I have a love/hate relationship with many things in my life: my temperamental skin, my dining set, sewing, but most of all my husband’s career. It’s obvious that in this society today we (I’m looking at you, Hollywood) have romanticized men in the military and just how wonderful these relationships can be. I mean, you get to travel the world with your husband, he gets to look all sexy in his uniform everyday, you get sweet homecomings, but you don’t see the less-obvious hate side. I hate never knowing when my husband will be home. In fact we have often realized that it is less stressful for me to simply know that my husband won’t be coming home. At least on those days I’m not waiting to make dinner or put Elizabeth down. If I know he isn’t coming home then we can move through the day at our own pace and it stays much simpler, and is much easier, and that breaks my heart.
There are some days where Will isn’t gone, but doesn’t see Elizabeth at all; he goes to work in the morning some days before 6 am and doesn’t get home until who knows what time in the night. Then there are days where he doesn’t leave for work until Elizabeth and I are about to eat breakfast, he’s able to join us for lunch (which is why we encourage people to live on base), and then he gets home early. This is where the military spouse saying “semper gumby” comes in. Always flexible. Nothing is ever certain. I love the days when we see a lot of him and love when we’re reunited after days or weeks of being apart, but this is just the beginning. I know he will end up being sent away for months at a time, I know that sometimes it’ll be easier for me during those months than it will when he was supposed to be home but became held up at work. I know we will say “bye” to each other more than most couples because of his career and that we already have spent more time apart than many people do.
I’m not going to say that the sisterhood makes it worth it. And I don’t mean that in a negative way toward other military spouses whatsoever, I simply believe that I would find a sisterhood in whatever path my husband and I were on. What makes it worth it is him. I didn’t marry a marine for the sisterhood. I didn’t marry him for the obvious perks of traveling, homecomings, or sexy uniforms, I married a marine because the man I was marrying happened to be a marine. He is what I love most about the military lifestyle.