Sunday, June 24, 2012

Broken Relationships... The Unspoken Casualty of war


 its been awhile since I have made a post.. Usually when I take these long breaks from posting anything significant about the Garden... its because im deployed somewhere. For the past few years I have largely kept my military life seperate from all my posts. I use the garden as away for me to escape the reality of what my life really is all about; which involves a lot of pain, grief, regrets, sorrow, mourning and personal reflection. Over the past decade I have lost so many friends.. I have been extremely lucky.. Just today my helicopter almost ran into a mountain. Death is always looking for a way to creep in and take over.

Sadly enough there are bigger things on the horizon. My wife told me over the phone last week that she is done with the marriage. I could hear the whistle of artillery shells falling down all around me. I was truly broken. The conviction of which she spoke so clearly. I can hear it in her voice she was done. Battle worn and tired of the constant deployments. Its tough being in this situation.

I have taken on the full brunt of this decades old war.. Spending over 4 total years in a combat zone. Many of us often joke.. we go to America for vacation because our real home is in the mountains of Afghanistan or the Slums of Iraq. I have been to both and I have done an outstanding Job in both theaters of Operation. But I'm no fool to think my success is all because of me. Men like myself do very well overseas because our wives do very well taking care of the home. So we don't have to worry about home and we can concentrate on the mission. The military for all its worth is just not a recruitment of soldiers its ultimately the recruitment of families. Gone are the days of pimple face Joe snuffy being the only green horn in the platoon.. This war has pulled so many different people from all different back grounds from the depths of which never was thought possible. I remember working with a chief who actually saw combat in Vietnam!!

For the past three days I couldn't eat.. I literally shut down. Hurt to hear her say the things she said. But all I could do is listen. She was right to feel the way that she felt. Military wives endure so much. I told my command that I expected way to much from my wife. They quickly retorted by saying.. NO.... We expected way to much from you!! I just literally broke down. The fact is.. my wife, friends and family will never ever know what I do for my country. But the realities of what I do continue to etch itself within my core.. And at the end of the day only my wife sees those changes as apparent or less visible they may be.

We expect our women to deal with us, "to suck it up and drive on" as if they lace up their boots every morning and hit the pavement. The facts are.. although our women are tough.. they are still women.. they have a certain vulnerability and fragileness that we don't share. Our women need more than financial and physical support. They need us emotionally when it counts. They need us to make whats important to them.. important to us. We forget so much in our neanthrtal way of thinking that our women need our support. I look back and realize that when my wife needed me most I wasn't there for her. I let the silt of the military stick to me and cause me to be lazy, too tired to address her concerns. We ask for second chances but if we look back there were many chances.

War is tough on men. We fight in foreign countries and when our homes are unstable we fight to keep it together. The "never give up" spirit is great in the combat zone but when your wife has given up there is really nothing more you can do. Broken Relationships are the Unspoken casualty of war. I don't know if there is anything salvageable when I get back home. But if there is I will try to hold on to it as tightly as I can. I'm number 9 from this deployment. The 9th guy who's wife told him that they are finished with their marriage.
Men we have alot of work to do.


Sue said...

Oh, I'm so very very sorry! I hope you get through this--it's tough to deal with. I'm sorry, I didn't even KNOW you were military. Tough, tough job. And so underappreciated. Hugs to you.

Evano said...

This too shall pass.

Someone out there will be glad to have a hero like you as a partner!

Keep up the good work, the world needs you!

Rachelle said...

I, too, am sorry to hear your wife has called it quits. Yours is not the first casualty of these never-ending wars of which I have heard. I don't think any of us, military or not, realized the depth of what we would ask of our military men and their families when we entered into these anti-terrorist campaigns. Stay safe.

ATW said...

Sue- Thx!! I dont talk about the military to much.. I try to keep it seperate from my post.. But it is my life and yes its tough.. Very tough on relationships.. I hope things can work out

Evano, Rachelle.. Thc for your Comments as well. If i can help one person going through the same thing than the post was well worth it. I hope things will work itself out.. after you do your 20 the military closes the door behind you.. when you turn left or right the only people still there to support you are your family.. If you still have them.. definately a lot to think about in the next few weeks.. Thx again for all your support.

Laura Paine Carr said...

Bless your heart. And your wife, too.

I have a quote from Hafiz, which brings me peace,

is where the
Fun starts."

I hope that you and your wife may rebuild a new, fruitful and nourishing relationship that supports each of you in your life's purpose.


Steve said...

ATW, I have been following your blog for a few short months. I am sorry to hear about your relationship. I have struggled with mine for the last 17 years. While I have never seen any type of military action, life often gets in the way. I am always there phyisicaly and financially but, I also stuggle to support my wife's emotional needs. I think that may be a common thread these days. I hope and pray that you and your wife have to opertunity to refocus on what is inportant. Them there are few things more valuable in this world that a strong marriage. It is definately worth fighting for. Thanks for your service and your families sacrafices for me and my family. You and your wife will be in my prayers tonight. Stay Strong, Steve

Strawberree12 said...

Hi, ATW! I'm very sorry about the way your marriage ended and that it ended at all! It breaks my heart to read your story. I can't begin to imagine what you've been through. It almost brought me to tears. Though, I am glad you shared it because there are others going through the same thing , and sometimes it helps to know that you're not alone. My uncle is retired from the military, and we would be so excited to meet him when he would be returning home after being deployed for long periods of time. But I never thought about how he felt or what he was going through. You have opened my eyes to that. I think, as civilians, we just want our men back home and their bodies in one piece, never thinking about what pain or injury they may be experiencing mentally or emotionally, or both. You are my hero because you have put yourself, in many ways, in harms way to protect people like me. You are also my hero because you shared your story no matter how hard it was to do. Keep your head up ATW, and keep expressing yourself!


Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I was researching Morso stoves and found myself at your blog....I don't usually leave comments but I was moved by your pain. I'm so sorry to read what has happened to you and your wife and very moved by your humility. I'm in the UK and found (when there was no one to talk to) this US based ministry helped me greatly with my marital struggles:
I hope that you will find it as supportive as I do. Don't lose hope. K

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog and read this. As a Navy brat I understand the pain of having a deployed father and a mother that had to be both Mom and Dad. I have been able to do that for my kids as my husband has been working out of state to support the family. This does not come anywhere near to what you suffer... but I was reading this thinking of my son. He is 17 and just enlisted in the Army yesterday. As he made this decision we talked about him & his girlfriend. They have been together for 6 months now. I am proud of his decision to join the service, but I was explaining that it takes a special woman to be a military wife/mother.. and he needed to think about that while he was going through his Senior year and then off to BCT, AIT, etc.

My heart pours for yours. I am proud of the accomplishments you have done & the sacrifices you have made for our country. Much love from me to you!

~Army Mom & Navy Brat~