*DISCLAIMERAs most of you know, Josh is in the military and we were in a long-distance relationship for 2 years before getting married. For a very long time I let Josh's profession and our long-distance status define who I was. I let that get in the way of my personal relationships with friends and I let those things consume my identity so much that I forgot what my own passions, loves, and interests were outside of the military and the distance. I regret that so much and I refuse to go through life just listening to whiny pity parties or self-righteous claims of getting SO's through trainings. I want to say something to all the military SO's that no one had the guts to say to me, even if it does hurt their feelings or offend them. It's something I needed to hear, and I strongly believe I wasn't the only one.*
Something that really gets on my nerves is when military significant others completely base their relationship on the military.
I understand that you're proud of what your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance/husband/wife does, but does it really have to consume all you do and say?
When I see people who's every Facebook status is something related to the military or their SO being in the military, it really annoys me. Why? Because they're letting the military become their identity. They're letting the fact that their SO is military dictate who they are and what they live for. Whether it's out of selfish pride (gloating that their significant other is military, as if it's the most important job in the world) or not, it's wrong to make your identity "Military Wife" or "Military Girlfriend" and to leave it at that.
Let me tell you something ladies. Being in the military was your SO's choice. NOT YOURS. Whether he's an airman, a soldier, or a marine, it is HIS job. NOT YOURS. Yes, you can be proud of how hard he works and the risks he takes for the sake of his job, but HIS job does not define YOU. Don't let what your husband or fiance or boyfriend does for a living become who you are, because you're not the one working ridiculous hours, being yelled at, and putting your life on the line on a regular basis. You're not him (or her). You're the one SUPPORTING him. You aren't the reason he makes it through basic. HE IS. You're not the one who makes it possible for him to come home safe from a war zone. He and his unit are.
I think a lot of military SO's get so caught up in the "woe is me" aspect of dating a man (or woman) in uniform because it's hard. It's REALLY hard. And they feel like no one understands what they're going through when they only get 5 minute phone calls once a week while their man's in basic or that no one gets what it's like to have to worry if he's going to make it home from Afghanistan. But the truth is, there are millions of military significant others that have been through this before and they do understand. You're not the only one. You're not a special case. This happens every. Single. Day.
So please stop being self-righteous and proud in all the wrong ways. Please stop letting your SO's profession dictate what your life is all about. Please stop throwing pity parties for yourselves. And most of all, please stop acting like you're the reason he's so strong and brave, because you're not. He is.
Become yourself. Remember who YOU are as an individual apart from the military and develop that person. The people who are important to you know that you're dating or married to a member of the military, you don't need to remind them with every Facebook status or Tweet. I'm not saying you shouldn't be proud, because you should be! Military life is hard. But don't let your addiction to "being proud of him" take over. Instead, take all of your confidence, pride, and free-time while he's away and put it to good use taking care of YOU. Find a new hobby, rediscover an old one, spend time with friends and make it a point to not bring up the military, take care of your mind, soul, and body. Become you.