Marrying someone enlisted in any branch of the military affords the spouse financial perks not found in the civilian world, though such a relationship also brings its own set of stressful issues. Being a military spouse is not for everyone, so you should carefully consider the benefits and disadvantages of marrying someone who is enlisted in the military before the wedding.
Military spouses are provided with a variety of financial benefits including full health care benefits (medical, dental and vision), financial aid assistance for education and survivor benefits. If you are married to someone enlisted in the military, upon their death you are able to continue receiving their retirement benefits for the rest of your life. In addition, you receive free housing on the military base, or if you choose to or have to live off base, a tax-free housing allowance. There are also many discounts that enlisted members and veterans have access to from everything from public transportation to retailers and other private industries.
Marrying someone enlisted in the military provides you with the opportunity to travel the world, live in another country and learn a new language. You are also given special travel benefits, including the chance to fly for free on vacant Department of Defense aircrafts.
One of the most difficult issues of being a military wife is that the enlisted spouse can be deployed anywhere in the world with short notice. You could be separated from your spouse for a year or longer, with limited access to them during this time. This can be especially difficult if you have moved away from family, or if you are not employed, or if you have children. If your spouse is assigned to a war zone this can be extremely stressful; many spouses need support from therapists or other military families and spouses.
While many military wives are able to quickly and easily assimilate to their husbands' military life and career, others suffer from the instability and uncertainty the life affords them. On the base they may suffer from discrimination due to their husbands' rank in the military and they may find it difficult to maintain or make friends with other military wives. These issues are heightened if you are living away from family or in a foreign country where you don't speak the language, know the culture or cannot legally be employed. They may struggle with psychological issues like extreme loneliness or fear for their husbands' safety.
Alexis Devan is a New Jersey resident. She attended college at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island and obtained a B.S. in paralegal studies. She is presently obtaining a M.B.A. at Centenary College in management. Devan has written for various websites since 2007.