I’m the first one to say it… Adam’s job sucks. The hours he keeps, the secrets he holds, and the workloads which never seem to lighten. This is true of most, if not all, military personnel. Their spouses seem to take the brunt of the blow when it comes to working around schedules. Granted right now we have it easy because I’m not there with him (at the time I wrote this), but it’s hard enough over the phone. So, here are a few ways to work around your military spouses work.
For starters, keep your head on. I know, easier said than done. Having schedule changes at the drop of a hat can send your life into chaos very quickly. Maybe you had plans that required the use of the car, but now you can’t go because he has to work. Or you know trying to plan a party? Throw that out the window if they need a set date. It’s really very difficult to make, and subsequently, keep plans when you’re in a relationship with someone who’s already married to the military. Just remember that they’re in this far more than you, and they can’t take a day off when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Take each day as it comes, for all the good and bad that it offers, but remember to breathe through the stress that you’re feeling, even if you’re close to drowning. Trust me, passing out does no good in a relationship other than to worry your partner.
Keep a tally of his schedule. For the tentative reason of making plans, you should know your partner’s schedule just as much as yours. Know their days off, when they work, and how long it takes to build up their leave for if you want to take a vacation. Mark the days he gets called in, and the days he gets sent home early. This allows you to put together a basic plan of when and where you can do things. Like, maybe there’s a Wine And Paint night at the community center on base that you want to go to, but he would still have the car at that time. That freedom of knowing where he’s at allows you to accommodate your life around him. You can call a friend to go with you, or maybe hire an Uber, or maybe you decide to stretch your legs and walk there. But knowing that he doesn’t get home until a certain time allows you to live a life that isn’t controlled by his being late.
Learn to live apart. For those of us still in the long distance part of our relationship, this is fairly simple to achieve. For those new to a military lifestyle, or those just stopping by to see what I’m about, this is important. When you become too reliant on someone else to take care of you, you forget who you are as an individual. Take living with your parents for example. You might have been a rebellious teenager, but you became a lot more responsible once you moved out and got on your own, didn’t you? Same thing here. There will be many times where they’re coming in from work just as your leaving, and you have but a minute to say hello. Cherish the times where you’re connected. Appreciate the time you’re apart. When you are together, spend time with Quiet as a third party. If the days for you guys are as stressful as ours, having a little bit of silence can do you both some good. Don’t stop the conversation when you are together, but let yourself pause from the fact that you’ve been alone.
Lastly, and as always, communicate. I’m a broken record, I realize this. But is it not true? The biggest struggle of a military life is the fact that the one in the military may not be able to talk a whole lot about what’s going on at work. So the conversation can often time be a little one-sided. This is why talking about who needs the car when is a great way to fill those conversational gaps. It’s nothing new having two people share one car, but the ability to take two people to two different places in the said singular car is a struggle. Talk it out. Carpool. Go to that Wine And Paint night together because he can just pick you up on the way home from work. Seriously, just even knowing what days of the week he has off, or knowing if he’s day shift, night shift, or swing shift, gives you a lot of opportunities to try the things you’ve never been able to before.