During our short time in the army so far, my husband has been gone for about a third of it. Granted he has never been gone for too long at one time, and I feel very fortunate for that, but regardless, his consistent absence has strengthened even further my already very prevalent independence.
You see, I very much like being alone. I am quite fond of having complete control over my time, not having to let anyone know where I am or what I am doing. I enjoy having the ability to control the remote and watch whatever trashy TV show or sappy girl movie I want. I revel in the serenity that comes from the silence of an empty house, empty minus my pups of course. And I absolutely love being able to cook whatever I want without having to worry about whether or not my husband will like it as well.
Sometimes I find myself hoping he will leave again soon. Not to some dangerous place for an extended period of time, of course. But just for a couple weeks to a month long training exercise or something like that. Something safe. Because when he is gone I can finally get things done that I’ve been wanting to do. I can buy decorations for the house without having to ask his opinion, I can go down to Austin every weekend without hearing him complain about gas bills, I can finally try the autoimmune protocol to see if it helps with my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis symptoms (we can go more into that on a later date), you get the point.
And then I feel guilty for wanting him to leave. I think to myself, is there something wrong with me because I want to be alone? Or is there something wrong with our marriage because I don’t want him around all the time?
Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband with all my heart and can’t imagine my life without him. In fact I very much need him in my life, but I appreciate him more when he isn’t physically around 100% of the time. And when I look at our time apart as an opportunity instead of something to dread, it makes it that much easier to get by.
Life spent agonizing over the fact that your spouse is going to leave again (because they always do, it’s inevitable) or counting down the days awaiting their return just isn’t worth it in my opinion. I want to thoroughly enjoy my time on this earth, relishing in the good and appreciating the bad for what comes from it.
So I’ve realized I shouldn’t feel guilty. Everyone needs their alone time. And even the strongest couples need their time apart. Instead of feeling guilty, I should be proud of my fierce independence. It’s that independence that has allowed me to thrive in those times without my husband, and honestly I believe that without it, our marriage would not be as strong as it is today.
I wrote this a little over a week ago. Then last Friday, I get a text from my husband that he might be leaving on Monday and on Saturday he got a call from his commander that it was for sure.
So I guess my point in all of this is just to be careful what you wish for. I still stand by what I said 100% because I truly believe that my independence is what allows me to be successful as a military spouse and successful in our marriage as well. However, I can’t help but notice the irony that just a few days after writing down my thoughts on this matter, we get the call that he will be leaving.
I realized that I need to be better about taking advantage of the time he is home instead of resenting him for my lack of alone time. I need to spend more quality time with him; not just sitting on the couch watching TV together, but truly being in the moment together doing something we both enjoy. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do every day and forget about the importance of actually being in the moment with your loved ones. I am definitely guilty of this. But this is something that I am actively going to work on when my husband returns in a few weeks. No more hoping he will leave so I can finally get x, y, and z done! I will thoroughly take advantage of every moment I have with my husband so that when it does inevitably come time for him to leave again I will never be left with any regrets that I didn’t spend enough time with him.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this! Have any of my fellow military spouses (or anyone with a spouse who is gone often) had these thoughts before? Do share!
In vibrant health,