2.20.2011

Married to the Military...

A couple weeks before Ben and I got married, I stumbled across a magazine titled Military Spouse


I was excited to discover this, because one thing I had been worried about was adapting to the military lifestyle. 
Although I knew a lot more than most people about the military life, I still had a lot of questions and concerns. I often researched things I was unsure of, and I really started to feel more comfortable with it.. I thought I had it mostly figured out. Ben's cousin Caleb is in the Air Force also (he is even in the same unit as Ben) and his wife Dany gave me a book for our wedding that I read while on our honeymoon.
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/listing/2680855734909?r=1&cm_mmca2=pla&cm_mmc=GooglePLA-_-Book_5To14-_-Q000000633-_-2680855734909


It was really informative, and didn't sugar coat anything. I loved it! So by the end of our honeymoon I was thinking I was a pro at this military wife thing. . . . 

I WAS WRONG

Oh boy, little did I know that no amount of articles, books, blogs, or magazines could prepare me for what was to come. 

First off, being alone... I mean, I knew Ben would have to leave eventually. We had talked about it a billion times, he was gone our ENTIRE relationship so it would be just like that.. right? WRONG. I had no idea how hard it would be to say goodbye after only being married for 2 1/2 months. It is a lot different having your boyfriend/fiancée' gone, I got used to it. We had never been together so it was easier to deal with. But after getting to be together and then having it all taken away....that was when it got hard. Not only did I now know what I was missing out on, but I also had that feeling like he was mine now. And that nobody should be able to take him away.
I had lived away from home before, but i definitely did not know what it was like to be completely in charge of my entire life. (financially, emotionally, spiritually, ect.)  I went from being a college student who's dad paid for EVERYTHING, my car, my gas, my food, tuition, clothes, EVERYTHING to having to keep track of all of our money and finances. Since Ben was gone and most of the time had no access to a computer or mail, it was me and me alone. I am an accounting/business major, and still I freaked out. ha 

Being alone in a strange place. I had no idea being this far away could be so hard. I had lived about 6 hours away from my family when I went to college. I thought that was far..... ha I miss knowing that if i had to I could be home by the end of the night. It was hard to adjust to living alone not knowing my neighbors or even where the nearest Walmart is. ha But one thing that has helped more than anything is being in a great ward. I have no idea what I would have done without the great people in my ward family. It has literally saved me. 

By far the thing I have struggled with the most is trying to talk to people about our situation.  I love Ben, and because I love him I am placed in a position to love the US Air Force. I've never heard "well you signed up for it didn't you?" so many times. For the record. It is hard being a military spouse. I don't care how strong, independent, or smart you are. It is hard work and it brings a lot of disappointment and pain, and just because I knew loving Ben meant I would have to deal with it doesn't make it any less hard. Yes, i'm learning to deal with it better, but I'll never be "used" to being alone. and i'll never be "ok" with Ben being gone. and I definitely will never be "fine" with having a lack of free will. and that is exactly what it feels like. Someone else is making decisions for us for up to the next 5 years. Sometimes I need to cry, and vent, and feel lonely. It doesn't mean I don't support what Ben is doing and it doesn't mean i'm not dedicated to the life we have.  It is just frustrating feeling like people think you should be perfectly happy and fine because "you knew what you were signing up for".  People don't say that to new mothers who are having a hard time figuring out how to raise children. . . .

No matter how hard it is, I would be lying if I didn't say that it is the most amazing experience I have ever had.  We are able to have so many opportunities we wouldn't have be able to have, and our lives have been truly blessed from being involved with the military. It has given me a deeper sense of national pride and true patriotism. I know this was the life God had planned for us. 

I am still learning how to be a wife and military spouse and I hope this helps others to understand what exactly that means.  I'm blessed to have a family that supports us. I can't say enough how grateful I am for parents that are helping us every way they can, I love them. 

I love our country and I feel honored and blessed to be serving it in this way. I would share Ben with only 2 things, God and my country. I'm lucky to have such a brave, dedicated husband. and i'm lucky to be able to call myself  a Proud Air Force Wife. :)  



3 comments:

  1. I loved this! In a way, Marianne and I have felt many of the things you describe, having spent that week with you in San Antonio when this whole thing became a reality to us. I knew the moment I met you that you would marry Ben, but it was durring that wonderful week there that I began to love you. You are a joy to us, a tribute to your parents and siblings, and such the perfect sweetheart to Ben. I enjoyed reading your thoughts, thank you for sharing them. Can't wait to follow this, Affectionately, "Coach"

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  2. I <3 you Sammy! It is tough to be alone, and you have done a beautiful job with what you've had to deal with.

    Rarely in life do we really know beforehand what we "signed up for". If we did we probably wouldn't want to do half the stuff we do. But I think the beauty in life is how we choose to act when we realize what we are really in for!

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  3. Thank you so much for this perspective! There are several military wives in our ward and this really helps me know a little more of what they are going through. I like how you said even though you knew what "you signed up for", it doesn't make it any less hard. I don't know why people (I'm guilty of this too) think you just have to deal with it because you chose it. Thanks for sharing this!!

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