THE MILITARY SPOUSE

If you are visiting this page just out of interest I would like to welcome you.  If you are visiting as a military spouse then I have a real understanding of the pride and sacrifices that go with your unique role.  

Having had 19 years experience of being married to a serving soldier. I know only too well how difficult this way of life can be and the issues which are unique to the life you have married into.

You may not wear the uniform or carry the rank but you serve alongside them every step of the way and doing so can be an arduous task. You too play a very important role in this unique way of life, whether they (being your husband, wife or partner) realise it or not.

I dedicate my page to you and please feel free to make any comments or contact me.

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I smiled as I came upon the words on this T-shirt, the words struck a chord with me and I thought if only it were that simple, of course life changes constantly and the reality of tough times, family arguments and other issues makes it very difficult to Live every day like he/she deploys tomorrow.  

You and I know that the reality of them actually deploying tomorrow is a very different thing and once the big build up is over and the moment is here, it could still be 2 or 3 tearful farewells on the Parade Square before they finally go, by which time it can be almost a relief, because the truth is, in their head they are already deployed and have been for several weeks, gradually distancing themselves as the adrenalin of carrying out the duties they signed up for gets nearer and nearer.

I think it is at this precise moment and the weeks that follow that your role as a miltary wife/husband really comes to the fore.  There is a moment of realisation `this is it` and ‘you’re  the one’ and your role of being ‘the dependant of’ hits home.

You probably already know this, but for those new comers amongst us, take note because you are about to become jack of all trades, bill payer, head of the household, mender, organiser, fixer, taxi driver, plumber, gardener, mum and dad and many other roles as the time goes on.  Answer me this too just how is it that our `White Goods seem to know exactly the worst time possible to break down or flood, adding to the burden – its ok though because sooner or later you will laugh about it.  You will find strength you never knew you had and despite anything that went before, you feel genuine warmth and concern for every other spouse creating new bonds and friendships which grow throughout the tour.

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom and there are plenty of opportunities to have fun and let your hair down with the activities arranged within the regiment and there is nothing like the anticipation of waiting on the parade square for them to march back into town and feel like you are going to burst with pride as you get the first glimpse of your loved one, often looking better than you remember all tanned and toned, the honeymoon period is about to begin.

Normality comes around all too quickly and often that honeymoon period is literally just that, a few days of relaxation and catching up before getting on with everyday life with your soldier,  its not going to be plain sailing because life didn’t stand still for either of you during the deployment and one or both of you may have changed in some way and its time to get to know each other all over again, there could be a bit of re-adjusting for both of you.

Please feel free to click the link below whiich is the most recent post I have written, it is very personal to me as it is about Remembrance Sunday.  I therefore felt it was fitting to add the link to this page for anyone who may be interested.

https://echoescounselling.com/2015/11/07/remembrance-and-respect/

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I have included a poem, not sure who wrote it but its one I can relate to “When God Created The Military Wife”, when I first heard it as a new army wife it made me well up with tears, but now as an old hand at playing the waiting game,  along with other aspects of military life I can read it with pride and think of all the military wives to come and wonder what they might have to endure through the changing times.  I feel like raising a glass to all the military spouses everywhere, who I believe are a rare and strong breed of incredible women and of course not forgetting men too.

When God Created the Military Wife

The Good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, “Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What’s wrong with the standard model?”

The Lord replied, “Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40 with an hour’s notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years. And oh yes, she must have six pairs of hands.” The angel shook her head, “Six pair of hands? No way!”

The Lord continued, “Don’t worry, we will make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband’s achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say “I understand” when she doesn’t and say, ‘I love you’ regardless”.

“Lord,” said the angel, touching his arm gently “Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow”. “I can’t stop now”, said the Lord “I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a depot, pier or runway and understand why it’s important that he leave.”

The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, “It looks fine, but it’s too soft”. “She might look soft”, replied the Lord, “but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure.”
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord’s creation. “There’s a leak”, she announced. “Something is wrong with the construction. You are trying to put too much into this model.”

The Lord appeared offended at the angel’s lack of confidence. “What you see is not a leak”, he said, “It’s a tear.” “A tear? What is it there for?”, asked the angel. The Lord replied, “It’s for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear.” “You are a genius!” exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, “I didn’t put it there”.

Author Unknown

Not forgetting the male species among us those husbands or boyfriends who may face even more difficulty due to the fact that most support is geared up towards wives and girlfriends meaning they may feel awkward to ask for emotional or practical support.  This issue has been raised by a married female serving soldier and I thank her for bringing this to my attention.

Any support I offer including the free email service is available to wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, mothers, fathers or any other family member who may be struggling to cope during an operational deployment.             

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