Friday, April 12, 2013

The Post I Hope My Husband Doesn't Get Mad About

Until now, I have hesitated to write any posts about relationships. Although relationship topics are big among military wives because they often have to be placed second to their husbands’ careers, I haven’t felt comfortable revealing my thoughts and feelings on such a personal subject. Plus, it is an area in which I don’t even come close to knowing all the answers!

But this past week has been an eye-opener for me. My husband, after being home from deployment for fifteen months, left for a one-week training exercise. Any military wife will tell you that fifteen months is a long time for a husband to be home. I consider us lucky that our family has been able to be complete for so long. However, I cannot deny that part of me was looking forward to a week apart from one another. With him having been around so much, I felt like I needed a break from the extras that need to be done when he’s home, like more laundry, more dishes, more picking up clothes and shoes. I felt like I needed some time to myself. I felt like I needed a rest from all those little things he does that make me so mad sometimes.

And then he left. When gave me a kiss goodbye as I lied in bed Sunday morning, I immediately began missing him. I expected to miss him as the week went by, but not so soon. As the kids and I began our usual Sunday routine, knowing that he wasn’t somewhere in the house ready to turn the corner got me choked up. The kids began asking when daddy would be home, and it was only the first of seven days. Looking at the week ahead knowing I would have to face the usual struggles with the kids on my own, I missed him even more.

As the week went on, I did the best I could to stay busy with the kids so we could all keep our sanity. Without the kids having daddy coming home from work to look forward to each day, I knew I needed to take preemptive measures to avoid fights and meltdowns. As much as I get mad at him sometimes, this week reminded me that those little things I don’t like are few and far between all the wonderful things he does to help me. Day by day, I have found my heart softening and thinking that I should just cut him some slack and start appreciating all those good things a lot more.

Military couples have a unique aspect to their marriages that many non-military couples do not. We have the chance to experience how distance makes the heart grow fonder. It reminds us not to take our partners for granted. It gives us the chance to step away from those things which get on our nerves and rekindle the feelings of love and connection that get pushed aside after a while.  It gives us the opportunity to miss each other so much that when we finally see each other again our love for each other feels that much stronger.

I am not saying that separation should be used as a means of solving relationship issues. Nor am I saying that military marriages work because we must be apart so much. But I am saying that being apart has the potential to help us to build better relationships with our soldiers and to more fully appreciate one another, which is an added benefit to living the military lifestyle.

This week has reminded me how lucky I am to have such a loving, supporting, and understanding husband. In a lifestyle where we must say goodbye all too often, there is no one I would rather say goodbye to because there is no one better to welcome home at the end. He makes missing him so worth it! 

1 comment:

  1. I really love this post. I know exaclty where you are coming from. The military lifestyle is so different than the normal marriage. We were married for 4 years before he joined so we've experienced both sides. I agree, seperation isn't necessarily a good thing, but it does give you an opportunity to really appreciate what you love about your partner.

    Your posts are always so well thought out and written.