Do you feel like you’re alone and you don’t have a lot of friends? Yes, I know the feeling! I want you to know that you’re not alone. Being a military spouse is hard. And to make friends as a military spouse can be harder.
You know they have a saying that the hardest job in the Navy is not from any rate or department but to be a Navy wife. Being a Navy wife is challenging especially if you’re a newbie.
No Friends Yet
When I first moved in with my husband, I was so overwhelmed! And I thought having him would be enough to survive our “future” military life. We spent time together all the time- just me and him. We were inseparable for the first few weeks until his vacation leave ended. He had to go back to work. Luckily, our apartment was a walking distance from his work so we could meet for lunch and he could go home to me right away. I only had him. I did not have any friends.
If you know my husband, maybe you’re now wondering how come or asking “for real?” He is such a social butterfly and he has tons of friends. So, to say that his wife- meaning, I don’t have any friend is just plain weird. And I knew he worried about me. So, he started introducing me to his friends and his friends’ wives.
My First Military Spouse Friends
There, I started making friends. We even stayed at one of our friends’ house. And it was so much fun! I think there were about 15-20 of us. We were always happy, always eating and drinking together, and always going out.
However, it ended when our friends head back to the States. Then, first deployment came. It was HARD! I did not know anybody except very few family friends. I was always alone. And yeah, I was bored most of the time. Time seemed to be so slow. So, I flew back to my old town and spent time with my parents and siblings. I was happy again.
My Not-So-Good Friends
The second part of deployment came sooner. I started making friends with my husband’s co-workers’ wives and from other networks. I let them in so fast. I was so naïve. Little did I know that some of them were not good for me. And when I say not good, it means that they were those type you don’t want to be friends or hang-out with. Things happened and I got hurt. That time, I felt like I was still alone although I had “friends”.
Finally, husband came back home and I told him everything. We distanced ourselves from those that hurt me. And we received new orders! Whew!
San Diego it is! It was (and still is) very gorgeous! For the first year, it was just me and my husband and our new baby. I thought I had enough. I did not want to make friends anymore. I told myself that the three of us would be suffice. Even if we (used to) live in a military housing surrounded by all military families, I would not extend myself and make friends. I started building my wall high and my boundaries set.
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My Second Try
And then, you know it, sea trials started. And it was just me and my toddler. I was still so hesitant to make friends because of what happened last time. But then I met our neighbors and they also have a little girl. We became friends and our daughters instantly became best of friends. And it made me realize that I can do it again. That I can make friends again.
So, I started again… I started going to get-togethers, parties, celebrations, and command gatherings. From there, I met a lot of military spouses and I thought, “Can I make friends as a Military spouse again?”
And the answer, of course, is yes. And that’s it, I was able to slowly put my guards down and very slowly began letting people in my life again. But this time, I learned from my mistakes. And I decided to be VERY choosy and picky of who to share my friendship with.
I started making a lot of friends again but I tell you, I can count on my fingers how many “military spouse friends” I really have. Because you know, more or less, in military, more of them will just be acquaintances. That’s just reality. But I’m in the stage of my life that I am so thankful for my friends now. It is just so nice to be able to have military spouse friends who can relate to you and just accept you.
My Great Military Spouse Friends
I’m in the stage where I don’t care about the quantity and just focus on the quality. I am just so thankful that I crossed paths with my friends now. I am blessed to earn their friendships.
And it feels so good to sleep at night knowing when you can’t cook tomorrow, your friend will drop by and hand you a home-cooked meal or when you get a notice to vacate your house, your friends will be there ready with their packing boxes, or when you throw a party for your kid, that your friends will be the first to arrive to help you set up and last to leave to clean-up. And of course, to stay awhile for adult nights.
Thus, make friends with those who make you happy and those who inspire you. And remember, it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to not be friends with those who don’t deserve you. Military life is already hard. Don’t make it more complicated with those toxic, draining military spouse friendships.
But if you meet those type of military spouse friends to keep, make sure to treasure them. Make sure to feel them valued and appreciated. And they move away or your family receives your next duty station, don’t forget to keep in touch. Those friendships are hard to come by. And to have friends all over the globe is a great privilege.
I have some awesome gift ideas for your awesome Military spouse friends!