As my military husband and I visited home for the holidays, I remember being so happy about getting this break. However, we couldn’t help but get those same questions.
- “When will you guys be done with the military?”
- “When does he deploy again?”
- “When’s the next time you will move?”
- “Don’t you miss being away from family?”>
Our families and friends mean well, they really do. They’re probably just trying to make conversation. Those questions are still awkward as hell to answer.
Mostly because we have no idea where military life will lead. The only constant in this lifestyle is… change.
So I smile to my family and friends and answer politely. “Well guys, it’s tough to say what the military has in store for our family…”
And then they reply, “ Oh well, you knew what you were getting into when you got married.”
No. No, I didn’t.
I knew he would deploy.
I didn’t know that it was possible to feel scared, anxious, frustrated, stressed, angry, lonely, and overwhelmed all at once.
I knew we would reunite after deployment was over.
I didn’t know that we would get into arguments during the reintegration process.
I knew he wore a uniform.
I didn’t know that it also symbolized how much control the military has over our life.
I knew we would move a lot.
I didn’t know how hard it was to leave behind friends and connections and then start all over again.
I knew he would work long hours.
I didn’t know that I would eat dinner and go to sleep every night alone, even when he is “home”.
I knew there would be FRG meetings and get-togethers.
I didn’t know that they were inconsistent. Some FRGs would be really great, and some non-existent.
I knew the threat of war would be a constant.
I didn’t know how close it would hit to home. My husband works in the aviation community. I take a deep breath every time there’s a report of a crash, and wonder, oh my god, “is it someone we know?”
I knew our kids would have to be resilient.
I didn’t know that how hard they (and me) would have to work at staying resilient.
I knew we would be away from our family and friends.
I didn’t know how truly isolating it feels to not have a “home base”.
I knew I would be a military spouse.
Sometime it sucks to be a part of this life and sometimes it’s amazing. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
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