What do you sacrifice as a Military Spouse? Nothing? Or, everything?
I have friends who say both. But, what is sacrifice? Is it something only servicemembers do?
There is a great debate about who can say they’ve sacrificed something for the greater good of something or someone else.
So, let’s talk about it.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Sacrifice is to suffer a loss of, give up, renounce, injure or destroy especially for an ideal, belief or end.
I believe the sacrifices of military spouses are often minimized because of fear of scrutiny from the military community. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many programs who praise military spouses for their work in the military community. But, what about that spouse who has been at home raising their children alone, dealing with repeated deployments, and nurturing the mental health of a broken servicemember. Where is their support?
Being a military spouse is a selfless act, if you ask me. We are expected to take care of our homes, our children, ourselves, and often our spouses without any reciprocation.
I know, we shouldn’t want anything in return, but I do.
I want to be happy.
I want a spouse, that I too can depend on.
I want someone who will support my dreams, my career, and my physical and mental well-being.
If I am not okay, I am not capable of making sure everyone else is okay. But, I have no choice. No one can see the struggles I face, because I don’t outwardly express my personal problems.
No one wants to be a burden on their spouse, especially knowing what all their service member endures. I once suffered a miscarriage while my spouse was at work. I began cramping early in the day and bleeding ensued. My spouse came home for lunch and I expressed that I needed to go to the emergency room because I thought I was having a miscarriage. My spouse said he needed to get back to work or else he’d be in trouble. I stood in the driveway bleeding, as he drove away. I cannot describe the helplessness I felt that day. Hurt and bitterness became something I felt more than happiness and love.
Yes, counseling is available. You can visit Military One Source to find out how to talk to someone in your area. It does help. As a military spouse, we need an outlet to express the way we truly feel, not the way everyone else thinks we should feel.
I’ve read so many articles, blogs, and other social media posts minimizing the struggles of the military spouse. When you read about a servicemember committing suicide how do you think that affects their spouse? Do you think they were in this amazingly happy, blissful marriage and the next day the servicemember perished? While this does happen, most of the time, this isn’t the case. There is often a period of suffering whether it be in the home, at work, mentally, or all the above.
As a military spouse, I’ve watched it happen.