I don’t think my husband fully has any idea just how much he means to me or how proud of him I am. He also has no idea I am writing this.
He is an amazing person that brought three beautiful children from two different mamas into my life. Yes, things can get pretty interesting and I have lots of stories I could tell, but this post isn’t about any of that. I love my little family and the life we have built so very much.
My husband is not only is my best friend and love of my life, but he is my hero.
You read that right.
He is my hero.
He fought for me long before he ever knew me.
To protect me.
To protect my freedom.
To let me be able to live this beautiful, glorious life in this beautiful, glorious land.
My husband is a combat veteran. He saw all kinds of horrors and atrocities. He was shot. He saw brothers get wounded, lose limbs, die. None of them returned the same. Some of you may have read that and rolled your eyes and said, “duh.” If you did, I feel for you that you are unable to grasp the sacrifices so many have made for you to have the freedom to do that and more.
He is an American hero. They all are. I love getting to sit in a room with him and his friends or the older vets. The feeling that comes over you when you see these men and women that did not even know you (and some that did) but were willing to lay down their lives for you and our country. Wow. It is hard to put into words exactly how that makes me feel. Respect. Love. Sorrow. Joy. Grateful.
And, honestly, the thoughts overwhelm me at times because I look at him and what he did reminds me of Jesus. No, he is not perfect like Jesus, but he does strive to live a life pleasing to him. And though I wasn’t born yet, Jesus looked down through the ages and saw me and thought, “she is worth dying for.” And He did. He gave it all for me. He didn’t think about Him or what it was going to cost Him. He wanted to make sure I had a way to be truly free, to find peace and forgiveness, to go to Heaven, to live a blessed life, and more. Even now I am getting choked up as I think about it, and the parallels there are. No, I am not calling the military Jesus. But I was not physically there when Jesus died for me, so knowing some of these men and women personally gives me a small glimpse.
Even though my husband is no longer physically in the war, the war will always be a part of him. I will never fully understand the depth of the wounds he has or weight of the burdens he carries, and I will never act like I fully get it. Because I don’t. I wasn’t there in the then. I am here in the now.
He calls me his sponge, and I can tell you that isn’t always easy. I don’t even really know what he means by that because I don’t think I am doing anything special. I am just me being me.
I can say that if I am a sponge, I definitely get full at times. I have to wring myself out and it isn’t always pretty. I feel like I juggle so much with all the pieces of our lives and I reach my breaking point more often than I like to admit. I am not perfect. I get mad and ugly cry. I go for long walks. I get in the car and drive. I have said, “I’m done” more times than I can count. I don’t mean I’m done with our marriage or whatever the situation is. I mean for that moment in time I am done with whatever it is because I need to find a place of peace and solace so that I can pray and refresh and recharge and start all over.
But I can honestly and truly say that I wouldn’t trade this life for any other so this is not me complaining. This is me letting you see a little glimpse into life with a combat veteran. I have talked to so many other women that have been starting out in their relationships or a few years in and they have said, “how do you do it?” And I think we are pretty blessed. I have thought so many times about sharing some of our lives so that maybe someone will read and realize they are not alone. Because you aren’t.
I have also served as president of the Family Readiness Group and dealt with a lot of drama from wives. Those are definitely stories for another day.
Getting back on track, I can most of the time sense when things bother him.
He doesn’t like big crowds, but he doesn’t let that stop him from being there for the girls when they are at huge cheer competitions or other functions with lots of people or the youngest has a school function. He is truly an amazing dad.
He isn’t always that good at expressing his feelings. He had so many walls up when we first met, but so many of those have been completely and utterly torn down over time.
He doesn’t like loud, unexpected noises.
He hates lightening.
If we go to a restaurant, he sits facing the door.
I have never questioned it. He never really even had to tell me anything because we just sort of fell into sync from the beginning.
He has nightmares and sometimes calls out commands in his sleep.
I lose a lot of sleep due to his tossing and turning. And snoring. And restless legs. I have always been a light sleeper. I need it dark and the TV off.
He has never frightened me. I have never been afraid of him or felt unsafe.
In fact, it is just the opposite.
I feel completely and utterly safe.
You know how you hear people talk about how little girls want to grow up and marry someone like their daddy? Well, it is somewhat true for those that have had a good daddy. I remember being little and it didn’t matter what was going on I could crawl up in my daddy’s lap, lean my head on his chest, and I would feel this peaceful, safe feeling settle in and I knew it was all going to be okay. I get that same feeling when my husband wraps his arms around me. I know deep in my heart whatever we are going through is going to be okay. I didn’t have that in my previous marriage. It was the complete and polar opposite.
I sense his anxiety, and I often become anxious because I know he is and I am trying my hardest to ease it for him.
He has his service dog and she picks up the slack for me. Because there are times when I cannot help him and I am not afraid to share that with you. I wish I could. I wish I could take away some of his pain. I wish I could ease the hurts that I know he feels, but I can’t. All I can do is love him through it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I married him knowing and accepting it all. I walked into this with my eyes fully open. And I would it again and again.
He retired from the Army a year ago, and I know he misses it. I was honestly concerned about him because I knew it would be a big change for him and all of us.
I could write a book. Maybe one day I will. This only scratches the surface.
But even with all that he has gone through, he has a very big heart. He would do anything for anybody, and I have often seen that generosity get taken advantage of. He is a big teddy bear even if he currently looks like a mountain man. After 20 years of having to cut his hair and shave his face, he has let it grow. I’m okay with it. We are trying to see if we can get it in a man bun at some point.
No, I wouldn’t trade any of it. Sure, there are things I wish I could do or handle a little differently, but this life with him and the kids and all of its ups and downs is imperfectly perfect.
I love him to the moon and back forever and always and then some no matter what.