I’m coming up on my thirteenth year as a military spouse, almost fifteen as a military “significant other”. It’s a milestone on both parts, and it really cool and makes me very happy. But there’s something else that lingers. In the back of mind, as I go through the day it sits there weighing heavy on my heart. It creeps up in the quietness of the evening and is even hidden in the laughter of my children. It’s loneliness. There’s so much I would tell that me, thirteen years ago. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe it was something she had to learn along the way.
I am so proud of being a military spouse. I’m proud of my husband and his career. It’s a unique one, full of a lot traveling and long hours. Unpredictability is par for the course and for as long as we’ve been together that is how it has been. There’s never been a 9 to 5 or days off you can predict. I’ve never not known loneliness, from the moment I got back from my honeymoon. Dealing with it has been sometimes good, and sometimes very bad. Thrown in depression and anxiety and sometimes its been down right horrendous. Its the thing about this life that you can’t really explain; and its even harder to be mad at the job when the job is to protect our country and the lives of other service members. Sometimes I wish he’d simply travel for some kind of regular job. Then at least I could channel my anger at something. It’s not his fault and he’s doing something I really admire. He selflessly gives of himself, but sometimes I just don’t freaking care!
I wish I could say that I simply pray, read the Bible, do my devotional and I’m able to shake these feelings. While I will honestly say that I don’t know how people go through life without God, sometimes I wish I’d let him help me more through this. But this is the secret price of being a military spouse. Its the one that you think just comes with the territory and its not big deal. He or she is gone, you miss them, you’re sad. You remember your friend, the military spouse. Think about her while their service member is gone. You invite them for a playdate or over for dinner. You give them an extra squeeze when you see them. But after they’ve gone home and they are alone in the quiet, what then? I’d rather take the kids out for errands, cook dinner and do all the cleaning then sit in my house alone one more night. Sometimes I want to kick the wall, throw a plate and scream at the top of my lungs….all at the same time.
That’s the part I ask that you remember. The quiet nights alone. After awhile its not nice to be alone, have control over the tv and stay up. So I take a deep breath, shed a few tears and search my bookcase for nice story about true love to lose myself in.
So if you are a military spouse, I’m thinking of you in the quiet hours of my evening. I sending you love during those particularly difficult times of the evening. And if you aren’t a military significant other, but you have some in your life, I’m asking you to think about those spouses. Take them out for a late night, have a girls night in, offer to have a slumber party. For its these quiet hours of the late night that they need you the most and they may not even realize it.