Hi y’all! I’m Alena and I write at my wee spot of the webs called Charmingly Chandler. I write about whatever strikes my fancy, but tend to shy away from writing about our life as an Army family. Not because I am not proud of the work my husband does (there aren’t words to describe how proud I am of him), but because there’s not much I can say. And sometimes, when you’re vague, you just come off like a jerk. And I’m not a jerk. At least I don’t think I am. Hmm….am I a jerk?
Oh well back to the point at hand, I am really excited to be over here at Hormonal Imbalances talking about one aspect of being an Army wife (well, any military wife…or military husband…and even a military kiddo I suppose too) since Diana just joined me (and thousands others) in this adventure. I grew up in a military family, my parents served, some of my grandparents served, I served, my husband serves…even his brother does. I don’t know everything, but this is my wee bit of wisdom!
I recently watched a documentary on Solitary Confinement. One of the psychologists said that being lonely is a physically painful state of being. It’s a human reaction that is a part of how we are made to keep us safe. When we are lonely we feel it and do something to change it. The funny thing about being an Army wife? There’s not always something you can do about it.
I am not big on feeling sorry for myself, complaining about the time I spend apart from my husband, or comparing who has it worse. The fact is though, the loneliness is the hardest part of this gig. It’s what you feel. Missing that person you vowed your life to? It physically hurts at times.
I have come to learn that everyone wants to understand, everyone wants to put themselves in your shoes by comparing their spouses business trips, long hours or working on the weekends to the time you are apart from your loved ones. And you know what you have to do? Let them.
My biggest advice to a wife (outside of being an advocate for your family and finding answers instead of waiting on them) is to not put a wedge between you and anyone else. I see it happen where someone says “I know this is so hard for you because my husband was in Atlanta for work for a week-it was so difficult!” and the military spouse comes untied. She goes off about how that’s not the same, and lists all the reasons. And their friendship is changed from that moment. Both hurt, upset and offended.
Some friends they just don’t know what to say. They know their husband wasn’t at war in Atlanta (ok well let’s be honest…some parts of Atlanta might as well be a war zone). They also know they don’t really understand. They really don’t know what to say. They are trying to offer you support the best way they know how. People are well meaning. And it isn’t our job as the wife of a military man to educate them on the difference between our families.
Loneliness hurts. And the more you isolate yourself the more it hurts. The more you point out to others (and yourself) about all the ways you have it rough…well it just makes it hurt more.
I don’t have all the answers on how to gracefully be an army wife. I do try as hard as I can so that people don’t feel bad for me or pity me. Are things easy? No. But this is the life we chose. And for now, and God willing until we are so old and gray that these days are a faded memory, we are healthy and alive. That’s saying a lot…even when there are thousands of miles between us.
I am always here to vent to, or answer questions (if I can), or just chat with when things get lonely. Because that’s something I know as an Army wife….and something we all know as humans.