Friday, July 13, 2012

(TWL) 10 Things I've Learned in 2 Years

Yay! Another post for The Wifely Life Series! My husband and I celebrated (and will be celebrating tomorrow) our 2 year wedding anniversary! Ask either one of us how it has been and we will both respond with, "Man, it sure feels longer than two years!"

I figured what a better topic for this week than to reflect on being a wife for two whole years! (Although, we've been together for nearly 7 1/2 years)

Let's see, while many of our other newly married counterparts have settled down in newly purchased homes and welcomed new babies, we have been busy not doing either one. In just 2 years we have called 3 homes in 3 different states "home". Each state brought a new journey in our lives, paralleled with the hubs training, that we have learned a lot about each other and have had to increase patience as well as the ability to adjust to changes in our surroundings and to each other. Ah, the benefits of being a military wife!
Moving meant having lots of quality road time together!
When you get married, you know you will face challenges and ups and downs. It is how you come out of them, together, that builds and strengthens the relationship. This summer is not only our 2 year anniversary, but my hubs was promoted to 1st Lieutenant for the Marines and we are now approaching the end of our 1 year lease where we currently live. That is seriously huge for us since the moment we got married we've never stayed in one home long enough to be there a full year!

I thought I'd share 10 things I learned as a USMC Wife and as a newlywed with no children trying to be the best wife I can be!

1) Go to bed together - Being on the same sleep schedule really helps us stay connected. It gets hard to try to center my life around his crazy schedule but I think it prevents us from alienating ourselves from each other. Plus no one likes to go to bed alone!

2) Date Night - You don't have to go out to dinner or spend all kinds of money to have time together. We would often get a movie or just chill with some drinks and chat. I get that it's easier for us to have weekly date night since we don't have kids. I'm so thankful to be able to do these weekly! This is something couples should never fully get rid of. 

3) It's okay not to conform - I'm not the military wife that wears all the shirts, takes a million pictures, and decks out my car in I <3 My Marine stickers. I'm also not the wife that is involved in all the group activities that all the other wives go to. I often feel like I don't fit in if I don't, but I'm not willing to be someone I'm not just because I'm a military wife. Which brings me to the next thing...

4) Don't try to fit in! - In my experience, I'm typically the only one with no kids. Hang out with one mom, cool. Hang out with more than one and you might as well give up. Like flies to a piece of meat, they can't help but talk about nothing but their children and childbirth (probably the best birth control hearing those stories!) It often makes me feel left out and I have to excuse myself to hang with the hubs instead. It used to bother me, actually it still does, but the biggest thing I am learning is that I don't have to fit in! I know my time will come for the mom talk but for now, I'm okay with just being myself and making connections with a few really wonderful girls! I'm not the girl who hangs out with the big group of girls anyway, but I love a good sushi date with a girlfriend!

5) It's hard to get a job - It is always that dreaded question of "So what do you do?" that just makes me cringe. However, it is not uncommon for military wives to have a hard time finding a job, or to be in the process of a career change. We are a blessed group of women to have the military and our men to back us and support us! It brought me down for a while to be unemployed but I am learning so much about myself in this down time and I am enjoying where I am headed. (Soon to be personal trainer!)

6) You will never know what is going on - I'm a control freak and a planning freak. "Thankfully" the military never fills you in on anything unless it is the last minute or unless you were fortunate enough to talk to someone who had already been through it. It is a hard adjustment to deal with that, but it has taught me a lot about living day to day. I have to say it helps me stay grounded instead of worrying about what I can't control.

7) Take advantage of the resources - Most the time I feel like the military could give a crap about me, but after utilizing a few things, such as MyCAA to pay for education, the Family Readiness Center that provides awesome counselors and a small library and the Fitness Center, I have realized that I am taken care of if I only seek out and use what is out there for me.

8) Be his sense of normal - Most the time these military guys are on a roller coaster of emotions with all the stuff they go through. Going home is probably the best relief they can have. I have learned that the best way to support my man is to make his home pleasant. Meaning that I need to keep my attitude in check and actually do the dishes! When it comes right down to it, I do prefer to see him smile than to get out whatever it is I feel I have to gripe about. 

9) Listen. Really listen. Then ask why. - In any successful relationship comes respect and communication. It is important to listen to what the other is saying. Not just to hear but to listen to the words they are saying when they talk to you. If it is something that needs more attention, it is important to also ask why they feel the way they do. It is easy to not notice how we affect the ones we love by the things we say and do. 

10) Have faith in EVERYTHING. God's got this! - All in all, it is tough. Change is tough, marriage is tough, the military lifestyle is tough. But in God anything is possible! The journey is all worth it when you have faith and keep praying for God's hand to be in it all. 

Of course there is probably plenty more I can talk about but 10 is a good number. :-) Though I will throw in a bonus. Three words: King Size Bed! We don't have one yet, but I think it would work wonders if we both could just spread out when we sleep! Lol!

Do you have any tips to share of what you have learned so far in your marriage military or not? Share below in the comments or share them on The STRONG Life's Facebook Page!

Source: via Melina on Pinterest

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