Sometimes it feels like I say “Goodbye” more than I say “Hi, honey” and “What do you want to do tonight?” I think one of the hardest things I had to accept was that my relationship was going to be vastly different from what I knew growing up, and what I experienced watching my friends get married and have children. The military relationship is anything but traditional. I had a hard time because I grew up with Barbie marrying Ken, not GI Joe. We had the Barbie dream house and the plastic pink Corvette. What we didn’t have was months of separations, dual households and blended families. Ken had an ascot, not combat boots.

Toss in the fact that I am, like many military personnel, a single parent. So then you have the guilt and juggle of who is my priority today, and that it will change tomorrow. When your partner is only available for ten days in ten months, you drop everything and shift. Then when they leave, you shift again. For some of us this means monthly or even weekly adjustments.

If you are like me, you get completely worn out with everyone else’s needs, trying to adjust, and running ragged to keep everyone healthy and happy. I usually reach a point a few times a year where I just can’t live this life one more day. I yell at my kids. I stomp around the house. I call my boyfriend and read him the riot act from a thousand miles away. Then I sit down and have a good cry. You see, military life is not easy. It’s not easy for those of us who choose to love someone who chose a military life, because I’ve got news for you ….when he or she chooses the military…so do you…and so do your kids.

I don’t have any great advice on getting through this. People who have been on my show – experts even – seem to have all the answers, but when you are living it, day to day, you just get through it. You celebrate the time you have together, and you mourn the time you don’t. Some of my friends really enjoy their time apart. I don’t. I get really sad. I get really lonely. I miss him and he misses me. I am proud of what he does, but that doesn’t change the fact that deep down, I want him home.

Sorry I don’t have any wisdom girls, just a hug from someone who knows what it’s like to spend a lot of your life waiting for someone to come home. And who knows, maybe you will feel a little bit better, because you know you are not the only one who feels this way.

-Sandra Beck