Lindsay Bradford talks military marriages and personal careers, sharing insight into making both a priority.
NAVAL STATION NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND – Lindsay Bradford may be a newer military wife, but she is no stranger to the pride of belonging to the military family. The Navy wife of 3 years comes from a long lineage of military service spanning the Army, Air Force, and Navy. She was recently named the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Navy Spouse of the Year ® for embracing her role to the fullest by volunteering at her duty station while being a role model for maintaining your own identity as a military spouse – a concept she is working hard to help her peers with.
“Going into marriage, I was very clear I wanted to keep my career,” Lindsay said. “We established that it was important before we were married and it has made it so much easier.”
Navy Wife Embraces Navy Life – But Keeps Her Identity a Priority
On Military Marriages
Being upfront about expectations makes almost every aspect of marriage easier. The couple makes a point to check in with each other a few times a day, just to say hello. They also promised each other a least one date night a week. “Sometimes we just stay home, but we don’t talk about work during that time. We put away our phones and computers and spend time together.”
Dating your spouse is something that not enough couples make a priority, a message the current Military Spouse of the Year, Corie Weathers, has made a point to talk about. It is a conversation Lindsay wants to see continued. She shared that some of the tips that can help lessen the common triggers for marital disagreement are: set expectations, balance personal life versus the career, and avoid getting upset about the other working late. And when you add in the added stressor of long periods of separations, she said the couple established a small gesture important to them both, always finding a way to say goodnight. If that isn’t possible because of a deployment, find a way to still make it happen with an email, Skype call, or text just so the other person knows how much they matter.
On Making Tough Choices
While Lindsay has not yet been in a position to decide whether a separation for her career is necessary, it is something the couple has discussed. “I just left a job because they couldn’t sustain the position throughout the many moves,” she explained. “We have discussed me moving to a different state for a job while he’s on sea duty, but it hasn’t come to that yet.” She said she hasn’t met a lot of people who have moved or stayed behind for a career, but admits a support group or community of those spouses would be incredibly helpful.
Lindsay has also received a lot of support from other spouses regarding this potential decision. Instead of getting animosity or grief from others, she tends to get more questions as to how she’s able to sustain a career throughout the moves. “It feels like the military community is shifting back towards spouses wanting to work or volunteer outside the home,” Lindsay says. “Whether spouses are working, volunteering, or raising kids, they are supporting their spouse and family and making a difference. We need to make sure they are supported in whatever they decide.”
Lindsay wants to remind people, both within and outside of the military community that while each life situation may be unique and communities have varying resources, the military family as a whole is in this together. “I may be newer to this life, but no matter rank or branch, we are a team,” she said. “If the military community helps educate the local communities, we can make our lives so much easier. It will aid in transition and deployment, when we have need for local support.”
Can you relate to what Lindsay has to say? Do you want to make these topics part of a bigger conversation? Vote!
Today, for only today, online voting is open for the overall representative of the military spouse community. For 24 hours civilians and military-affiliated citizens can cast a vote in support of the message that most aligns with what you value. To learn more about Lindsay and cast your vote, click here: VOTE FOR LINDSAY BRADFORD
The 2016 Armed Force Insurance Military Spouse of the Year ® winner will be announced on May 5th at the award ceremony in Washington, D.C.