My boyfriend is the sweetest, most caring and genuine person I have ever met. He constantly puts me first, is always there for me, and I can talk to him about anything and he will listen. He is my best friend. I feel like I am a person who needs a lot, and maybe that’s just because I am not in the best of places right now, but my boyfriend is always there to support me. I have BPD, and it is hell. I also have social anxiety and used to have a fair bit of OCD, and that sucked too. And of course, I am there for my boyfriend, as well, when he is feeling low, I try my best to meet his needs. I put him first, he puts me first. Sounds good, right?
Last December I decided. No matter what, I will stay with my boyfriend, whether he leaves the military or stays. I love him, and I want a life with him. But I have fears.
My friends all tell me that there is NO WAY I should put up with having to put someone else first who can never put me first, that it is an unhealthy relationship. Most feel sorry for me, some get angry on my behalf. I, in turn, get defensive. It’s love.
But then, I read articles and blogs and military wives and girlfriends say that we need to be independent, be okay with being alone a lot, and it’s our job to keep it together and NOT lean on our boyfriends/husbands. I, in turn, alone in my room, get defensive. Again. How is that an honest relationship if I can’t tell my boyfriend when I need help? And where do I get the help I need? Is it okay to not be strong sometimes? And then I doubt myself. And I feel guilty for needing. And then I get angry. And then guilty. It’s a cycle.
I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to distract my boyfriend from his job. Being in the military was his life’s dream. I don’t want to make him feel badly about it. Overall, I just want him to be happy.
What do I do? How can we both be happy?
My fears for becoming a military wife are:
I don’t think I will fit in with any of the other wives – and they have to be my main support system. So far it has been difficult to find any military wife who feels remotely like I do about the military and shares my fears, insecurities, etc. I believe the other wives will find me weak, a disgrace, offensive, and a nuisance. I feel like I won’t belong. I feel like I don’t belong.
I think I will have a hard time adjusting to life on base – and this will make it hard on my boyfriend. I will be too shy to meet people, too cautious to reach out in fear of saying the wrong thing, too scared of judgement and embarrassing you to interact with your friends or anyone in uniform, too self-conscious and not assertive enough to get anything done on base (especially after hearing from a book I read that I will be treated like a “second class citizen” and have my “intelligence and intentions questioned”).
I think I will have trouble adjusting to military life in general – all of the rules and expectations – all I want is to live a happy, quiet, anonymous private life with the freedoms and responsibilities that come with being an adult.
I hear conflicting stories about military wives finding work – the big question – will I? And if not, what will give my life meaning? Purpose?
I know, I know, I’m not supposed to be stressed, I’m the one staying behind, he’s the one going into combat, he has it so much harder, I should just be so grateful and chipper right? Well, I’m not. Thinking about that stuff, I’m not, and I honestly don’t think I will be. I will be stressed. I will have a hard time without him. ESPECIALLY far away from friends and family. ESPECIALLY when I have to pretend to be okay and be strong for kids. ESPECIALLY if I am being judged by other military wives and military figures for being stressed at all. I can’t promise that I can handle it. And I worry about how I WILL handle it…for me and for the kids. It won’t be fun at all.
Bottom Line: I am trying to make it work because I love my boyfriend. That is the ONLY thing I am 100% sure of: I love him. I don’t know anything else. I don’t know if my life in the military is something I will be able to embrace or not. I really don’t. I think it would help if I could meet someone who validated my feelings and didn’t make me feel guilty about the way I feel. Then maybe I could slowly come to embrace everything? I don’t know. I just know that I want so badly to make it work.
Any tips on how to make military life easier? I am committed to making it work, and I would love some advice!