Tag Archives: military wife

Being alone

          I think my biggest problem is being desperately lonely. I have two kids, one is grown and out of the house, the other is 15 with a heavy class load and busy life. My husband is a cigar smoker who spends all his time at home sitting in a shed in the yard with his cigar’s. books, and beer. We have been married for 25 years and have very little in common. I’m not sure how that happened, but it is what it is.

         Friendships take time to develop. Like a plant, a seed must be planted (you have to meet), it has to be watered and nurtured (regular contact that provides a chance to interact), before a bud begins, roots must be set down and sunshine gathered, (time spend discussing deep thoughts, sharing feelings and experiences), and then, when the time is right, it blooms (a feeling of friendship, camaraderie, and emotional intimacy.) This is not a process that can be rushed, and how long it takes is different for everyone. Some people are like dandelions, they meet people and become instant friends, finding the common ground and sunshine. For other people, it is a very slow process, more like the Century plant that blooms rarely, but spectacularly. I am one of the later, when I make a true friend, we are friends for life no matter where I live or how long it has been since we last saw each other. The downside is, I don’t get to spend much time with my friends and it is very hard to make friends when, as a military family, we move every couple of years. Online relationships aren’t as satisfying as face to face relationships. 

    My other problem is I prefer the company of men (probably why I joined the military myself at 18). Unfortunately, this is a problem for a married woman in a traditional relationship. You can say it is silly, wrong, neanderthal, whatever, but I can’t have close male friends. I can’t go out to lunch alone with a man other than family, or spend regular time alone with a man such as going for a run, sharing a hobby, dishing about life, or anything else. If I did, I would likely suddenly find this person filling a huge void of emotional intimacy and fall hopelessly in love, and that would be a big problem for my marriage and family. So I keep all men at arm’s length and do not risk friendships with them. 

     Frankly, I need a job, but I can’t seem to find one that would allow me to keep up with my “house wife” job ( and my husband certainly doesn’t want to start grocery shopping, cooking, taxiing the kid, running the errands, sweeping the floors, or doing the laundry, that would require him to change his life that he is happy with,) and allow for the interruptions of rheumatoid arthritis flare ups and medical appointments, give me time off when my husband wants to go on vacation or my daughter’s Cross Country team needs a chaperon for an away meet, and/or pay enough to cover a house keeper, dog groomer/walker and whatever other services I would need to pay for if I wasn’t doing them myself. With no real job skills, I would never make enough to pay for the help I would need. 

   Weirdly, my dream job at the moment that would meet my emotional needs would be to work part time in a running store, talking to people about running, fitting them with shiny new shoes and gear, discussing races and destinations. Unfortunately, I am an American military dependent living in a foreign country so I can’t just waltz into the local running store and expect a job, particularly when I’d be waltzing right back out in 22 months when we move again. I’ve thought about going back to school, but when  you move constantly and don’t know where you are going until a couple of months before you get there, there isn’t much you can accomplish. I have a BA in Humanities because it was the only thing that tied together all the weird credits and accumulated by changing my major every time we moved, and could be finished with on-line classes. A degree in Humanities and $8 will get you a cup of coffee.

   I’m really not looking just to whine, I actually want answers, real answers that are workable or do able. I need someone to toss a rope over the stone walls I seem to be surrounded by and help me pull myself out of this crap empty life I’m living. I’ve been to counseling, all the doctor wanted to do was talk about my husband. I can’t go to counseling now because, as a military dependent on a tiny base, the only psychologist/therapist available works for my husband. Yes, there is that whole doctor-patient confidentiality thing, but if you think that really holds when you live in a tiny, military goldfish bowl, you are either naive or nuts.

  I need people.