Wednesday, August 27, 2008


As the boat gets underway and "goes under the sea" into many weeks of silence(no communication in or out), I wonder if Joe and I enter this reality of NO CONTACT on common ground. It's so wonderful and horrible to talk to him in port. Wonderful because you miss then so much and hearing their voice warms your heart and horrible because it's just a reminder that you're not together and you miss them so much. For Joe and I - Making CHIEF was an amazing accomplishment. But everything amazing comes with a price.

The price?
-While I watched friends talk to their husbands for hours- there was no skype for us in this port. Every conversation was limited. There were spans of days we didn't get to talk
-A very tired and depressed Joe for EVERY conversation. Me attempting to console him (Although when I told him he was wimp- I don't think that attempt was a positive one)

Every conversation we had during this port seemed to consist of us struggling to understand how the other person is coping with deployment... struggling to support each other emotionally... struggling to find the right words. One big struggle after another.

One thing we have learned during deployment is that I'll always be upset and overwhelmed by Joe's lack of emotions when he's at sea. Joe will always be angry and overwhelmed by my abundance of emotions while he's at sea (or anytime in our life). Joe tries to explain that when he's at sea- there is a lot of pressures at work and it's hard for him to switch from work Joe to husband Joe so quickly. I tell him that I feel overwhelmed with all of the daily tasks that come with two homes and two careers(mine and his) and I NEED him to express his feelings and love for me- it's what keeps me together and feeling like there is a purpose to all of this.

During our last conversation... I sniffled.. "Don't you need me?....Aren't I helping?" EWWWW. I hate women like that. But mostly- I hate me like that. I'm independent. I owned a home before Joe. I traveled around the world before Joe. I shouldn't care if he needs me. I shouldn't WANT him to need me. Eww. Ewww. Eww. He gave some lame answer- which just made me feel more out of sorts for saying it. Yuck. I shudder thinking about it. When I feel those things and then worse- verbalize them- I immediately feel weak and worthless. What kind of Navy wife am I?Why would I put pressure on him to give me an answer to something as silly as that..And why can't I keep my big mouth shut until after this chief season is over? Why do I have to be so sensitive?

And then...after I "storm" about it- The calm comes. I've grown up these last few years. I don't need to be super independent all the time anymore. I'm part of a team now. My team is strong and united by marriage. Joe (my choice for team member) is my best friend. My life partner. My lover. Good news: He picked me as his team member which means I'm all the above to him too. Of course it matters to me that he can feel comfortable leaning on me(a form of needing). Of course I care if he takes my advice. Of course I'm hurt when he doesn't mention all the packages I sent. Those things aren't silly. He's my team mate. He's the first person I want to talk to every morning and the last person I want to talk to before bed. He knows my secrets. He loves my imperfections. He truly loves me for me. He's my husband. Those feelings are OK.

So- my ego may be a little deflated- for needing and wanting someone as much as I need and want Joe. My pride is cowering at the thought that sometimes *gasp* I too need reassurance. But- My heart doesn't feel bad at all. I should miss my husband. He's amazing. He works hard. He's going to be pinned a chief at 8.5 years mid September. He's committed to me and our future family. He calls me monkey. He cuddles. He knows when I need space. He understands my desire to succeed. He makes me laugh. He gets his eyebrows waxed because I ask him too. He NEVER complains EVER if I want something. He still opens doors and pulls out chairs. He will eat mashed potatoes every night if that is what I want. He painted a bathroom purple just for me.

He loves me- even if he doesn't always know how to say it. I know it.
.... for today anyway :)



Kelly J said...

Hi Sam - I just wanted to leave a little note here. I don't often have a whole lot of time to catch up on blogs, but I was finally able to skim a few posts today, and I had to say that this post really made me smile. I'm so glad to know that you are so happy in your 'team' :) It sounds like you have such a wonderful husband, and that makes me very very happy for you. Best wishes to you and Joe. xoxo

Kat said...

Your post was written so beautifully! Please know that you are not alone in all the overwhelming thoughts, feelings, emotions that come with being separated from your husband. I have felt the exact same way and it brings me such comfort to know that others have too. As submariner's wives, we really have a tough job holding things in place here at home, while waiting to welcome home our best friends,our partners in life, our husbands. I can relate to the anger and frustration you feel with having to take care of your home and leaky roof while your husband is gone. It's hard not to feel alone. Hearing you talk about how hard phone calls can be and how hard it is for us to understand their lack of emotion and vice versa, it really felt like you were speaking about what I am going through too. It seems like you are handling things beautifully, with poise and independence. Thank you for sharing so honestly!