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Learning to be an Army Wife, before it’s official

November 8, 2009

 

army-wife-perfect-US

Okay, it’s time for a little honesty. Don’t judge me. I don’t really like putting details of my personal life out in public view, but I think it’s time for me to get it all out. Perhaps another engaged or soon to be engaged military spouse will be able to identify with some of the same.

My soldier and I have yet to walk down the aisle, but we plan on making that solemn commitment to each other in early March. Originally it was planned for September, once I was done with my lease agreement here and my commitment to my job had ended. However, in light of this recent deployment and the one we still have up ahead, we realize pointless time apart is just not an option. My job here is just that, a job. It’s not a career and it’s certainly not what I plan on doing the rest of my life. I absolutely LOVE it here in Northern Virginia. When I moved here 5 months ago I never thought I’d be leaving so soon. If there was a way for him to PCS here, it would be perfect. But we all know it doesn’t work that way right?

So we had a plan and it went out the window shortly after it was made. I totally get that it’s part of “THIS ARMY LIFE.” You have to sacrifice a whole lot as an Army wife, gf, or fiance. Your needs get put to the side for some things. It’s something you have to accept and believe me I accept it.

For me, I am the hopeless romantic. The dreamer. But I’m also pretty grounded believe it or not. I don’t believe in white horses and fairy tale princes, but I think you can come pretty close. The FH is as close as they come for me. I know in my heart he is THE ONE I have prayed for and asked dilligently for my entire life. And in the end, that’s all that truly matters. So why is it so hard for me to let go of things in my mind?

Again, I know most girls have, but I have spent HOURS UPON HOURS dreaming of this period in my life. I remember buying bridal magazines in 10th grade and sitting google eyed looking at all the rings, dresses, and flower arrangements. I couldn’t WAIT until it was my time. I had come close a few times with past boyfriends, had my heart broken, and swore I wouldn’t let it happen again. I started to believe my time would never come, even though yes…I knew I was young and had PLENTY of life in me yet. I also knew for a very long time that I wanted to turn my passion for romance and weddings into a profitable business. So in 2007, I finally made a long-standing dream come true by starting my own wedding & event planning company back in Orlando. It was my JOB to make couples’ dreams come true and analyze every detail of such a special day in their lives. I would stand in the midst of chaos and say “WOW. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. My dream job!” I just love weddings. I mean, I don’t think you understand. I love them so much, I made and want to continue to make a career out of them. Yeah. Maybe you’ll start to see where this is going.

Flash forward to now and here I stand with an AMAZING, AMAZING man that I am so happily eager to commit my life to. He’s strong, courageous, intelligent, handsome, loving, nurturing, kind, gentle, and pretty much everything I could have seriously ever wanted. He’s my reason for telling my single friends to never settle and to continue to ask God for the desires of your heart. He certainly heard my prayers in the funniest of ways. (FH & I have known each other since 9th grade, but never dated) Never did I think I would marry an Army soldier. I had thought more recently that God might be preparing me for such an event and I’ve written why I feel that way in a previous blog. But, even with the inklings I had long before FH and I were back in contact, I truly never thought it would happen.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when you marry into the military, a lot of your dreams and ideas go out the window. It’s just how it is. It doesn’t mean that your husband to be loves you any less, but sometimes…it is what it is. So for me, I know all of this in the back of my mind and initially we discussed some sacrifices that I was completely willing to make. I had never envisioned saying my vows twice (I am SUCH an old-fashioned, traditional girl) but just due to timing and his impending deployment in 2011, my dream wedding would have to be put on hold until 2012. I shed a tear or two about it, just in the letting go, but I was okay with it. Whatever had to be done to bring us together quicker. But then, once the call was made for us to marry in March and move in April instead of September…it seemed EVERYTHING was being thrown out the window. I wasn’t just sacrificing this or that, it was beginning to be every element you experience in an engagement and a wedding. Literally. The potential of no proposal, no ring, no engagement period, no engagement party with friends and family, no engagement pictures, no wedding, no honeymoon…..!!!!! It was all just too much for me to swallow. Not to mention none of this was a factor when the move was taking place in September. I told the FH that if it was a financial issue, I completely understood and we would adjust things accordingly. Perhaps no engagement ring and maybe just bands? But it wasn’t. It all was thrown out the window after a discussion with some of the guys. I was asking for too much. He should just cut and run. Where was this coming from? They don’t know me! Why was it okay before, but it’s not okay now? All because people were interjecting their opinions? I was hurt, angry, and frustrated and it totally took it’s toll.

You spend your entire deployment holding back on certain petty issues or learning to talk with your girlfriends about them instead of your soldier. You don’t want to add to his already high stress level by discussing things that really aren’t that crucial. And, you make sure other family members understand this as well. You become his defender back home too. At least I did. And then, before you know it…you’re failing at the very mission you set to accomplish the entire past year. Here we are, just a couple weeks before homecoming and we’re in constant battles over things that in the grand scheme…really don’t matter.

I know it looks silly to about 99% of you other Army Wives reading my blog, but for me it’s just really hard to let go of everything I had ever thought it would be. It spurred a lot of mixed emotions inside. I was partly angry at myself for being so stubborn and not letting go, but on the other hand…why should I have to let go of everything? It was a big, giant mess. Throw the fact into it all that he’s stressed about coming home and it’s a giant ball of disaster.

Long story short…well not really I guess…we’re back on track and have sorted it all out. It has been a giant mess of a week. One I wish I could just throw away for many reasons. Fort Hood. Shooting in my hometown of Orlando. Being sick in bed all week. Fights with the FH. It’s been a disaster. But sometimes we do need to remind ourselves to take a step back and just breathe. My good friend Melissa reminded me of that. We have a job and a duty as military spouses and it’s something I’ve written about many times before. Sometimes we have to learn to give up the life we had envisioned…willingly. That’s not an easy task for anyone. Military spouse or not. We have to focus on the fact that God has entrusted us with the love, the life, and the heart of a soldier. An amazing man who is making an amazing sacrifice for our country. We have to adjust, adapt, and roll with the punches in whatever form that may come. When you’re caught up in the moment, it’s hard to see it…but deep breaths. Take a step back and realize how lucky you are to have what you have. I know I am.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 2:17 PM

    What a great post! You are so right in that being a military spouse we have to give up some of what we had always planned. Glad that everything is on track and I hope the homecoming comes soon 🙂

    • welcometothelife permalink*
      November 12, 2009 1:20 AM

      Thank you!

  2. November 8, 2009 8:00 PM

    This is such a great post! Everything you said is so true. It sucks sometimes to have to put your dreams on hold, but it’s for a greater cause, and it’s worth it in the end 🙂 Glad to find another blog of a FUTURE army wife! Hang in there, girl!

    • welcometothelife permalink*
      November 12, 2009 1:20 AM

      Thanks Bethany! Glad we have battle buddies in each other!!! Hugs to you!

  3. usmcwife8999 permalink
    November 8, 2009 8:03 PM

    you sound like you have a really realistic point of view on marrying a military man. I met my husband before he went in the military. I knew he was going to be a Marine so it actually gave me pause. My father was a Marine, killed in a War. My sister was married to a Marine, often alone for long periods with 3 kids. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this. I wasn’t sure I could be alone for long periods (this was well before the wars started 1994). But I took the leap of faith, knowing that my days alone without him would be more bearable than a lifetime without him. I used to think being married to a Marine meant giving up on my dreams, and you know you do in a way. But what I realized is I had other dreams, dreams I didn’t even know I had. I am stronger, more independent and much smarter for having married this man. I have traveled the world, and I have been made aware of things I could have cared less about being a civilian wife. But mostly what I learned is, in the end, all we really have is who we loved and who loved us in return. Careers and things are never at your bedside when it is all over…
    You will be fine, remember it is more important to plan your marriage than to plan your wedding.

    • welcometothelife permalink*
      November 12, 2009 1:19 AM

      Thank you so much for your wisdom and your sacrifice. You are so right on so many levels. I’m so glad you shared with me. I have already realized my appreciation for things I never realized before. I have always been a deeply appreciative person, never taking a single moment for granted. Now, having the love of a soldier…it’s even deeper if that’s even possible. Thanks for your comments!

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