Marrying a member of the military comes with responsibilities and circumstances not faced by those in civilian marriages. You’ll be part of a vibrant community, but that’s not to say it isn’t without its challenges. Read the tips below for things you should know when you marry someone in the military.
1. Military Moves
While the military will relocate your family as needed, once every three years on the average, they will also pay for it. Military moves are hectic, yet organized, day-long affairs. A large team of movers will pack up everything in sight and haul it into a trailer. When you are ready for your stuff, you’ll call the number, provide your new address, and wait up to two weeks for delivery.
When you’re set to receive your things, let the movers do the unpacking. You’ll have to note any damages to your items then, so you can recoup any losses. The movers will then haul away the packing paper and boxes for you. It could be the fastest, most hassle-free move you’ve ever had.
2. Life Insurance
The military provides you with an automatic life insurance package, but for many members, it just makes sense to arrange additional life insurance for both spouses. How do you know if you need more coverage? In general, you should have life insurance protection covering seven to 10 times your yearly income.
USAA Life Insurance, for example, provides flexible coverage with term life or permanent life insurance. From active duty service members to those separating from the military, USAA Life Insurance offers competitive benefits, whether you want to pay off debt or leave behind a legacy.
Your military spouse will deploy, or get scheduled to ship out to a specific destination, many times over the course of his or her career. Deployment can last for weeks, months, or longer. Even a baby on the way isn’t enough to halt a deployment.
Much like the stages of grief, a military member and the family will go through stages of deployment. The seven stages are commonly referred to as anticipation of departure, detachment and withdrawal, emotional disorganization, recovery and stabilization, anticipation of return, return adjustment and renegotiation, and reintegration and stabilization. Knowing your feelings, and marking the stages, eases the pain of separation until you settle into a new routine.
4. Raising a Family
Look into family-centered programs offered at your local military base. The Family Readiness System offers a range of resources for military families. The New Parent Support Program, for example, offers child-rearing information and companionship in a free service geared toward parents adjusting to military life with a baby.
The military base holds frequent events and activities for families. From egg hunts in the spring to formal dances, fireworks, and festivals, each base offers a calendar of activities for you to get active in the military community. This way you can reach other, more experienced, spouses who sympathize with your situation and can provide valuable information.
Active Duty Military
Marrying into the military is a big commitment, and one that will take consideration and preparation. Luckily there are many resources available to you. Get involved in your local base to meet experienced military spouses to guide you through. Arrange for additional insurance so you won’t have to worry about how to cover your costs in the case of an accident or death. Expect the unexpected as you figure out how to navigate military moves, deployment, and your status as the spouse of an active duty military member.