This question arose a few weeks ago. The woman mentioned that she believed that Army spouses are blunter and to the point.
She also said that she felt like some became more that way over time and because of the influence of the Army.
I do believe that the Army does harden you in some sense. You simply can’t give into your emotions all the time or you would always be a blubbering mess — especially during deployments. Or at least I would.
And that may make us less sympathetic to others simply because we’ve put up that wall to prevent emotions from running over.
You also get somewhat accustomed to never being able to plan anything and having plans disrupted at the last minute.
So to a certain extent, I think you learn to deal with disappointment better and not sweat the small things.
With many aspects of the Army, any sense of control is taken away. We are basically told to just deal with it.
Over time, I think we tend to adopt that same philosophy and have less patience for those who stew over what they can’t control. After all, we’ve been hearing day in and day out to put on our big girl panties and just deal with it.
When that’s the advice you’re constantly given, it tends to be the advice you dish out to others too.
In some ways, I think the Army changes our emotional state for the best.
For instance, before the Army, we would let petty arguments turn into big ones.
My husband and I were never the ones to really argue just to argue but I’d be more likely to hold a grudge before the Army or bring up past imperfections to score points during a new “discussion”.
Now obviously the Army didn’t take that away completely but when you are talking to your husband and not knowing if he will ever get to call again, you tend to forget the small stuff.
The Army taught me not to take the time we have together for granted. It made me very happy for every moment together that we were given.
And it also forced me to not focus on the small stuff. In fact, during one deployment, I made notes about things that irritated me and decided if I could still remember the details that I would bring it up after he returned from deployment.
It helped me not to stew over it and to not bring it up during those precious phone calls from overseas. I knew I had the list that and I could always bring it up later. I realize how petty this is, but it worked, okay? 🙂
When I revisited that list, I couldn’t remember the details of any of it. So in reality, it was never worth bringing to the surface at all. I
try to still do that even when we aren’t in the midst of a deployment. Some things just aren’t worth the trouble and have a tendency to turn into a bigger issue than they really are simply because we brought them up.
What do you think? Has the Army influenced your personality or how you deal with others?