Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jaded?

From what I heard many military wives become jaded. This really makes me think because I don't want to be a jaded military wife.

Already I have experienced frustration with the Army. I was told to contact one person to request the weekend with John, but there was someone else I was supposed to contact. I still don't know at this point if I will get the weekend with him, and will more than likely have to hang around Friday to find out. I know this is just a small taste of what is to come.

What I really want to know is what makes us jaded?

Things change and I have to learn to roll with the punches. A new friend of mine says her fiance says, "only worry about the things you can control". This is so true. But what I keep thinking to myself through the frustration and stress is that this is what is making him happy. This is what he wants right now and I need to be here to support that 100% no matter how often the Army changes its mind.

Is it that after so long we get tired of giving up our lives and putting them backseat to the Army life? I hope that I can keep the positive attitude through the years as we experience more and more what this life has to offer us.

 Like marriage things are not always easy. Some things you have to work harder at to get the result you want. You have to come to a compromise with certain things in order for both parties to be at least somewhat happy. Now, I realize that it will be more the Army way or no way at all.

I do believe that we are going to have to work harder to make sure the other person knows how much we care and love them. I am scared of deployments and being away from one another, but I know that I have to keep my faith and trust in him and let him know I will be here when he gets back. I can't let our frustrations with the Army affect our marraige. I hope I can avoid becoming a jaded military wife.

5 comments:

Army wife said...

Your comment about it being the army's way or no way is totally true.

I think the simplest explanation of what makes a military spouse "jaded" is the abuse the army hands out. Not just to you and your family, but to your husband. It is not a give and take relationship. The army simply takes. Hence the reason it is referred to as a sacrifice to serve your country.

Let me just say I don't hate the army. I'm not really 'jaded' in that sense. I'm generally annoyed, but I realize it's a big machine and most of the parts don't work properly. It's just part of the army life.

So here are some of the things that have happened to my husband and I that have caused me to exclaim "The Army sucks!"

1. Took 4 submissions of my paperwork (and almost a year) for me to finally get into the system as a spouse. Which means almost a year without the additional BAH that comes along with a soldier having a dependant, wasn't a big deal, just a great example of the Army and it's horde of civilian employees that really do not care.

2. You're supposed to have 3-6 months notice before every PCS. We've moved 3 times. I've had less than 1 month notice for 2 of those moves. I also work for civilian companies. Nothing like going to your boss and saying "sorry but I'm moving in 2 weeks."

3. Rank is king. Regardless of if your boss is an uneducated a$$hole, you have to do whatever he says. Even if everyone below him agrees its a dumb decision, they still do whatever it is. And sometimes that means he'll miss (insert any major event here). Granted the flip side is you also get some great bosses... but those are few and far in between.

4. Your wages get screwed up. If it's you being shorted... it'll take FOREVER to get it fixed and your bills could go unpaid. If it's the Army getting shorted, they'll take it all back when they feel like it... directly from your checking account. Sometimes without telling you... so you end up being overdrawn and YOU get to pay the fees.

5. The best part is that in order to continue getting promoted (once you get to Major) you have to completed so many things (commands, etc). But getting some of those assignments is luck of the draw. So half your career is your husband's work ethic. The other half is chance and what some guy in a review board thinks about your husband's file and if it meets his standards for promotion. Here is a great example of one such incident: http://married2military.blogspot.com/2010/06/when-one-door-closes.html.


I guess what this all boils down to is that the army doesn't care about fair. It doesn't care if it screws something up that has a long term effect on your life and your husband's career. To them, your husband is just another soldier. To you, the Army is your life.

I do hope that you manage to navigate the military world in a positive way and don't become jaded and that your husband doesn't become jaded. But like I said, there's a reason why military service is considered a sacrifice.

Good luck!

Army Wife said...

PS The frustrations with the army have never affected our marriage. If anything the Army has made us grow stronger as a couple. Part of that is because I realize he plays no part in most of the decisions. I don't blame him for any of it, which some spouses do.

I also view the hard things as things that we go through together. It's not easy on either of us and we both acknowledge that verbally to one another.

I think another key is that I don't involve myself in his career and his advancement. Some spouses really push their husbands and are always looking forward to the next promotion and what needs to be done to get there. I personally have my own career to worry about. I'd be offended if my husband came in and told me how to do my job, so I leave his job and his advancement up to him.

But I think my career also gives us more flexibility that way. If he decides to get out, I have a job and we can live off that salary until he finds something civilian.

I don't have all the answers for how to make a military marriage work. But this is what works for us.

militarywife said...

I just want to say thank you so much for your comments. I know I am early in the learning process, but it helps to know I am catching on quickly (or at least I think).

Army Wife said...

I hope you don't think I'm pushy.

That's my only fear in voicing some of my opinions is that you're going to be like "Gosh, what a b*tch!"

I'm cheering for you and hope that you can come into this lifestyle with a postitive outlook (which you seem to have) and realize that while it isn't easy (ever), it's something to be incredibly proud of.

I should also warn you as I kind of like to comment (not sure you caught on to that fact yet). But I can be a "glass half full" kind of girl when it comes to advice. In my mind, it's so easy to see the positives (as I'm generally a positive person) but sometimes you can't see the dangers that are lurking under the surface... which is why I point them out.

If I ever go to far, feel free to yell "UNCLE" or tell me just where I can shove all my "good advice" :)

militarywife said...

I do not think you are being pushy at all! I enjoy your feedback. Thank you so much. It gives me more to think and write about. Keep it coming!