“It takes a special kind of man to volunteer to run towards the ugliest of fights. It takes a special kind of woman to let him.” – Rebekah Sanderlin
When your spouse talks to you about joining the military, it can be a really scary thing. Especially when you have no idea what that life entails. There are a lot of stressful things that go along with military life, and a lot of sacrifices are going to be made.
The first day at tech school was much any other “first day of school” for my husband. Everyone introduces themselves and says a little about who they are and shares a little about their life. It was my husbands turn and he got up to the front of the room as instructed and drew a stick figure of himself, me and our son. He said “This is my family, my wife just had a baby while I was at basic. I was pretty close to discharging from the military so I could be there with them but then the General wouldn’t let me [he circles my stick figure]” Everyone laughed, and so did I when he told me the story.
The military was (and still is) his dream, he had wanted to join since he was a kid. He wasn’t about to give that up for one little moment of our lives (okay maybe it was a big moment) but still, it was nothing I couldn’t handle.
My husband signed the line the week we started dating. I hadn’t even realized that he was involved with the military at first until he showed up to one of our first dates with an Air Force T-shirt. I had known him long before that as a coworker, but I just thought he was law enforcement. It wasn’t my place to say anything about him joining the military, but I will admit I was a little excited. I loved the idea that he would be serving his country, I was so proud of him.
I had no idea what I was in for.
Admittedly, I wasn’t fully prepared for all the things I would have to do in only our first 2 years of being a military family. But I’m still excited for the future, I’m excited to travel and see the world. I’m excited for everything ahead of us. Yes, I get worried sometimes- I will always be concerned for his safety- but it’s certainly not something that I “let” him do, I support and respect his drive to do it. I can’t speak for how I will feel in 15 or more years, but I do hope that I will continue to support my husband.
I loved the quote at the beginning of the page… until I got to the word “let”. I’ve heard my husband say it so many times. “So-and-so was thinking about joining, but I don’t think his wife would let him”. As military spouses, we need to let go of the idea that we have any kind of control. Is it hard? Yes. Will you hate the military at times? Yes. Will you feel lonely, and sad, and broken? Yes.
But the hard times don’t last forever
You will also get so many opportunities. You will get so many chances to do things you probably wouldn’t have been able to do. There will come a day that you will forget about the time you cried on the couch and remember the first hug when you see them after months of being apart.
You will remember the excitement of getting a letter (or email), you will remember counting down the days and finally getting to single digits. You will remember decorating the homecoming sign, or flying to a state you have never been to.
I support my husband, and he supports me.
He doesn’t “let” me be a stay at home mom, he doesn’t “let” me blog. He supports my decision to do those things, and he works really hard so that I can. For that reason, we have a very strong relationship. He might joke that I’m the boss (well… okay I might be about somethings!) but we make our decisions together. I will always be honest about my feelings because I know when he asks for my opinion, he really wants my input.
There have been times where I have said, “You know I’ll support you with whatever you want to do, but I don’t think it is the right decision because of XYZ”. He usually listens, and agrees with my reasons and we make a decision together as a team. There have also been times where we have (collectively as a team) totally regretted the decision we made. We get through it and try to move on. That’s life.
So I guess if I could change that quote, it would be more like, “It takes a special kind of man to volunteer to run towards the ugliest of fights. It takes a special kind of woman to support him.”
What do you think? What has been the hardest thing you have had to experience as a military spouse?
Need more support? Follow us on Facebook!