I married the love of my life at twenty years old in a clearance dress I found at Hollister, at the Pensacola courthouse, just a few months after he graduated boot camp to become a US Sailor. We met at sixteen working at our high school job, we spent all our time together, but then he left for boot camp, and a different life started for us.
It's normal being with a significant other most of the time, it's who you come home to after a long day at work, who you sleep next to at night, and wake up to in the morning. But when it comes to having a relationship with an active duty member, those things become more of a luxury than normality.
It's not all sappy coming home videos and ship homecomings.
As a wife of a sailor, I've slowly accustomed to the lonely nights.
I've learned how to become a mother who takes care of their child by themselves when their dad has to leave; I've learned how to take care of our home, pay the bills, eat meals, and go through my days alone with my husband. The days go by slowly, but the weeks can go by fast.
It's a hard thing to go through when your spouse is missing important dates because of underways or deployments, things such as birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. But it becomes even harder when you have a child. My husband has missed my daughters first two Halloweens, which don't seem important, but he's missed her first trick-or-treating, her first words, her first steps, and her first birthday.
Being married to someone in the military makes you and your relationship stronger.
I've had to go long periods of time without my other half. I've had to go through hard times without him and go through times I wish he was here to celebrate victories with me. The time apart is challenging, but it makes you appreciate what you have when it's there. It builds a strong foundation for a relationship, filled with trust and appreciation for one another. The time apart with limited communication is the hardest part sometimes because it's nice to be able to share your day with someone, share the ups and downs.
My days without my husband have become taking pictures of my daughter, to send to my husband. It's waiting around on a phone call or email to know what's going on and new with him. It's having to go places alone, like a family gathering or birthday party, and pretend everything is fine, even though you dreading having to go home alone.
It never gets easier, you just get used to it, and even though it's a rollercoaster, it's our life.