17 May 2010

It hurts. So we lie.

I had a long chat with one of my best friends a couple days ago and came to the conclusion that 90% of the population is just plain stupid. No two ways about it.
I, of course, am referring to their attitudes about the military, military families and the military way of life. What irritates me even more is not the fact that people have messed up opinions. It’s the fact that the opinions are those of military spouses and military personnel.
****What I’m going to say may very well step on some toes. That’s not my intention. I’m merely voicing my opinion. This isn’t aimed at any particular person as much as people in general that I have encountered over the years****

I heard about a situation that amounted to nothing more than a pissing contest between military wives with children, wives with no children and those who aren’t married at all.
Being that I couldn’t be a part of that conversation, I feel the need to put my opinion out there. Just to get it off my chest and out of my mind.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Military life is hard. Regardless of the situation you’re in. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through in the past, nothing can really prepare you for falling in love with a man in uniform.
It doesn’t matter if you’re married, not married, have kids or not. It’s equally hard for each and every one of us. We all have to deal with deployments, time in the field training, TDY’s, long hours…. I could go on, but I won’t. The point is that it’s an inevitable part of military life.
For those with children: I can empathize with the need to put on a happy face for your kids, to try and seem less sad about the situation. But the truth is kids are SO much smarter than we give them credit for. I think it is okay for them to see you upset. I think it is okay to explain to them that you’re sad because you miss their daddy and to let them know it is okay for them to be sad and miss him as well.
On another note, I think having kids makes the days go by faster. You stay busy playing with them, cleaning up after them…  To a point, I feel like those of you with the kids have an easy way to get through the day, a built in distraction.
To those who think deployments are harder when you have children, I ask you to hold your tongue. It’s not easier for me because I have no children that I think I have to be strong for.
Honestly, I wish I had kids to help keep me busy.

Before you run your mouth and tell someone that a deployment isn’t as hard for them as it is for you, stop and take a second and reflect on what you know about that person, their situation, his job…
Maybe her guy’s a POG or an infantryman or MI or EOD or whatever the case maybe.
I can only speak for myself, but my guy, well, he’s not a POG. The day I took him to the airport, I cried like a baby because I honestly wasn’t sure if I would see him alive again. My whole day, every day, revolved around my computer and my cell phone. Just to know if he made it in alive the night before.
It wasn’t just his absence from my daily life that made it hard; I actually do quite well on my own. For me, it was the constant worry and fear of the chaplain showing up at my door.

I had a vague idea of what he did when we met. As things started to get more serious, we had a nice, big, long talk about his job. He told me as much as he could about it. He wanted me to understand what I was getting into and to know that it was okay if I couldn’t handle it. I chose to stay.
When he leaves, which is often, I put on my happy face. I mow the grass. I weed-eat the driveway and sidewalk. I pull weeds out of the flower beds. I take the trash to the dump. I manage to keep up with my own routine even with the added chores. My friends, neighbors and family all check in on me. Ask how I’m doing. And because no one really understands, I lie. I tell them I’m fine, great even.
“No matter how hard we try to ignore or deny it, eventually the lies fall away, like it or not. But here’s the truth about the truth: it hurts. So we lie.”

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if you’re married, not married, have kids or not. It’s hard for each and every one of us. It is a sacrifice we have to make to be with the men we love. Maybe they joined before you came into their lives. Maybe they joined after. Either way, the military is YOUR life now, too.
 So, get off your high horse, stop thinking that your life is so much harder than everyone else. Take what you’ve got and count your blessings. Try and remember that you’re not the only one having a hard time. We all have problems. Some of us just choose not to broadcast them.

Here’s the truth about the truth: it hurts. So we lie.


  1. Thank you. Thank you for FINALLY saying that no matter the relationship title, it still sucks. Thank you for FINALLY pointing out that not having kids doesn't make a woman more able to deal with the separations. Thank you for FINALLY saying everything I want to say somedays.

  2. Amen!! My thoughts exactly! When I said goodbye to my then boyfriend it was extremely hard. And like you, my days revolved around checking email & keeping my phone by my side just in case he was able to call. I'm an independent person and am just fine on my own, but worrying about him while he's gone is hard, whether kids are involved or not.

  3. I agree! It's hard. It sucks. We cry. We miss them. It doesn't matter if you're married or not, with or without kids, new to the lifestyle or a seasoned vet, it sucks all the same.