The relationships in our life are important not only for us to survive but to thrive. Being a military spouse has put more of a spotlight on my relationships. Before becoming a military spouse everyone I was close to lived near me. I took for granted the relationships I had and didn’t truly nurture them because I didn’t think I had to.
Here are five lesson I have learned about relationships from being a military spouse:
Healthy Communication is KEY
Being open and honest with those in our lives is so important. When we bottle things up inside instead of expressing them they come bubbling to the surface and often in a not so healthy way later on. By expressing ourselves and how we feel we clear up any assumptions we might have about a situation or relationship. We also give those around us the permission to express themselves as well.
When my husband is out to sea our communication is limited. I’ve found it’s better to have an open conversation before he leaves vs bottling it up and driving myself crazy about whatever it is while he is gone. When I opt for the second option it never ends well. By being open and honest in the first place I save myself stress and give myself a peace of mind.
Lack of communication has cost me some dear friendships. If one or both of us had just said this is what’s bothering me then those friendships may have been salvaged. I have learned close friendships are very valuable and much needed but cannot survive without Healthy Communication.
Relationships of ANY Kind Take Work
Relationships are hard. We can’t completely forget about our bff for six months and expect that friendship to stay the same. We also can’t just not be there for our spouse for months on end and expect our marriage to stay the same.
Being in any relationship requires a little selflessness. It requires caring about not just our own needs but the needs of the other person as well. It’s not 50/50, sometimes it means giving 100% knowing that it will come back to you in the future.
Now I am not saying relationships should be exhausting and stressful or that they can’t just go seamlessly along. In order to make a relationship thrive we have to be prepared that sometimes it’s going to take a bit of work. We are two completely unique individuals so it will not always be perfect.
Distance Does Not Mean The End
Being a military spouse means I have experienced distance in all of my relationships. I am distanced from my family. I am distanced from some of my friends. I am often distanced from my spouse.
Distance does not mean the end of a relationship. It doesn’t mean things have to change. It just means we have to be mindful about how things might be different. We also need to be mindful of how to communicate when apart. Again you can’t go six months without talking to your bff and expect that relationship to stay the same.
Thank goodness for the powers of technology because we are capable of communicating with everyone in some way. Distance does mean we will need to be more aware of staying in communication with the people in our lives. Don’t let your relationships turn into some likes on Facebook because of distance.
Relationships of All Kind Are Important
We truly need a variety of relationships in order thrive. One person cannot be expected to fill all of our needs. Having relationships that fill different needs is important. I can’t expect my spouse to be everything to me, that’s just way to much pressure for one person.
As a military spouse I have experienced extended periods of time away from my spouse. Having other people in my life that could be there for me has been so crucial. We all need people we can turn to that will help fill our bucket and lift us up. That cannot just be the job of one person.
Some Things Aren’t Worth It
When it comes to relationships some things just aren’t worth it. Somethings don’t need to be said. Some relationships just don’t need to contunue on. We need to be aware when some things aren’t worth it.
If something will cause more pain than it will joy is it really worth it? Probably not. If a relationship is causing nothing but stress and is no longer filing your bucket is it really worth it? Probably not. If we are saying things out of hate and anger vs trying to work things out is it
When my husband is deployed 95% of the time I can only communicate with him via unreliable, no attachments allowed, email. Being that we have such limited communication somethings just aren’t worth bringing up. Does he really need to know I drank a bottle of wine and cried my eyes out because I missed him so much? Probably not.
Relationships are crucial for us to thrive in life. Cherish them, nurture them, and if they refuse to grow with you then prune them. Come from a place of kindness and love. Relationships are a two way street. You got this!
Need help finding your tribe? Don’t forget to check out my blog post on How to Attract Your Tribe
YOU ARE ENOUGH,