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How the Military Changed My Demeanor

Before I married into the military I was a shy 20-year-old. But after spending years in the military's world it harde

ned me emotionally. I would shut certain people out of my life because they simply did not understand what I was going through. Constantly being misunderstood and judged was frustrating. If you don't live this life you just don't know how difficult day-to-day tasks can be. You don't know how hard it is to be away from your spouse for so many hours of everyday. You don't know what it's like to be forced to start over every few years. It used to make me so mad when family members would try to tell me to either calm down or don't allow certain things to bother you. They had no idea. And, I didn't see the point in explaining every little detail of my life. I needed understanding and plain ol' support with no strings or judgement.

I have always been a reserved person, so whenever I am around new people, whether they speak to me or not, I keep to myself. That's just how I am. I think a lot. I analyze and gather my own information about situations and people around me. The fact that the military forced me to burst out of that shell a bit made me realize that I am a different person now. There were hardships and obstacles that we endured as a couple that quite frankly should have torn us apart. But we didn't allow it. I discovered that standing up for myself more often led to more results. I was so laid-back and lax before that I would just let certain things roll off my back. That is NOT how you get anything done. The military toughened me up. It doesn't only change the service members themselves - it changes their families as well. It was a learning experience, and I can appreciate some aspects of that life. My new found assertiveness has helped me in several ways, especially when doing business. A person's word means everything to me. So, if you say you'll do something and then you never do or you take foreve

r to get it done, you are going to hear from me.

Now that he's removed from the military we actually have complete freedom to do whatever, whenever. My demeanor is just totally different now, but there are still traces of the 'old me' that will remain forever. Growing up my biggest issue was confronting conflict or speaking up when things happened. I can honestly say that it's no longer a factor. I have actually become quite blunt. I think it is mostly because of the way my husband is. His patience and understanding allows me to speak up and express myself freely. I didn't necessarily have that kind of communication platform as a child. So, not only did the military change how I approached different situations, my husband helped shape the person I am today. For that, I am eternally grateful.

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