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MilSpouse Distance Learning – Difference in the Distance Between Us & Miles Apart -Part 2

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Experience Lesson #2 - Difference in Distance Between Us & Miles Apart

Physical distance is to be expected in a military marriage; however, emotional distance unacceptable for us.

Experience #2 with the Fog of Distance – We learned that distance between us is unacceptable regardless of the number of miles that separate us.

23 yrs old, full time job, puppy, 16 yr old sister in law living with me and my husband starting flight school on the other side of Florida is how I left my readers last week.


FL was on my driver's license said; yet, I pretty much lived in a state of shock & treaded…
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By Columbus Day the next year, we were helping my mother – in – law move to Florida with the other three kids as she left my father – in – law. We did all we could to help her. I found a rental house, paid deposits of electricity and water, cleaned it and had it move in ready when we drove her moving van from North Carolina. Honestly, so much of this is a blur as I was doing it and in hindsight. Jim and I were walking exhausted and were trying to do all we could to help our family without messing up our jobs.

By Halloween, the sister – in – law that had been living with me moved in with her mom and the other three kids. Living alone except when Jim came home on the weekends, I started to realize that I had some health issues.

Crippling headaches and my jaw was making horrible noises when I chewed. One my first encounters with military medicine’s crazy requirements, in order to see a specialist I had to see a military dentist. As a military dependent, I was not allowed to book an appointment with a military dentist. Ugh! Jim called a few folks he had worked with in the Jacksonville area and they advised him on who we needed to see and what we needed to do. Hoops! Jumping through needless military hoops.

Over a month later, I saw a specialist. I had TMJ and a major allergic reaction to Motrin. The reaction put pictures of my mouth in a dentistry textbook the specialist was writing. Working in customer service during the holidays isn’t so bad when you are on a high dose of Valium. I would split my days by 12 hours and take one when I first got to work and when I first got home. Jim was on the other side of the state in class. We were miserable together a state apart.

Emotional distance amid all the stress we were experiencing was hurting our Military Marriage. We had to find a different life path for us and we did.


We were miserable together a state apart.
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Jim was soon up for orders taking him to a different school in a different state. We decided we had done all we could for his mom and put our house up for sale. By the end of Jan., we went from two paychecks and one mortgage to one paycheck, a mortgage and rental payment. Quite a flip!


By Jan., we went from 2 paychecks & a mortgage to 1 paycheck, a mortgage & rent. Quite a…
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Overall, physical distance is to be expected in a military marriage; however, Emotional Distance Unacceptable for us.

Our married life was NOT going according to our plan.

We had not planned to buy a house in our first year of marriage to be sold 15 months later.

We had not wanted to live apart for 12 months out of the first 18 months after we got married.

We were up for orders any moment and it was impossible for me to find a job.

We had not planned on my health challenges impacting our quality of life.

Our Lessons Learned as a Military Couple:

Lesson Learned – Life rarely goes according to plans. Keep the relationship with your spouse strong as you work to figure out life’s challenges together.

While we wanted to help Jim’s family, we gave up too much.

Lesson Learned – Loving your family does not mean you should abdicate your own lives to help them.

At the time, we just couldn’t see any other way to do things. Survivor’s guilt of getting out of a family “train wreck” does not obligate you to abdicate your own life.


Loving your family does not mean you should abdicate your own lives to help them.
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Luckily, we were a strong enough couple to weather what seemed like a Florida hurricane. By our 2nd anniversary we were in our 3rd house for 1993 and expecting our first child.

Lesson Learned – I need a dog or two in my life and home. Dogs help me overcome a lot of life’s challenges by being there to love you whether your military spouse is there or not. Dogs smooth out some of life’s rough edges for me. 



This post first appeared on Military LIfe's Moments, please read the originial post: here

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MilSpouse Distance Learning – Difference in the Distance Between Us & Miles Apart -Part 2

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