Sure, those uniforms look great, but military life isn’t all about Homecomings and ceremonies!
15 moments that make military life not romantic
I never thought that military life was romantic: not when I was dating, and certainly not after I married my service member.
I don’t understand why some people think it would be so romantic to marry someone in the military. Maybe they don’t remember the Iraq War. Maybe they have watched too many Homecoming videos or episodes of Army Wives, or seen too many pictures of military engagement photos—you know, the ones where the girl wears part of her man’s uniform, and the couple is draped in an American flag.
Yes, the uniforms are really sexy. But they don’t wear the dress uniforms every day. More like once a year. If you marry someone in the military, your everyday life will not be like a movie.
“If you marry someone in the military, life will not be like a movie.” ~The Seasoned Spouse
Yes, there are challenges to any marriage. But in the military, there are extra challenges. Not only are you newlyweds, but you may spend your first year together overseas, where it is impossible to get a job. Not only are you a new mom, but you will deliver the baby alone, while your husband and family members are thousands of miles away. Those are the silent hidden moments of military life that you won’t see in a montage video online.
So please, forget what you have seen on Pinterest. Military life is hard. It demands sacrifice. Military life will require a lot of patience and an eternally optimistic attitude. Need proof? Then check out these least romantic moments of military life.
Military life is not romantic. Unless you like spending lots of time alone.
#1. Sleeping alone. Not just during deployments, but every time they go away for a school or training mission. Or spend the night working in the field. Or they have overnight duty…
#2. Celebrating your anniversary alone. And your birthday. And Christmas. And weddings and funerals… Basically, your military spouse misses a lot of important events. They usually don’t have a choice.
#3. Giving birth alone. In case childbirth isn’t romantic enough, it is extra fun when you go through it alone. In a hurricane. Just kidding, that wasn’t fun at all. If you are lucky, your military spouse can participate by Skype or by phone.
#4. Preparing a nice dinner, only to eat it alone. This happens more often than any of us want to admit. Because “Hi honey, I should be off by 4!” easily turns into “Hey honey, go ahead and put the kids to bed, I’m going to be stuck here for a while.”
#5. Putting up Christmas decorations alone. And taking them down by yourself, too. Because holidays must still be celebrated, whether or not your spouse will be home this year.
Worry and stress make military life not romantic
#6. You can never actually make plans. Because the military just loves to make last-minute changes. Spouses learn that everything is tentative. It’s not romantic to be trapped in “hurry up and wait.” And it’s stressful when you feel like you can’t control anything.
#7. Spending weeks or months worrying about whether your spouse is still alive. Even ‘lucky’ military spouses who say they get to talk all the time during deployment usually mean some kind of one-way texting or email conversation. We basically never know any details about where our spouse is, what they are doing, and when they will be home. And we dread the day we will receive the worst news of all.
#8. Facing a flat tire, a broken appliance, a sick child, or a huge bill on your own. Of course, bad luck happens to everyone. But life seems to hit the hardest when your military spouse is away. It’s not romantic to face so many challenges and make important decisions without being about to contact your spouse for support.
#9. Seeing your children cry because they miss their deployed parent. It’s not romantic to be a solo parent, even for a short time. Children will act out and cry for their military parent, and there is nothing you can do to help that ache. Even with a Daddy doll and a deployment quilt, there are still bad days.
Military uniforms seem romantic, but…
#10. Keeping track of uniform pieces. This is the unofficial part-time job of every military spouse. You will be asked around 4AM: “Babe, have you seen my belt? My boot bands? My cover? My rank?” And there will be little pin backings all over the house. The smaller the piece, it seems the more important it is!
#11. Washing cammies after gas chamber day. Ugh, just what I wanted in the laundry today: poison gas! Excuse me while I gag and cry.
#12. Spending more on his uniform than on your formal gown for the Military Ball. Because the ribbons need to be updated. And it has to be tailored. And dry cleaned. And he needs to buy an accessory specific to this unit…
Leaving your family and career behind is not romantic.
#13. Packing up everything and moving to a new state every few years. Because whenever we finally feel settled and normal, it’s time to move and start all over again. “I love leaving all my new friends”… said no military spouse ever.
#14. Dropping your career possibilities to follow your spouse. Some military spouses find great jobs and opportunities. But creating a PCS-proof career is a real challenge. The military will always come first in any military marriage.
#15. Living so far from your family that you only see them every other year. There’s nothing romantic about spending vacations in airports with children, just so they can see their grandparents.
In spite of all that, military life can be totally worth it. If you stay flexible, remain positive, and surround yourself with a strong circle of supportive friends, then you can enjoy military life moments, with or without your spouse. Military life is NOT romantic, but those who search can find the romance and keep it alive, no matter the distance or the challenges.
What is an unromantic moment from your military life?