Spouse 101

The Unspoken Leadership in the Military Spouse World

We’ve all received the invites: “Coffee and Conversation,” “BUNCO Night,” “Wives Night Out,” “Brunch and Bash.”

These informal spouse events are present in almost every command as a way of supporting each other through the rigors of military life. We spouses (almost always just females because not many male spouses are interested in BUNCO night with a bunch of chicks talking about when the last time their baby pooped – but all are welcome!), attend these events to connect with those who simply get it.

Any military spouse will tell you that your role as the wife/husband of the active duty service member is more than just being married to them. Military life has a way of intertwining itself into all aspects of your life and your marriage. It is unspoken notion (or maybe not so unspoken in many circles) that no matter your service member’s rank, you are always considered to be a direct representation of your spouse whether you are at the commissary, at Target or at an official function.

It is also an unspoken notion that as your spouse climbs up in their ranks, you may hold more responsibility not only as their spouse — attending official events and unofficial events — but also as a leader to the other spouses in their unit. 

I am one of those spouses who loves being an active part of my servicemember’s unit. Over the past few years I’ve had the unique opportunity to be involved with some of the newest spouses coming into this crazy world of military life. Their questions, their concerns and their enthusiasm to take this life by the reins made me realize that helping to lead other military spouses is a significant part of military life. One of the questions I got the most was what these spouses should expect to do as their servicemember climbs up in rank. 

Of course this always is dependent on the individual spouse. You are never forced to host events or organize spouse coffee dates, but some spouses enjoy doing these things. If anything, military life creates a community and this community is often bonded through these types of casual events. So what can you expect as your spouse’s time and responsibility in the military increases?

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