Eighteen, 1-8, 10 plus 8, or otherwise known as my age when I changed my status to “married.”
I didn’t quite fit the average mold for the stereotype of girl-plays-house, and to be frank I never really even considered the negative onslaught of judgment against my decision … until I dove head first into the military spouse pool.
Now, I’m not going to write another article aimed at shaming the shamers, addressing the D-word that is too often addressed in cowardly social media groups, or even decoding statistics. I’m going to dive into the argument FOR “us,” the gals and guys who entered this realm as mere puppies — because some of us made it through. Some of us defied the odds and dodged the finger pointing. Our marriages are still intact and we are surviving, learning and thriving. Our advice, learn these truths:
1. Humility is essential.
You can read all the manuals, comb through blog post after Instagram hashtag and yet end up more confused about this lifestyle than when you began. Acronyms everywhere, rules about everything, as well as grasp new ideas and practices that are most often estranged (excluding to the few and proud military brats).
As young spouses we had no choice but to navigate through the confusion by asking questions, finding mentors and listening to advice. In short, we were humble enough to admit we didn’t understand and we loved our service members enough to seek understanding.
2. Sacrifice isn’t a bad thing.
Sacrifice is probably the most overused word in the military community. It is understandable that the notion of sacrifice triggers a chain reaction of emotion. “Well, you chose to marry young, deal with it.” What the nay sayer’s won’t tell you, however, is that sacrifice is required in every-single-relationship since forever.
Sacrifice teaches us to take a personal inventory and prioritize based on what we deem most important to us. As we sacrifice we learn which elements of our lives give us the most meaning, love, and drive, all while finding other elements that do not yield a superior return.