Woman opening the curtains, looking through the window.

Pivoting as a MilSpouse

Military life is full of ups and downs, opportunities, challenges and rewards. As a military spouse, partner or significant other, we are called on to not only be supportive of our partners, but we are asked and expected to change direction and adjust repeatedly. We constantly have to pivot.

What do I mean exactly? With every PCS, we must find new schools, new jobs, new friends, a new home, and if our partner is deployed, we adjust to that as well. In some of these areas it may be easier for our partner. For example, at a new duty station, their assignment is their job, and this often comes with the opportunity to make new friends. I’m not complaining about the lifestyle that I (along with my husband) have chosen; I AM acknowledging that pivoting can be difficult and that it is likely different with every PCS. Sometimes things we must do are difficult, or we don’t want to do them — wrapping it up in a bow and pretending everything is great is ignoring our feelings and missing the opportunity to work through them and grow.

As an example, when we got our upcoming assignment, I was really angry. There was a decent chance we could have stayed in our current station which would have been a great opportunity for me and my career. However, that is not how the cards fell. I tried to not get emotional, but I did. I cried, I cursed, and I thought “I have to start over AGAIN!” I knew these feelings wouldn’t last forever, so I did my best to let them come.

After a while I was able to look at the situation differently. Instead of missed chances I thought about the new opportunities I might be exposed to. I started looking for the pros of leaving and the changes that would come. I allowed myself to get mad, to feel what I needed to help me to be able to use my resiliency — something we all have as military partners and spouses — to start the pivoting process.

How have you pivoted over the years? How has your resiliency been impacted by it? Yes, there are times when this lifestyle is hard. There are also many benefits to it. We learn to roll with what comes.

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