Who Will We Be?

This seems to be a question that has been plaguing my marriage in recent times.  Who will we be if he chooses to not reenlist next year?  Who will we be if he does? Who will we be when the nation officially moves into a time of peace?
The last one seems to be the heaviest of them all.  I know, or at least have a good idea who we will be if The Boy chooses to reenlist.  I’m pretty sure our world will keep spinning if he chooses not too… But should he reenlist and the nation moves into peace time, well that will be a world that we have never experienced together. 
My husband has never been a Marine for a nation at peace.  I have never been married to a Marine during a peaceful time.  What will that mean for us?  I’m not sure.  You see, most of my adult life has been shaped by the events on a randomly sunny day in September all those years ago.  I was just a kid.  I look back at that time and think of how odd it feels to still feel so young, but realize that I was just a dumb teenager, fresh out of high school at that time ago. 
Here I am now, 11 years later and the only world I have ever known as an adult was a world at war.  The only marriage I have known was one constantly facing that war.  Putting up the united front, playing the dutiful wife, facing the sympathetic eyes of my family and friends who don’t really know what life in the military is like and for some odd reason think that all it is is sadness and heartbreak.  I’ve grown thicker skin, I’m less trusting of others, I’m more hyper vigilant about my security and safety, and I’m much, much, MUCH more sensitive to the true meaning of Memorial Day and the 4th of July than I ever was growing up. 
This war is as normal to my life as is making breakfast… Ok, so I don’t cook, but the metaphor stands.  Who will I be? Who will we be as a couple? What will life be like when the war is no longer on my mind every day of my life?  Will these habits be too hard to break?
When my husband was gone I spent endless hours trying to ignore the nagging, worry in the back of my mind.  We lived our life in life and death at that time.  It felt like everything I did was to avoid hearing about death, worrying about his, or trying to make it through one more day of a countdown that was never going to be a sure thing.  Dramatic? Yes, but we all have to admit that we worry more than we want to.  That habit never went away.  When my husband is in the field and unreachable, I worry, when he goes out for a beer and I don’t hear from him a fierce panic rises in my throat and it feels like my world is spinning.  It’s been three years and I have never broken the habit of worry.  Will I be able to break the habit of war?
Will he?
Will he be able to break the habits that have shaped our world for three years post deployment? Will he be able to stand down and be comfortable in a world that he now sees as full of threats at each turn? Will we, as a couple, know who we are, if he is not the warrior and I am not the warrior’s wife?
I honestly… just…don’t… know…
Though it is not all of who I am, a large part of my life is being a military wife, offering support to others and seeing the bonds that build between spouses as a way of life that is hard to find in the civilian world.  Though I’m sure those bonds will stay, new ones will become harder to find as we move farther and farther away in time from the life of a military couple, with a military life and military marriage.
Right now I say that I’m just A Girl, who loves A Boy, who is married to the Marine Corps… Who will he be when he is no longer married to the USMC?  And who will I be to him, if I’m no longer his mistress? 
I’d like to think that I will take center point in his life and we will skip off into the heavily wooded front yard of our dream home, hand in hand, happily every after… But is that who we will be?



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About A Girl

A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008 as a means of coping with a deployment. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care. She is married to a 11 year veteran of the USMC reserves, whom she meet shortly after he returned from a deployment. They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both.

6 thoughts on “Who Will We Be?

  1. Once a Marine ALWAYS a Marine. This also applies to Marine Wives.
    Regardless of future decisions of what will be for the girl and the boy.
    The Marine Corps has a way of embedding a beautiful torture that will never cease to exist.
    You two will always have that time and space where you fell in love and served your heart wrenching and aching deployment . I believe you still carry this with you like a shield because of the boys dedication to his Corps.
    Rest your anxieties, fears, and worries into The Lord. Allow the boy to see you cry – allow the boy to see you at your beauty and at your worst. Have confidence that whatever may happen you and the boy can experience this together. In conclusion, you guys can volunteer at any point in the Marine Corps .
    Family Readiness Officers are very much needed.

  2. I'm constantly wondering the exactly same thing. I don't really know how NOT to be a military spouse. There's a pretty good chance my husband is getting out of the Army in 2 years and even with all the ways the military life can suck or be difficult, it still scares the crap out of me. =\

  3. When I first saw the title to your post it totally reminded me of the scene in Forrest Gump where Jenny asks Forrest (in her dorm room) who he wants to be in the future and, confused, he says, “Aren't I going to be ME?” LOL, sorry. Anyway, I honestly miss my husband being a Marine. He's been out for almost a year now and I miss the pride and the lifestyle, as difficult as it was. But you just adjust and adapt as you move along. You know? He misses it terribly but I am honestly just so grateful to have been a part of something so awesome.

  4. We've been talking about this a lot lately too. As much as I think it would be nice not having the Army be part of our relationship, the unknown worries me more. It's a tough decision to make.

  5. As Chris is going through medical drama, I find myself asking the question about what will happen if he is no longer in the Navy. And for us, it's funny because while Chris is so dedicated to serving and wants to be a life-er, the Navy does not play a big part in who we are as a couple. Especially since Chris has been on shore duty for a year. I also don't think he let's his job define him as much as some people (myself included) do. I honestly don't know though who we would be. If there would be upheaval or just little bumps in the road. Definitely good questions to ponder though!
    –Erinn

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