View Full Version : Read this email as an objective person.

05-25-08, 07:55 PM
"My wife and I have been having problems, and they seem to have intensified during her deployment overseas. She sent me an Email asking me what I want from her to "fix" our marriage. This is the reply I sent, Id like some 3rd party imput on what I wrote. I already sent it.

Well, its hard to think when kids are running around, and its hard to think when Im staring at the wall. I don't really know what to say....I feel pretty overwhelmed with life in general right now, I do want to patch things up with us, but to be honest, I am at a loss to do so, I can have all the plans for my career at work and keep mum on my feelings about your deployment and your "classified" assignment, but it doesn't fix the issues does it. to be honest what I want I don't think you can deliver, and that is a clean slate. I don't know if I can give you that either, I don't know if we can truely sweep all the fights and hurt, crap I did, crap I think you did, under the rug. Yeah, I wish you could truely understand what its like to think the way I do, I don't know if it would change anything, but I wish you could know what its like for just a little bit. and it would be interesting as well to see the world the way you do. well, I think the statment
"Its not you its me" applies to this. I'm sure you would most definately agree that there is no-one to blame but me. I'm also sure you feel you have given the most and done evrything within your power to fix our problems. I feel the same way (sometimes) thats the problem I guess. I dunno, I'm just rambling. at least you dont have a stubborn 4 year old screaming at you for juice while you are reading this. to be honest, I don't know if I will be a better person when you get back...I think all the stress of running things here alone will make me worse, or destroy me in the end. maybe I'm just made of anything worth anything. I cant find it within myself to do anything but curl up in a ball and die right now. I can't bear another night in that bed alone. and I have like 300 more to go. I keep telling myself logically you had no choice in this matter, but in my heart I resent you, I resent that you talk about stuff and people look at you like you are god. I
resent that people see me chasing 3 kids at church and only ask about you (you ARE the hero after all) I resent that this year of untold stress will be quickly forgotten while you have a day in your honor. I know its wrong to feel this way, but I do none the less, and how can a marriage be saved with that? If I have such deep feelings of anger towards you and can actually comfortably say I HATE the career that you have choosen, what is there?...If you gave up your career that you worked hard to get where your at, I would know you hated me for it. what kind of fair choice is that? but as I said, I don't know if I can handle being the "full time " parent while you are a "part" timer. I know that sounds harsh but because of your job I have been around the kids more than you. it is a fact. I don't want to be the part timer either, but its deal with this life and understand that these feelings I have may never go away and condemn myself to a life of inward
misery while I try to put on a happy facade on the outside (which we know I suck at) or be a part time parents and possibly lose my relationship with Jordan. I just don't know how we can get over that. I know this isnt a bullet point of how Im going to be a better person, but like in many things, I'm just not as far along as you. I hope you stay safe, I hope things aren't as deadly as your making them out for you to be there. (I really hope your exagerrating that) anyway, take care and be safe. P.S. I know that you prob have no Idea what I'm asking you after reading this, thats because I have no Idea what I want out of you that would make you happy, thats the rub, and thats where I'm stuck

It was from the heart....

05-25-08, 09:51 PM
Aw, Aric,

That broke my heart. What's the saying: two deployments, those overseas and those at home? I SOOOOOOOooooooooo feel for you.

For what it's worth, one of my law partners' hubby was deployed, and he sent her his friend's blog. It's as dangerous as she's making it out to be. Doesn't make your life any easier, of course. But at least that part is for real.

Have you considered talking to local social services about respite care? Or maybe your church? Because you're a guy, people are probably not reaching out the same way that they would if you were a woman (women reach out to other women, but men wouldn't likely reach out to you). It sounds to me like you would benefit from a few days (here and there) alone, just to NOT be the full-time parent for a while. Parenting is exhausting. I'm NOT a parent, and every time I'm around little kids I marvel at how single parents do it. There's no shame in asking for a break. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if people would WELCOME an opportunity to help you out and just don't know what to offer, nor do they want to appear to suggest that you can't or aren't handling it, you know? It's 'cause you're a dude. Ask for help. People will probably be incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

You're as much a hero as she is, dude. Pat yourself on the back 'cause you earned it.


P.S. I'll add: my partner's hubby is a full bird colonel and spent most of his time in the Green Zone. It was still truly shockingly dangerous with the snipers and the suicide bombers and the bad toilets and the bad medical care and blah blah blah blah blah blah. War IS hell.

05-25-08, 11:51 PM
you could shrink it down to:

Love, money.....and time.
........if you have any.

My HONEST opinion, is.. looks like a guilt trip,
and, you could just ask for what you want ....pure and simple.'s also too well written, for the crazy person you described to write..
to someone who does'nt understand...

I've been accused of "playing dumb" or "smarter than I'm letting on"

..............either because of my ability to describe...... or
because the person who accused me, was doing it themselves.

either way, I hated it.

05-26-08, 12:57 AM
Wow, I understand you have a great deal of stress. Basically, you are a single parent right now. So many people are in your shoes, either as single parents, stay at home moms of workaholics or buisness men, or spouses of soldiers. Women are the ones generally feeling what you are feeling. But, if they were ever to write a letter like this. OMG, they would be labled selfish, winey little princesses who need to grow up and do their part of the partnership.

Chances are you won't be killed doing what you are doing. You get to go to bed in your cozy bed, with clean sheets and see your children every morning. Just for right now, maybe you could just suck it up and fake it until she comes home.

Do you really want the mother of your children distracted by spousal conflict right now rather than staying alive.

The greatest gift you could give your children (right now) is the support their mother needs to make it out of the hell hole she is in alive. You can fight later. Right now it is totally inappropriate. She is in a life and death situation that you and I can not understand and unless she signed up for the military out of the blue after you were married with children, you really need to just deal with it right now. It sounds like the military is her career that she has worked hard for. So, you knew this from the start. Maybe you should have thought about all this before you married her and then had children with her. What a blessing it is to be a man who is the full time parent. Remember, if you divorce, thoses days are over. You will both be part time parents and who do you think losses in that deal? Your children will. Like I said. Your stress is probably is not going to kill you. Her deployment might kill her. You signed up for this gig, your children didn't. They did not have a choice. You need to fake it till you make it for your children's sake. They are the ones who will suffer through no fault of there own.

05-26-08, 02:02 AM
Thank you for everyones opinions so far...upon re-reading this, it goes sound whiney. I guess it is hard to think of others when you see cant see anything but the negative. and to the poster above, she is in a green zone in Kuwait, several people I have talked to online who have been there say her big worry will be finding a way to kill time when she isnt working, she does admin stuff, her classification is that she just cant talk about some of the paperwork that crosses through her hands. I guess it sounds like Im minimizing what she does but that is not the case, I'm actually relieved that as far as the middle east goes, shes in the safest spot, and that she has her own room (with a bed, and wi-fi) I dont think the enviroment is her big challenge, or staying alive, I think being away from her kids must be the hardest part. and she was in the military when we got married yes, and she got out while pregnant. she wanted back in, and I objected, this went on for awhile, and I relented. so yeah, I choose to stay in the marriage. but I'm getting what I want out of this thread, people giving me there honest opinion and not the blind "I'm your friend so I agree with you" one

05-26-08, 02:23 AM
shes in the safest spot, and that she has her own room (with a bed, and wi-fi) I dont think the enviroment is her big challenge, or staying alive, I think being away from her kids must be the hardest part. and she was in the military when we got married yes, and she got out while pregnant. she wanted back in, and I objected, this went on for awhile, and I relented. so yeah, I choose to stay in the marriage.

I know it must be soo hard. You are in my prayers. I am glad to hear she is in a safe place, that does change things a little. I can understand how you might feel like you are picking up all the slack and she gets peace and solitude in her own room with Wi Fi. Hey, I feel like that everytime my husband leaves for work! It think, wow, he gets to hang with adults and get paid too!? Sometimes I just go crazy at home here because as soon as I get something done, my kids come by and undo it! I get nowhere. My hats are off to you. A husband that keeps up the homefront!!! My husband could not do it. If I go to the barn for an hour and leave the kids with my husband, my house is thrashed and he is taking a nap on the couch! When i say something about it, he is like, you mean you want me to watch the kids and keep the house picked up at the same time? Its like he thinks the kids just go away, so i can quietly get the house cleaned and dinner cooked and maybe take a nice nap in the afternoon. Not to mention the thankless job it is. Like you said, no one throws us parties or gives us any honors, we just do what we do. Just remember, when it all falls apart, and everything goes crazy, it will be you your children turn to. It will be you that was there for them and they will always know that, even when it does not show. So, when I said fake it till you make it. Do it for them.

05-26-08, 05:48 AM

Hate to say it, but on this one I disagree with Suzie and 20tracked. I think that the difficulty that you're experiencing is significant and that the emotions that you expressed in your letter/email are raw and therefore real. Are they the perfect "spouse of a deployed person" communications that we want to believe every spouse feels? No. But there are a LOT of spouses of deployed people experiencing those emotions and expressing them through substance abuse, affairs, what have you. Suppressing the feelings does not help the marriage. The only thing that I'd suggest is moderating your expression of them.

Rather than make suggestions for editing it, I'm going to direct you to a website that my hubby and I found very helpful when we had a marital crisis last year. It's Christian and maybe that will appeal to you (it was not an appealling aspect for me, but I still found the website and all of its free material to be immensely helpful). It's called (

I'd take a look at the section on the "basic concepts" first, and then the section on "love busters," and then re-examine your communications and even thoughts in light of the "love busters" materials. (Yeah, the terms are goofy-70s-ish new-agey stuff; ignore the silliness of the terms; the concepts are still very good and very practical). There are a lot of people posting in that forum who have deployed spouses. These long deployments are wreaking havoc on marriages.

Good luck to you, Aric. I, for one, do not see you as whiney at all. I see you as hurting over the loss of your partner and resentful that your partner has chosen a career that takes her away from you. Yes, you acquiesced in that decision, but as you observe, what choice did you really have? To say "no" would have meant denying her something that she loved and you were loathe to do that. (This is where the "policy of enthusiastic joint agreement" would come into play from that website, btw.) What you really wanted was for her not to WANT to do it, am I right?

BTW, that website has lots of stuff for sale and ways to spend money. I bought a couple of the guy's books, but I found that the free stuff was just as helpful, so no need to go for the sales pitches: the website creator is VERY generous with the free stuff.

Good luck to you, my man. I still think that you'd benefit from a bit of respite care and that it would be worthwhile to ask your church or your local social services agencies for resources for that. If you're unfamiliar with the phrase "respite care," it's essentially babysitting that gives caretakers a break to recharge, and it's a recognized need for caretakers in stressful situations. It's often offered to foster parents, people caring for invalids, etc.

Good luck,


05-26-08, 06:06 AM
Sandy, I agree with you that the emotions are real. My main concern was with the fact that, right now is not the time to deal with it. She would be home soon enough. Of course, this was before I found out that she was in a safe place doing administration work. If she was on the front lines, she should not be thinking about anything else other than staying alive and coming home to her family. It is kinda of what you sign on to when you marry a soldier. Being the spouse of a soldier is hard stuff and I do think they should be honoured right there with the soldier thems selves because of all the sacrifices they must endure.

05-26-08, 07:28 AM
Yeah, totally agree, 20tracked, that the spouses deserve as much credit as the soldiers. It's rough all around. My only point (and you and I perhaps don't differ on this) was that his feelings of abandonment are very real and bottling them up for a year probably won't help their marriage survive when she returns (he says he has 300 nights alone to go). I see two issues: 1) he needs occasional breaks from the kids (if he were female, I suspect that his female friends would naturally foresee this and would offer, but his male buddies probably don't consider that need); and 2) he needs productive ways to process his feelings with his wife so that those feelings don't drive a wedge between them over the next year. But Aric, take this to heart, please: 20tracked and I (and probably others who are silent or are PMing you, instead) agree that you're as much the hero as your wife. Don't beat yourself up for these feelings. They are natural and forgivable, in my mind. My guess is that you've also got just an inkling of fear buried deep under all of it (you're a guy; fear's probably not a favorite emotion; anger's a lot easier to feel and express) that IF something bad were to happen to her, you'd be stuck in this same role for the rest of your life, AND I'll bet that a little teeny piece of why you didn't want her to volunteer back in was that you didn't want to risk that again ('cause, of course, how could you know where she'd be deployed to, eh?).

Give yourself credit and a break. You've earned it, dude.


05-26-08, 09:49 AM
Very well stated Sandy:) And you are right. A woman would have a little more support from he female friends.

05-26-08, 01:46 PM
I absolutely feel for you Aric. Although our situations have come about differently, I found myself parenting my 3 children alone, and believe me I felt your pain while I read your letter because I have felt that all-consuming resentment and bitterness myself.

As a mother I have to believe that another mother would never choose to leave her children. Your wife must truly believe with all her heart that what she is doing is not just a choice but a necessity.

Despite being a single mother, I didn't have any female friends who automatically came to my aid, and even my family wasn't helpful at all. In fact I felt as if they weren't interested in helping because I wasn't married and it was an accidental pregnancy. (It was almost a natural descent into self-pity for me).

I ended up asking for respite care instead, because they were not judgemental at all and I also saw a counselor. I needed to vent my feelings, but not directly to my children's father because those feelings were raw, unprocessed rants that can't be taken back. With a counselor, I was able to tell exactly how I felt and get feedback as to why those feelings were taking over my life. Turned out that I had some major issues (fear of abandonment for example) that stemmed way back to my childhood, that I hadn't been aware of before. After processing my feelings I could talk to my children's father about some things without getting worked up which gave me the ability to listen and hear his side of the issue. I then learned a LOT about my behaviour and mental patterns.

I also got involved with a support group. I was completely unaware that other's had similar feelings and fears! Knowing that I wasn't ALONE in my feelings was a major factor in coping with single parenting.

If my single parenting had been because of deployment, I would definitely try to find some kind of support group taylored to military families. Maybe they will have a respite care system? Taking turns helping each other out...?
I would also try and learn about what your wife will be likely going through mentally while there as well as when she returns... she may end up experiencing PTSD or depression (from the reality of having missed so much of her children's life) if she isn't already experiencing these things... as a mother, I couldn't imagine how hard it must be for her to have made that choice and I'm sure she has second guessed herself more than once. Any loneliness you feel as you go to bed every night is very likely the same loneliness she is also feeling as she goes to her bed alone.

I still have feelings of resentment from time to time, especially when I know he's living up the single life and yet his family still thinks he's the greatest dad ever... while I sit here raising his kids by myself... but I stopped feeling sorry for myself, after all I made my share of choices to get myself into this situation...

My opinion at this point, is don't 'suck it up' until she returns, but now that you have identified what you are feeling, DO something to get yourself out of this rut, and write her to tell her you are doing so, she needs to know that you are going to do your best to take care of things on your end. I'm sure she must be very worried about the state of your marriage... (is she going to have a husband when she comes home??)

My ex returned once to 'try again' and that was before I had been to counseling and believe me, my built up resentment was a big part of our relationship failing again. I wanted him to pay in some way for the emotional turmoil and isolation I felt he had thrown me into by leaving (again, different scenario, but I think you can relate).
The third time it was the other way around...(he hadn't dealt with his resentment and never has since) so deal with your resentment and fears NOW... having these feelings doesn't mean you don't love her anymore! And it doesn't mean your marriage is doomed! In fact I believe that how you (and your wife) deal with times like this are what separates successful marriages from those who give up. You will also be teaching your children about commitment, resiliency, and what marriage is all about... getting through the tough times intact! I do not know any long-lasting couple that hasn't been through some really tough times and thought about, maybe even file for divorce, but were determined to uphold their vows. My husband's parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary and have been together for over 60 years, and they have many, many trials in their past that would have most couples nowadays running for the courtroom to divorce (including infedelity and extra-marital conception), but they seem to be more and more in love every time we see them...

My fingers need a break from typing..sorry if this seemed a bit 'choppy'! :p

05-26-08, 02:28 PM
Are you in the Military?

Do you have those Family Military Resource Centres? (They have social workers and stuff.)

If so, you might want to check such services out.

05-27-08, 12:02 AM
...that's my story and I'm stickin' to it LOL!