cant wait to do it a second time the wives are always a great support everyone i have met has been a friend of some sort so just make sure you get out there and join in with some of the groups on facebook or on base and it will make you feel better about the friend thing i have always been a VERY shy person and had to learn to step out of my shell so that i could meet people and be happy as a person and be comfortable around other people start small if your scared a post of facebook for the new base you will be headed to soon saying hey im new and worried about moving TONS of people go through these things and are scared too it gets better i promise!!! 

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Felicia wrote:

Prates Girl go to Military One Source and register. Have them send you the book "The Home front Club" by Jacey Eckhart. She was a Navy Brat and is a Navy Wife. It gives you a great idea of what to expect as a girlfriend then spouse. I been a Marine Wife for a while now and I read this book recently and I wish I would have read this when I was younger and first into the "sisterhood". Also try and find a Navy Spouse sponsor to be your go to person or any branch (there are a million websites). If you do not have someone to ask questions about Deployments, PCSing even having kids you will be over whelmed fast. It's an adventure and you defintaly need a go to person to keep you sane. Welcome to the club. On;y listen to the positive and put positive out and you will be okay! 


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt,

Great book! Just wanted to add that's it's FREE! /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/wink.png


www.wickedwitandwisdom.blogspot.com

When I got married I moved out of my parents house for the first time and 1300 miles away to California to be with my husband. So far in the last almost two years we've been married he's been home a total of about 5 months of it. it was the hardest thing i have ever done, and yet the most rewarding. I always tell people I didn't choose this life, I fell in love, but i have grown so much and learned so much about myself since I moved out here and learned to be on my own. We are over half way through our second deployment since our wedding, and all I can tell you is that it doesn't get easier to day goodbye, but it becomes more familiar and you become stronger. You are stronger than you think you are, have faith.

Prates Girl go to Military One Source and register. Have them send you the book "The Home front Club" by Jacey Eckhart. She was a Navy Brat and is a Navy Wife. It gives you a great idea of what to expect as a girlfriend then spouse. I been a Marine Wife for a while now and I read this book recently and I wish I would have read this when I was younger and first into the "sisterhood". Also try and find a Navy Spouse sponsor to be your go to person or any branch (there are a million websites). If you do not have someone to ask questions about Deployments, PCSing even having kids you will be over whelmed fast. It's an adventure and you defintaly need a go to person to keep you sane. Welcome to the club. On;y listen to the positive and put positive out and you will be okay! 


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt,

Lucky Girl wrote:
Felicia wrote:

Prates Girl go to Military One Source and register. Have them send you the book "The Home front Club" by Jacey Eckhart. She was a Navy Brat and is a Navy Wife. It gives you a great idea of what to expect as a girlfriend then spouse. I been a Marine Wife for a while now and I read this book recently and I wish I would have read this when I was younger and first into the "sisterhood". Also try and find a Navy Spouse sponsor to be your go to person or any branch (there are a million websites). If you do not have someone to ask questions about Deployments, PCSing even having kids you will be over whelmed fast. It's an adventure and you defintaly need a go to person to keep you sane. Welcome to the club. On;y listen to the positive and put positive out and you will be okay! 


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt,

Great book! Just wanted to add that's it's FREE! /WorkArea/threadeddisc/emoticons/wink.png


www.wickedwitandwisdom.blogspot.com

oh my gosh it was you who recommended it to me. Now I remember. I ordered every book I could.



No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt,

The best advice I can give is to be adaptable and embrace change- because there's going to be A LOT of it to come. I was nervous at first but then I started thinking about all the new places I could explore, the new people I would meet, and the memories we would make and I was pretty much chucking stuff into our cars in order to speed things up when moving day came.



Don't worry about making friends, it'll just happen and before you know it, you have a group of amazing women (and men!) that you can easily refer to as your "really-extended family". Just be yourself. Also, don't settle for a friend just because you're lonely (especially if you find yourself disliking her more than you like her), That may end up causing unnecessary drama in the long-run. Allow yourself to naturally "click" with others without pushing the clicking part (for instance, there's some women that I've met that I would never get along with in the civilian world so I  don't court the idea of forcing the friend-feelings, but I make it a point to be friendly). Another good way to make friends is to find a job off-base if possible. It's a great way to meet locals, and a few local friends can REALLY introduce you to the city you're in!


As for the separations, I won't lie- it is by far the toughest part of being a spouse to a service member. For me, it seems that all the bad things happen that could happen to me happen when he's gone, lol. But, truthfully, having had to deal with all the bad things by myself has allowed me to get to know, love, and respect myself as a woman because I've proven time and time again that I am far stronger than I've ever imagined I could be. It's completely empowering! And just know, they do get easier  , I promise.

You can totally do this, girl. Get pumped and get ready for an adventure, because it's definitely going to be one! We're always to help

 First of all, welcome to the Navy family!  I was 19 when I married my sailor.  We have moved all over the country and it has been an adventure.  While not always pleasant, it forced me to grow up and become a strong, independent, superwoman!  You can do it, and the family support group of your husband-to-be's command is a GREAT place to start and meet new people!  When you find out where he is going, psych yourself up for it...research the area and all the things to see and do while there.  The Navy may take you to places you've only ever dreamed about, take advantage and be a geeky tourist/sightseer.  There are so many on base activities and command sponsored things to help keep you in touch with your man.  Do not be afraid to ask for help if you need it.  You will come across situations you are unfamiliar with, but with a little helping hand, you will learn that you can do anything!  Your ombudsman and fellow navy spouses are all in the same boat and can help should you need it...and besides, if he does go to FL, it is not a bad drive up 95!  Good luck sweetie.

 
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