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I was inspired to write this post because a young man at a craft show last weekend asked me what it was like to be a Navy significant other. He was shopping for his girlfriend and is a Citadel cadet who’s graduating in the spring and planning to attend Navy OCS. He was considering the impact joining the Navy would have on his girlfriend/their relationship and wanted to hear my side of the story. People always hear horror stories and how difficult it is to be with a Sailor/Soldier/Airman/Marine/Coastie, so I wanted to give some of the more positive aspects (without getting too goofy!) of being with someone who serves. This is my take from a Navy perspective, but I think many of these points fit any branch!
5. You’re probably going to live near the ocean. This isn’t always true, even for the Navy, and it may not always be an ocean you’d care to use on a regular basis, but I’ve always found the ocean beautiful. I don’t hang out at the beach and don’t usually enjoy swimming, even though I do like paddleboarding and kayaking, but I love the smell of salt air and the sound of surf. Oh, and looking for cool shells.
4. Dress uniforms. They are snazzy! I love my man’s dress whites, but all the branches have a cool dress uniform.
3. The feeling of community. I’m not saying every single Navy wife and girlfriend is BFFs with everyone else, but I’ve always been impressed by how helpful people are, especially while the guys are on deployment. My trip to Guam wouldn’t have been possible without the support and assistance of other ladies!
2. The opportunity to visit during deployment. This one doesn’t apply to all the branches, and it doesn’t always work out with the Navy, but I was able to visit my man while he was on deployment and I know a couple other people who’ve had the same opportunity. It’s definitely not something that you can count on being able to do, but it’s a really nice possibility!
1. It’s a complacency killer. It may sound like a strange idea, but I really believe that being with someone in the Navy (or one of the other four branches) allows you to really appreciate the other person more and ‘rekindle that spark,’ as it were. I obviously miss him when he’s gone, whether it’s overnight for duty, several days (or weeks) or an underway, or months of deployment, but it makes me really value the time we do get to spend together and means I’m always excited and looking forward to seeing him again. People usually talk abut the stresses and difficulties of running everything while their s/o is away, but I whenever I get frustrated, I remind myself of the up side to these absences and departures.
Yes, I know there are many stresses and drawbacks, but I choose not to dwell on them. Acknowledge them, yes, let them ruin my life, no.
Whether your significant other is in the military or just away because of school, work, or other life circumstances, how do you feel about it? How do you keep in touch and how do you make the best of your situation?
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.