• Lauren Dyche

#ArmyWifeStrife to Seeing the Gift in Discomfort

Well, I have held the motto "I will never be a military wife!" for nearly 20 years, and here I am, 2020, writing to you as an Army Wife. I'm not going to sugar coat it for you, I do not like it. My husband and I are established, in our 30's and have been together for almost 10 years at this point. So when my husband and I finally compromised on his childhood dream to join the military, it was a transition I did not want to make. To be candid here, it came down to this, I had to at least leap and try for my marriage because my husband would have lead a life of regret or eventually resented me for this missed dream. Truly, my husbands dreams are just that, his. I have no judgement to pass on what is in his heart. I know he would do the same for me, so here we are.

These last two months adjusting, learning the new lingo, joining the support groups and getting the proper paperwork filed have felt like my life has been stolen from me. It has been such a series of waves of grief, fear, anger and unsettling. Unfortunately, I continued to find myself feeling like the odd woman out in these groups because everyone was "#ARMYPROUD" and patriotic to this lifestyle. I will tell you right now, I am not there yet. If anything, this whole experience has continued to strengthen my personal beliefs around my brisling around the military. Now, don't get me wrong here folks, the military and our armed forces are loyal and selfless. I mean shit, I wouldn't have agreed to this life with my husband if I didn't have SOME admiration and hope. But I come from an abusive childhood with a controlling narcissist of a mother, so the obligations and protocols feel "old" to me and send me right back to being a 16 year old girl.

So here I am, almost two months in, starting to adjust to my new "normal". Life is such a funny thing. I literally tattooed my personal philosophy on my arm at the end of last year. An elk, shedding old antlers in order to cultivate new growth. And here I am, fighting to shed the old "antlers" of my past life and lifestyle in order to grow in this new opportunity. I just smile when I look at my tattoo nowadays because I have to PRACTICE what I BELIEVE always. Transitions and change are inevitable. And here I am again, 30 years old, preparing to leave the state I've lived in almost all my life, leave the profession I thought I'd retire in, starting a new career, writing a book and learning to adjust to life as a #ArmyWife. SHIT just got real. I am in transition and it's painful. But without pain, there is no change. Change is uncomfortable. You can't cheat the system. There is no magic pill or procedure. I have to navigate this in real time.

If you my dear reader are in transition as well, you are a WARRIOR. I see you. I acknowledge the struggle, strife and progress you are making to make your life into what you want it to be. We have to chose to embrace the suck of the struggle. Nothing worth having ever comes easy right? Sometimes the thing we are most resistant to is the one thing we need the most. How are you taking care and honoring yourself in a transitional period in your life? Are you allowing yourself to feel the hurt, but still take notice of the hidden blessings? I'll give you an example. One thing that this whole experience of adjusting to military life has given me is a deeper intimacy with my husband. My primary love language is physical touch and my secondary is quality time. So clearly, neither of these are being met right now. Thus, I am having to learn NEW and different ways to feel loved by husband from only words on his letters he sends me each day and week. No eye contact, no contact outside of letters. This has truly been a healing gift through this whole experience because I have struggled, like most women living in fear of abandonment. Reading day after day and week after week of how much my spouse loves and misses me is teaching me a deeper connection in our marriage. Lean into the struggle. Create a routine that brings some joy to your day, honors your body's needs and allows you the proper time to grow through strife and discomfort.

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