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Joined: Jan 2004
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Hi. I am 25 years old and have been married for three and half. We have a three year old daughter. My husband is in the military and just returned from Iraq in November after being gone a year. He came home for two weeks before returning to Germany to get ready to move back to the states. Well the first week seemed to go well other than when he first got off the plane he seemed to have NO REACTION LEFT. I thought he would just run up and hug and kiss me and not let go. Well that didnt necessarily happen. Well as we moved in to the second week things became we started to argue and finally he packed his things and went to his mom's house. He didnt call at all while he was there. Finally the day before he was to leave to go back to Germany he came over so we could talk and work things out. So he returned to Germany the next day for three weeks. Well again he arrived back home on Dec 11th and by Dec 19th things just werent going as planned and of course this time he took all of his belongings and left. I know I can seem to fight with him a lot over little petty things. Well this time he has stayed gone. He left again on Jan 2 to go to school five hours away. Right before he left he came to see our daughter and before he left he hugged and kissed me and said everything was going to be okay. Well now all the sudden he is telling that he just wants to do his own thing for a while. He needs space. One minute he seems to want to be with me and the next he doesnt. He told me also that me fighting with him on occasion has pushed him away from me. He came into town this past weekend and came over to the house to see our daughter. Well I lay there in bed watching TV and all of the sudden he seems to want to work things out. The day he left again he said things are going to be okay and also that he was trying very hard. Well now he is away again and now he wants to do his own thing. He doesnt call me at all. If I call and leave a message he never returns my call. He doesnt even call to talk to our daughter. I really dont know what to do... Please Help!!! Any suggestions will be greatly accepted.

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Join the ride; there are a lot of hopeful posts out here and genuine good advice, but sometimes, no matter what one spouse wants, if the other does not, you cannot force it and it makes you sad and angry and emotional and question everything in your life and relationship.
This is where I am. I am sad and empty and want to lay down and not get up.
W of 11 years says she does not love and never did and many other things.
If interested read "Saving Marriage" and "He loves me/but not in love with me."
I would say hang in there but it sounds so hollow and hopeless, as if no one can help.

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Welcome to MB, Armywife. I'm sorry for your pain and frustration...there's a lot of wonderful information here that can help you cope and hopefully save your marriage.

The one thing that really sticks out to me from what you posted is:
"and by Dec 19th things just werent going as planned"

I think you both have certain implicit expectations about what your marriage is supposed to be like, but because of the time and space challenges thus far, you're really not on the same page at all. Expectations can be dangerous even when a couple has good communication, so the fact that you are struggling wtih productive talks makes it even more difficult.

First things first: READ READ READ! Read all of the basic concepts first. Read the welcome thread in this forum. Read about the questionnaires and consider taking them with or without your husband. The questionnaires will help with the communication gap that is evident in your marriage, but you need to make sure you are both on the same page as to how the questionnaires can help (including complete radical honesty, no lovebusters, and encouraging a healthy environment for honesty--i.e. not flipping out when the honesty hurts), or they can do more harm than good.

Remember, it takes two to fight. Read up on Lovebusters and try to understand the things you are doing that are basically stabbing yourself in the foot and hurting your husband, as well. Also try to figure out specifically the things he is doing that hurt you. The fact that he keeps coming back and wanting to work on things is good. That at least gives you something to work with as a couple rather than all alone. Each time he comes back and you fight, your marriage becomes weaker, your love banks go further into the red.

Take care and read up on the concepts.
Smile

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ARMYWIFE01

I am so sorry for your pain. I am too an ARMY WIFE (reserve) or at least for the time being. My H hasn't been activated yet, although at this time it could benefit us, but I'm sure in your situation you will disagree.

Have you looked into counseling services offered by the military? Unfortunately I don't have much info on them right now. Try searching USAA, not sure if they can link you.
Research ALL OF YOUR MILITARY channels. Knowledge is power

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Thank you for all the replies. I have read the basic concepts part and that has seemed to help me a lot and understand marraige a lot more than i did. WEll things are still not going as planned.
Here is the last email that he sent me on 01/23/04

"ali,

i do not know where to begin or what to say. I know this had been rough. But i do not feel the same way i used to. i have tried to make myself feel different about the whole thing. but once your pushed so far you cant come back. i feel like i have moved to far to return. i wish i could return and everything be perfect. but i cant. i feel like if i did return it would be for makenna's sake, and thats not fair to me or you. i didnt want to jump out and say what i wanted because i didnt know. i dont want to rush something and it be a total mistake. well decisions have to be made and i dont know what to do. i will talk to ya later. and dont think that i dont love you, i do, but its not the same no more. any ways i need to run. tell makenna daddy loves her.

taLK LATER
JASON"


He has a month left in school. SHould I just not call him anymore and see how he feels when he done with school? As soon as I read that email his best friend called me shortly after wards to make sure I was okay. I havent talked to him since he emailed me this letter and now I really need to know should I just leave him alone and see if the time away makes his feelings come back.

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ARMYWIFE01

Eeks! Sounds a little like my H. My mother always said "time away makes the heart grow fonder" I always disagreed with that. My H is ALWAYS away for work, then he has to go away all the time for reserves. I personally think "out of site, out of mind" fits better. My H went away for 6 months for Desert Storm, we were dating at the time. I still have all the letters, we missed each other terribly and our reuniting was even better than I thought. Not much in the way of "adjusting" needed to be done like I kept hearing about at those damn support meetings.

Maybe you could try telling him "I will support your feelings for now, and Mackenna and I will be fine". Just a suggestion. I'm new at this myself and I am quickly learning that everyone is different.

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Armywife01~
I was an Army wife for 1 1/2 years and it almost ruined my life. So i may not be the best of people for advice. But here goes...
It is very difficult to come together after that long. He has for lack of a better word been "single" for a year. You also have been a "single" mother, you have your way of doing things alone. He is not used to having a family to care for (other that financially). You are not used to someone to share your bed. YOu both have not had anyone telling you what to do or how to do it. You have a schedule, your way of doing things, ect...
Now you both need to learn how to live together again. How to share you life together. You both are not used to sharing plans for the day, and someone interfering with your plans. It may help to sit down and talk about you roles, goals and expectaions for your marriage. There is a book that i have been reading that you might be interested in... "The Divorce Remedy The Proven 7-step program for saving your Marriage". I like this book because it gave a step by step plan to figure out what i want in my marriage. How to break it down, how and when to talk to your spouce, and so on.
Good luck, after that amount of time of being apart it will take a great amount of patiants from both of you. But it can be done!
God bless!
Life Reclaimed

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Hi Armywife,

I was an army wife for 5 years, prior to that I was an air Force brat my entire childhood. It is a hard way of life especially during times of strife in the world.

Something I learned growing up that helped me as an Army wife was that the military does not go out of their way to support the families, or to support the troops who are deployed. If they keep the families on the forefront and encourage the troops to keep a bond and connection then it takes mental energies away from the dangers and more lives can be lost more accidents can happen etc. They are not told to think of those at home, th ey are not encouraged to contact family and friends on a regular basis. This does seem to be changing in this *new* military we have, but it can't change too much. These troops are having to bond with their co-workers, during times like we have been havign since 9/11 THEY ARE FAMILY, they have to rely on each other, look out for each other. They work, eat, play, etc together and that is how it has to be for the most part.

Leaving that way of life that he has lived for the past year is probably very hard on your hubby, it was on mine during desert storm. He was gone for a year, we both thought we would pick up right where we left off when he got home, that was totally not the case. The things they see, do and hear while deployed have a lasting affect on them. They do feel that something is missing. And it is. When H left I was dependant on him, we did everything together, etc. When he got back I had grown in his abscense, I was an independant person, better able to express myself, my thoughts, my opinions, I had raised the kids alone for a year and had things mostly under control and he didn't feel that I had a need for HIM any longer. And in ways he didn't have the same need for me he had prior either.

It was confusing, it took about a year to get back to where we were a couple again instead of just 2 very independant people trying to co-exist. The love felt by both of us was differnt, and through weathering that storm together and not just giving up we grew stronger together.

The hard part here is that there are so many different jobs in the military and that some of them are so dangerous and they see so many bad things that it does have a negative affect on them mentally. They are starting to provide counseling to our troops, but they can't get to everyone. I strongly believe that they should have a system set up to help families reconnect upon coming home especially if the deployment was for more than 3 months.

Tell him simply that you understand how hard this past year has been for each of you and that more time and space is needed to try to reconnect, ask him not to give up yet, and ask if he might be interested in seeking some couples counseling to help get you past the *reintroduction* period. And please read the main part of this site and stop the love busters, don't push, follow a good plan A and things should smooth out with some work on your part over then next couple of months.

Hope this helped. All is not lost here!!!!!!!!!

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Absence makes the heart go wander.

If you want to recover your marriage, you are going to have to be willing to take some hard and seemingly drastic steps to do that. Your marriage, once you begin recovery, can not follow the lifestyle of living apart any longer.

When you are apart, it is impossible to show the kind of care for each other that sustains romantic love. You just can't.

I would limit the calls to your H to no more than one per week. How much longer will he be in Germany?

<small>[ January 25, 2004, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: *Takola* ]</small>

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The unfortunate part Tak is that as long as he is in the Army there will ALWAYS be deployments.

The troops from the base here where I live head out at least once every 18 months for no less than 6 months at a time. It is hard on the families, there is a HIGH divorce rate, but at the same time those that make it through the deployments and stay together are made of much stronger stuff than most, they can weather any storm that comes along and have learned to use their time together and the available resources the military has to offer to enhance their relationships and keep it all together. Long term military spouses are a breed all their own, they don't respond in the same ways most of the human race does. The wives have learned through many absences and many reunions that they can't have any expectations of how things will be when the guy gets home, they learn they have to back off and let the guy adjust at HIS pace and can't push. If a wife can't do that, then usually there is a divorce. The military still does not RECOMMEND that their troops have a family, they know it isn't an easy way of life and that there are 100 times more problems involved in their lives than those of non military people.

When my H was still active duty, they were often told that had the army wanted them to have a wife and kids they would have issued them one. Seeing the way of live they still live leads me to believe that that really is still the way they think. It sucks, but we need our troops so what can we do? Wives have banded together throughout the world and created support groups, etc. It hasn't been enough, not sure if anything ever will. The whole way of life is much different than one can really explain.

On the flip side, those raised as military brats or who have been long term military spouses, often find it extremely difficult to adjust to the civilian way of life.

IF he were to decide that he is ready to get out of the military and his time is up then they have a chance to recover the same as a normal marriage would. IF he still has time left, or does not WANT to get out then she has to find a way to combined MB principles with some coaching added from a military counselor that knows how to deal with returning troops who most often suffer from PTSS.

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Thanks again.. For everyone's replies. Well it is now day four that I havent called him and as well he hasnt called here. I have though came up with PLAN A for myself!!!!

Currently he is TDY at school in Pensacola until March and then at the end of April he is to report in at Ft. Stewart Georgia..

Therefore I have decided that I will not call the rest of the time he is in school. I will start putting my daughter first and finishing school as my top priorities.... I have two classes to finish before I can apply to the nursing program. So I will continue to finish that here in Florida unless things change. I emailed him a link to the website Saturday night. The link was right to the basic concepts. I wanted to show him that you can restore love. But still no reply from him. I try to keep telling myself that he is still in Iraq that way I dont pick up the phone to call him. OH WELL!!

So I guess for now I will try hard to concentrate on school and my daughter and reading more about emotional needs.


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