Hard Hitter

*WARNING: This post is very strongly opinionated and could possibly be offensive to some people.*

As most of you know, Josh is in the military and we were in a long-distance relationship for 2 years before getting married. For a very long time I let Josh's profession and our long-distance status define who I was. I let that get in the way of my personal relationships with friends and I let those things consume my identity so much that I forgot what my own passions, loves, and interests were outside of the military and the distance. I regret that so much and I refuse to go through life just listening to whiny pity parties or self-righteous claims of getting SO's through trainings. I want to say something to all the military SO's that no one had the guts to say to me, even if it does hurt their feelings or offend them. It's something I needed to hear, and I strongly believe I wasn't the only one.*

Something that really gets on my nerves is when military significant others completely base their relationship on the military.

I understand that you're proud of what your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance/husband/wife does, but does it really have to consume all you do and say?

When I see people who's every Facebook status is something related to the military or their SO being in the military, it really annoys me. Why? Because they're letting the military become their identity. They're letting the fact that their SO is military dictate who they are and what they live for. Whether it's out of selfish pride (gloating that their significant other is military, as if it's the most important job in the world) or not, it's wrong to make your identity "Military Wife" or "Military Girlfriend" and to leave it at that.

Let me tell you something ladies. Being in the military was your SO's choice. NOT YOURS. Whether he's an airman, a soldier, or a marine, it is HIS job. NOT YOURS. Yes, you can be proud of how hard he works and the risks he takes for the sake of his job, but HIS job does not define YOU. Don't let what your husband or fiance or boyfriend does for a living become who you are, because you're not the one working ridiculous hours, being yelled at, and putting your life on the line on a regular basis. You're not him (or her). You're the one SUPPORTING him. You aren't the reason he makes it through basic. HE IS. You're not the one who makes it possible for him to come home safe from a war zone. He and his unit are.

I think a lot of military SO's get so caught up in the "woe is me" aspect of dating a man (or woman) in uniform because it's hard. It's REALLY hard. And they feel like no one understands what they're going through when they only get 5 minute phone calls once a week while their man's in basic or that no one gets what it's like to have to worry if he's going to make it home from Afghanistan. But the truth is, there are millions of military significant others that have been through this before and they do understand. You're not the only one. You're not a special case. This happens every. Single. Day.

So please stop being self-righteous and proud in all the wrong ways. Please stop letting your SO's profession dictate what your life is all about. Please stop throwing pity parties for yourselves. And most of all, please stop acting like you're the reason he's so strong and brave, because you're not. He is.

Become yourself. Remember who YOU are as an individual apart from the military and develop that person. The people who are important to you know that you're dating or married to a member of the military, you don't need to remind them with every Facebook status or Tweet. I'm not saying you shouldn't be proud, because you should be! Military life is hard. But don't let your addiction to "being proud of him" take over. Instead, take all of your confidence, pride, and free-time while he's away and put it to good use taking care of YOU. Find a new hobby, rediscover an old one, spend time with friends and make it a point to not bring up the military, take care of your mind, soul, and body. Become you.


Faith said...

wow, i am not a military SO but i totally agree with you! i think this post also applies to all areas in life. thanks for the honesty and sharing a little more of yourself through this post!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I think you're right that a military spouse, male or female, should take time for themselves to relax and "destress" especially if their loved one is gone for an extended period of time. But I have an issue with the "YOU didn't make it through basic" and "you're supporting HIM" kind of statements. I'm sure you know I've been on both sides of the fence, military member and now spouse, so I did make it through basic...woo-hoo!! ;p But anyways, the point is I think it's crucial for military members and spouses to view what each other does as a sacrifice, and never compare. If someone starts to compare and say, "Well I'm working ridiculous hours or I'm being yelled at or I'm deployed etc etc." OR "I have to stay home and watch the kids by myself, I have to deal with loneliness I have to ..." it kind of makes that person seem like the hero, and the other person, well, not. When people start comparing there's automatically a hero-victim complex which is never good. This applies to both military and civilian worlds. People go through hard stuff, military member or spouse. If someone's way of dealing with it is to read Stars and Stripes everyday or blog on the daily events of what's going on in their military life, cool! I'm not that way, but I can't say that's wrong for someone else. For me, I take one day at a time. I talk to my hubby on the phone. We email and send pics. Cool, that's it! Others do more and others do less, but each person copes with hardships differently and also they do so in such a way to keep their relationship in tact. There are military spouses who are lazy bums, there are soldiers who are lazy bums. That's in the civilian world too. Military members sacrifice, spouses and children sacrifice. The point is not to say "I'm sacrificing more" or "You're sacrificing more" but to say "We're each sacrificing in different ways, we'll cope with it in different ways, and we'll support each other in how we do it." -Annette (I wrote my name cuz I had to comment as "anonymous"...stinkin FB!

Mrs. Nix said...

I totally agree that people cope in different ways, but I guess what this post was more about was the SO's who act as if their whole life stops because of their boyfriend being on mission or being deployed or even at basic. I've seen too many Facebook statuses claiming that "I'm the reason he's coming home." or "I'm his strong shoulder and the reason he made it through basic!" and it really irritates me that these women are taking credit for their SO's accomplishments and sacrifices.

This is definitely a very sensitive topic, and I knew it would be, but I guess I just couldn't hold in my frustration anymore. Haha!

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