Control Freak? How to Let Go in Military Life

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How Type A MilSpouses Can Be More Type B in Military Life

When you Google “What is Type A?”, it prompts this response,

a personality type characterized by ambition, high energy and competitiveness…

When I was a little girl, I oftentimes went above and beyond to make sure all my goals were met. I overstimulated myself with countless afterschool activities and was hardcore about my studies as well. There was something terribly wrong if I didn’t have a strong handle on everything in my life–and I’m talking about my grade school self.

I have Type A characteristics.

How Type A MilSpouses Can Be More Type B in Military Life

After moving out on my own, I was excited to finally have the opportunity to fully decide on everything in my life. It was going fine and dandy…then, I married a soldier.

Little known secret, which has recently become known is that I really didn’t have the intention to become a military spouse. Luckily, my heart was stronger than my Type A personality.

Although, I technically knew what I was getting myself into, you really don’t know till you get into the throws of military life. I had a huge adjustment period and honestly, I’m still learning as every new stage comes my way.

Remember the Google answer above? It continues on to say Type A personalities are “thought to be susceptible to stress and heart disease.”

YIKES! It totally makes sense because with all the stimulation and desire for perfection, it can get exhausting. Seriously, it really is important to take a deep breath and relax.

Now, it’s especially important in military life to be more easygoing, which is a top quality of Type B personalities. Type B personalities are also less susceptible to stress. That, to me, is a good thing!

At the beginning of our marriage, I realized that I was stressing myself out way too much, particularly on the things that I couldn’t control. It all started with orders for an unaccompanied tour. Talk about a stressful year!

I learned a very important lesson that year and it was to be more Type B in military life.

I went through a series of steps to finally get to a comfortable point. I was also tired of getting white hairs, so…

4 Steps to Becoming More Type B When Your Personality Is Type A

How Type A MilSpouses Can Be More Type B in Military Life

Step 1: Accept your lack of control.

That was single-handedly the No. 1 most difficult thing for me to go through when unaccompanied orders came down. I completely hated the fact that I didn’t have any way of controlling anything.

The unfortunate thing about it is that I knew that I wouldn’t have control over orders, TDYs, PCSing, etc., but it was still a difficult pill to swallow.

I was so used to being able to have things go my way as much as possible, so I wasn’t used to crucial decisions being disconnected from myself. Nobody consulted with me when those orders were cut…

Anyway, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. It really is going to be that way for the duration of your spouse’s military career and now, I’m totally cool (for the most part) with the roller coaster ride.

Step 2: Remember the positives.

The positives are what really helps with the acceptance. I love to call-out or list everything great about the possibilities military life can bring. For example, I love that military life can give you the chance to see the world or explore brand-new cities and maybe even countries.

Aside from the positives of what the lifestyle can bring, I remember that this life also allows me to share it with my spouse. We are together, even when we’re not in the same location. At the end of a TDY, deployment or whatever else, we’ll be together again and that is awesome.

Step 3: Don’t feel guilty when military life doesn’t go your way or in a timely manner.

The curse of the Type A personality is that there is an urgency to get things done your way. After gaining acceptance and realizing the positives, be sure not to blame yourself with how things are going in your life.

Step 4: Take time to relax.

When I was single and at the height of Type-Aness, I may have spent time on vacation, but didn’t have (or maybe allowed myself) the opportunity to truly feel relaxed. Instead I always thought about work.

With that said, I, and everyone else too, should check out professionally to soak in personal time off. Utilize military life moments like a PCS or block leave to piggyback your own vacation with your spouse and disconnect. Having the chance to decompress will bring you back more refreshed and eager to take on the world!

What advice do you have to help Type A military spouses be more Type B in military life?

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