Marriage itself is hard, but when you are married to someone in the military, it just makes it twice as hard because of the deployments—or if you live separately due to conflict, money, or whatever reason you have. I've been with my husband for six years, married for one. When I tell you that this past year has been no picnic for either of us, I am not joking one bit. I am writing this because I don't believe in sugar coating or giving something another name. I have always been blunt and direct, even though it has gotten me into trouble multiple times. A lot of people don't understand the struggle that my husband and I go through, and lot of people don't understand because they aren't living our life with the heartaches and headaches that it has brought. So this post is going to be pretty candid and if you can't handle direct or truth, this is not the story for you.
First off, let me say that I love my husband and that I would follow him anywhere. But my job made that difficult because I had already signed my contract and had committed myself to the next school year, which was honestly no problem for me. I love what I do and knew that it would keep me busy while my husband was still in training. I knew that my husband and I had a strong enough marriage to be able to live separately for a little while and still be able to communicate like a husband and wife. With that being said, we were okay for a couple of months. I worked at a daycare during the summer so I was out of the house for the most part and kept myself busy, and I was at the gym at least three or four times a week so I barely noticed that I went home to a quiet apartment with nothing but my dog to go home to.
But soon after that I realized that living separately was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. We were still communicating, but it was difficult because we were now on separate schedules; when he was free, I was busy. It was, and still is, frustrating to try and communicate because sometimes things are taken the wrong way or we're not face to face to completely understand the other. Soon video chats turned into arguments and phone calls turned into screaming matches because we were both frustrated that we have to handle things apart and not together like we used to.
Communication was and still is the most difficult part of this, but the part that kills me the most is that my emotional/physical needs are not being met. I promise to not go graphic since this is the internet, after all. Now, my husband wasn't and still isn't the most emotional or affectionate person on the planet, and that's frustrating because I am very emotional and affectionate, but I've come to accept that and have learned to deal with it in my own way. This just made it very difficult and frustrating. He wasn't an affectionate person in the first place (again, I learned to deal with it), but the fact that he's not here for me to get what I can is very frustrating. Him being him, he doesn't understand how irritating that is for me. I am learning to cope without that physical and emotional touch, but that doesn't mean it's easy. I've been sleeping alone for almost a year now, and let me tell you, it is terrible. I've gotten used to it, but it doesn't mean that I like it.
Everyone says that it will all go back to normal once he comes home and you're living together again. We've been living apart for so long that we've learned how to operate and function like two single people who live alone. He's had to take care of no one but himself for the past nine months and the only other thing I've had to take care of the past nine months other than myself is Lucy, and all she needs is food, water, and cuddles when she feels like it. I've been operating like a single person for the past nine months that, honestly, it's going to be difficult adjusting to living with someone again. I didn't really have to answer to anyone, didn't have to wait for anyone and only answered to myself, and was able to take charge of my own life without a man hovering over my shoulder. To be honest, it's been super nice. I miss him, but I love being able to do what I want without anyone's permission. This is going to be the biggest period of adjustment for him and I, and hopefully, we can get through it quickly and smoothly.
But this separation hasn't been all bad to be honest. It's given me time to think about a few things (some good, some bad) and I've learned a few things about myself along the way. I've learned that I am a strong, independent person that can function on her own, and if God forbid the worst situation ever happens that I'll be alright and that I can get through it. I've also learned that I am a very stubborn human being, and that I can get through tough situations and come out on the winning side. I've learned that as a woman, I can take care of things on my own and don't need a man around the house to pay a bill, to fix a light bulb, or to take charge when something goes horribly wrong.
Again, marriage takes work, and it's twice as hard when you live apart and trying to maintain a marriage. You have to give 100 percent commitment and put the marriage first or else things are going to go south very quickly.