Monday, September 19, 2011

Choice and Appreciation

Is it any wonder that so many military marriages end in divorce, especially following a deployment or other extended time “away”? 

This might not seem like a logical (or even hopeful) opening for a blog titled “appreciation”, but I’ll explain. 

And to my Soldier, if you read my blog, trust me—I’m keeping you. :)

Whenever my Soldier is away, I do all of my own stuff and all of his stuff, too.  I also get to sprawl across the bed, and take up as much counter space as I want to.  I find myself capable of opening my own bottles (usually), mowing the yard, finding care for the cars and doing small maintenance jobs around the house.  I act as both mother and father to our children.

I think this strength is partially to blame for some of the divorces that come along.  Wives figure out that they are capable of doing quite a lot more than they are usually asked or required to do.  So in some ways, they don’t “need” their spouse.  Without that need, what keeps the marriage going? 

Easy—we choose to keep our marriages.  We choose to keep our relationships strong.  We choose to love, laugh, sometimes argue, and make up with our spouse.  It is the person, not what they can do for us, which becomes our focus.

Don’t get me wrong—I just finished mowing the yard today.  That is my own little hardship labor during his “aways”.  When mowing, I cuss at the mower, beseech her to start again, beg the tall weedy things to actually let themselves be CUT…  I wonder sometimes what the neighbors think, if they can hear me.  During this time, I learn to appreciate my Soldier even more.   He does a fantastic job with our yard.  It is mowed, it is edged, it is trimmed so nicely.  When weeds pop up, they bow before his mower in a dance of supplication.  When I finish mowing, many of those same weeds pop right back up again. 

The thing is, though, that I don’t “need” him for those things he does around the house.  I can ask for help, I can struggle through, and I’m a pretty darn capable person.  The reason I need my Soldier is for what he brings to my life by simply being…himself.  Whether he is thousands of miles away or lying right in bed next to me, I choose him for who he is.  I choose to love, laugh, argue and make up with – him.  Sure, I could do it on my own.  Sometimes, thanks to the Army, I have to.   But life is sweeter and funnier and warmer when he is in my life.  

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