The D-word

A recent post by ENS Wifey got me thinking about something a well-meaning family member said to me when I expressed concern over a central aspect of my husband’s chosen career.  A couple years ago, my father-in-law (retired SWO and all-around awesome guy who has Been There and Done That) mentioned something about deployment, and I quipped that he shouldn’t say that dirty word in polite company.  That brought the conversation to a halt.  He told me I shouldn’t think of it that way, but rather as a good thing, an opportunity for growth, and so on and so forth.

Spoken like someone who has always been the one leaving to Do Things around the globe rather than the one left back at home, right?

I would never try to argue that deployed servicemembers have it “easier” or “better” than their spouses, but I do think a very different kind of dread accompanies the prospect of being the one who must passively wait and worry than the one who is actively involved in the mission du jour.

I know my father-in-law was trying to be encouraging–I do appreciate that–but it’s just a step too far for me to be able to look at the D-word as a good thing. I can manage that it’s not a terrible thing nor the end of the world nor cause to fall apart into a wibbly pile of emotional Jell-o, and even that it might indeed be an opportunity for growth, but I am not going to pretend that I look forward to being separated from my husband for months at a stretch.

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5 thoughts on “The D-word

  1. Wifey says:

    Honestly, unless they are on the front lines, our spouses DO have it easier.

    They get into a whole new routine that has never included us… therefore, they aren’t “missing” something out of their routine. I know they miss us, but it’s not like they are doing something and think, “Man, this task sure is easier when my wife/husband is here.” It’s not like that go to bed in a bed they’ve shared with us before and know that something is missing… they are sleeping in beds that barely fit THEM and could never accommodate us.

    Hubby is on a sub so it’s not like he even sees females. It’s not like he sees happy couples together that remind him that half of his life isn’t there. We walk around and see these couples, here about the complaints as to “OMG… he’s going to be gone a week on business, what the HECK am I going to do while he’s gone? I’m going to be a wreck and missing him like crazy.” He doesn’t see that and roll his eyes and bite his tongue like we do.

    I say this and will still believe that when I’m doing my yearly AT or am pulled to do some active duty stuff that *I* will then have it easier than my husband. Because it’s a new routine and they aren’t missing from that routine since they have never BEEN in that routine.

  2. I have heard this echoed among the wives in my community as well, for the reasons listed in the previous comment. I do look at his deployment as a good thing, because I have to. If I don’t, it will all be dread and fear and negativity and I won’t be able to be the supportive role he needs over the next 6+ months.
    I wish you strength, and him good fortune.

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