Last Updated on August 15, 2023
Now, before anyone jumps down my throat, let me explain! Also, to all of my civilian friends out there, you know I still love you. 😉
That said, it is sometimes very hard for your living entirely in the civilian world friends to understand what you are going through.
I’ve talked to several of my civilian friends (c-friends) about it, and they understand where I am coming from.
It is very hard to understand the challenges of being a military wife until you’ve been in the situation. Just the same as we don’t understand what anyone else truly endures without walking in their shoes.
I know I didn’t understand before he joined and I didn’t have nearly the respect that I should have for military families. Now that I’m on the inside, my entire perspective has changed.
The Language Barrier
As you become more accustomed to military life, you will find yourself beginning to use all of those Army acronyms that at one point you found to be so annoying.
Just the other day, I was conversing with a c-friend and had to explain almost every other word. I’m just so accustomed to being around my husband, his soldier friends, and their wives…the acronyms are now a natural part of the conversation. I have to really think about it not to use acronyms now.
I also made the mistake once of inviting a new c-friend over when I was having all Army wives over for dinner. She was so overwhelmed by all of the Army talk, I think we literally scared her off.
The Security Barrier
Mostly, you cannot discuss anything about your husband’s deployments or training. This is especially true for special operations units.
It’s much easier when you don’t know anything and can’t say anything. But even some information that is given out in FRG meetings is not meant to be shared outside of the unit.
Of course, this can sometimes make conversations difficult. It is very important that you let your c-friends and even your family know about OPSEC. They must understand why you cannot tell them anything – particularly over the telephone.
Many mistakenly believe that because you can turn on the news and see what is going on with the war in Iraq you can share any information you have.
This is not the case and you can get yourself and your soldier in quite a bit of trouble. The old saying “Loose Lips Sink Ships” still holds true today!
Because of that, you tend to naturally gravitate to other Army wives in your husband’s unit or to other military wives in general. They understand why you can’t talk about certain subjects or if their husband is in the same unit, it is the one time you can speak freely without worrying about slipping up.
The Separation Barrier
While many c-friends are sympathetic to your husband being gone, few can say things to make you feel better. My all-time favorite is “I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t do it if my husband were always gone.”
Knowing that my friend doesn’t think they could handle it does nothing to help me handle it better.
It is hard, but there’s no way to adequately describe your feelings during a separation.
You have days when you want to do nothing but cry, you have days when you feel lost, you have days when you feel anxious because you just heard a news story about KIAs.
But you also have days that aren’t so bad.
Once you establish a routine, you may find that you can “enjoy” the separation as a time for both of you to grow, learn new things, and establish an even deeper commitment to your relationship.
You may even find you have days when you don’t think about it until someone asks you how he’s doing.
Then you feel guilty when you realize it’s the first time you thought about him today.
Your emotions can be somewhat like a roller coaster ride and it’s just easier to be around someone who’s going through the same thing.
Maybe inadequate is not the right word…
On the other hand, having c-friends around can be wonderful especially when you want a break from military life.
When you think you’ll scream if you see another piece of his BDUs lying on the floor or if you hear one more acronym, it’s nice to have someone from the outside world around you.
Sometimes it’s so nice to know that there is a life outside of the Army and I think we can close ourselves off too much.