As An Army Wife, You Have No Control

For some of you, this may not be an issue at all. For me, it was one of the hardest things to get used to.

I took great pride in thinking I had control over my life and what was happening in it. At the very least, I could plan my days and take vacations when I wanted without worrying about someone else changing our plans.

Because my husband decided to join the Army (which I fully supported and still do), my control over our lives ended. When he was in basic training, we didn’t even have control over when he could call, much less anything else.

And it seems that even after being assigned to his unit, we still don’t have control over that. In the beginning, it drove me crazy that I never knew when he was coming home (if he was coming home that night at all) or if we could go away for the weekend, etc.

Maybe it’s not so much a loss of control over your life as it is a loss of control over the ability to plan anything.

Little by little, I’ve learned it’s easier to go with the flow. The Army will operate how it wants with lots of “hurry up and wait” moments.

They always seem to plan last-minute training exercises when I plan to go out of town. Or they decide to give my husband CQ on the night I planned to go out to dinner.

But even with all of this, I still like the Army lifestyle. Call me crazy (and I’m sure some of you will! LOL). It has made us more spontaneous, and we treasure our time together.

Now we take advantage of the opportunities we have to do something instead of planning for that special day.

Just go ahead and convince yourself now that you have little control over anything as long as his boss is the US Army. It makes life so much easier.

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Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Being married to a soldier is by far the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life! My husband is at AIT right now in fort Sam Houston TX 1200 miles away from me, but is being processed this week and won’t start his training until dec 2. Dealing with all the stress of him being gone right now plus dealing with all our bills and trying to keep up with our 2 kids (5 and 2), is killing me! I literally feel like a single mother at times!! and to top all the stress off while i was visiting him on family day and BCT graduation our home was broken into and all our belongings were stolen!!!! So needless to say I moved out the very next day and am living with my in laws. Which are awesome btw! lol !! I have a great support system here and my hubby wants me to move to tx to be close to him. His training is 18 weeks long so I don’t know if I can go or not! Will the army help me in moving?! Can I see him once I am there???? Should I pull my kids out of school?? Can I enroll them in an army school while he is in AIT? So many questions with so little answers! I have mixed emotions about everything. i am so confused! I am under so much stress and I feel so lost everyday. I need some advice on what to do at this point in my life. I would just love to be with my hubby right now! He is the rock that keeps this family solid and he is gone! I can’t say it enough how much this is effecting my life!!!!! any advice or web sites I can look at? Thank you!!! I love the army wives you girls keep me going!!!!

  2. Hello,
    My husband will be leaving out in feb for basic and I am scared to death! We have 2 kids 1 & 4. The uncertainy of things is what scares me! I am excited to see new places and everyhting. I have read on other web sites you have to wait for post housing and you may have to rent somewhere 1st. This seems like such a hassle to me. I support my husband fully,sometimes I think what I am getting myself and our kids into! Also the 30-45 days without ANY money coming in SCARES me! I currently babysit but I am most likely going to have to find a job before he leaves,which means less time with him before he leaves :(! I know it will all take getting use too. I STRESS and WORRY enough as it is lol

  3. Hi!

    So I don’t even know where to start exactly..but I guess I will start from the beginning. My fiance and I had a baby in October of last year, and things have been very tough adjusting to the new lifestyle of being parents. But now that we have got that under control we still feel that we need some stability for our family..raising kids is NOT cheap! But he has come to the decision that he would like to join the military, which I am completely on board for. But I am not from a military family and neither is he, so I am starting to get overwhelmed by everything that I have been seeing. It just looks like there is so much to learn and so much that needs to be handled in a short amount of time. I currently work full time as well as being a full time student and a new mom..I’m only 20 years old. I am down to live the military life style because of the number of benefits for our son and ourselves. I just don’t even know where to being because we would like to get a jump on this. But the problem that is a little scary to me is that since we are engaged they really recommend that we get married before he goes off to basics. So not only am I stressing about making this major life change but now I have to figure out when and where and how we are even going to get married. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and forums about being a military wife, and it is something that sounds good to me. I actually tried to enlist when I got out of high school, I took the ASVAP tests and was ready to sign the line..but when it came to the health history portion that dream came to a complete halt. I’ve had SVT, a heart disease, since I was in middle school but right before I tired to enlist I got it fixed because I knew it would be a potential problem. Goes to find out you cannot HAVE or HAVE HAD any history of SVT 🙁 so that sucked to hear but instead I went on to get my nursing degree. I went to one year of a university and unexpectedly I became pregnant with my fiance, which was the greats blessing of my life! So that put a total halt on my schooling to finish my degree. But now that I am currently a student I am trying to finish up the degree I’ve put so much effort into. Should I expect that I could possibly be able to finish my degree..or is that unrealistic? But that leaves me with the whole marriage decision I’ve written down every pro and con of becoming a military wife and the pros have seemed to dominate the cons. I am just so nervous to get married as the statistics for newlyweds in the military are not so promising. I do like to have control, so I know that will take some getting used to. But for now I am just trying to find any resource or anyone that I could possibly talk to about how life is going to be and what I should expect. I know that this is a huge change for anyone enlisting in the military, but there also seems to be a lot to learn as a spouse. If you know of any resources or people that I can talk to about this please let me know as we are trying to get the ball rolling with this.
    Thanks for taking the time to read my post!


  4. Hi,
    I’m very scared, we have been together for almost 3 year. And we have a 5 month old baby. And now he wants to join the military with his brother. But I’m scared of the unknown. We just got settled in a house here in Texas now he wants to move us to a different state. We would be leaving all family and friends behind. How do you do it, how do you cope with not sering your family every weekend? I’m just really scared… how do you know if this is the right move for your family? Is it selfish of me because I’m scared and uncertain of the outcome, and I don’t want him to miss out on his sons life as he grows up.

  5. Would I ever like to converse with you! Not an army wife, but an army husband. Not just any army husband but married to one of the most highly regarded generals in the US Army today…she is so respected that her rise has been crazy…never saw this coming and it has been difficult because I am told I am a bit of a non conformer….but I say I am doing my best I think…with about eight more years to go I am just getting by.

    1. Hi David, I’m happy to chat with you. Facebook messenger through the Married to the Army Facebook page is the best way to reach me. Look forward to talking with you.

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