When we were married I knew that it was likely inevitable again, his deployment overseas. We survived one tour already, so hearing that he was deploying again didn’t really hit me at first. During his first tour, he re-enlisted for another four years, this meant we were going to be moving to Kansas. Still, I didn’t truly comprehend that I would be separated from my husband again.
The night it finally hit me, I can still vividly picture. I remember the evening under the stars; we sat on our tiny patio, the children tucked into bed a few hours earlier, a three year old boy and eight month old girl. The three of them were my entire world, and I imagine that this was the same in reverse for my husband. At this point in our lives, it was normal for my husband to have to leave; he had done two tours overseas already. One when we were together and one on his own to Korea, so this was not new territory for him, leaving. What was new territory for him was the fact that his family was living far from home now, nearly 800 miles away from those his wife could depend on and trust.
I started to feel as if something was dying inside. I remember us talking about all the details of his departure when I began to cry. This is the first time I remember my husband holding on to me, encompassing me in his arms as I cried. We have been married for a little over a year, and suddenly the thought about his leaving became all too real. I wasn’t crying because of the extra load of work I would have to do with him being gone. I was crying because the man I loved, who had recently became my husband would be leaving me soon to go to a place that I was not allowed to go. I really did honor and love this man, and I was not prepared for this deployment.
Have you eve been more in love with someone that you can rarely put into words what their very presence in your life means? Perhaps this is a parent, spouse, or even a child. Think about that love as I talk about saying good-bye. Not a forever good-bye, but it feels that way. Some of you reading this know what I am talking about. This is the type of good-bye that rips into your gut and tears at your heart. This is the type of good-bye many parents, couples, and children have had to feel, saying good-bye as we watch a piece of our heart and soul walk away into a world that you are not invited. And with this feeling, with all our wonderful memories, we wait, holding on to any piece of them that we can.
I know now that I was meant to be a military wife, I am strong and determined. I am proud of my role in my family's life and oh so proud of my husband. I loved being the woman my husband could return home to. What I wasn't prepared for was the loneliness that I felt when my husband was gone. This is the part of the life that I do not miss. I enjoy being next to my husband in church or having him crawl into bed next to me. Sometimes I take these little moments for granted. Still, most times, even going to the hardware store, I stare at my husband in thankfulness for the opportunity to be with my husband and our children.
I cannot wait until I can say that every morning to you my dear. I got the chance to call you today and wow, I didn’t realize how much just hearing you speak would have an effect on me. Sweetheart if you haven’t noticed, I am deeply in love with you. I can’t explain the feelings I have; I just know that I want to do my best at showing you for the rest of my life. When I talked to you today, something was not the same. Is everything going okay? When I asked you, you said “no” but you didn’t really explain. What is going on sweetheart? If there is anything that I can do to help, I will try my best to help you out. I want my love to have no worries and stress. I am coming home to you my dear, and I am not gonna let you go. You’re mine. Damn, I just want to hold you in my arms right now. I want to climb back into my cot and slipping bag and wake up right there next to you there. I hope you realize just how strong my feelings are for you. Grace, I love you and only you. Well my dear I guess I should put up the pen for now and figure out where to mail this. I will start another within the next few days but for now, I better get back to guarding stuff. Just figured while every else was sleeping It would be a good idea to write you. Well my dear, don’t forget you’ve got a crazy GI fighting for you and he’s coming home to the love of his life. I love you baby
Yup, this is a real love letter from my husband when he was overseas, and we were a newly reunited couple. He told me he loved me, swept me off my feet, and my whole life changed in one night and then he was gone overseas with the Army. I was head over feet in love with this man who came back for me and said the most beautiful words and had the most wonderful touch. So why am I giving you such a sweet and secretive sneak peak into our lives of us as a young couple? This is a glimpse of a beautiful love story, one that seemingly comes from a book. Imagine the rain scene from the Notebook and that was my husband and I in our younger days.
Above being in love, what I believe most about us as a couple is that we are compatible. We have many similar thoughts about raising children, charity and decorating. We agree on a lot of philosophical issues and have the same faith base. We both grew up poor and loved the experiences of our lives because it has made up who we are today. I am not into Valentine’s day and neither is he because it doesn’t make sense to put so much focus on giving material love on one day when love should shine all year long.
The reason for mentioning this is because we are in love, have an amazing love story, are compatible and yet, we still live a “normal life”. There is more to us because the truth is, we still have a life after the "great love story". We are not as intimate as we would like to be, we are busy and tired parents of four children. We have a house that needs work on a daily basis and old vehicles that my husband has to spend time giving his mechanical skills and knowledge to. A real marriage ebbs and flows like a river. Sometimes it can be wild and if you are not careful, it can flip you over. Sometimes, a marriage is slow and gentle and all you want to do is sit by the bank in the river and take in the sights and sounds.
What you have to remember is that even the best marriages, the marriages that are meant to be from the moment the sun rises still run like a river. What does this mean? Okay, so we are compatible right, we get a long well and don’t often fight, but we had our issues and will likely still have our issues. Sure, these issues won’t be near as large as they were earlier on in our marriage, but we are still going to have to maneuver our way through the rapids.
Earlier on in our marriage we had to fight through addiction, through deployments, through insecurities and my depression and his anger. We had to learn how to survive and thrive together or fall apart completely. Do not think that marriage is going to be a walk in the park, unless you’ll willing to take a walk in Central Park at night. I cannot give you the exact way that my husband and I have made it through some of the darkest times in our marriage. God had a big hand in our lives for certain. It’s a truth for us. However, if you read some of the other post I have written on marriage, you will be able to see some of the things that we have done to keep our marriage real and alive.
I wanted to give everyone a glimpse of what life can be like even after a great and magical love story. I have had to learn how to stand strong as a wife, to give my husband respect even when he did not deserve respect. I have had to set boundaries and limits on our marriage in order to keep our love alive. I want those who are entering into marriage to look beyond compatibility, to look beyond an amazing love story and be ready for a journey.
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Boundaries, more than just ways to divide the earth into countries, states and towns. Boundaries signify so much more than dividing lines on the earth but set parameters for how we desire to form relationships throughout our lives. So, what is the whole big deal regarding boundaries anyway? I mean why are people writing books on how to maintain appropriate boundaries and facilitating relationships? Shouldn’t all of this be second nature, I mean of course you don’t hug someone when they don’t want to be hugged, and if you call someone and they are busy, you don’t call back five minutes later to try to chat again. In counseling, we talk about boundaries as they are connected to Codependency. This is when you need constant reassurance from someone else before you can make decisions and other factors that make it difficult to live your own confident life. Boundaries make a lot of sense if you are the one on the receiving end of too much emotional or physical attachment from another person. Well, you are least know what you like or don’t like from when it comes to other people. How many times have you heard someone say, “they just don’t have healthy boundaries”?
As a parent, you can teach healthy boundaries by showing proper emotional attachment. This means you have to take your own boundaries inventory. Are you making sure to demonstrate healthy attachments in your own life by the amount of affection shown to your significant other as well as other family members and how you handle arguments? You can encourage children to maintain healthy boundaries by making sure to watch how they attach themselves to other children. Are they hugging too much and not stopping when another child tells them to stop? Are they seeking out friends by offering rewards for their friendship?
As parents of teenagers, they need to be taught healthy boundaries with a little bit of autonomous love. This can be difficult for parents in a world dominated by social media. Decide what boundaries you believe are best for their mental, emotional and physical well-beings, but remember that they are likely going to push those boundaries. Teenagers do this because they are learning how to become adults. Unfortunately, to the dismay of many parents, it is up to you to reprimand teens and explain the reason for a curfew or why they cannot hide who they are spending their time with. Remember that it is important that you explain yourself to your children as opposed to the old adage, “you don’t need to know why, I am the parent and I say so”.
As adults we need to remember that boundaries are in place for a reason and like countries and states, each boundary means something different. Towns, states and countries will have their own laws, rules and regulations. In humans and as an adult, you have to give yourself a chance to learn the boundaries of the other people in your life. Some people like to show affection with hugging while other people are not into public displays of affection. Learn about introversion and extroversion and how this can affect how people respond to you. Also, remember that each person has a backstory that shapes their worldview and how they interact with people. Lastly, remember that everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay. After all, how are we supposed to learn what is right and wrong if we don’t take the time to learn. Try not to take it to heart but learn from it and add it to your mental library. Creating relationships takes time and trust is not built in a day.
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