Basic Training: How to Make the Most of Day-to-Day Challenges
Learn about the military
"Educating myself was a huge help. I read everything I could find on programs that pertained to my husband. He bought me a book about pilots, and what their lives are like. This all helped me to be more understanding when he couldn't call as often as we both hoped, or when we'd have to deal with last-minute travel changes." -Felicia
"Being a military spouse is not easy, but staying as positive as possible can really help you through it." -Melissa
Don't "rank" friends
"Hold your head high no matter what your husband's rank is. Each and every job is important. They depend on one another! When my husband and I move and meet new people, rank never ever comes into the picture. The friends we make are dear to us because of who they are in the inside, not what is on their shoulder or sleeve." -Cindy
"My favorite quote is, 'Always flexible. We have to be,' from Semper Gumby. As an example, I had chosen a wedding date and planned our ceremony, but it wasn't until three days beforehand that everything was a 'go.' That's when my husband called to say he was on his way home."
Learn when to compromise
"While all relationships are difficult at times and compromises have to be made, women should not compromise beyond their limitations to make the relationship work. There is a line between compromises you have to make because your boyfriend or husband is in the military, and compromises you are asked to make because of unfair expectations he expresses about a relationship. A woman dating a military man [or married to a military man] should be strong enough in her character to recognize that line."
Make new friends, but keep the old
"Don't turn your back on your old friends just because you have a new life. It will get harder to stay in touch, but the time you take to work at those friendships will pay off when you do get to go 'home.'" -Katelyn
Deployment: Tips to Make Moving Easier
"When it's time to move, I always make a folder with information I've printed from the installation's Website. It's filled with emergency numbers, command numbers, information on utilities, the claims office phone number, the inbound shipment's phone number and more. Then, I throw in a couple of sheets of paper and a pencil. That way all the information we need is in one place." -Mallory
Separate the needs from the wants
"Make a checklist of things you're going to want. Depending on how long your things will be in storage and where you're moving, you may want or need seasonal items." -Lisa
Check the local news
"Find out if the newspaper from the area is online. You'll be able to look up apartments or houses to rent, as well as jobs if you want to work. Most times you can have it emailed daily." -Nancy
"Ask your landlords for a written letter of recommendation. Keep the originals in your files, and make copies for potential future landlords. Be sure, also, to keep a list of their phone numbers, addresses and management company names for quick reference. You don't want to lose out on a great place because you don't have that information handy." -Jen
New Assignment: Survival Skills for Spending Time Apart
Gab with friends
"Don't wait by the phone for him to call! Call up friends, and do fun activities. This way you'll always have a story to tell when he comes home." -Danielle
Document important events
"Some wives I know kept an online journal of their pregnancies, since their husbands weren't there to share the day-to-day experience. Each day they wrote about how they were feeling. If your husband won't have access to the Internet, you can send him a scrapbook each month with some photos of you." -Lizzy
Save (and savor) your conversations
"I save IM conversations with my boyfriend by copying and pasting them. Rereading them helps me feel closer to him, and looking back at what he said reminds me how much he loves me." -Brittany
Meet other wives
"I joined a family support group for my fiance's ship. We meet once a month, talk about what's going on and even have socials. It really helps!"
Be a patriot
"I try to remember that separation comes with most military jobs. It is not something they do to torture the families. It's simply part of the job, one that I admire my husband for having. I take a lot of pride in telling people that I am a military wife so that little reminder helps me stay positive."
Try something new
"Stay busy and the time will go by faster. You can do anything while your husband is gone: volunteer, work, make new friends, do activities with your children if you have them, or go to school yourself. You just have to be willing to go out and look for things to do. Most people are more than willing to help you out." -Clara
"While my husband is away I give myself spa treatments twice a week!"
Rent a chick flick
"When else could I control the TV? Or watch all the movies that I know he won't like?" -Trista
Remember, you're not alone
"Thinking about other military families helps me. Somewhere, some poor woman has gone or is going through a trauma that is far worse than me being without my sweetie." -Jessy
Revel in alone time
"One good thing about him being sent away: I sleep wherever I want in the bed!" -Valerie