A humbling post >

I was just perusing a few threads when I came across this post. I found it said a lot about the forces from another perspective that I hadn't thought of. Relevant to me because my marriage wasn't as strong as this one>>

Thread starter here>

My father was in the Navy for 30 years, my husband is Army and we've been together for 17 years and married for 13 years. In the last 13 months, the longest we've been together is 5 weeks and that was last June. He has a full 2 weeks off for Christmas and the first time since we got married that we will have the entire 12 days of Christmas together. I knew exactly what I was marrying into which probably explained my reluctance. My husband even said he would leave the Army if I wanted him to. But I knew he wouldn't be happy and maybe resent me too eventually.

He's been to a selection of hot, sweaty, steamy and sandy places - all the hot spots of the world. It doesn't get any easier - mobile phones have helped - it's still a long, lonely, isolating, tiring, frustrating time full of worry. The only time I'm not worried is when I'm asleep and then sometimes it's hard to get any.

People mean well sometimes but they say the most stupid things:
1. It's not on the news so it must be quiet where he is
2. If you didn't see him on the news then he must be OK
3. What does he do in the evenings over there? Does he go out?
4. He'll have a great tan when he gets home
5. Does he watch the telly?
6. Won't be long now and he'll be home, the time is flying in
7. Are you not worried?
8. Can't he e-mail you?
9. Why don't you just tell him not to go?
10. I'd leave hime if I were you, he's very selfish
11. He'll bring you home something nice

I deeply resent being told by civvies "What did you expect? You married a soldier after all". They haven't earned the right to say that to me. They haven't sat waiting for phonecalls from the far side of the planet - 90 seconds on a sat phone - after a messy contact "I'm OK. I love you. Bye". They haven't been to funerals where I have to try to say something reassuring to the wife standing beside her husbands coffin. I'm looking at her thinking "I'm so sorry but I'm so glad it's you and not me". And I know what she's thinking looking at me "Why wasn't it you instead of me?"

When the washing machine floods, when central heating packs up, when I get a flat tyre, when the bank rings - it's not the same as civvie street. My husband isn't coming home in the evening - he's not going to walk in the door at 10 past 6. I can't share the worry with him either. He has enough on his plate worrying about the care and welfare of those with him and the responsibility of bringing them home in one piece to their families. When he rings I can't bitch about all the things that are going wrong - he doesn't need to know, he can't do anything about it anyway so there's no point. And it's not going to make his day any better - it will distract him and could get him killed or someone else he's responsible for. He can wait until he gets home to find out about the mortgage and that the car is on its last legs.

It's not the same as civvie street. When he comes home from overseas - I'm usually the last to get a hold of him. He's dragged around to meet all the rellies "This is the guy I was telling you about" to all the Mums and Dads, girlfriends, photos with the babies that were born when their Dads were overses. And then it all seems worth it. I've seen Mums grab his hand and just keep saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you" over and over again. I've seen Dads - even ex-service - stand there mumbling through tears "Thanks mate". Then I feel guilty for all the anger and resentment I've had towards him when I've missed him so much it hurts.

He makes a difference. Everyday in some part of the world in some small way, a soldier has made a difference to someone's life. His job actually counts for something. My husband has done 22 years and each of those years has made a difference to someone somewhere. I'm proud of him and I will support him. He's not going to get a big cash bonus, he doesn't have a big office in a big office block somewhere, he doesn't play golf, he won't close the "big deal" by the end of the week, he doesn't have the flash car. But we do have a nice home and we appreciate it all the more for not being together as much as we like. We value things that civvies have long forgotten - eating a meal at home together, shopping together, just going for a walk, carpet on the hall stairs - finally!

Army wives can do nearly everything on their own - we don't need patronising sympathy. But we do need support.
It is hard being surrrounded by 'civvies', who are trying to be helpful or appear sympathetic/interested, but just dont say the right things.

And 'knowing what you're getting into' when marrying/dating service personnel isn't always the case.
I don't remember my father being away as much as SP are now, when he was serving.

I think it's largely pride for your loved ones that gets you through- and on that note its so nice to see that Parades are being held for returning soldiers, and that the turn out for them is good!


I think we all had a bit of a wobbly start there, let's try again! :)

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads