Maybe you have noticed that I have had a short break from the blog. It wasn’t because I needed it, I’ve just been crazy busy with my life out in the real world! Haha!
Now I finally have time to myself and I can sit down with my laptop and continue my story. Phew! It’s a relief – I was almost to the point of feeling withdrawal!! Haha!
…In other words – I really missed the blog.
Today the weather is grey and cold, and ironically, so was the last years of my marriage. Haha! That won’t be the main subject today though, which you might have guessed by the tittle above. Today is about my years as an Army wife, and all the things I had to deal with. So without any further introduction, here is the next chapter of my story…
I don’t know how often someone told me ”You knew what you were getting yourself into… he was a soldier when you met him”… On the other hand I don’t know either how many times I’ve been thinking ”Fuck you, you don’t know shit”.
The truth is that they were right, in general. I knew he was a soldier, I knew I looooved the uniform, and that’s about it for a 19-year-old girls brain.
No one ever prepared me for how life would be as an Army wife. No one warned me about the fact that my husband would be more married to his work than to me. No one ever sat me down and explained to me that I would no longer have a say in the matter when it came to my life – the life I chose to share with a soldier. No one ever took the time to make sure I was ready for the constant ”Oopsiee, I’m not coming home today, baby… And I won’t be home for the rest of the week either” Well, fuck you, fuck them, fuck everything! “No one” should have told me… And by ”no one” I mean my ex-husband. It was his job to make sure that I knew before we got involved.
I guess that that’s why I always got upset in the beginning when he had to be away from home, because I simply didn’t know that it would be such a big part of it. I deeply hated being alone, but that might have had something to do with the anxiety I developed after the previous relationship I told you about in the Once upon a time…. post.
I always wanted a normal relationship, working from 9-5, come home and talk about our day. A simple life, where we weren’t necessarily together 24/7, but most of the time, because we wanted to. Instead, I got a lot of sleepless nights when he was away, a lot of loneliness.
For some remarkable reason, faith always had something up her sleeve every time he was away. Bad things got a habit of happening when he couldn’t be home… like a foreclosure of the house because he forgot to pay a bill… 2 days with no heat or warm water in a minus 10 degree weather, because of course we ran out of oil the day after he left… Our car, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher breaking down almost in a row… You name it. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Of course it had upsides to: I got super independent, and I’m proud of managing all of that on my own… But it is hard, when you should be two in it together, helping each other back up after faith knocked you down.
That’s the life of a an Army wife. You handle shit, and you do it alone. As the years passed, I got used to it.
In 2011 we got the news that he was going to Afghanistan for 7 months the following year.
We decided to renew our vows. The last years had been hard, with a lot of lying about unnecessary stuff from him. I wanted to leave so many times, but I was so committed to the relationship, so I stayed… However, it seemed for a while like we had moved past it and that he had learned from his mistakes. We were ready to re-commit to one-another.
We really thought that this was a new beginning, and it was some comfort that we were on the same page when he left, although he barely had been home for 6 months before departure, so it made me feel closer to him to promise him forever once again.
I knew it was going to be hard, those 7 months, but I was ready. The truth is, I was just happy to finally get started. The wait before had been awful… always trying to make every moment count because soon you would be away from each other. So I was relieved when he finally left. I was positive for the next 7 months and our future together.
4 long months in, I came crashing down, and I crashed hard. It had been 4 months of incidents, accidents, bad communication, worry… I was literally sick with worry and fear. So many bad things had happened while he was out, and it had been hell for the both of us. I held it together as long as I could but after he left me again when his leave was over, my world just came crumbling down.
As a result of that, I got a really bad depression. I should have called him home, because I needed him to be there, but I ignored my own signals because I knew that this was important for him. He was happy, so it was worth losing my sanity for, right?
Sadly, it wasn’t. It might have been if I had gotten my husband home intact… I mean, he wasn’t physically harmed in any way, but mentally he was damaged. He wasn’t my husband anymore. He had no tolerance, no understanding for other people’s feelings, especially not mine. There was no empathy what so ever. He had a bad temper, lashed out, said really hurtful things to me and he had a tendency to become violent.
It took almost 6 months like this before I realized that I needed some help, so I started counseling. That had helped me a lot and I wanted him to get some help too. He promised me over and over that he would, but he never did. He was just too focused on himself and his job. I don’t think he ever really intended to do it – it was all empty promises and lies.
By the time I finished therapy, he came home with seemingly happy news. At least it was for him… He would be deployed to Kosovo by the end of the year, if I agreed to it, and only a year after he returned home from Afghanistan a broken man.
I told him my terms for giving him my full support: marriage counseling first, and him to get his ”battle-mind” under control – to get help on his own. He promised and accepted my terms… But as quick as he was to promise that, just as quick was he to forget about it again.
14 days before his departure, I told him that I couldn’t go through with it, that I wasn’t ready, our marriage wasn’t ready. It was too soon. However, he was determined to do this and he wasn’t willing to stay home, not for me, not for our marriage.
I broke down when he left. I was completely and utterly destroyed. He had picked his job over my feelings, our marriage, and I was right back in that pitch black hole of depression that I had fought so hard to get out of. Honestly, he broke my heart.
But as they say, time heals. After 2 months in that black hole, I finally managed to see some light, and I continued climbing from there. One day I simply woke up and realized: I don’t need him anymore. I loved him, but I didn’t need him.. And that was the turning point in our relationship: It was that day my marriage was over.
It doesn’t matter how much you love someone… If they are not there for you when you need them, in time, you simply stop needing them… If they break you down over and over again, at some point the heart just stops caring. It was only a matter of time before I fell out of love with him too.
The thing is that my husband never came home from his first deployment. It took me 2 years to realize that I would never get him back. He changed, and so did I.
Unfortunately, by the time he was finally ready to fight for me, I had long moved on and I was falling in love with someone else. That someone made me feel alive again. He made me feel beautiful and more loved than I ever thought was possible, and he managed to do that even though we had never met and we were an ocean apart. I thought that that was my fairytale.
However, that part of my story belongs in chapter 4 though, so you have to wait until next time for that.
Take care until then!