I love our life in the Army. Anyone who meets me knows this and some say i’m too “obsessed” with the whole supporting my husband. I grew up in the Army and, other than my single years following my own career, this life is all that I have ever known. I am so thankful that God gave me such a strong, dedicated, hero of a man to share my life with and I wouldn’t change this for anything in the world. I also think that this life would be even harder if I didn’t love it so much.
That being said, I still have my days that I really don’t like the Army. I have days that I daydream of what it must be like to live the “civilian life” and be able to count how many nights I’ve spent away from my husband…on one hand. There are days that I just want to fight for a little time with my husband at home.
This week I’ve seen some of the lows of being married to a soldier and we’ve been hit by some of the negatives of the Army. As always, that stupid “Murphy’s Law” definitely hates me. Everything seems to have gone wrong (even by my own doing) and I received some bad/scary news earlier. There are days that I am so burned out on always being away from my husband or awaiting the next time he’ll come home with the “good news and the bad news”. There are days that I am so envious of the families that never have to be separated. And sometimes I just want to wallow in my self pity for awhile without someone trying to put a positive spin on it or make me realize how it “could be worse”. Yes, it can ALWAYS be worse…but does that make my pain any less?
I also don’t think it’s a bad thing that I literally feel like a piece of my heart is missing every time my husband is gone. I spent 27 years of my life being single and we’ve been apart for over 60% of our relationship…that wears on you…no matter who you are. I always thought i’d get married and not have to be the fifth wheel at family functions and still be the one there without a spouse. Sometimes it gets old going to unit functions alone or taking care of the house on your own. I know that there are couples out there who function better apart or joke that it’s “good” for their marriage. We are not those people. Even when we were dating he spent almost every free minute of his first tour in Afghanistan writing/talking/skyping with me. This is what works for our relationship. We are insanely, crazy in love with each other and we like it that way. I know that some people don’t get this and that’s okay for us to be different. I know that this will grow and change as we add children to our family, but our marriage will always be this important and special to us. It’s not easy to be away from your soulmate. However, we will always make that sacrifice for his service.
I also know that I feel so much better when I have Army wife friends that vent with me and share in some of my frustrations and love/hate for this life. I think it’s okay to admit that we are not always super heroes. I know that i’m not the only wife who has felt this way. Instead of tearing each other down or trying to compete with each other we should lending a hand and helping each other up. How much worse would a new wife feel if people were constantly telling her to “suck it up” or pretend like it never gets to them? I’ve actually had older wives laugh at me and say things like “better get used to it” or “you have no idea” (mind you, this was after his 12 month deployment so I had a little idea). This was my reason for volunteering with the FRG. I know that not all units have an amazing group like ours, but I have been blessed to work with some really great women. Don’t always count them out because of one or two bad experiences.
Now to go back and pull myself out of the funk. Sometimes it definitely feels like we’re on a roller coaster, but for all of the lows…there are AMAZING highs! This life is worth it to be with the man that I love. I am proud of what he does for America and for our family’s future. Most of all, i’m thankful that we will always have each other to get through the highs and lows together. I’m also thankful for our relationship with God and the fact that He is ALWAYS there for us…no matter the hour. 🙂
~Melissa Grim, Venting Army Wife