To the Military Spouse That is Jealous of Their Civilian Friends
The first time my husband and I were away from one another for an extended length of time was when he left for Germany. My son and I were in Kentucky waiting to join him. That was a long 4.5 months, in which I learned how to solo parent for the first time, about the frustration of Army paperwork, and the reality of missing your spouse.
I also started to become quite jealous of my civilian friends. Even though I had just been one of them. Their spouses didn’t have to go away as mine had. They were home, every day.
Their kids were able to greet them at the door, every day. Their kids got to spend, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with both parents; mine didn’t.
I didn’t have anyone to let me sleep in on a Saturday morning, while they got my son ready, giving this SAHM a much-needed break. I didn’t have anyone to run to the grocery store for me when I was out of milk. I didn’t have anyone to talk about my day with unless it was over email or a 5-minute phone call.
I understood the big picture, that my husband was a soldier and that him joining the military meant we would be apart.
However, that didn’t make this part of military life any easier. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if I never had to say goodbye to my husband. What life would be like if he never went away for more than a few days.
I wonder what life would have been like had solo parenting only been something I did for a few days at a time instead of months at a time, and one point, over a year. What would life look like if I never had to shed tears over the loneliness of having a deployed husband? What would life be like had the military never been apart of my life?
But the truth is, being a military spouse has been good for me. I have grown so much as a person over the years, been able to experience things I would never have, and been able to be a part of something amazing.
So, to the military spouse who is jealous of their civilian friends, I am not going to tell you not to be.
That type of jealousy means you are missing your spouse and you wish they were with you more often than not. It means you care and recognize that your children are missing something too. And it is hard to watch others who have never had to experience all of that.
But I would also urge you to look at the bigger picture here. Yes, your spouse is missing something, so that others can gain something. Your spouse has to go, to protect the freedoms we hold dear.
While it can be painful to see whole families together, when yours is not, know that yours will be together again sometime soon too. As military spouses, we do have to go without, some of us more than others, but through those times, we will only grow stronger.
We will work hard to help our children through everything they have to deal with.
We will teach them why their mom or dad has to be away, when their friend’s parents don’t. We will step in as much as we can, allowing them to still have a fantastic childhood. We will be there to help them through, whatever military life throws at them.
If you talk to seasoned military spouses, you will find that over the years military life has brought them many things. They will tell you about the friends they have made, the places they have lived, and the ways they have grown. They will tell you what worked for them and what might work for you too.
And while in the midst of a long deployment, it can seem like everyone else has it together and you don’t, know you are never alone in your feelings.
So if jealousy is bringing you down, think about what is to come. Think about all you have been through. Be excited that you are a part of the military spouse community.
Being a military spouse is an honor, one in which you should be proud. You have done things you never thought you would. You have surprised even yourself in what you are capable of.
You moved to Italy all by yourself. You learned how to fix a garbage disposal by using YouTube. You were there for a friend whose fourth deployment started off on the wrong foot, because you had been there before yourself.
Someday, when this military life journey comes to an end, you will be home with your spouse, your children, and wonder where the years went. You will look back and be proud of all you have been through and everything you did during your time as a military spouse.