So here I sit, 1am at my keyboard. I was wrapping some stuff up on my computer tonight so I threw my routine all out of whack and went to bed late. Normally my wife and I lay in bed and watch TV for a bit til we get tired and are ready to call it a day. Since she was already fast asleep I was laying there trying to wind down but the hampsters in my mind were running wild. I had all sorts of thoughts. Then I had the thought of this blog.
This blog is one that I am writing for all my Army Wife(and other MILwife) sisters. It really is a blog only a guy can write. I would love to address men in general on some of what I am about to say, but let’s face it, my audience both here and on my personal blog is made up of women. On my personal blog I think I have 257 “followers”. And out of them, I have 257 WOMEN that follow it.
This blog is a little hard to write for two reasons. The first is because in no way am I a trained in this subject other than life lessons. The other reason it is hard to write is because I know I have to choose my words VERY carefully. We all know how guys mince words. No? You don’t know what I am talking about? Am I the only husband who has ever said “Ya, your hair looks alright” when the proper response should have been “Holy schnikes! You look like you are ready to accept a Grammy!” or something to that effect.
Let me make something clear in case I do mess up what I am trying to say… I am not sexist. I do not believe women should be naked, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen making sammich’s. Afterall, I am a stay at home ArmyWifeDUDE. I am the one in the kitchen making sammich’s. I have tried the whole barefoot and naked thing, but I think because I got a belly and look pregnant, my wife makes me where clothes. Or it has something to do with the Seinfeld episode where it is determined that men are not attractive naked. Anywho… I am not in the belief that women have one set defined role and men another…. well, actually I am. And that is where this blog will begin.
I have heard hundreds if not thousands of times that us, the family members, are the backbone of our service member. We are the ones who keep things together and show a strength that many can’t understand. While that goes for all MILspouses, both men and women, I think women may underestimate exactly what they are to their husband. I think women fail to realize how important they are to our lives.
There are few things men require in life. Of course food and sex are pretty much atop the list, the things that follow are even more important, even though you may never know.
I believe that a woman who fully supports her husband and builds him up allows for a strength to come from within him that he doesn’t even know he has. Though most men may not admit it, we do need validation. While it is great to feel a sense of validation in our careers and through our extracurricular activities(bowling, golf, softball, PAWNING people on CoD), the greatest validation we can receive comes from the woman we married.
As I tossed and turned in bed I thought of my very first mentors blog that we(AWN) shared earlier today. In it Mama Mary talks about her whirlwind adventure as her and her husband Sal embarked on a military life 23 years ago. She shared some things that any of us who are doing this life either have experienced or know someone who has. But the part of her blog that gets me most is the love affair she has for her husband. I know her in facebook kinda personal way so I get to see that love affair played out fairly often. And each and every time I see her say something great about him, I know that not only is she fully in love with him, but he feels the same way.
While we may think that as a spouse we have no effect on the career for our other half, we kinda do. If we build up, love on, show appreciation for, respect and admire our spouse, it does make their life that much easier. I do however think that a wife has some mystical power to validate her husband and help him succeed.
In a marriage we all deserve unconditional and unwavering love. There’s no question there. I just am of the train of thought that maybe the whole “if mama a’int happy, a’int nobody happy” thought process may give too much credit to the husbands being responsible for the happiness in a marriage. Cuz let’s face it, us guys get cranky and grouchy from time to time. And when us guys are like a hybernating bear first waking up, watch out.
I wish I could say I knew the secret to a blissful, storybook-like marriage, but I don’t. Marriage is hard freakin work, but I think we often tmes make it a lot harder than it needs to be.
Men kinda get a bad wrap on some things. Take Valentine’s Day for instance. All of the commercials say we are supposed to remember “every Kiss begins with a K”. Us guys are supposed to do our best to woo you ladies. Sometimes you will say “no, don’t buy me anything, we can’t afford it” when what you really mean is…. “haven’t you been listening, I have been telling you all year what I want and you have to ask?”. And then even after we were specifically told not to buy anything, we end up in the doghouse when we come home empty handed.
Wooing and romancing isn’t left just to Valentine’s Day. Most women want to be romanced regularly. But what about us? Do us guys want to be romanced like we romanced you during the betrothal process? No… romance isn’t what we are after. We want you to be passionate*winkwink* like you used to be. And then that’s where the “how can I be passionate when he won’t romance me comes in?”. Have you ever stop and thought maybe, just maybe we have emotional needs to(OK, so our emotional needs are tied to our physical needs, but that is old news).
We do need the support, love and encouragement of our wife. There is no doubt in my mind about that. But it is not always easy between kids, groceries, cleaning, etc. I get that, I do it too. But still…..
I can’t help but to think Sal(Mama Mary’s husband) is where he is because he knew he could ALWAYS count on his wife. He could count on her to take care of the home, family and finances while he may be deployed, but he knew he could count on her to be his biggest cheer leader. He could count on her to be both his greatest advocate and greatest asset. That’s really all we want. We want to feel like we are respected and appreciated.
I don’t know where everyone is at in their marriage, but I do know no matter where we think we are, we are still almost all guilty of being able to do better in our marriage.
One of the neatest things about being in a military community is seeing all the ladies so proud of their husbands. You know, like all the “Proud Army Wife” clothes. When was the last time you saw someone with a “Proud WalMart Wife”? Or how about a “Proud subcontactors wife?”. Some may make fun of you if you wore those clothes, I say “if it makes you feel happy, doesn’t burden your marriage” and you feel comfortable… who am I to judge?
If your husband is seeming distant, I would say “how close are you to him?”. He needs you as much as you need him. He needs your passion as much as you need his romance. But how do we get there? I think the best place to start is AWN’s resource via The Dating Diva’s.
If you are wanting to make a career out of your spouses service, then yyou need to figure out how to love and respect him unconditionally. Whether he is TDY, at BNOC, at NTC or sitting on the XBOX for what seems like days on end, you still have to show an abundance of love and respect. Qnd maybe throw in so PASSION.
I want to close with this…. He needs you. Desperately. Maybe now more than I ever.