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An Independent Dependent

as submitted by Ashley Prince

From the time I was a little girl, I have always been very independent. I don’t ask for help unless I have exhausted every possible solution to a problem I may have. I don’t depend on anyone for my success. And I don’t depend on anyone for my happiness.

When I became an Army wife, it seems like everyone (except my mom) forgot this. When my husband deployed in March, everyone was just waiting for me break down. And it never happened. It won’t happen.

It seems there is this confusion in the world because an Army wife is seen as a “dependent.” That is our legal name on paperwork and ID. I hate this word. It makes us seem like everything we do is dependent upon our husband. But what happens when our husband is deployed? Are we supposed to just sit on our hands, cry, and moan until he comes home? No.

We keep living. We keep going day to day. We keep on going to school. We keep on working. We keep on taking care of kids. We keep on taking care of the house. We keep on paying the bills. We keep on going to social engagements. We keep on keeping on.

Just because Army wives are “dependents” doesn’t mean we have to be dependent. We can be and are independent.

About the author: This article was contributed by a visitor to the site. If you would like to contribute to the site as well, please email me.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • melissa molina September 25, 2012, 9:46 pm

    perfectly spoken. i love the fact that you wrote this. its so true.

    my husband is about to leave to BCT in a few weeks. my family is telling me to move with my mother or someone, because they assume there is no way i can do anything by myself. it WILL BE HARD, but i`m more then capable of getting through it. I love my husband and I`m so proud of him for doing this, but its a sacrifice on both ends.
    I just need to join a gym, go to the park more with my girls, do exciting things on weekends to keep our mind of time that daddies not home.

    i hate the word “dependent”

  • Sasha October 31, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Awww you guys just gave me hope. My husband left for BCT two days ago and im already sad and depressed. And everybody keeps saying i am going to be alright yeah we both will be alright, it just hurts not being with your loved one. But y’all just showed me that i can’t be so dependent on my husband. I have to learn how to live without him & even though it is tough i will get thru this. Its kind of hard because i dont have a circle of friends that i can go places with and i stay home alone. Cant work or go to school. So its sucks for me. But i will keep on having faith & i know day by day things will get better. No doubt about it. Thanks again ladies for the hope.

  • K.Owens September 13, 2015, 8:21 pm

    I have many questions, but I want to know what to do before I set myself up for failure. My husband and I have been married for almost year. We have been friends for five years before we were married. We’ve gotten married of November 13, 2014. The day after we were married, he cheated on me with my suite mate. I didn’t want to believe it but I didn’t have a way to divorce him and I knew if I went to court it would of have been my word against his. The next semester I found out that I didn’t have enough financial aid for school. I went to financial aid and they told me since I’m a spouse of a soldier in the military that I can go to veteran’s affairs and his benefits should cover me. I tried to tell him about it and he ignored me so I had to take out a student loan for that semester. The next semester I was focused on my internship so I couldn’t work. I asked my husband if he could send me some money to buy food since I didn’t have any financial aid to get a meal plan to eat on campus. He ignored me for a couple of months and the times he did send me money it was $40 to $60 a month. I never complained. I used the money to buy food. That same semester I found out I didn’t have enough financial aid for housing, books, or a meal plan for the fall semester. I told him two months in advanced before the semester was over. He told me he was going to find out what he can do about veterans affairs and I find somewhere to stay. I found a house that was renting for college students. She wanted $400 down and $200 a month. Lights, cable and gas was included. That was the cheapest I’ve found and it was a five minute walk from the campus. My husband told me he would send me the money for the down payment. The next month came and I never received the money. I tried to sign into veterans affairs and I got denied. It said his branch service has to approve him in order for me to get approved for the transfer ability program. I tried to tell him about it, but he still ignored my phone calls, texts, and voice mail so I figured he never did what he said he was going to do about me having benefits for school. As the summer semester ended, he finally accepted my phone calls after ignoring them and my text messages when I told him I had no where to stay and the house I was trying to move into the property manager gave it to someone else. He offered me to stay with his brother until he figured out what to do. He then offered me to move to Tennessee with him. He would get me in DEERS, get me a military ID and he would help me with veterans affairs to get into school and help me find a job. I didn’t have a choice so his brother drove me Tennessee. When I got to Tennessee, he had his girlfriend living there too. I had to sleep on a futon while they slept in a bed together. The week I was there I found out she’s in the army too and they were dating since October, a month after we gotten married. He told me to find a job and that he wanted me to help pay bills in his house. I was furious because he had his girlfriend staying there too living rent free. My second week in Tennessee I found a job at KFC and started working the next day. My husband said he had to leave to NY with his battalion in the army and he would leave me his car to get on base. My first day of work was on labor day and he was off. I used his car to get on base, but I was turned around because I didn’t have a military ID so I had to get a pass. I went to the visitor’s office and they told me his registration was expired. I was a hour late getting to work on my first day. I told him that he needed to get his registration to date for me to get on base or if I get stop on the highway. He left that Thursday and didn’t tell me anything. He didn’t leave me money for food or money to catch the bus to get to work. He gave me his girlfriend number to call her if I needed a way back and forth to work. She doesn’t respond to me so everyday I have to walk from his apt to KFC on post, and it’s about a thirty minute walk. I have to leave his apt two hours in advance just to get in the line early to get a pass to get on post. Some soldiers would see me walking and they would offer me a ride on post or back to his apt. Since we have been married, he has sent me only $270 to this day. I barely ask him for anything but for him to feel comfortable with me living with his girlfriend in the house is wrong. If I knew he had a girlfriend I would of never married him. She knows what he is doing is wrong and I guess it doesn’t bother her since they sleep together. I haven’t received any type of benefits from him. I’m not focused on the money but I shouldn’t have to beg my husband to send me money for food. I know he receives some type of check for us being married and when I filed for taxes last year he told me to put separated on it. The least he could do is take me to get a military ID so I can get on post and I don’t have to stand in that line for a pass. He has his car parked on base and I have to walk to work everyday, which isn’t fair. Bad enough when I get to his apt his girlfriend is there and I see her pass me walking every morning on my way to work. I know I have to have some form of evidence to prove he is cheating on me, buy the most I have are pictures of them kissing and hugging in the apt. I want to know who can I talk to about this because it’s not fair to me. I’m not a bad person. I just want to finish school and join the Army just like him, but to have his girlfriend living with him while I’m here is just wrong.

    • Stacey Abler September 15, 2015, 8:51 am

      Why in the world are you staying with him? Divorce him and move on. Then you can just join the Army on your own if that’s what you want to do.

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