Relationships are hard enough without having the extra hardship of trying to make a military relationship work. Falling in love with a man in the military might sound romantic but you will soon learn that the military has its own way of doing things, its own language and its own sets of expectations and added complications. Relationships like this are not always the easiest but they can be incredibly rewarding in the long run.
Are You Ready?
When you commit to a relationship with a man in the forces you will also be committing yourself to a life in the military. Even though you have not signed up in the technical sense you are still going to be bound by certain rules and regulations that only apply to this kind of relationship. You will also have to come to terms with and accept the times that he is deployed overseas, his unique relationship with his regimental friends and the military formalities the will become part of life.
If you are not willing to share your man with the demands of his job, and accept a military life for yourself, then you should walk away now, and look for a different relationship far away from the military. Similarly if you cannot survive on your own for any length of time a military relationship is not for you, your man could be deployed without warning and you will be left to do everything for yourself for extended periods of time.
Learn to Communicate
You need to have an open and honest relationship right from the very start, you need to have absolute trust in one another and be able to communicate just how you feel no matter how hard it may be. Honesty isn’t just important it is imperative. You need to understand that there will be times when he won’t be able to tell you about his work as much as he may want to, this could either be due to regulations around secrecy or he may be trying to shield you from something that you may find disturbing or upsetting. You need to trust his decisions.
You will not be the only person in your position; you need to be aware that there are a number of support groups available specifically for military girlfriends. Within the support groups you will be able to talk about your fears and concerns and share these as well as your hopes with the other members. Some of the women in these groups will have had years of experience dealing with life in the military and will have a wealth of insight and observation that they can share with you to help you to find your own ways of coping.
Meet His Friends
Go to military functions together and get to know the guys in his unit, use these events as the basis for forming relationships with their girlfriends and wives. It may well be that these are the places where you get to find out relevant information as the military will often include soldiers wives in the ‘loop’ as it were, but when it comes to information sharing girlfriends are not included in the distribution list. You can make friendships here that can last for a lifetime.
Be Ready to Say Goodbye
As a military girlfriend you should be ready for deployment without notice. Whether your man is being sent overseas for a full tour or just a couple of months you should be prepared to say goodbye and do it with a smile. Deployments are not easy on either of you but you can get through the time apart. Use your new friends and your support group to help you and talk to each other as much as possible while he is away. Find something to do while he is away that focuses your attention and gives you goals to aim for to keep you grounded. It is always wise to limit the amount of news programs that you watch while your partner is away on active service too.
A deployment is hard on both of you, while it is what you have probably been dreading it is what he has been training for. This is his job, and while it is going to be hard on you both being apart, this is where he gets to put all of his often gruelling training into action. It is natural for you to be scared, but you need to show him that you support him and have faith in his abilities as a soldier to come home to you safe and sound. Enjoy every moment of the time you have together.