Dear Civilian Friend,

It’s me, your friend that doesn’t text back 75% of the time because I constantly mentally reply instead of actually replying. The one that just “likes,” your posts on Facebook, and the one that misses you with all the love she possesses. Here’s the truth- I NEED you, civilian friend.

I know you see those awful memes of military significant others that proclaim that “we” don’t want to hear about how you miss your husband that might be on a work trip for three days. I know that those things make you really nervous to talk to me about YOUR trials, and the things that hurt your heart because mine SEEM so much bigger- this just simply IS NOT TRUE. I know the news, social media, and (let’s face it) a handful of other military spouses make you feel like my life is so much different than yours- it’s not.

You see you are the water to my desert-thirsty plant. You make me feel normal, alive, and understood. Understood, civilian best friend? How do you accomplish this? You LISTEN, you AFFIRM, you EMPATHIZE, and you provide a much-needed perspective that is unique to my seemingly never-ending array of camouflage complexes. I need your humor. I need you to ask the “silly questions,” like if my husband is a spy, or what the heck FRG means. I need you to remind me that I’M STILL NORMAL. I need to have conversations that don’t involve any acronyms. I need you to be the friend you’ve always been (I welcome things that stay the same). You are the definition of friendship, the kind that:

Texts in your moment of binge-eating shame just in case I might be doing the same.

Doesn’t require quick responses, and understands replies that don’t happen until hours and sometimes days later. 

You are the kind of friend that listens to me cry on the phone about long, unhealed heartache that will never fully go away (even though you’ve listened a hundred times already.) 

The kind of friend that even though it’s been months since we’ve seen each other in person, doest require a spotless house to visit.

The kind of friend that sends messages at 2am because you can’t stop laughing at the newest meme you stumbled upon in your fits of insomnia. 

The kind of friend that asks about ME first, instead of jumping straight to, “How are the kids?”

You are the kind of friend I need. I need you to keep my secrets, tell me yours, and hold my hand even when you don’t understand. I want to know your heartaches; I want to give the same loving and understanding ear that you have so graciously given me. I want to hear about your life, your trials, and your triumphs. I never want you to think that your love and concern are irrelevant or underwhelming. YOU MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. 

I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you know that at virtually any moment I could tell you that I am leaving the city/state/country and yet you still invest in us. I do and forever need you. I value you more than you could ever know and will forever be grateful for role in my life.  

Love always,

Your forever friend

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