Separation and Healthy Marriage

If you follow my vlogs on YouTube, you are aware that my husband and I have been separated a while. Since late August, actually, when I left Missouri and went to Arizona to stay with my parents. Soon, this separation is ending, and I’m going back to Ft. Leonard Wood with Tumbles to reunite our little family.

Before I left, I thought and prayed a lot about even the idea of separation. I read about it a lot online, and I came across very mixed messages. I don’t know if anyone will end up coming across my website sometime when they’re looking for answers, but, just in case, I want to throw my opinion into the mix. Take it for what it’s worth. I’m a young, married, Christian woman with some life experience under her belt, but I’m no psychologist, clergy member, or anything like that.

Is Separation a Good Option?michy rose

After going through marriage and separation, I have to say that I do not believe separation is a good option for any marriage. I can understand why it seems appealing, I can understand feeling you need space, and I can even understand feeling that the space and time apart could do you and your marriage good. In spite of understanding these things, however, I have to say that my advice is to do your very best to avoid separation if reuniting is your end goal. (If you are aiming toward divorce for whatever reason and do not wish to reunite, that’s sort of a separate issue.)

Before I left, I read on both sides of the issue. Even within the Christian community there were conflicting messages about whether it had any possibility to be helpful to a marriage or not. I believe the ultimate answer is that it is not helpful, but rather it is harmful to a marriage to go through a separation when the goal is ultimately to keep the marriage going and reunite.

What Happens When You Separate

There may already be emotional distance between a husband and wife, but, upon separating, that emotional distance is increased as well as the physical distance. Without the ability to touch and see your partner, you lose a sense of intimacy. Without that physical intimacy (even if it’s just a hand on the arm now and then or a hug) and without the exchange of words you get when living together, the emotional distance becomes even greater. You go from feeling a little disconnected to being extremely disconnected.

Is that bad? Isn’t that sometimes what we hope to gain from separation? Maybe you feel like you need that space because you’ve been fighting so much that resentment is building up and building up and you’re worried you’re going to hate each other or head straight toward divorce if you don’t create that distance!

To that, I would say that’s exactly what the world and the devil want you to think. That’s just my honest opinion because that’s exactly where I was! There was fighting, resentment, and serious issues that needed to be worked through, and I believed whole-heartedly that things were not going to change – could not even be worked on – until we’d had some time apart. I believed that staying together with our relationship in that state would only cause the hurt feelings and bitterness and resentment to grow to a point beyond repair. This is, I would guess, the main reason Christians who don’t want to divorce would end up separating.

Why the Distance is Bad

You think you want that distance, and you think that distance could help, and you think that if it doesn’t help, well, you were doomed anyway — something like that, right? But the truth is that the distance itself rips things even further apart. You can’t work on your issues when you’re apart. Maybe you can wait until the hurt feelings subside, but once you see your partner again, everything is going to resurface. And in the meantime, while you’re physically and emotionally distant, it’s easy – it’s so easy to allow yourself to behave towards your spouse without the love and/or respect that they need to be treated with, and it’s so easy to be tempted into indulging in various vices (cheating, drinking, flirting, squandering money, etc) because there’s no one there to call you on it and (so it seems) no one there to get hurt by it.

Basically, distance brings more distance. You can’t get close by being distant. When two marry, they become one flesh, and they need to be together and foster that togetherness, growing closer. Distance, for whatever reason, tends to be unhealthy. Being apart lets you each be pulled in different directions, and the longer you are apart, the further you get from each other. For my husband and me, the distance hurt us tremendously: emotionally, financially, relationally. It was harder to communicate, and we couldn’t get counseling. We got used to being independent again and making decisions solo. And as we got used to being apart, we seemed to pull away from each other even more until there was almost no closeness or intimacy left.

Divorce, at a point like that, becomes almost inevitable. You left angry, you didn’t resolve anything, you grew apart, and now there’s nothing left of that closeness you once felt. Even worse, if trust has been broken at some point there may be literally nothing pushing you to reunite.

roseStick it Out

I have to just encourage everyone to please stick it out. It sounds crazy some times that staying together could be the right thing to do even when it hurts, even when you’re unhappy, even when you can’t seem to get along with each other. Obviously, things aren’t going to get better without change taking place, but don’t choose the route of separation. I believe it is almost always going to do more damage than good and will more often than not lead to divorce!

Get back to being friends. Maybe split up your finances, if you’ve been pooling resources. Maybe sleep in different rooms. Maybe redefine things in your marriage (chores, responsibilities, duties, expectations). Definitely get some good counsel, preferably from a good Christian therapist or a pastor. Keep telling your spouse that you love them, and keep trying to act out that love. Keep praying. Pray HARD. Pray seriously and whole-heartedly. Pray face-down on the ground, pray in your car, pray in bed, pray over your meals, pray for your marriage constantly.

If things are going to get better – if your marriage is going to flourish and begin to be repaired – it’s going to be while you are together and working jointly toward the same goal.

What If.

No two people, situations, or marriages are alike. I understand that some people may think, "That doesn’t apply to me because my situation is ____." I understand that. There are so many problems that could be taking place. All I can say is that I encourage you to stick it out if possible and if you want and hope to keep your marriage alive.

The exceptions are when you either want a divorce or when there is ongoing unsafe behavior taking place (any form of abuse). If you must separate but still hope to reuinte, I cannot stress enough how important I believe it to be to have a pre-determined time limit, rules, and goals, and it is also really important to remain close to each other so you can get counseling! I would say a 2 hour drive, max! If you plan to divorce anyway, that’s a totally different issue. Separate and do what you must.

But if you plan to reunite, and if you want your marriage to last, stick it out. Stay together. Get in counseling. Maybe crash on a friend’s couch for a few nights, but don’t leave. I left, and I thought it was necessary, but it ended up creating so much distance between us that we almost went past the point of no return. I can only attribute it to God that he worked things out in a way that brought us to a point of trying to reconcile.

I just wanted to express these things. Feel free to
contact me privately or leave a comment if you want to talk about this further
(either my situation or your own). I’ll do my best to answer.

Dealing With the Big D

Deployment sucks. There’s no denying it, and, unfortunately, there’s no way to magically make it easier. It’s not so simple as one more person telling you to keep your chin up, as if, maybe after you hear it enough times something will click in your head and you’ll no longer feel down. Nope. Sorry! Not gonna happen.

I’m new to this, and I’m taking everyone else on their word and hoping that it will get better and easier. I hear the first month is the hardest. We’ll see! But in the meantime, I’ve found some comfort in some resources I found online. I’d like to share them in hopes that someone else might also enjoy them – whether you’re a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend of a deployed soldier! So, here we go, in chronological order…

Before He Leaves

1. If you are feeling a bit frazzled and trying to remember what needs to be covered before he leaves, here are a few tips from eHow.com: Finances, vehicles, holidays, and household maintenance – all important things to add to your pre-deployment to-do list. See the full article by clicking here.

2. I did not have to face the problem addressed in this article on ChristianMilitaryWives.com. However, I still found some really good advice in it, and would recommend it to you, especially if you find that your soldier is seeming more distant the closer deployment gets.

“Don’t let your sour, bitter thoughts get in the way of your relationship with Christ or your husband.  Don’t let pre-deployment jitters get you down! You are armed with something that non-Christians do not have.  You have God on your side, ‘if God be for us, who can be against us?’ Romans 8:31
-Patti Katter

3. There are several good all-inclusive articles I found. They include advice for Pre-, During, and Post-Deployment. Twoofus.org focuses on Preparing Your Marriage for a Military Deployment with advice about things like patience, blame, and infidelity. Red Cross has an article on Deployment Tips that focuses mostly on homecoming, but it also has a really thorough checklist that will prove useful throughout the entire deployment.

I saved the best for last, though. As far as an overview of the whole process of deployment, I liked this article by Stacey the best. She touched on some things that I really was beginning to think I was alone in feeling. The truth is that, as she says, “just about any emotion you have during this time period is normal.” Reading this article really helped me remember I’m not alone, and, believe me, it’s good to have constant reminders of that fact.

“Depending on your husband’s unit, you could have months of notice before they deploy or as little as a few hours. Your first reaction could very well be shock, disbelief and a feeling of helplessness. You may have thoughts run through your head about flying off to another country and disappearing. Although this is common, it’s NOT recommended! They will find you and then not only will he be deployed, he will probably serve jail time as well and have pay and rank stripped from him.”
-Stacey – MarriedtotheArmy.com (Dealing With the Emotional Roller Coaster of Deployment)

While He’s Gone

1. I’ve already mentioned this article in my post SMW Syndrome. Check it out, if you missed it, or go straight over to Anita’s article about Super Military Wife Syndrome.

2. Your soldier deserves to come home to the real you, so take care of yourself while he’s gone. Exercise, journal, work on projects, set goals, et cetera! Read eHow’s article (this is a different article than that mentioned in the first section) for more thoughts on the subject. And, I would also recommend this Military Mama’s post called Lessons Deployment Has Taught Me. It’s okay to be sad! Finally, read quotes from other wives at ivillage.com that are, supposedly, the best 21 tips you can find!

“People are just going to say things in hopes it makes you feel better. Let them.”
Lessons Deployment Has Taught Me

3. Meanwhile, aside from keeping your body and mind cared for, your soldier is off in a distant, probably harsh, land. He (or she) is separated, not only from his spouse, but also from all of his loved ones. He is probably sleeping on a cot most nights, in a room with little in it to speak of home. He needs care, too, and don’t forget it. So, tell him frequently how you feel about him and that he is in your thoughts and prayers. Thank him for his service; express your pride. Send letters!

4. Care packages are another great thing to do for deployed soldiers. Ask your soldier (or his wife) for a list of items he would like to receive. There are lots of websites, some of which are listed below, which will give suggestions on items you might choose to send. Here’s a compiled list:

  • Foods they can’t get from the DFAC or PX
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Photos
  • Stationary
  • Stamps
  • Pictures or posters for walls, if they have any
  • Travel-sized medicines and toiletries
  • Moist towlettes/cleansing cloths
  • Reading material
  • Batteries
  • Puzzles/other games he might enjoy
  • Visit these websites for more info: How to Support…, How to Make…, How to Ship…, US Army Care…

DO NOT send any of the following:

  • Melt-able Items (Chocolate, et cetera)
  • Alcohol/Drugs
  • Pork
  • Pornography

Make sure you have your soldiers full, correct address before you mail anything! And, before you go off packing things into just any old box, check your local post office for FREE boxes. They are called flat-rate boxes, and you do not have to pay for them. Take as many as you want! They come in several sizes. No matter how much they weigh, they have a flat rate for shipping, and it’s a very good deal. You can also visit USPS.com and order 10 or 20 boxes, which they will deliver to your door for free! You will also need a customs form (2976-A) for each package, and you can get those for free at the post office or free from USPS.com. Additionally, everyone should check out THIS website which tells you how to get an entire Military Care Kit for free. It has everything you need all included.

Closing Thoughts

Once more, I want to link you to the following articles which include a few homecoming tips.

Finally, there are a few bright-sides to deployment, as outlined at Milspouse.com. Head on over there to see what they are. And I would love it if you had suggestions on additions to that list. The more bright sides we can come up with, the better! My favorite from their list is how much easier cleaning is when he’s gone. Especially with no kids, yet, to dirty things up. 🙂

 

If you enjoyed this post, do me a favor:
Use the link buttons below to share it
on your social networking site of choice!
Thanks, friends!

SMW Syndrome

It’s time for another confession! After my Hubby Honey leaving on the 11th, I found myself struggling more and more with…something. A nagging urge that grew day by day told me that I had a billion things to do, and the more I thought about it, the longer my lists became. And the longer my lists because, the more stressed I grew over getting it all done. I didn’t know what to attribute this problem to until reading an article by Anita Tedaldi on Milspouse.com.

“(Super Military Wife Syndrome) often lies dormant until triggered by a major stressor, namely a husband’s deployment.  The primary symptom is a nagging urge to bite off more than you can chew.”
-Anita Tedaldi

From Personal Experience

I have all the time in the world. I work from home and have no kids. Surely, nothing will hinder me from filling my plate with stuff. Tasks.

  • I want to research RV-buying and how to live in an RV, including the cost.
  • I want to research vegan diets, knowing that Hubby would probably be interested in trying one out when he gets home if I can figure out how to make it work and how to cook in vegan recipes.
  • I want to make curtains for the house!
  • I want to draw my best buddy’s portrait as a wedding gift!
  • I want to finish my novel!
  • I want to have an immaculate house!
  • I want to find a new doctor and dentist.
  • I want to finish potty training my cat.
  • I want to read a billion books and finish a million videogames.
  • I want to scrapbook that box of stuff I’ve been saving.
  • I want to blog and vlog every day.
  • I want to start practicing drawing more so that I can consider selling some artwork.
  • I want to visit my friends that are two hours away every weekend, while spending the week visiting with my local friends as much as possible.
  • I want to attend 3 different churches.
  • I want to go clubbing, go to church, and run away to Florida, all at once.
  • I want to go back to school, which means finding funding and the right school.
  • I want to pay off all our debts.
  • I want to work out every day and lose 60-100 lbs before my hubby comes home.
  • I want to babysit for my friend so I can help her out, spend time with kids (which I love), and get a little tiny bit more income for the debts and the schools.
  • Oh, and I want to be available 24/7 in case Hubby has free time to contact me.

I want, I want, I want! I need to do so many things! I don’t have enough time!

I’ve worked myself into a corner, and now I face the process of slowly working myself out. My main goal at this point is to remember that I’m not super woman, but that I do indeed have all the time I need. There’s no need to stress. Breathe, drink some soothing tea, and just do a little bit every day while being proud of each thing you accomplish.

If you need some encouragement, I would highly recommend reading both Anita’s original post and the comments that followed. Remember, you aren’t alone. We’re going through the same things!

 

If you enjoyed this post, do me a favor:
Use the link buttons below to share it
on your social networking site of choice!
Thanks, friends!

How Real is Army Wives?

I started watching Army Wives while my husband was at JRTC. I’d heard a lot of good things about it, and several friends of mine regularly watch and enjoy the show. But Hubby…he’d seen bits and pieces before and had decided that he didn’t like it, so I knew I needed a chance to watch it alone. A show just for me. I finally got that chance when he was gone for a month.

The Differences

So, he left, and I watched…and watched, and watched. I watched all 3 (complete) seasons of Army Wives within the first 2-3 weeks of JRTC, and I was sad that there wasn’t more to rent from Netlix. The first episode caught my attention right off the bat. Within the first 10 minutes, a soldier proposes to a girl he’s known for only a couple days. Hey, I thought to myself, I know a couple like that. I knew I’d be able to relate to the show… and that incident was just one of the commonalities I’ve found between the show and the real thing.

However, there are a lot of differences, too. If you’ve watched the show but never really been part of the Army life, you may not be aware of these:

1. FRGs – Army Wives implies that there is one FRG per post, and the woman in charge is the wife of the highest-ranking soldier – or something like that. This is not the case. FRGs are normally organized at a company level. If, for instance, there are 2 divisions on post, you’ll have about 3 brigades, 9 battalions, and 45 companies, which would mean 45  different family readiness groups. These aren’t exact numbers, but you get the idea. And these are not always headed up by the company commander’s wife, though from my understanding that’s not uncommon. I can’t speak for how FRGs in general tend to work as I’ve only been a part of one, but I can give you a little peek inside ours, and maybe some other wives can chime in with how their FRG has worked or not worked in the comments. 🙂

  • Meetings once a month include all families in the company, not just a select few.
    Our FRG meets once a month. Generally speaking, one member of each married couple in the unit is required to attend. If my husband can’t make it to the meeting and I don’t go in his stead, they can scold and/or punish him for it. Sometimes, to encourage soldiers to go to the meetings, they have been known to give them a day off from PT. Sometimes, they bribe us with food… 😀 Basically, the FRG meetings are supposed to include all married soldiers and spouses.
  • Meetings cover upcoming events and training schedules.
    Usually, the company commander or another officer goes over the schedule for the upcoming month. They’ll tell us when our soldiers are supposed to be working late, working normal shifts, or getting days off. (It’s a nice little fantasy they have since nothing ever goes according to plan.) Then, the meeting is turned over to the FRG leader, who goes over upcoming events and fundraisers, talks about how they need volunteers, et cetera. If we’re lucky, the meeting ends there and we can either eat, if they’ve brought pizza, or go home.
  • Women either try to be involved or try to stay out of it.
    In our company, I seem to see two groups of women: The “FRG Ladies” and the we-don’t-do-that-stuff Ladies. It’s a kind of strange division. I haven’t figured it out completely yet.
  • The purpose is to provide information, not take care of individuals.
    Unlike on the show Army Wives, our FRG does not organize things such as taking care of new mothers and newly widowed women. That is the job of another organization (they mentioned it recently, but I can’t recall the name of that organization). The FRG is here to make sure the families are at least as up to date as possible on the unit’s schedule – be it training schedule or deployment schedule. They relay information from the company to the families. And their secondary purpose is to provide some companionship for the ladies when the men are gone. For example, when the boys were at JRTC, our FRG meeting was held at the bowling alley. Fun! I will definitely appreciate that aspect of our FRG more once the men deploy.

2. Deployments – They are a little different, too. Yes, you can be deployed unexpectedly. But, generally speaking, you’re going to know when it’s coming. Units deploy on a schedule, so you know that if they got back at this time of year, they’re going to be deploying about the same time a year from now, unless something unexpected comes up. We’ve known that Hubby was going to be deploying this fall ever since, well, last fall. We didn’t know exactly when, but it’s not like on Army Wives where they call you up out of the blue and say, hey, you’ve leaving in 3 days. And I’m very glad it’s not like that.

3. Station – For for the rest, a lot is unfamiliar to me because the show revolves around officers and one NCO. Keep in mind that there are a lot more enlisted in the Army than officers. A lot more. (One website I checked claimed the enlisted to officer ratio is 6:1.) It didn’t fit in to the show for them to include these families – perhaps because it’s harder to show a realistic friendship between a group of wives that diverse. But there are a lot privates, privates first class, and specialists in the army who are married and who live the army life just like the rest… only different. They have less control, less stability, fewer expectations placed on them. Does anyone else feel like the show is a little TOO centered around officers?

I Love It!

As for the drama in the show, well… a show’s gotta have drama. That’s what makes it interesting and intriguing to watch! The writers/producers are trying to pick up on all the stresses that can and will happen in Army life and concentrate them on one small (very small) group of people. I think they do a grand job of it. Hopefully most of us don’t have to go through ALL of these things, but we’ll know people or know of people that do.

I can relate to Army Wives even if it doesn’t exactly represent the Army Wife Life I live on a day-to-day basis. And for that, I love it!

 

If you enjoyed this post, do me a favor:
Use the link buttons below to share it
on your social networking site

Being a Christian Wife

This was on my brainstorming list of blog post ideas. Today, for some reason, it stood out to me. Maybe because it’s an area in my own life in which I’ve been trying to improve. What does my husband need of me, and what are my wifely responsibilities? I don’t think that wives are only around to serve their husbands, but I do believe God calls us to have a servant’s heart, whether or not one is a housewife.

Wives, Submit to Your Husbands

“Submitting to your husband doesn’t mean becoming his slave. It means recognizing his role and putting him first. After all, I believe this is the example Christ has set forth for us…”
Melissa J. on Families.com

The biggest difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage is whether or not the wife submits to her husband. God provides an umbrella of protection by putting the husband under himself, the wife under the husband, and the children under the wife. By living with that family structure in mind, I think that we will find ourselves living the happy, fulfilling lives God intends for us. But the wife-to-husband submission is very different from the child-to-parent submission. Notice in the Bible that children are told to obey, while wives are told to submit. (Ephesians 5-6)

1. Respecting

  • The quote above touches on this, but I will re-iterate: I think that wives submit to their husbands through respect. After my husband so lovingly listens to my thoughts and suggestions, I should then strive to respectfully accept his decision as final. God has put that responsibility into my husband’s hands, and out of respect for that position, I defer to him. If a mistake is made, I should not criticize or ridicule him. I should continue treating him with the respect he deserves.
  • I should not only respect his decisions, though. I also respect his goals and dreams, his space, his person. This includes holding back sometimes on snide and sarcastic remarks! (This is something Hubby and I are BOTH working on. We recognize that sometimes taking sarcasm too far makes one or the other of us start to feel unloved.)
  • Avoiding nagging is, I think, a very big step in learning to respect your husband. Many women, including myself, have an almost uncontrollable urge to nag. (Only a slight exaggeration!) But when we nag our husbands, we end up feeling like their mothers, and they end up feeling like children. That is not respect, and, of course, we know this. It’s just hard to overcome sometimes! My friend recently suggested putting myself into the mindset of a personal secretary rather than a mom. It’s not a perfect analogy, but thinking this way helps me sometimes to remember that I should respectfully remind him of things and then trust his judgment about which to do and when to do them, rather than nagging him.
  • Also like a secretary, I should take things into my own hands when possible. For instance, at my former job, I wouldn’t have asked my boss to do much of anything I could do myself. That’s not to say that wives should slave all week while husbands become couch potatoes, but I think you get the idea.

2. Praising

  • I can no longer even count the number of sources that have told me about praising my husband. I hear it everywhere. Men respond positively to praise, and husbands respond very positively to praise from their wives in particular! It’s good to try not to criticize or nag, but it’s better to take it a step further and look for things your husband is doing that you can praise.
  • Praise and support go hand in hand. As I praise Hubby’s accomplishments, I show appreciation for what he’s done, but I can also praise his efforts to let him know I support everything he’s trying to do, whether or not things go as planned.
  • I try to put my admiration into words, so that my husband knows I see his hard work that sometimes seems unseen by everyone else. I want him to know that I notice how much hard work he puts into his job, even if he doesn’t feel he gets recognition for it at work.

3. Helping

“The Purpose of A Woman: God said, ‘I will make him a(n) ezer’ (Genesis 2:18).”
Hem of His Garment Bible Study

  • Many Christian wives work hard at doing things like cooking, housekeeping, parenting, and organizing in an effort to be a help-meet for their husbands, and I think that many non-Christians look at those women and think “servant” or, worse, “slave.” But that’s not it at all! Helping is not the same as serving, despite how it may appear from the outside. When God created Eve and said she was to be a helper, the Hebrew word used (ezer) is the same word as is found in the following verse:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

  • I can help my husband by keeping the house managed for him, so that he doesn’t have to. I can learn what his life goals are and help him to meet them. I can help by praying for him. I can help in little things, like doing a chore I know he’s dreading. I can help him relax using, among other things, this list. And I can also help him by encouraging him to be a spiritual leader.
  • The help I give my husband is something God designed me for, and it should be thought of in the same way as God’s help for us. In other words, it’s the power and strength of God working through us so we can do what he designed us to do – help our husbands. It’s not good for man to be alone! In other words, we wives are needed. It’s good to be needed.

In the Army

One other thing I was thinking about is how being a Christian wife might look different for those of us in the Army. I will probably have even more thoughts on this after we’ve gone through a deployment together.

For those of you readers who may already have a greater understanding of this, let me ask you: How is your relationship with your husband affected by deployments and long periods of “independence” followed by times of getting back into the groove of marriage? How do you respect your husband when there is so much distance between the two of you? Do you find it difficult?

Two P’s

Above all, I think that the best way to learn how to be a Christian wife is through prayer and practice. I’ve been praying for God to help me learn to be the wife he wants me to be since about a year before Hubby and I started dating, and I’ve been practicing for about a year now. I have not arrived by any means; I still struggle, but I’m still trying. My husband and my God are kind enough to lovingly forgive my shortcomings. I’m so grateful for their patience with me.

I would encourage any and all of you to begin praying now if you never have before, whether you’re single or have been married for years. God will always answer prayers that are in line with his will for your life, so if you’re asking for him to help you become the Christian wife he wants for you to be, he will definitely help you!

It’s a Love-Hate Relationship

“A love-hate relationship is a personal relationship involving simultaneous or alternating emotions of love and enmity.”
Wikipedia

I have a love-hate relationship with the Army. How the Army feels about me, I can never quite determine. Maybe the simultaneous contradictory feeling is mutual, for all I know.

Hate

Sometimes, I hate the Army. My husband would probably argue that sometimes is actually most of the time because I definitely complain about the Army much more than I brag on it or praise it. When I do hate it, I downright loathe it. I’ll tell you, the emotions can get pretty intense during these times. What has the Army ever done to me, you ask? Plenty.

1. The Army owns my husband. I come second after the Army; I don’t really have first dibs on him. When the Army chooses the flaunt this, I can get pretty catty.

2. The Army mistreats my husband. How can I take care of him when he’s constantly coming home with new wounds and problems? Tell me that, Army!! I try to get him caught up on his rest, and then you go and deprive him of sleep again!

3. The Army is too fickle. Make up your mind! Are they coming home at 0730, noon, or 2100? Does he get weekends off or not?

4. The Army strings us both along, promising things, and when we begin to suspect it may never deliver, they give us another bit of hope to keep us going. Sometimes, I don’t think the Army intends to deliver on its promises at all!

Plus Love

On the other hand, I do love the Army, sometimes. More than you might think! When I love it, I could go to tears thinking of life without it.

1. The Army pays our bills, like any faithful employer should. In fact, the Army’s regularity in this area is most pleasing. It’s never late.

2. The Army gives us security. We can’t get rid of the Army, no matter how bad we might want to at times. It’s always going to be there, and while it may seem fickle, it’s in many ways one of the most constant things in our lives. Even its fickleness is steady and constant, like a security blanket (or teddy, or hippo).

3. The Army takes care of our basic needs. Sure, it gets to decide whether other things are important or not, but the basic needs we have for food, shelter, and medical care, are taken care of, always.

4. The Army actually has a useful purpose. It can be hard to remember, when caught up in day-to-day life as a soldier or a soldier’s wife, but the Army does have a purpose, and serves that purpose well. Our country would probably be in bad shape without it.

Equals Army Wife Life

All of this together makes up a big portion of life as an Army wife. These last two weeks, as my husband was gone yet again for training, I had moments when I cried about how much I hated the Army and moments when I cried about how much I love the Army. Imagining life without it is hard, now. I pray for God to help us through this time in the Army, and to help us through the time when we have to face life without it!

Would you like to add in any reasons you love and/or hate the Army? Or do you, perhaps, have a love-hate relationship with someone (or something) else that you’d like to share?