I'm a military spouse AMA
Inspired by @shanaz and her AMA
- •I've been married for three years, together for seven years this Halloween 🎃 My husband is a lieutenant in the US Navy. He was an officer on an LA class fast attack submarine and he went on one deployment and multiple missions out to sea (aka he was gone for awhile, but it wasn't as long as a deployment).
- •I'm by no means an expert on this life, but people seem to be curious about military life, so please ask away!
- •I'll answer anything I can without violating OPSEC or breaking any rules like that
- •Have you moved around a lot? If so, where? And which place have you liked best?Suggested by @shanaz
- •@shanaz Oh yes! When we were dating/engaged, Husband's path was Charleston, SC to Groton, CT to Saratoga Springs, NY to Honolulu, HI. Then we got married, I joined him in HI, and we moved to Norfolk, VA and then to southwest Ohio for his next assignment.I loved Charleston (great food, good beaches, amazing history, etc), Hawaii was obviously incredible, and I actually really like Ohio so far because it's really nice to be back in a small town among friendly folks.
- •What's the longest amount of time that you've gone without seeing your husband?Suggested by @lexie_elyse
- •@lexie_elyse his deployment was just over six months, so that's our longest time. We could occasionally Skype if the sub pulled in somewhere, but that was rare. The longest period of absolutely no contact was two months.
- •@talor uff da! All good questions. Okay, well luckily the husband works "normal" hours now so he's not gone as much. When he was gone a lot, I would just find stuff to do. I love reading, I paint/draw/doodle, I watch shows that he can't stand. I recharge by having time to myself, so it works well for us. Friends and family try to be supportive.The good ones ask or figured out how best to help out (ex. calling just to chat, random care packages, inviting me to do stuff with their families) but everyone is different and some people are more hindrances than helps. I don't know if I am "used" to him leaving, but I know that being upset about it will never change anything, so I might as well make the best of it. I think the time apart makes us appreciate the time together more. It certainly builds trust and I think that it forces us to
- •@talor cont. Improve our communication skills early. We're both very straight-forward and get to the point because we are used to short phone calls and delayed communications. I definitely feel more self-sufficient than other married friends I know, because I'm used to doing a lot of things myself while he is gone.
- •Thank you for this list, opportunity to ask questions and the opportunity to get to know you! Do you and your husband live in military housing? Do they charge you for it? And do they help you move all over the place like that? Thank you again for being so open! 💕💐💕Suggested by @Heartsounds
- •@Heartsounds you're so welcome! We do not and have never lived in military housing. MH tends to be more for enlisted families (in my experience) or if you're on a base in a city that doesn't allow for living off-base. We have always lived off-base because we like some separation. Each month, as a part of your paycheck, you get a BAH(Basic housing allowance). This is determined by your rank, if you have dependents (spouse and kids), and the zip code of your duty station. If you choose MH, then you forfeit this amount each month; the military just keeps it in exchange for your housing. If you live off-base, you get this amount each month. We have always been lucky enough to find a place we love off-base for less than our BAH, so we can pocket the difference and use it towards other bills.
- •@Heartsounds cont. The military does coordinate our moves, but it can be a headache. They come pack everything, but they will pack EVERYTHING so you need to separate things you need vs. things that can be moved. They'll pack a full garbage can unless you empty it. For the HI to VA move, they will ship one car across the ocean for free, butIt's a really long process so we just sold both our cars and bought new ones on the mainland. It's really convenient to not worry about the move logistics and costs, but you literally go months without seeing your belongings, so we are experts on simple living (ex. air mattress, two sets of cutlery and dishes, and that's it). You can also coordinate a move yourself and the military will reimburse you to a certain point, but we have never done that. We have friends who have and swear by it.
- •How does his military job affect your ability to work?Suggested by @lexie_elyse
- •@lexie_elyse it totally controls it haha. Before we got married, I was a senior business analyst for a major retailer. I moved to HI and there are no HQs out there because 💸 plus I didn't want to have a job that kept me from seeing him on the rare chances I could. I worked as a library assistant at the elementary school on base in HI, andI applied for SO many jobs in VA but didn't get offered anything until two weeks before we moved 😕 Here in OH, I've been doing a ton of stuff to our house and now that my husband's schedule is flexible, I'm hesitant to get a job that isn't as flexible because time together is still our #1 priority. I would really like to have a job but it works for us to have me dealing with house stuff while he works. Me dealing with feelings of worthlessness for not working is a whole other li.st in itself
- •No question. Just want to say thanks for posting! I'm a military spouse as well, Semer Fi, been married 1 year, together 5. The work thing is definitely frustrating, since the timing of your move, where you move, as well as the lack of contacts outside the military community plays a big role especially in certain careers. It's not ideal, butmy husband makes it worthwhile.Suggested by @nacia13
- •@nacia13 thanks so much! You're totally right; parts of it are so frustrating, but this is my life with my husband and he is what makes it great 😊