I Hate My Military Life
What my husband plans to do when his commitment to the military is up is a touchy subject in my home. Sometimes he throws out the idea of staying in. After all, he’s good at his job, and we get free healthcare. Of course, the major downside to him extending his commitment is that he would continue to deploy. Since I can’t deal with that idea, conversations about the future usually end up with me shouting, “I don’t want to be a military wife forever!” or “This is not the life I signed up for!”
The fact is that I did sign up for this life. My husband was already in the military when we met at a wedding. But I was so drunk during the reception that I wasn’t able to think it through logically: Dating a guy in the military means I could marry a guy in the military, and marrying a guy in the military means I will be all alone when he deploys. I guess all I could focus on that night were his eyes and his smile and how much fun we were having on the dance floor.
I have given up a lot to become a military wife. I left a career in book publicity and my apartment in New York City to move to Nebraska. Let’s just say that Omaha isn’t known for its thriving publishing industry, so finding a new career (or even a job) I enjoyed was challenging. I had to say goodbye to all my family and friends on the East Coast and start over in a town where I only knew my fiancé (yes, he put a ring on my finger before I relocated). I even had to give up my dream honeymoon plans because my husband deployed for the very first time two weeks after we were married.
I did not form immediate bonds with other military wives. Other than the fact that our husbands left us every couple of months, I found I had very little in common with most of these women. Many were much younger than I was and some already had children. Others never worked outside of the home. Most lived very close to base, something my husband and I chose not to do. Needless to say, I was lonely for a long time.
Years later, I still don’t feel like I’m cut out for this role. I’m not meant to be a military wife. I am a paranoid, anxious person; I worry constantly when my husband is away. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life worrying about his safety. I don’t like not having a plan for the future. I hate that my infant son does not get to see his Daddy every day. It makes me angry that I have to endure struggles that most people will never experience.
But for better or for worse, this is my life right now. I can only hope that one day it gets easier.
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