With my wife gearing up to start going on underways (mini-deployments), I find myself getting more nervous as time goes on. I literally have no idea what to expect when it comes to my wife’s ship leaving. For the past while, her ship has been in dry dock, then in a CIA maintenance area. This has meant that all of the families at our duty station have gotten used to their sailors being home all the time. I’m a fairly new military spouse, and I am terrified to see this change. Granted, my wife and I don’t have any children, which I’m fairly certain would make everything ten times worse. But still, this is not sounding very fun to me.
I have never been good at separation. I specifically told myself that I would never marry into the military for that very reason. Of course, I jinxed myself into falling in love with a sailor. It has taken me quite a while to adjust to the idea of underways and deployments, and I wouldn’t say I’m fully there yet. I still worry about going to bed alone, not getting depressed, cooking for one, and dealing with stress all by myself. Sometimes, I feel extremely selfish when I start to get down about my wife being gone to sea. She is the one who is leaving everything behind. SHE is the one who has to sleep in a berthing full of strangers. She is the one who doesn’t have family nearby. She is the one who can’t relax in the comfort of her own house. I have no right to complain, right?
While I do believe that my wife has a pretty difficult situation, I need to diligently remind myself that my situation is difficult as well. I do enjoy the luxury of our home, and the security of living on land. However, my wife will be gone. I will have to pay all the bills by myself. I will have to take care of our pets by myself. I will have to go grocery shopping by myself. I will have to go to work and school and come home to an empty house. I don’t have shipmates around to keep me company. Thankfully, there are other people who understand my situation. There are other military spouses on my street that will have to say goodbye to their spouses. There are military spouse veterans who are more than willing to share advice and stories. I have resources like AMPA that I can rely on to help me prepare me for my wife time at sea. Luckily, I am not as alone as I thought I would be. While I’m still nervous for the changes ahead, I find myself encountering more peace as I come to terms with the fact that it will indeed be hard, not just for my wife but for me as well.
Are you a seasoned military spouse? Do you have advice for new military spouses? Comment below to share your experiences!
Katelyn Carfield is the wife of a sailor aboard the John C. Stennis. They are currently stationed in Bremerton, Washington. Katelyn works as an English Language Para-Educator in their local school district. The Carfield’s love their four cats and enjoy getting to know other couples in her wife’s division. Katelyn hopes while writing for the AMPA Blog Team she can provide a fresh perspective on what it means to be a newlywed Navy spouse.