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Thread: Halfway to "Normal" --torn between civilian life & National Guard commitments

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    Neutral Halfway to "Normal" --torn between civilian life & National Guard commitments

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    I'm the wife of a 2LT in the PA Army National Guard. My husband was an SMP ROTC cadet (came in as enlisted), so I went through both BCT and LDAC already... plus many, many weekend training exercises, drills, etc.

    After college, my husband got a job at Penn State University doing IT work and we moved to that region. He had his monthly drills, but otherwise things were "normal." We worked, came home, had dinner together, watched TV, worked outside, etc.

    Recently we bought our first home in a more rural area than we were previously living. (I'm in a little tiny village on a mountain). We were carpooling to work, remodeling our 100+ year old home, and enjoying life... Things were "normal."

    And then came AT... and for some reason, I am really distraught over his absence. I feel like a fish out of water already... we have only lived in the vicinity of PSU for a year and are still getting to know people... I have been in my new house for less than three months.

    He has been able to periodically text me and last night we talked on the phone, so miles better that BCT or LDAC, but for some reason I am really upset about him being gone! It is compounded by the fact that shortly after he returns from AT, he will be going to BOLC in Ft. Gordon, GA, for 4 months. I feel like I can't feel "settled" until he is home "for good" next spring (until he is ever deployed and/or sent away to school).

    Having my husband in the National Guard is difficult. I am in a civilian community where post people have no idea what I am going through. I feel guilty for my sadness because I know I have nothing to complain about when other families have faced multiple deployments to the Middle East and such. I just don't know what to do with my own feelings. I feel torn between our civilian life and jobs and our Army life. It's altogether frustrating when we had our routines and our plans and then *poof* he's gone. Our communication is limited and the physical distance is really bothering me. I would do anything for a hug or a kiss right now!

    He's my best friend and my world and I want him back in my world and by my side!

    Has anyone else been through this experience? Any encouragement would be appreciated!
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    #2


    I'm a guard wife as well. DH deployed with his unit the year we got married We've moved back to my hometown now that we are both done with school, and I understand that at times it can feel isolated.

    Just remember that although people around you aren't "in" the military lifestyle, doesn't mean they won't understand what it is like to have a spouse away. Some of the people that listen to me whine the most never have had military ties. Although I do like to whine often on this board when DH is gone for drill weekends, because I don't like people I know IRL knowing that DH is gone.
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    Thanks for your reply! I'm glad I am not the only one. I have found my civilian friends to be largely understanding, but it is still not easy. I wish I was closer to my support network of friends that live in the area we moved from. I don't have any family and his family is halfway across the country, so the isolation is very real. I'm hoping that I will adjust and things will get better, but it is hard. The idea of being alone up here through the winter is really frightening for me.
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    Don't sell "civilian wives" short. They may not had had deployed husbands, but that doesn't mean they can't make good, understanding friends.

    I've never had kids, but I still listen to my friends talk about issues with breast feeding or finding day care or feeling sadness over a kiddo growing up a bit too fast. Even though I haven't been through it, I can sympathize and listen and even offer feedback.

    So don't close yourself off and make yourself into a special snowflake whose experiences can't possibly be understood by anyone who hasn't BTDT. A good friend is a good friend and can always listen and commiserate.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    My former partner was in the army national guard. A few months after both of us had graduated college my former partner got orders the unit had to go for pre deployment training, and then overseas deployment, would be gone up to one year. Even though some of my friends didn't have anyone in the military they were still understanding and helpful, like what vinanelle said about a good friend who can listen and communicate.

    My current partner in the army reserves. Although he's been deployed before, he's not currently deployed or likely to be anytime soon thank goodness. I know though that it's always a possibility.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by olga484 View Post
    Thanks for your reply! I'm glad I am not the only one. I have found my civilian friends to be largely understanding, but it is still not easy. I wish I was closer to my support network of friends that live in the area we moved from. I don't have any family and his family is halfway across the country, so the isolation is very real. I'm hoping that I will adjust and things will get better, but it is hard. The idea of being alone up here through the winter is really frightening for me.
    Bad winters suck, especially if you live outside of town. (I live on an acreage) Take this time apart to get involved in your community in things you enjoy. I'm in my local Kiwanis group along with the business women group and local bar associations. Get to know your neighbors too, they can be huge in helping dig out after a snow storm!

    Also, see if there is an American Legion Auxiliary in your area, it is for wives of military members, and it spans from still active to Korea service members around here!
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    I have wonderful neighbors right now, but they are moving very soon, and I have no idea who will be living next door over the winter. May actually be nobody... I believe they are moving before selling because of a job situation. I do live off a main road, sort of. Thankfully I'm not set back in the woods and my driveway isn't too long.
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    #8
    My DH was in the guard as well (he got out last October). For me, AT was harder than Basic. He had a large gap between the two (9 months) so we got back into a normal routine again and then he left for 5 months. I agree with previous posters, you should give others a chance to understand. I had one acquaintance from high school whose boyfriend was in the same group as my DH for basic, but honestly my biggest support system was a group of friends who had no affiliation with the military.
    ~Sara~

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