Every time your wife laces up her boots, you feel a strong sense of pride. But like the spouse of any active duty member out there who lovingly support your other half, you also struggle to find your place, sense of identity and purpose as a military/civilian husband in society. After all, what’s a husband supposed to do when he’s not the one wearing the uniform?
Here are some tips on how you can ease your way into civilian spousal life, while pushing through with your career pursuits and familial duties:
Know you’re not alone. You are just one of the 51,000 or so military husbands married to active duty servicewomen. These men also feel the same way you do: it’s either they welcome changes in the relationship set-up, are getting used to the whole relocation thing, are having a hard time running errands or tending the kinds, are looking for new work, or are challenged by these things.
Know the basics. Military.com offers a checklist for new military spouses on everything you need to know in terms of preparing for a new life at a new station or filing the paperwork for your benefits. The checklist encompasses the requirements you need to accomplish which include health forms, DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) forms, and government housing forms. No need to look further, the checklist details everything you need to familiarize yourself with.
Search for ways you can further your career. Thanks to more e-learning companies offering online career training, people can now further their career and learn a new skillset at home. The internet is a mine field of training solutions for individuals like you. www.meditec.com, for example, provides a suite of military spouse education solutions for healthcare, legal, business, real estate or technology training. The company also offers culinary courses for those who see themselves building a vibrant career in the food and beverage industry.
Being an army husband qualifies you to avail of the Department of Defense’s educational financing option, the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account or MyCAA grant. To determine your eligibility, click here.
Join online support systems. We have found a fair number of online support forums on the web where you can connect with fellow military husbands. The Macho Spouse website, for example, offers tips on anything from financial planning to parenting. The website also hosts an online forum where husbands can share their experiences as well as tips on how to get a job locally. Military.com and City Data also host forum discussions on a wide range of topics for military spouses.
When all else fails, appreciate your wife! Stop focusing on your hardships and know that your wife is having some personal struggles of her own. For sure she misses you and your kid (if ever you already have one) so much. Understand, too, that the mission comes first for any military personnel—no matter what his or her gender, sexual orientation or tenure level is. Remember your wife is doing her job for the good of everyone; just because she’s away doesn’t mean she doesn’t think of you all the time, love you and appreciate what you’re doing for the family. (Cue soundtrack to romance movie.)
Before we get sappy and all, remember that your wife may be away but you can always make do with what you have. And you options are limitless—it’s just a matter of changing perspectives and knowing where to look for opportunities.
If you want to know more about your career options as a military husband, speak to our representatives today. We can guide you on how to take advantage of your MyCAA educational grant.