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    5 Things Seasoned Spouses Appreciate About Military Life

    Another Military Spouse Appreciation Day is headed our way on May 6th, and there’s sure to be a lot of heart-felt thanks circulating online. All of it is dedicated to uplifting each and every one of the amazing spouses who carry the weight of our servicemembers’ call to service. 

    You’ll read messages of gratitude for your endless sacrifice, for managing Murphy’s law with aplomb, and for canceling or postponing a perfectly planned wedding, vacation, or family reunion thanks to a denied leave request or deployment. 

    If you immediately connect with the words and experiences, there’s a good chance a seasoned spouse wrote the blog or captioned the meme. For lack of a better saying, they’ve been there and done that, so they know your pain. 

    Although the age range of a seasoned spouse is debatable, most consider a seasoned spouse someone who has a lot of military experience under their belt, which is easy to come by if your spouse has served during the last 20 years.

    What Seasoned Spouses Appreciate About Military Life

    What Seasoned Spouses Appreciate About Military Life 

    Military life guarantees a hard-earned badge of honor sewn on a seasoned spouse’s wardrobe— it’s been a long couple of decades after all—but on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, there’s no need to rehash who’s had it worse. By now, the honorable seasoned spouse knows someone out there certainly has had it far worse than they have.

    Instead, let’s flip the script and chat about what seasoned spouses appreciate about military life. You might not like how you’ve had to hone your skills or even love all of your experiences, but you can appreciate where they’ve brought you today. 

    group of friends discussingPhoto by Shutterstock

    1) You’re way more chill and confident.

    It takes a lot to break you down these days. Your coping techniques are solid, and you finally get that, yes, eventually, you will replace your lost ID. You know it will be painful because you’ll likely lose it over a holiday weekend, but realize you’ll eventually have a new laminated picture of yourself. You also know that at least one major appliance or car will break during a deployment, and you’re okay with that because you’ve successfully managed disaster before. Basically, you just know that somehow, someway, everything will work out.

    friends talking over coffeePhoto by Shutterstock 

    2) You’re spending your time wisely and joyfully. 

    Most seasoned spouses have worked an odd collection of jobs or found careers along the way. At this point, at a minimum, you know what you DON’T want to do in the future. That’s a big deal as transition approaches—you’ll cut out job searches and  interviews  that don’t meet your goals. The same goes for volunteering. After years of the professional volunteer hustle, you’ll focus on the organizations that speak to your heart and spend time there. 

    3) You’re seeing your servicemember’s experience pay off differently.

    We all know that no one joins the military for a lucrative salary, but it's hard to deny that a senior military member’s income makes life a little easier. The same goes for their work experiences and relationships. Now, they may know a few people who can help change an unwanted assignment, help them fix the LES mistakes faster, and better yet, someone who can get that new ID ASAP. 

    seasoned military spousePhoto by Shutterstock

    4) You know the value of all friendships.

    There’s no way you could have gotten this far without your friends’ support. But, you also know your friendships have served specific purposes along the way. For example, seasoned spouses may not continuously keep in touch with the moms and dads from preschool, but you’re thrilled to see holiday cards will certainly reconnect if your paths cross again. So, how many best friends have you had in your life? 

    • Best high school friend
    • Best military friend 
    • Best neighbor friend
    • Best duty station friend
    • Best deployment friend 
    • Best phone-a-friend
    • Best OCONUS friend

    Friends chattingPhoto by Shutterstock 

    5) You’ve learned to ask for or at least accept  help when offered. 

    Well, sometimes. A seasoned spouse’s first instinct is to take charge and meet the challenge head-on, whether that’s a clogged toilet, an unresponsive landlord, or a 2 a.m. solo parent trip to the ER. But at this point in military spouse life, you know that although you can manage on your own 95% of the time, your friends, family, coworkers, and possibly a mental health professional will bail you out of a tough situation. It takes years to learn this lesson, and sometimes you have to re-learn it, but eventually, it finally sticks—everyone needs help sometimes.

    Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! You’ve persevered and even thrived over the years, and we thank you for your dedication and devotion to our collective military family.  

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    Dawn M. Smith

    Author

    Dawn M. Smith

    Dawn is a real estate and military life writer who has a serious HGTV habit. When she is not writing, her teen daughter, Army husband, and golden retriever keep her busy through chauffeur duties, travel planning, and long dog walks. Dawn is pleased to share her experiences with MilitaryByOwner readers who are hoping to simplify military family journeys of all kinds. Follow Dawn on Pinterest for more ideas and resources and visit her site at Dawn M. Smith Custom Content Creation.

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