Military spouses are good at faking a smile, pretending life is good, and carrying loads that many cannot even fathom. However, there is a side to many of us that you don’t always see. 

It’s a side we keep hidden for a multitude of reasons. It’s a side of us that longs for our family, friends, or even a trip back home to feel what life with a village could be like. We slowly and helplessly watch the military change our spouses so much over the years, that they do not even resemble the person we once married. But, neither do we. 

We become broken and burdened by the stress of military life and doing it all alone for so long. We start wondering if the sacrifice of our education, career, hopes, dreams, and even our sanity is worth it. We become this disheveled mess on the inside from too much hard and not enough joy. We lose sight of ourselves. 

The military spouse you don’t see behind the smile has fought battles on the home front that no one knows about. We have held on tightly to try and keep our family units afloat, thriving, and joyful despite the chaos the Department of Defense throws our way time and time again. We often fight these battles alone as we endure childbirth, PCSing, and advocating for the rights of ourselves and our children in communities all over the world that may not have the resources we need so desperately.

So, what is behind a military spouse’s smile? A courageous person who is one Murphy’s Law away from crumbling. A man or woman who is tired of being strong. A person who so desperately wants to hang their head in defeat as this life takes its final toll on their family unit. 

Yet still, we go on smiling. 

© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2021.