Wednesday, September 25, 2013

'The Talk' in a military family

When you hear the phrase, "lets have the talk," it most likely gives you anxiety. When it comes to a military family, there's no wonder you would be full of anxiety, since 'the talk' is full of what-ifs, uncertainty, and life changing decisions. If your a fellow milspouse, you might have figured out what I'm talking about, but if you haven't, I'll let you in on it: re-enlisting and picking orders.

If you would have asked me four years ago whether my husband would re-enlist, I would have said, "Of course!" I was so full of military-wife-pride, and I was sure that this would be our life for the next 20 years. Fast forward 3 years, 2 deployments, 1 pregnancy alone, moving across states a couple times by myself, multiple underways, rarely getting to see family, having a hard time making friends, duty days, shitty pay, all the other stresses of military life, and all the glitter is starting to fade, at a time where my husband is really enjoying the success he is finding in his job. Don't get me wrong, I am still a proud military wife, but now that I have been through all the struggles, I see military life for what it really is. And I see it for what it does to me.

I have the sweetest, most loyal husband a girl could ask for, yet I can't let go of the eighteen years of being let down by the men in my life before I met him. Trusting my husband is a daily struggle for me, and being a military wife makes it so much harder. How is it different that any regular 9-5 job you may ask? Obviously, theres deployments and port stays, where my husband is gone for months at a time, and I have to trust that he comes 'home' at night in port. But even when my husband is home, I can't just waltz into his work to bring him lunch, meet his coworkers, or anything at that matter. I've also come to realize that some of the trust issue stems from the fact that I feel like we live completely separate lives, and while mine revolves around solely around him and our son since I don't have anyone else here, he has a life away from me. It is selfish, I know, but it is a hard slump to get out of. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

There was a while where I told my husband that I didn't want him to stay in, that I wasn't cut out for this life. But then I remembered that we had to make the best decision for our family, not just for me, and after having 'the talk' we have decided that staying in is what is best for our son at this time.

We have made the decision to re-enlist, now what? We pick orders, wait a few months, and then hopefully get the one we chose. My husband is an OS, a sea-going rate, which means the only orders that are specific to his rate are a few instructor positions. Since the chances of one of those instructor positions being open in Chris's window are pretty slim, as well as the fact that we don't necessarily want to stay in San Diego, has steered us towards recruiting. Chris has heard a lot of positive things, but I have read almost all bad things. I just keep reminding myself that it is the best option, and we will work through whatever obstacles we face as a family, but it doesn't mean I'm not nervous.

So, it is basically settled that we are choosing recruiting orders, but now the question is where. Do we go back home to the hot Arizona dessert? Do we stay in San Diego so we can enjoy the weather and be visiting-distance from family and friends? Or do we experience somewhere new while we can? I don't think this would be such a big decision if it wasn't for our son. I want him to have a good relationship with his grandparents and cousins, but I also want him to have the best experiences. There are pros and cons for wherever we choose, and they never seem to outweigh each other.

We still have a few months to decide, and boy do we need it!


  1. It's a rough battle, no doubt. It feels like you never really settle anywhere with anything by the time you're asked to pick it all up and start over. It's not an easy life by any means, but you're a champ and you've done it before and you can do it again! :)

  2. EEK! What a decision! Praying a peaceful decision over your family. :) I know no matter where you go it will certainly be beneficial! :)