This week, while volunteering at the arsenal in the Exceptional Family Member Program I read this article: When the Troops Come Home from the National Journal magazine. I know I sound like a broken record but when it comes to deployments the water works are turned on... I had to grab a tissue.
For years I have wondered if anyone is keeping track of the divorce rate of military families since all the deployments have begun. I wonder this because I can tell you that after three deployments... it ain't easy. I have this image of this fairy tale relationship that keeps me pining away for my guy. I carry it in my heart and mind during the deployment even though I know it is not reality. It is almost like a teenage love. Then real life strikes. The event the girls and I have waited for... redeployment. Time to make the signs and try to lose those last 100 lbs.
I can sum it up in one statement from Gene that he said to our marriage counselor... "Sherry does everything so well there isn't room for me." That is a sad compliment. After a year of doing things on my own, not always so well, it is hard to find a space for my Prince Charming. It is stressful and yes, I am resentful. He has been home a year and I still find that aspect a struggle. He left me for a year to try to successfully manage our lives. I know, before I am labeled non supportive, he in no way wanted to leave his family behind to work 6.5 days and nights a week in a sandbox. He did it because he believes in what a soldier stands for, plus, he is taking care of his family.
Back to the marriage counselor part I casually threw in there... Gene and I have been married for almost two decades and we hope for another four or five. We knew after this last deployment that we needed help. I hope other military families who have the struggle with redeployment get someone to help work out the kinks. The funniest thing that our counselor told us is 'with all the things life has thrown you, it is a miracle you are still married'. My sick sense of humor finds that hilarious. Miracles do happen.
Anyhoo, I am rambling. My main point (yes, there was one) is that if you ever wonder what it is like for many families when they are reunited and life begins again, this article is a pretty darn good one.