The government may call us “dependents”, but as military spouses we pride ourselves on being “independent”. We don’t really have much choice in the matter. Whether you “chose” this life or were thrown into the deep end, you don’t always know what you’re getting into, but you have to learn to operate without your service member.
We endure pregnancy on our own, have babies alone, raise children for weeks and months by ourselves…it’s what we do. We take care of the house, the car, the finances, work jobs or continue our education, attend weddings-funerals-graduations, homeschool children, shuffle them to activities, and hold them in the night when they’re scared and miss Daddy (or Mommy).
I’ve read so many blog posts touting our independence and our refusal to be called “dependents”. But, what if (insert gasp) it’s OKAY to be dependent?
But, what if it’s OKAY to be dependent?
I was the epitome of independent when Ryan and I started dating. I didn’t get married until I was 29 and by then had accepted contracting jobs in two different states managing security departments with teams of people. I had a high rise condo on Miami beach…. I didn’t “need” a man. I put myself through college while working full time and enduring our first deployment together. I wanted a partner and someone with whom to share my life. I didn’t have anything left to prove.
My husband is my absolute best friend. We are 100% a TEAM and have been since Day 1. He taught me that good guys exist, that unconditional/agape love is what marriage is all about. Yes, I’m exclusively a stay at home mom now, but he still sees our children as his and he’s never “babysat”. He ADORES our kids and is so active in their lives. He runs to their room at night when they cry for him often before i’ve even processed what’s going on. I couldn’t have succeeded at breastfeeding if he hadn’t been up at EVERY feeding changing their diapers, he was involved in every bath…he was there for EVERY appointment that the Army allowed him to be while I was pregnant and even when we were enduring infertility. He cleans (better than I do) and a million other things that I could brag about until the end of time.
When he’s gone I do miss all of the help, but mostly I miss my best friend. I miss snuggling on his chest or wrapped up in his arms at night (yes, we’re THAT couple that still cuddles almost 7 years into our marriage). I miss the inside jokes, the foot rubs at night while we discuss politics or sports or silly memes on the internet. We enjoy all of the same activities, the same TV shows, and i’m a total dude that will scream at the TV with our sports teams as much if not more than he does. We’re also extremely mushy to the extent of grossing people out and making them think we’re faking it. I don’t need “breaks” from my husband.
I say all of this to report that it’s OKAY to depend on your husband. It doesn’t make you weak. Yes, I survive without him, but there is always an ache in my heart. It doesn’t make me weak to admit that I need my best friend and my soulmate. God created him just for me and marriages aren’t meant to be spent 1000’s of miles away from each other for months on end. We do it because we believe in a calling higher than ourselves. I do it because I love him and he’s worth it. But that doesn’t make me miss him any less.
Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”