Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am a single wife. I married a Coastie

When I was single I always pictured married life to consist of waking up and going to sleep next to your husband.  Dreading Mondays and so happy when Friday finally arrives and you have the weekend with your family.  Being inseparable.  A typical 9-5.  Now I anticipate every other Thursday and alternate weekends.  I feel  like at my wedding I was awarded joint custody of my husband instead of a marriage certificate.  When I got married, I technically married 1/2 of my husband and 1/2 of myself.  C is in the military and works harder than I could ever imagine working myself.  Three days at a time and on call at all hours while sleeping at the station.  I see him 15 days of every month, and half of every year.  Luckily, for now, the days are scattered and not all at once.  He has a determination I'm not sure I've ever seen before in anyone else.  A determination that definitely wasn't there when we first dated 13 years ago.  I will never fully understand what he goes through, what it's like to pull a dead body out of the water, how he manages to be so strong, or how he can consume 12 and a half pots of coffee in one day.  But he does, and it is one of the many reasons I adore him.  It is this adoration and admiration that keeps me strong through what can otherwise be described as a part-time marriage.  I will be forced to pack up my life every 4 or less years, only to repack and move again.  Most times we will have little say in where we end up and typically won't know where we are moving until mere months before. I had to give up my career and settle for short-term jobs in whatever field is hiring at the time. I have to learn to lead a life with few friends, and the ones I do meet I know I will have to say goodbye to in a few short years.  When we have children, they will have to do the same.  And I will spend much of my time raising our children alone, while C will likely miss many of their important milestones.  I have to be stronger than I ever have before.  I have to fight the urge to scream and cry when I find out he has to leave for a prolonged period of time the night before he will depart.  I have to learn how to fix a leaky faucet, a broken furnace, a clogged drain, and shovel my own driveway every snowstorm.  Because there is a 50/50 chance I will be alone when an issue arises.  Marriage in the military is a fast track lesson in how to become superwoman.  Which I hardly am, but if I was auditioning for the part, I'd be perfect.

I recently found a couple other Coast Guard and other military wives blogs. (So happy about this) It's nice to find people in the same situation as you, who can understand what this life is like, and you know you aren't alone.  It also made me feel somewhat lucky in my current situation and pretty fearful about our future.  For me, C is only gone every couple days for a few days at a time and the occasional month or two for different schooling or disaster relief. But being reminded that any one of our future stations could involve C being out on a boat for a month to a year at a time makes me want to hog tie him, super glue him to me like siamese twins and run off to Uganda.

I know the life I choose is not an easy one.  I will face challenges no married couple should have to face.  And at times I will grow to hate my husband's greedy mistress, the Coast Guard.  But the reality of it is that it makes the time we have together that much more productive.  I'm forced to find out new things about him on warp speed.  To strengthen our love to a level that matches Arnold Schwarzenegger's muscles in Conan the Barbarian.  And to learn how to adapt to just about anything life throws at me.  I'd say it's the best kind of love there is.  And if it can withstand the turbulence of this life we lead, it can withstand anything.


Miss Lifeguard and Mister Guardian said...

I'm crying reading this blog no lie! In the past year I had to learn to drive in snow... fishtailing is scary as hell! And shovel snow... I pulled muscles I didn't know existed! I love this blog and it completely sums up this life we lead! Hopefully one day we end up at a station together! I loved reading this and I can't wait to share other crazy learning experiences I go through!

Miss Lifeguard!

morganX said...

It is honestly soooo nice to know I'm not alone in this life. It is impossible to make anyone really understand. When do you get re-stationed and where are you hoping to go? We are on lake Champlain in Vermont station better be someplace warmer. One year left here....but I pray whatever comes next isn't a big boat that is gone all the time.

Miss Lifeguard and Mister Guardian said...

Uhhh we are in Michigan right now and both originally Southern so the warm weather is something we miss a lot! We have 2 more years sadly! But we want someone South Carolina or further South and I can't wait! I know when I first started blogging I only found one Coast Guard wife and since then she has stopped blogging and I kinda went through a rut but now that I know there are others out there I really want to blog more. I wish it was easier to make other understand but I'm lucky that I have gained some friends that do and some that don't try to pretend they are just there for me whenever I need them! I don't think I'm ready for J to be on a big boat but I know it's something that he would like so I'm not sure what to prepare for next. can't wait for more blogs from you! This one was so good I was reading it to J and the comic relief helped in between my crying!

J9 said...

I'm so glad you found me, thanks for the follow! And girl I hear ya! It's been 5 years of marriage for us and I still don't think I've caught up to the Coast Guard in "amount of time spent with hubby." :(

Dr. Army Wife said...

It's so true that when we marry someone in the military, we are essentially signing a joint contract. My soldier is in the reserves but is now on a deployment so I understand what you are saying. Found you on Household 6 - I'm your newest follower

Jess said...

Thanks for visiting {and following} my blog. I now follow you, too!
I just wanted to say that I know how you feel! My husband is overseas right now and on his second deployment, while I am here in the states raising our son on my own. It can be really lonely and discouraging.
You are SOOO right though, that all the time military couples spend apart makes the time you do have together better. I honestly think that all the deployments, long hours, days out in the field, etc make my husband and I so much stronger as a married couple. We truly cherish our time together and, let's face it, it's pretty hard to fall into a rut when things are constantly changing! I personally moved a lot as a kid {my dad was in the air force}, so moving is no big deal to me and I actually like seeing/living in new places. HOWEVER, I hate how little notice you get. We're PCSing again in about 3 months, and still haven't heard where we're going yet.
I think I'll enjoy reading your blog :)

Jennifer said...

Thanks for finding me! Love your blog! Remember: the Military is most decidedly a woman. She can't make up her mind, she demands all sorts of attention and that Bitch stole my husband.

Jessica New Fuselier said...

Hi Rachael. Thank you for stopping by my blog & following! I am now following you - Whoo-Hoo! Must be so hard to have a hubs in the military. You ladies are angels. I love your dogs too. So Freakin Cute! Have a great week!
xo, Jessica @ FreshAngeles.Com

DP said...

That sounds like a very tough way to live, but love will carry you through. It's tough to be married to someone who is in the military. Good luck.

Thanks for visiting me, I am following back.
Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

The Hapa Girl said...

I'm glad you came to visit and found some comfort! It's not joke when ppl say military wives are a special breed! It will always be hard, but will eventually get easier! Just remember you will always have someone out here in blogland to help you through and cyber hold your hand!

Good Luck in the new adventures waiting ahead! Can't wait to read about them.

Danielle said...

I'm a horrible blogger, so I'm just now seeing your blog, but I'm so glad I got back to it. It's nice to see another Coast Guard spouse on here! :) I've been pretty fortunate in that my hubs has always been close, never having to be gone for an extended period of time, but we know it's coming. It's going to be a challenge, I know, but hopefully your blog will inspire me to stay strong! Nice to "meet" you! :)

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