Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some Thoughts About Being an Army Wife

My husband has been in the Army for almost 19 years now. He was planning on retiring next year. Somehow I had this fantasy that we would be able to stay here until he’s done. Unfortunately, the Army has other plans for us. We are moving to Louisiana in the fall. No offense, dear LA, but I never imagined myself living there.

Apart from the new location that I am not thrilled about, I will have to start my life over. Again. I have worked hard at finding friends here and have found so many wonderful people that I really don’t want to leave behind. There are children here who have basically grown up with my daughter- she recognizes them, asks for them when they’re not there, and tells me that she loves them. I have friends who are pregnant, due after we leave.

I have to turn my back on all these people and move on. The children will keep growing up without my daughter around. Babies will be born that I might not meet until they are toddlers. Of course we will stay in touch with people, but we all know that only a few contacts will stay strong. All the others will slowly wither away as the months and years pass.

I had made some professional plans for my future. I have to turn my back on these now, too, at least for the time being. Because the same opportunities do not exist at our new location.

We will have to put the house on the market and hope that it sells. If it doesn’t, we’ll have to find renters so we can carry the cost. We will have to find a new house in one of the small towns around the Army base.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that, as an Army wife, your needs always come after the needs of the Army. You have to follow your soldier wherever he goes and nobody really cares about what you’re leaving behind. Your own professional life is unimportant. The stability you would like your children and yourself to have is unimportant.

As an Army wife, your purpose is to support your husband in all that he has to do, wherever that may be. It’s hard. Which is why Army marriages are fragile and vulnerable.

However, if you get through all of these things- deployments, moves, horrible assignments, etc.- you will have a strong marriage. A marriage that other people can only marvel at. What ‘regular’ couple ever has to be apart for years at a time?

So, even though I am dreading all these changes, I am grateful that my husband and I are doing it together. My professional life will have to wait a few more years, but will be totally worth it. Hopefully, this will be our last Army adventure. I can’t wait to be just a regular wife…

1 comment:

  1. Sorry your plans got changed. I can only hope your hubby lets you know how much he appreciates the sacrifices you make as well. I hope the move goes well and that you are able to find a new sense of community.