Hey there, fellow civilian male military spouses! It's Taurus here, and after 16 years of being a proud military husband, I've learned a thing or two about giving my wife the support she deserves.
Today, I want to share with you the 10 ways I've discovered to help my spouse shine in the military.
So buckle up, because we're in for a meaningful journey!
1. Being a Rock-solid Emotional Support
When the going gets tough, I'm there for my wife, lending an empathetic ear and providing unwavering support. Through active listening and understanding, I create a safe space for her to express herself freely. Together, we navigate the emotional challenges of military life, celebrating victories and finding strength in each other during the tough times.
When we experienced the real "Blip" (COVID), I found out from her that being her rock-solid emotional support simply meant being myself.
I was used to being to myself, working from home and taking care of things with minimal social interaction. "Social distancing" was nothing new to me, but I saw how it impacted my wife and daughter - and it hurt me that they hurt. I knew I could not "fix" anything. So, I focused on being consistent, being present and being me. Every morning, I woke up, looked for my wife and daughter and said "I love you [full government name here]". Each evening, I would say to them, "Love you, Goodnight!" - in my "Brian" voice (Edward Norton's second character in the movie The Score).
(I even made a song with that title.)
2. Sharing the Load of Household Responsibilities
If I was a Disney character, I would write something like...
"It's all about teamwork! I believe in the power of sharing household responsibilities with my spouse. We divide and conquer tasks, ensuring that both of us have time to pursue our individual interests while maintaining a happy and harmonious home. From tackling the bathrooms to doing laundry and keeping the bedrooms tidy, we take care of our living space together."
While I agree with some of that, that's not me...that's not us! Right, wrong or indifferent, I see it this way. I got the house. It's not a 50-50 split or list of things. It's just a willingness to be whatever she needs.
Again, this ain't Disney. So, it's not always happy or harmonious. But it is amazing what washing dishes and clothes can do to get things back in tune.
3. Nurturing Career Development
Supporting my wife's career aspirations is a top priority. We explore opportunities within the military community, discussing goals, and finding ways to help her grow professionally. Whether it's networking with other military spouses or researching career advancement resources, we embark on this journey hand in hand, empowering her to excel.
Look, man...reassuring my wife that I am with her in her career development is key. First, I let her know that I'll go where she goes. Then later, we talk about whatever challenges I see. I hope you got that the first thing is I let her know that I am with her.
4. Striving for Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for our overall well-being. We set boundaries and prioritize quality time together, cherishing moments of relaxation and rejuvenation. By managing our time effectively, we ensure that we can pursue personal interests while fulfilling our family responsibilities.
5. Playing an Active Role in Childcare and Family Support
As a male military spouse, I am fully engaged in childcare and family activities. I cherish the bond I have with our daughter and actively participate in her upbringing. Together, we create a nurturing and loving environment for our family, sharing the joys and challenges of parenthood.
6. Fostering Connections within the Military Community
Getting involved in the military community has been instrumental in our journey. We engage with spouse groups, attend community events, and lend a helping hand whenever we can. By fostering meaningful connections, we build a support network that understands the unique challenges we face as military spouses.
7. Mastering Financial Management
Financial stability is crucial for a thriving military family. Together, we develop a budgeting strategy that works for us, leveraging the financial benefits available to military families. By making informed decisions and utilizing resources wisely, we ensure that we're prepared for the future and can make the most of our financial opportunities.
8. Providing Support During Deployments and Separations
Deployments and separations can be challenging, but I'm there for my spouse every step of the way. We communicate regularly, finding creative ways to stay connected despite the distance. I take on additional responsibilities at home, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and our family feels supported even when we're apart.
9. Encouraging Personal Growth and Education
Continual growth and learning are essential aspects of our lives. We encourage each other to pursue personal development, whether it's through education, acquiring new skills, or exploring our passions. By investing in ourselves, we become better equipped to handle the challenges that come our way.
10. Celebrating Achievements, Big and Small
Last but not least, celebrating my spouse's accomplishments is a must! From major milestones to small victories, I make sure she knows just how proud I am of her. Together, we acknowledge her hard work, perseverance, and dedication, celebrating her successes as a team.
So there you have it, my fellow civilian male military spouses! These 10 ways of supporting and empowering our military spouses are the foundation of a strong and successful partnership. By following these principles, we become their unwavering source of support and encouragement.
To all the military spouses out there, especially my fellow male military spouses, I want you to know that you're not alone. The journey may have its challenges, but together with our active duty partners, we can navigate the highs and lows, charting our own course and adjusting along the way.
As we wrap up this week, let's embrace the spirit of encouragement and look forward to a fulfilling and rewarding journey ahead. Remember, it's Friday, and the weekend is here to rejuvenate our spirits and create lasting memories with our loved ones.
Be encouraged, my friends, and keep shining bright as civilian male military spouses!
Grace and Peace,
Photo by Frankie Thomas