Support, fresh starts and friendships: life as a military wife

Trigger warning: mention of a traumatic divorce & mental breakdown

This guest feature is totally different to anything that’s been published on Free to Spiel so far, which is so exciting! It’s about the writer’s experiences as a military wife, including the difficulties associated with starting afresh and the importance of true friendships. I hope you enjoy and learn from this wonderful guest feature!

Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m 33 years old. I’m married to a serving member of the British Army, but let me fill you in: I was married previously and went through a traumatic divorce, which caused me to have a mental breakdown and lose all sight of reality.

By the time I met my current husband, I had finally pulled my head out from that dark cloud with the support of my friends and family – people I am eternally grateful for – and was ready to begin a new chapter.

My husband wasn’t in the military when we first met, but it was something on his “life to-do” list. Fast forward 2 years into our relationship, and the time had come for me to support him fully in his decision to sign up to the British Army (I would like to think he would do the same for me). He and I also had a small but perfect wedding with only close family present.

We then moved from South Wales to Hampshire, leaving everything I’d ever known behind. It’s safe to say I didn’t find this easy.

A few months turned into years, and I didn’t have the best experience. Although putting myself out there to make friends was easy for me, I made some wrong decisions and came across a lot of negative people. I felt the fight inside my head: “Why do so many people have no aspirations?” and “Why don’t people support one another through tough times?”

I tried to make as many friends as possible, but finally after 2 years I came to the realisation that instead of having a lot of the “wrong” type of friends, it’s much better to have a few gems. Since this point, I’ve made some lifelong friends who are truly amazing – they have supported me in my darkest days and I’m truly thankful to have them in my life.

I’ve also learned (the hard way) that talking really does help – after all, how can we expect people to be mindful of our feelings if they don’t really know what we are feeling?

“Even on your darkest days, the sun will reappear”

Photo by guest writer

Thank you to the writer of this piece, for sharing her story about being a military wife and the importance of authentic friendships. Readers who would like to connect with the writer can do so by following her page on Instagram.

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