Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I'll never get used to being a navy wife.

James and Oliver, the first time James deployed after his birth. Oliver was six weeks old. It was "only" a six week trip.
It's only been four days since he left. He is home today, at some point. These things are never concrete. Just estimates. Sometimes we don't even get that.

It's his birthday tomorrow, he took the day off work. Even 24 hours before, and after it's been approved, we're still not 100% sure if he'll be here tomorrow. He wasn't here last year. But I'm optimistic. I try to be at least.

Everyone justifies that we are 'used to it'. Used to what? Being apart? The longing feeling of the looming deployment? The disappointment? Missing each other desperately? Raising children alone? Missing out on our children being raised?

You never get used to it. You get on with it, it's not like we have a choice. But not used to it. Honestly, it downright sucks.

By 5pm every night I am faced with a son and a dog staring at the front door. Every noise causes them to run over in excitement, followed quickly by disappointment.

By the third day they forget. I don't know what's worse. Sure this is easier, but I like the waiting for James. I like the excitement. I like the routine. The navy life doesn't tie in with routine. Excitement often ends with disappointment. It's really not something I ever want to get used to.

I like missing James, not James being gone, but caring that he's gone. I hope I never lose this. There is no one else I'd rather spend my time with. Okay, Oliver of course. But before Oliver, even with Oliver. It's always been James.

I used to say this with guilt, but then I moved a 1000km away to be with him and was never happier. I love my friends and family back home, I miss them everyday. But I chose James, I'll always choose James. I followed my heart, and my head. I suppose I never really had a choice, I was drawn to him.

I don't need him, I want him. It's hard to explain. I know how to be alone, I do it a lot. I enjoy being alone. I always make time for my friends, sometimes I'd rather spend time with them. I value them so highly, I am lucky to have the friends I do.

James brings out the best in me. He doesn't make me who I am, he nurtures who I am and allows it to flourish.

I didn't choose the navy life, I fell in love. So deeply in love. I'm not used to it, nor is he. I'm just willing to put up with it for him. My love for him trumps the difficulty of this lifestyle every single time. We don't choose who we love. It's not as simple as just walking away from 'the navy life' because I would be walking away from so much more. It's never been a choice. It's always been him.

I'm lucky to have him. He considers himself lucky to have me, which makes me even luckier. He works hard so that we can have a good lifestyle. I know with out the navy we'd be in a different world, life would be so different- I wouldn't risk changing a thing. It's not something I'll ever get used to, and if I do then I've probably given up. I don't see myself ever giving up, not on him on us.

I am a wife, whose husband happens to be in the navy. It's our lifestyle, his job, and sometimes (a lot of the time recently) it sucks. But if it didn't suck, I probably wouldn't be here, I probably wouldn't love him the way I do.

Oh the irony.

Mama J


  1. My hubby's a police officer & has his rotating 12 hour shifts. Most days when he's on shift, he's gone before the kids are up & home well after they have gone to bed. Everything you wrote sums up my life perfectly. Thank you to your hubby for serving his county - very grateful. You have a wonderful day :)

  2. I honestly can't imagine how military wives cope with it.

    I know that whatever life throws our way, we show just how great the human spirit is and deal with things most of the time.

    My husband & I have never been apart longer than 4 days since we met. I couldn't imagine watching him go off to places unknown for unknown times. I'm not a particularly crying person but I burst out in tears when I see the tv news broadcasts showing the ships returning home & the new parents getting off first to see their children for the first ever time. I'm getting tears right now thinking about it!

    1. You'd be surprised with how well you'd cope, as you said the human spirit is a powerful thing!

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  4. I don't have a hubby (Not yet!) to understand those feelings when James departs but it is play to hate it and to cry and say "It's not fair" sometimes. Obviously not all the time without fear of moving onto pride territory but its like the Chinese proverb says,

    "An invisible thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place and circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it can never break"

  5. I definitely feel your pain. Even with James being in the Airforce, not the navy.. There is always so much uncertainty. We don't have any kids yet, but never knowing when he is actually leaving - or whether not we'll have to cancel plans due to leave being cancelled has just become a way of life for us. However, it always breaks my heart a little bit when kovu knows his dad is coming home and gets up at every little creak, only for him to be delayed another day. Stay strong, you're not alone.

    1. Thanks Madison. We're a pretty strong bunch us military spouses. In fact I think people in general are stronger than they think when the situation arises!
      My dogs the same. She hasn't left his side since he got home. It's very sweat.

  6. I was a navy wife for many years and your so right. You never get use to it. Sure you move on, your create your own life without them and when they are home you drop that life to spend every waking moment to be with them but you never get use to it. The coming, the going, the kids asking Mum, when is dad coming home and you answering..I just don't know.

    Their right when they say they are use to it but it never gets easier, each time you miss them a little bit more and when they come home you have to readjust all over again only to have a few days and start all over again.

    The things we do for love xx Stay busy, create your own life and enjoy the down times together because it won't last forever x

  7. Hey sweet...what can I say been there done that yet here I am again but not the Navy FIFO to a rig somewhere in the middle of the ocean..the not knowing when and how long for was the hardest frustrating but yet I loved it as did he and I was proud of him so proud. He was a true navy boy never took a shore post always to a boat, always deployed somewhere..taking care of someone else..One year he was home 16 and those were the days when the internet was only just coming to the was romantic..He was in for ten years and we have been out seven years now he went back to the water as soon as he could he missed it..I don't know the point of my comment but we are not alone in how you feel.. I hope you are well take care xxDeb