Saturday, April 6, 2013

Uncertainty - When Will I See You Again?

One of the most challenging things to contend with when dating someone in the military is uncertainty.
In the time I devoted myself to my marine, there were plenty of foiled plans, spoiled dates, and unsatisfied anticipations of his arrival.   Most recently, my marine has taken a position as a site manager.  He contacted me before Easter holiday to tell me he might come home for the weekend and that he wanted to see me.  By this time, I had moved on and didn't give much thought to whether he would actually come.  That weekend I kept the plans I had in place to visit with friends and I wasnt at all surprised when he said he ended up working through the weekend.

I remembered some time back, when I had first engaged with assisting a support group for military spouses and veterans.  The group leader had dispelled stories of his experience of hardships with his 3 marriages while he served.  He shared with the group that it got to a point that his spouse was indifferent when he returned from duty.  The warm hugs and kissed that first welcomed him early on in the relationship, turned to a cold shoulder and a mumbled voice saying "Just leave your shoes on the porch".  One of the ladies in the group shared that during her husbands absence from the home, she became used to doing things independently.  As a result, when he returned and wanted to claim his position in the family and handle duties around the home, his requests would be met with her resistance to relinquish control of tasks she had always attended to.  This left her husband, the veteran, feeling useless.  So he soon would find another project or deployment to re-enlist so as to occupy his time and utilize his skills... to be useful.

At the time I heard these stories, years ago, I thought ' How insensitive, how could they?'  Now, having gone through the emotional roller coaster of excitement that  he's coming, only to find out that he is not, I too am indifferent and learned to live on my own and keep myself busy.   It makes no difference whether he comes and goes.   I suppose it is part of the territory.  He is doing what he loves, feeling useful  and benefiting the service.  He doesnt need much else, but the gratification he receives from fulfilling his duty. 

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