Most of us have seen Richard Gere in his Navy dress whites, scoop Debra Winger up off her feet and carry her off to their happily ever after. Or maybe it was Dear John that did it for you, with the hunky Channing Tatum writing romantic love letters to the gorgeous Amanda Seyfried, the object of his affection. Whatever romantic military movie you’ve seen that made you believe that loving a military man would be all romantic and fairy tale like, well, it was wrong! That’s just Hollywood sweetie and loving a military man ain’t easy!
It’s All About the Uniform
I’ve always had a fetish for guys in uniform—cops, firefighters and especially military men. Yum! I’ve screwed my way through our armed forces like a one woman U.S.O and I’m not ashamed to say so. Hey, I was doing it for my country, trying to keep morale up! I never envisioned actually having a relationship with any of these men. I know what military life entails from watching my cousins and uncles leave their wives and children behind every time they received orders. I knew that friends with benefits was all I was looking for from these guys because they weren’t going to stick around; once they received orders, they were gone. I was OK with that, especially being that I wasn’t in a relationship type place in my life.
Loving a Military Man: This Isn’t Hollywood Sweetheart!
Mr. Sports Fan recently made the decision to re-enlist in the military after being out in the civilian world for the last 10 years. This put me in a position to decide whether or not I would support him while he’s off fighting bad guys, or if I was going to walk away.
I didn’t enlist. I didn’t sign up to hand my life over to the military and have them dictate my every move. I did not sign a piece of paper saying that my life was no longer my own. I did not choose to live by following orders.
But he did.
I knew this about him when we met. I knew that his one regret was getting out of the Marine Corps. I knew that given the chance he’d go back in a heartbeat.
I may not have chosen this for myself, but I chose him and because I love him (yes, ugh, I said the “L” word) I support his decision. I’m quickly learning that this isn’t like a movie!
Loving a military man means never being able to plan ahead. It means living with a lot of uncertainty and a ton of fear and worry. It means saying goodbye more often than saying goodnight. It means kicking my bad ass independence up a notch because while he’s away everything is my responsibility. It means going not just days or weeks without him (which we haven’t done since we first started dating two years ago), but possible months or more without him. It means holding myself together while I hold his mother’s hand and reassure her that everything will be OK (while trying to convince myself that I believe what I’m saying).
[Tweet “The girl he left behind is still behind him, supporting her hero #MilitaryLove”]
The Plus Side to Loving a Military Man
I’ve always been fiercely independent, and this just forces me to be a little more so. I’ve always been told I am a strong person, but I am finding new levels to that strength that I didn’t know existed (and I’m sure there is more strength yet to be uncovered). This entire process is bringing us closer together (I know that sounds weird) because as he explains his passion for doing this it makes me realize that those are the characteristics in him that I love and admire the most. I also realize the very important role I play in keeping him safe—with me keeping things under control at home and looking after everyone for him, he won’t be worried about home and will be focused on his mission which is all he should be concerned with.
Loving a military man isn’t easy and it isn’t as Hollywood portrays it, but I look at it this way: now he’ll have two uniforms to bang me in!
If you’re a military spouse or girlfriend, I’d love to hear from you!