TO THE PEOPLE THAT DO NOT RESPECT THE MILITARY….

Now I can’t really say what I want to the people that don’t respect the military because I have family reading this, but I can share my experiences and why it upsets me. This is not my normal day of posting my blog but special circumstances arose. I thought the best thing would be to write in the heat of the moment so here it goes. 

The first incident happened a few weeks ago when I went out drinking with a girlfriend. We were having a good time till a guy came up and was hitting on my friend. I already had a problem with this because we were having a girls night and I was not about to spend my night being a third wheel. They were chatting -for the life of me I do not remember what about- but I felt it was relevant to butt in and mention my husband was a Marine. He got all wide eyed and said, “That is aggressive. That comment was aggressive. They are aggressive”. I am sorry but I took offense to that. Now I am not an aggressive person but THAT comment almost made me aggressive. I was speechless. I had no idea what to say. I have NEVER had my husband or the military disrespected like that to my face before. 

This next experience just happened to me today and had my blood boiling. I am not one to call out a company and talk trash but I will never respect a company that does not acknowledge the military and their families. I recently was offered a job at Macy’s that I was over the moon about! It was for one of their prestigious designer makeup brands. It was all official! I got the call a week ago that I received the job, they were offering above minimum wage because of my makeup experience, it was full time, and I was going in today to sign the paperwork, or so I thought. I get there, a lady takes me back to start the paperwork and I inform her of the trip my husband and I have been planning for months. My husband missed my 21st birthday and so to make up for it we have a BIG Vegas trip planned and we would also be celebrating our two year wedding anniversary. That trip was planned to be between Christmas and New Years. Not to mention it was only for four days and it is already booked. I told her about it because that is what you are suppose to do when you start a new job, inform them of any upcoming trips. Little did I know that made her revoke the job offer. 

I have never been so furious in my life. Mind you, I did tell her my husband is military, has been deployed, and it would be for our anniversary. She responded with “I’m sorry but we do not allow anyone to take vacation in December with the holidays. This is not going to work, we have to revoke the offer”. I get it. I’ve worked retail before, I know many stores have this policy. I truly thought it would be different because he is RISKING HIS LIFE TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY. 

In the end, yes I could have changed the day of our trip but it meant something to us. I also do not want to work for a company that does not respect the military and their families. That is definitely one company that will not be getting my business. I do understand that people do not agree with the government. Such as, how much we spend on the military, what we are doing with the military BUT you DO have to respect the men and women that are fighting for us. For the sacrifices not only they make but also their families make for us. 

Now that is all I have to say on that subject, for now. 

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The Lonely Life of the Military

Often I find myself feeling like I am single, trust me I know I am married and I do live the married life, but so often when my husband is gone it truly can feel like the single life. Then there are the military wives with kids who basically have to be single moms, y’all are the real MVPs. It really is a complicated and confusing life, more than I think most people realize.

Last week I was at event with a bunch of mine and my husband’s couple friends, everyone had their spouse and or their kid, and I had my margarita. It is crazy how you can feel so alone in a crowd of your own friends. Then just the other night I went out with a girlfriend and I ended up being around a bunch of single people at a bar. I texted my husband and said ” I do not know who is worse to be around right now, the married group or the single group”. When you are in the midst of a bunch of married people you are the single one out, but when you are with a bunch of single people you’re the only one in a committed relationship not trying to hit on anything with a pulse. And do not get me started on other military wives! Do not get me wrong, I do have some great girlfriends that are military wives but as a whole it can just seem like a huge competition as to whose life is worse. Not an encouraging game to play I will tell you that much.

Often when I get off from work I do not want to go home. I want to go out or see a friend, but too often as I am going through the list of people to reach out to I am making up excuses in my head for why they wouldn’t be able to hang out with me, or truthfully I am not emotionally prepared to hang out with them. I am blessed to have a very strong support system of friends and family around me, I know not everyone has that. But it can be difficult when you are craving the companionship of your best friend who is on the other side of the world. It was a realization I came to recently actually, my husband is truly my very best friend. Yes I did already know that but I was not aware of the depth of that. I would go out with friends and come home often feeling worse than before I saw them, thinking it was just companionship I was craving but it was just the companionship of my other half.

Now there is another side to this, you have to be this strong independent woman but you are married and I had a hard time seeing how those can work together. You want to depend on your spouse, I do think it is important in a marriage for you two to depend on each other. But sadly I am not able to depend on my husband when he is away. Just the other day I was having car issues -and for those of you in the military world know once our spouses leave everything breaks- I had to figure it out on my own. Which is yes a very important thing to do but I got married so I wouldn’t have to go through things on my own anymore ya know? Or when I am having a bad day, or when someone pisses me off I can not just call him up and tell him about it. Believe me, I am able to talk to my husband a whole lot more often than most military wives do. But that does not make it any easier when I am needing the love and support from my husband and I have to wait for him to wake up, or get off work, or for a storm to pass through.

With all that being said I do want to thank everyone that I do have in my support system for being there for me in my time of need. On a side note, you do learn who your friends are when you go through a deployment, just saying. I hope this helps those of you in my life understand why I might not always want to go out or my mood when we are out. I do try and not let my whole life be about this deployment, but it can be damn hard at times.

Relationships in 2017

I want to start off by apologizing that I have not posted anything for a few weeks. I have been taking classes, and that has taken up most of my free time, but I am back now!

For a while I gave up social media, for me it was consuming too much of my life. It is truly sad how often we find ourselves online and not in the real world, and the toxicity it can play into our relationships. Do no get me wrong, it can definitely be a great tool. Especially for those of us who are not around our loved ones constantly. But what is the price we pay?

I did not go on social media for about two months, and I was quite surprised how easy it was! I was also surprised at the amount of people who told me they wish they could quit too. I recently came back too and all the negativity came with it. It can be excruciating when you can not be with your spouse, but you see all the adventures your friends and their significant others are going on. But when you look deeply at it, how much of it is it for show? Now before I go any further I am not judging people for using social media or the things we post, I am going to admit some things I have done that I am not proud of. These are just my opinions, no need to take them to heart.

I will bag on myself before I start talking about others. I have no joke gotten into a fight with my husband that he does not post about me enough on social media. Now who is that for? He tells me he loves me every single day, why do I need the world to know about it? I think if not all, most of us can admit we have gotten excited for an event because we know how many likes it will get us on Instagram, because I have been told by the kids I nanny for and my sister-in-laws that Facebook is for “old people” anyway moving on. It is this show that we put on for the world. I know of marriages that are deeply on the rocks but when it comes time for one of their birthdays they are the perfect couple for social media.  

What really got me thinking about all of this was when my girlfriend was telling me how she wants that “story book love” or in 2017, the perfect social media love. There was a time in my relationship with my husband that I wanted that. We did not have the big white wedding, we got married at a court house. Every time I saw one of my friends getting married on Facebook I was comparing our weddings and it hurt. It was not until my husband and I were over at one of our married friends homes for dinner that I realized something. In the midst of them fighting in front of their company, someone that got the big white wedding compared to the small wedding we had, I felt pretty damn lucky for the person I had next to me.

We can wish, hope, and pray for what we think we want because of what someone posted, but things are never how they seem. It is not fair to compare your relationship to something that is not even real. What is on your Facebook wall is not as near as important as the quality of connection you have next to you.  If you have interest to quit social media, just delete the apps, everything will still be there. Its truly incredible how freeing you can feel. Do make sure you still check out blogs however. 

How Much Does a Military Wife Actually Serve?

After spending any amount of time in the military world you learn the different dynamics of wives. There are going to be wives in the military who believe that wives serve just as much as their husbands do. Some of these women will hold themselves to a higher standard because of the rank their husband has. On the flip side I have met women who will not even call themselves a “Marine Wife” because they feel they do not deserve it. “I did not go through boot camp so I should not wear that title”. Women who, when thanked for their husbands service do not want to be thanked as because they are not the ones serving. To each their own, but I wanted to dig into these opposing sides a little deeper.

Many military wives get married right after high school. The men leave and what do the men do before they leave? They propose. Before I go too much further I just want to say not every wife is this way, every story is different. I am writing on what I have observed. I did get married young, I got married when I was 19. However I did move out on my own before I got married. I did get some real world experience before I dove into wife hood. I am not saying there is a right or wrong way to do things. I know a couple that got married right out of high school and they have a beautiful marriage. But with that being said, some of the women that got married out of high school never really left that mind set. I believe that is where a lot of this “drama” can come from.

I do not believe that wives serve just as much as their husbands.  The amount of pain, suffering, ridicule, and everything else they go through is nothing that we can even try to understand, as much as we would like to. Is what we go through hard and sometimes sseemingly unbearable? Yes. Is what they go through worse? Yes. There have been times when I have thought on some aspect my husband had it easier. He is surrounded by men going through exactly what he is going through. I on the other hand, I am surrounded by people trying to understand what I am going through. It can be extremely difficult not to have anyone to relate to. But I am surrounded by my friends and family. He is surrounded by maybe a few people he likes but over all people he is forced to get along with. I get to wake up in my own bed. Yes, I have to take care of a household by myself, but how different is that really when they are home. Kidding honey! Well… kinda. I would not want to trade living conditions with him. Do we make a lot of sacrifices? Absolutely. Are they as much as the people serving? Not even close.

I recently just discussed this with a friend, she told me she hated it when people thanked her for her service. I was taken aback, I love it when people go out of their way to appreciate the sacrifices I make. I received the comment ” I do not serve, he does. I support my husband and that is my job. I should not be thanked for that”. Which I completely understand, but then I thought of all the wives that do not have that mind set. The wives that dishonor their husbands when they leave. Marriage isn’t always easy, making a marriage work over long distance is arduous work. Do I need to be thanked by a stranger? No, my husband shows me that gratitude. Do I appreciate it? Absolutely. My husband and I came to the conclusion that the best way someone could phrase it is to, “Thank your husband for his service and thank you and your family for your sacrifice”.

I started to think about that though, should we tell someone how to compliment or show us gratitude? Another point I brought up was that we do not know what is going on in other people’s lives. I have had days where a thank you like that truly makes me get through the day. I would not want to discourage someone from thanking the next military wife they see by correcting them. That next wife could be a mother that is having to play the role of a singe mother while her husband is serving our country. If you want to talk about sacrifice, what I go through is nothing compared to that. I do not want to deprive a wife of getting that thank you because it could be what gets her through that day, week, month, or even deployment.

I have a decent amount of military in my family, so I ran these ideas by them to see their input. My uncle was in the Air Force for two years, he told me he can not stand when people thank him. He only served for two years and feels he did not do his part enough to be thanked. I talked to my husband, he does not like being thanked either. Yes he is deployed but he is not on the front lines and still feels he is not doing his part. There are men who risked their lives for our country, who still do not want to be thanked because they saw their friend die in combat, someone who would willingly pay the ultimate price for our country in his friends place, believed he did not do enough.

Does that mean we should not thank them? I do not believe so. They might have a story as to why they do not want to be thanked, ask them that story. Them having someone to talk to about what they have gone through could mean more than any thank you.

 

10 Things NOT to Say to a Military Spouse

I am going to try very hard not to come off rude or snarky in this one. However, I apologize in advance if it comes across that way. But do try and see things from my perspective, on how hard it would be to hear some of these things while your husband is away. I get that most of these comments are coming from a caring and concerned place but that is not necessarily how it comes across to us wives. If you have said one or two or all of these things to me or another military spouse no hard feelings. That is why I am writing this anyway, to help others see how harmful words can be. All of these are things I have been told or other wives close to me have been told.

1. Ask us questions about our husbands deployment 

I understand that you have questions, trust me I do too. I am not legally allowed to share any information about where my husband is, how long he will be there, things he is doing ect. It is a huge safety issue. There are many women who have gotten their husbands in serious trouble because of information that have shared via social media. I get it, you hear someone is deployed and your first response is wanting to know when, where, why, how long. But we can not share that for the safety of our men.

2. When will he be home?

Again, I understand you are curious but we can not legally share that information. I don’t even have that information. You would not believe how unbelievably frustrating it is to be counting down days but not having a day to count down to. Then on top of that have everyone ask you multiple times a day “When is you husband coming home?” . Hell if I know honestly.

3. When are you going to visit him/why didn’t you go with him? 

I am still surprised how often I get asked this. Just because my husband is not in the middle-east does not mean I can just go with him. You would never ask a wife who’s husband was in Afghanistan when she was going to visit her husband so why are you asking me? A deployment is a deployment. No ifs ands or buts.

4. My husband loves me so much he would never leave me like that

I met my husband fresh out of boot camp, I didn’t necessarily have a say.  But for the wives who knew their husbands before, that does not mean their husbands do not love them. In fact our husbands love us so much they are willing to risk everything for OUR country. The interesting thing is mine and my husbands marriage has only grown stronger through all of our separation. It’s incredible what a marriage can go through once it has gotten through a deployment.

5. I wish my husband would leave for a while, separation must be so nice

Opposite view point of the previous but still wrong none the less. I would not wish spouses being apart for six months -usually more- on anyone. Is it nice to not clean up after two people, only do laundry for one, getting to watch the Kardashians all day everyday? Yes, absolutely. Is it worth getting up and going to bed without your spouse, going months without physical connection, rarely getting to talk to them? Hell no. If you seriously need a break from your husband like that you might want to invest in a counselor, not tell a military wive you wish you had her deployment.

6. Must be nice not to work/ have a bunch of money/free health care

This is such a huge misconception about the military, everyone thinks we are rich or something. Before I start this, I am very grateful for my husbands job and the benefits it brings. Its just not what everyone thinks. My husband and his buddies actually calculated it one day, it came out to about $3/hour . That is roughly  about what the men and women make for serving our country. Most people think that us wives do not work. First off many of us to. Second, a lot of us are stay at home moms -which is definitely a full-time job-. Lastly, it can be very hard to hold a job if you are moving every couple years or so. Now I do not want to get into a huge political debate because I know health care is a hot topic right now but we do not get free health care. Money is taken from their paychecks to go into health care and we still have copays on most things. Yes it definitely is cheaper, but you know what they say. You get what you pay for.

Again I am not complaining, I just do not want people to think our lives are so much more extravagant than they are.

7. It could be worse

If you really want to get my blood to boil say that to me. ” Deployment could be longer” “Just think of what things were like before technology” “At least you get to talk to him” “At least he’s not being shot at” “He could be in the middle-east” I understand all of those things, but saying that is not going to make things better. I am not going to miss him less. What’s terrible is that when I do talk about what I am going through I always end it with “I know it could be worse” because too many people have said that to me.

8. It will go by so fast, he will be home before you know it pissing you off and you will be wishing he was back on deployment

It actually does not go by fast. I swear time moves slower. I remember back to our first separation and I went out for a weekend to visit him; the time leading up to it dragged on and on and on but that weekend was gone in the blink of an eye. Time is relative. It has only been about a month and I already feel like it should be over already.

9. My husband just got home from a business trip so I totally know what you are going through

I understand you are trying to help but I beg of you, please do not under any circumstances compare your husband’s week long business trip to a deployment. A week is very different than multiple months, not only that but there are women who’s husbands are in the line of fire and getting this comment. Then if you factor in time difference, for those of us who do get to talk to our husbands. Again I understand you are trying to help but don’t.

10. Well you married him so… 

I saved the best for last, the comment that sparked this post. I asked someone close to me to pray for my family because my husband was deployed, his response was ” Well you married him” . I do not think we choose who we fall in love with, I happened to fall in love with a man that came with a difficult life in store for us. I understand I was more than aware of what I was getting myself into. that does not mean I don’t need prayers. Would you tell a wife who just lost her fire fighter husband in a fire that? Or a husband who never gets to see his wife that is a nurse because she works twelve our shifts?

 

I know that was a lot of what not to say. What you can absolutely say to a spouse is that you love them. That you will be there for them. That you appreciate their husbands service and their families sacrifice. That they are always in your prayers or thoughts or however you roll. Those are kind words any spouse would love to hear.

Anticipation is Always Worse than Reality

Shortly after I wrote my first post, my husband came home with his orders. Let me tell you, I was right when I said I did not want to stress for months about the day he would leave. The week or so that I had was hard enough. I about cried every night until he left. I would be fine through out the day but the moment we would get into bed and I would lay my head on his chest I would loose it. It was that moment of realization, soon this won’t be my husband, it will just be a pillow. I would try and put myself together quickly because I know I needed to be strong for him, this wasnt what he needed.

We did get some time together before he left, my job was gracious enough to give me some time off. It brought me back to when I would visit him on weekends when we were apart. All of the counting down the hours – not only that but deciding how to spend our time. Of course we had to make plans with all our friends and family so they could say their goodbyes, but we had a few days that we got to spend just us. Now for me, I am an extrovert – I love going out! As much as I wanted to spend my last days with him going on adventures, I knew what I would miss most was relaxing with my husband at home and I was right. We spent about three days never really leaving our home. We did however go to the dog beach one day, I wanted our dog to have one last day of fun with Dad too. It was an extraordinary day of fun, seeing how happy they both were made my day. With all the running, playing, swimming and of course napping,I knew it was a day for the books. All I wanted to do was stay in that day, so I took a million pictures to help with that. With how spectacular the day was it made it that much more heartbreaking to know we wouldn’t have a day like this again for a while.  Its crazy how quickly that week went by, and how slowly this first week without him has gone. 
The morning of him leaving was very interesting. I was filled with emotions, saddened by him leaving but also frantically trying to make sure we had everything! And lets not forget tired! Its the military so of course everything as to be done at the butt crack of dawn it feels like. When we arrived I was overwhelmed by the sea of camis, it was such a surreal moment I can not put it to words. I was able to spend some time with him but eventually we had to say our goodbyes and I drove off.

Now I expected I would be bawling on the car ride home, It has been close to a week and I have not shed a single tear. I surprised even myself, I mean I cry over everything! But I realized that my whole time as a Marine Wife has lead up to this moment. We have gone though separation before, we spent the first two months of our marriage separated for crying out loud! Not only that but we were separated for about a year and a half because of his schooling. We would get to see each other for about two days to a week at a time every 6 months. I know it’s a deployment but I do feel like I have gone through this before.

Our men get their training. They get the months of bootcamp, which is filled with mental and physical endurance. They also have no communication with family, which can prepare us for when they eventuality get deployed. Then they get their schooling -which is usually in a different state- that again is months at a time and teaches them how to do their job. Again, it prepares us for seperation, but with them sometimes being in a different state it can prepare you for that pesky time change. Once they get home we all are still getting training. The military always changes things! You learn very quickly to be adaptive to anything and that plans can and will change. You learn that a holiday is not special because of the day but because of the time you share. There were numerous times I would get frustrated with his hours. He is either getting up at 4:30 A.M.  and home in time for dinner -sometimes- or I get to spend the morning with him but won’t  get home untill 2 A.M. . Needless to say I got use to waking up and spending the day alone as well as eating dinner alone while sleeping alone too. Looking back ,as hard as it was, I am thankful for the “training” I was given. For now I can go through this deployment with grace and ease. It has only been about a week though, so check back in a few months and see how my emotions are doing. 

Preparing for Deploment

Almost every person that knows our situation will ask me every time I see them how I’m doing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Trust me I am guilty of this too. But how do you explain to someone that you are on the verge of breaking down? And at the same time counting down the days… if we had a date for me to count down to. If I had to answer that question simply I would say I have mixed emotions.

What?!

Mixed emotions about your husband leaving?!

Aren’t you going to miss him?!

I know, Its hard to understand. Its even harder to explain. Do I want him to leave? Of course not. Would I be lying if I said when my husband first told me they were talking about sending guys out for deployment I didn’t want him to be one of them? Yes I would be. Its such a complicated thing. No I don’t want him to leave but it is bound to happen sometime and I want to get it over with so we don’t have to deal with it for a while. Let me tell you something, there are some benefits to a deployment.

Something you wouldn’t expect is that they tend to be more romantic when they are gone. When you see your spouse everyday you can tend to fall into a rut, and that is with any marriage. But when they are apart from you they are trying to make up for being absent. My husband would always leave me with these beautiful text messages to wake up to when he was away. I can’t remember the last time he said anything like that to me, in text or in person. That is no fault at him, it’s just what happens. I fall into the same routine as well. It’s funny because when you are apart the only thing you want to do is to be together. Let me promise you though, if you have gone through separation before, there will come a time that you say to yourself ,”When is he leaving again?” And trust me that is normal.

I know this wont be everyone’s circumstance but that is something that I go through. Before I met my husband I was a strong career driven woman and that was my focus. Not saying that I’m not that person anymore but life changed and things happened. When I married my husband I fell into the house wife mode. I enjoy being a house wife but I am very excited to get my life back. When it comes to me I try not to do too many activities that are apart from my husband, I want to spend as much time with him as I can. Something that I have learned though is I need my time to do things for me and he needs his time to do nothing. I am using this deployment to find the balance of being a house wife while also having a career and I am pretty damn excited about it.

I would say the hardest part of preparing for a deployment is not knowing when they are going to leave. I am literally going insane. Will he leave in 3 days? A week? A month? WHO KNOWS! I understand it is for our men and women’s  safety but its a bit ridiculous for us spouses. Something I will say as much as it drives me crazy, do you know what would drive me more crazy? Having a date. Having a date makes everything so much more real. When you have a date that is what you focus on. I remember when my husband was stationed somewhere else and I would go visit him, the only thing I could focus on was when I had to leave. I only have 2 days better make them count, now I only have one day, I have to leave in 5 hours and so on. Could you imagine doing that for months?

Like I said I am just a bundle of mixed emotions waiting for the explosion. The only thing that has kept me somewhat sane during this time is the things that I will be looking forward to. Not that I won’t miss my husband, but if I were to focus on him being gone instead of the experiences both him and I get to go through then I would be a complete mess. That wouldn’t be good for either of us. We have to remember, as strong and manly as our husbands are, we are still their heart. We need to be as stable for them as possible, the less stable we are the less stable our men will be. I’m not saying its not good to cry, I am a strong believer that crying helps heal. But they need to see that we will be okay, and who are we kidding? Of course we will be okay, if they can leave their loved ones and live in a strange place for months than we can hold down the fort.

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