Divorce on Tuesday; Couple’s Tattoos on Saturday

The last several weeks have been centered around chaos and turmoil in my home which has sadly kept me from my true intentions by allowing it to do so. After my crush decided he only wanted to be friends, my life began to really change drastically between my husband and myself. The night I got the news and wrote a blog about it and my husband was very triggered and we got a fight after a great night at our favorite bar. 

That night I told him his inability to allow me to do things with others outside of my relationship plutonically makes me miserable. He thought about it for a bit and then decided it would probably be better off if we ended our ten year relationship and got a divorce as he didn’t know if he could stop using his fear of abandonment against me. I stated that was not what I wanted, I wanted him to work on his emotions so that I could also continue to work on healing myself.

A few days later a family altercation on my birthday lead to a week’s worth of verbal abuse over social media between my husband and step brother, I quit my job as my grandmother’s caregiver, and my husband had a miniature melt down that slammed him with depression and self loathing. This lead to him getting a therapist through his health insurance and he has currently attended one session. Due to our fight with family, we missed our first marriage counseling session since December because we did not have a babysitter. I wish now we would have just taken our daughter with us as we cannot get back in again until mid June.

My husband returned to work as normal the next week and I had resumed talking  to my crush now friend fairly often since my birthday. He had an accident on an ATV in his front yard and sustained a concussion. After intially refusing to go to the hospital, he was acting strange for several days. He ended up having some personal issues as a result of his concussion symptoms​ and I had been checking in on him daily because I was genuinely worried about him.

This past Tuesday I asked my friend when an upcoming appointment was and he responded sometime in March. I asked if he meant March, 2018 and he responded “No, March of this year.” I told him that it was now April, 2017 and asked if he knew what day it was. He responded about his concussion and then I did not hear from him at all. I began to get frantic as I read some of the injuries that could form from a concussion and thought I should go check on him.

I knew from his description somewhere close to where I thought he lived and headed there as soon as I got my family fed at my husband’s suggestion. He asked me to just check on my friend and come home as soon as I could. I agreed to his request but soon disregarded it after my arrival and text messages kept coming every twenty minutes. I know my husband has social and anxiety issues, but after ten years of being back in his life and fully committed to him, my normal empathy for his feelings was replaced with anger.

I hadn’t seen my friend since around St. Patrick’s day or interacted with him in any flirtatious manner since the decision to be friends was made. I wanted to make sure my friend was really alright and in all honesty we probably had the best conversation we have ever had this far in our journey; except for my rising anxiety at the angry texts coming from my husband. I was incredibly irritated by this point and decided that if he didn’t trust me enough to even talk with someone I care about after all these years that he never really had and realized this happened every time I left the house for the most part.

I have never cheated on him, and I isolated myself for a decade because he would always have something negative to say about the people I choose to spend time with. When he comes along to something he is not interested in attending he makes me miserable by constantly sighing, rolling his eyes, or tapping his foot. If he stays home, he makes me miserable constantly texting me and demanding the attention still be placed on him by my rising anxiety to check my phone constantly in the hopes to not return home to a hurt or irrate husband. That night I got sick of walking on the eggshells and decided they cut too deep.

I returned home two and half hours after I left my home, admittedly at a very late time. My husband was asleep on the couch where he said he would be and I approached him to speak with him. He was madder than I had ever seen him in the seventeen years we have known one another. He asked me to get away from him because all he felt was betrayal and rage and he wanted to hit me for the first time ever, to cause me pain. He did say he did not really want to physically hit me nor would he hit me so I left and went to the bedroom.

The next morning he was very icy as he dressed for work and left with little to no interaction. We texted and fought all day long and when he got off work that afternoon we sat down and he told me he wanted a divorce. He said he would not be able to forgive me for my actions and that all trust and faith in me were gone. He was infuriated that as a mental health professional I had put another mans welfare before his and that I was unable to understand how far the depths of the feelings he had been holding inside really were. 

I was shocked and immediately started crying. I asked him to wait for a bit, to do more therapy, get a proper diagnosis, and perhaps start some medication before making a final decision about the fate of our relationship. We both agreed to work on things between now and the end of May and reasses where we are both at then. We both love each other tremendously, I would not have stayed with a man I did not love for a decade. I know that if we stay together or divorce I will always love him as a friend, father, and someone I know that will always genuinely love me back. 

We decided that we would continue to get our couples tattoos because of this reason and kept our appointment yesterday instead of cancelling as originally planned after Tuesdays events. I told my husband I no longer give him permission to read my messages but that I was not going to change my passwords. If he reads something now that he does not like, it will not be my responsibility to handle the emotions that arise for them. I will do the same in return and own my actions. This decision was made after stumbling on a post in a poly group in which most advised against this type of behavior in a healthy relationship, especially in a poly one. I also did this at his request to not vent about him to others I know after he stated that venting on my blog would even be better for him, and received this advice from multiple sources.

I need my husband to trust me when I spend time with plutonic friends or even others I love because without it, we have nothing. I need my husband to know that I am level headed enough to take care of myself and although I am still learning new boundaries, I’m stronger than I have ever been in every aspect of my life. I would not do anything to intentionally hurt anyone,  and I know I have areas to improve and my husband does as well. I’ve realized that even if my husband does not care for the people I care to have in my life, that is his problem.

I will continue to work with him on becoming more comfortable with me being away from him and check in, try to be honest as possible, and be realistic in my time frames to the best of my abilities. I would like for my husband in turn allow me the time and respect to do the things I enjoy with or without him, and without intimidating me with guilt or fear of conflict and the barage of negative comments about myself, my decisions, and my loves and intrests. 

In the past three weeks I am happier now than I have ever been simply because I know that I am healing, I’m not afraid to be alone, and I’m tired of living my life according to everyone else’s feelings. I will continue to put my husband and household before my free time, but I will start doing things I enjoy with people I enjoy being with and hope it works to a satisfactory compromise with my husband.

I do not know if my husband has been checking my messages at this point, but I also no longer care as I never had a reason to hide in the first place and I still do not. It feels strange that the week your husband tells you he wants a divorce is the same week you get a couple’s tattoo and write about how you still feel happy about your life, but it is the life I live. I do love my husband, and if he choose to leave, I would be lying to say it wouldn’t be reluctantly on my part. 

He is my best friend and support system, he is the one that has gotten me through the pits and cracks our traumas have caused us and always stood by my side. I know we are very different from one another and it takes so much work for me and him to remain together, but so far it has been worth it and I’m committed to continue working on it until we determine what is truly best for us and our children. I hope he feels the same and that we are able to overcome the obstacles placed in front of us.

Thirty-five and Finally Alive

On Tuesday I turned Thirty-five years old on what I thought was a typical day, however it quickly turned to turmoil after an altercation with some of my family. Due to changes in budget, my family is currently down to one vehicle. My husband decided to take the car to work and let me stay home with our daughter because I had a headache and she was up all night on and off. I had agreed to go to lunch with my grandmother alone to Red Lobster on my birthday, and I planned on and had been dressed and ready to go since eleven.

My daughter was still asleep as was my visiting mother-in-law so I opted to ask my husband if he would bring me the car and I would get him lunch on the way back. He did not know of my plans with my grandmother and wanted to surprise me by taking off early and offering to run errands with me. I felt horrible bout lying to him but I knew my grandmother had been saving her money for hearing aids. I sent her a text in an effort to make a compromise and offered to pay for my husbands meal. Admittedly by then I was a couple of hours later than I intended to be and it was not the first time it has happened. She stated we would do it a different day and that she was tired.

I felt horrible about missing our lunch date but when I arrived I offered to get her something else after she stated she needed to lay down. Almost immediately my husband was accused by other family members of having previous knowledge and crashing our plans in effort for him to get a free meal; one that he does not even prefer as he hates Red Lobster. A second blow was delivered when it was suggested that our daughter dictates our life and we needed to get control of it.

My husband blew up and went to the car at this point and began honking until I joined him. I left my grandmother visably upset and feeling like my guts had been ripped from me. In an instant my day went from semi chaotic to horrible. The next was no better, as I returned the following morning I was met icely at the door by one member and shared a “Hello” with the other as I exited to do an errand. After returning I was told that my presence was questioned in a sarcastic manner and I then made the decision that I would no longer place myself in the presence of those that have no respect for me in secret.

Yesterday I was told through social media that I used my past and trauma to hold me back. I make excuses about how the world has wronged me, and I need to stop complaining and whining and do something with my life. Although my traumas happened over a decade ago, I have never really processed the information. I drank myself numb and denied for over a decade. The several years I have spent in and out of therapy have helped me tremendously, but I am still processing.

I get stronger every day, and I try very hard to manage my life to the best of my ability. I do make mistakes, I do have irrational thoughts and beliefs. Most of these relate to myself and sometimes I misconstrue the thoughts others have. In this case I feel I have yet again opened up about my past to people who do not care to hear it. Instead of being empathetic, I have been told that clinging to my past is my crutch and I use my mental health issues and others to survive in life.

I disagree with this, however I also know that I cannot change the feelings others have about me; those are in fact their perceptions and misguided conclusions that they allow themselves to be deluded by before making and expressing rational thoughts. In fact simple definitions are not common knowledge among them, so I honestly do not know why I expected them to be any different from what they have finally shown their true colors to actually be.

I find it extremely hurtful that I have extended myself to them both emotionally and one financially to continue her habits and then they use my past against me. It’s my crutch I cling to in order to not progress my life and I take advantage of my loved ones. The last one hurts the most but I suspected that had been the mutaul feelings of many people for quite some time. 

I find it ironic that the one that called me out for being lazy has not even yet applied to multiple jobs in our area since relocating and living rent free and smoking and drinking off of cash he makes from the same said family member I supposedly take advantage of for the last four months or the money that was sent in effort to support him across country when he went to school. I am hurt more so than I have ever been in my life by my immediate family and I’m not sure how it will be fixed.

I’m mad that after living a life separated from my family by divorce and missing one event or another during holidays I am again forced to pick and choose sides to have a relationship with my family. I do not feel as if I can trust them again if they honestly feel that way about my past. I already knew from previous discussion that my work ethic is not anything to be proud of and that me and my husband needed to be taught a lesson and take control of our lives. This would supposedly make us proud.

What they fail to realize that everyday I make it out of my bed, breathing, and working towards getting out of the house does make me proud. That every day I fight myself on my worthiness to live in this world and the burdens I place on others, especially my children. I struggle to concentrate through tasks that used to take me minutes while battling anxiety riddled emotions my brain randomly spurts at me throughout the day. I make it to most of the places I am supposed to and I try to be the best mom and wife I can be. This makes me proud.

In the time I have left the military I have earned my bachelor’s and Master’s degrees​, I have worked multiple jobs at once, and I continued to work when I was staying home with our children as a nanny and caregiver until this Tuesday. I got a DWI and stopped self medicating, I realized I had mental health issues and I asked for help, I continue to use these services when available, and I strive to make everyone in my life as happy as possible to a fault.

Recently I decided that my life is my life and mine alone to live. I will do what I and my husband feel are the absolute very best for our family and our children. We both remain committed to that and are going to attempt every effort to be as healthy physically and emotionally as possible from present. I will face things that are uncomfortable and I will continue to grow as a person in my own way and in my own time. While my birthday may not have been one I will remember as being a good day for obvious reasons, it will be memorable in that for the first time in my life, I am living it for me and I finally feel alive.

Loosing my First Crush in a Decade

On Valentine’s day I met a man by responding to a post in our local Facebook poly group. We began cooresponding and we met the following Friday when he arrived at my home. We visited with one another and it led to us becoming intimate while my husband was present. We chatted quite a bit the first couple of weeks and the second weekend we spent together was equally as satisfying as the first. 

Quickly communication began to deminish as the weeks progressed. We continued to see each other about once a week or so plutonically until this past week when he decided he did not want to be in a relationship with anyone. It hurt when I read the words but it felt good to finally get an actual form of communication from him. I shed a few tears at the stop light on my way to my therapy appointment and reflected on what I have learned in the few short weeks I have known him.

I remembered what it felt like to be excited to see a message​ from him and how giddy I felt in his presence. I felt comfortable with him, but I sensed he was gaurded about something. I looked forward to his presence and the things he said that would happen that never did but I always felt I was more interested than him the entire time and that he wasn’t always truthful. I initiated the conversation, the meetups, extended the invites, and made an effort to talk to him. He did say it was overwhelming at times to have attention from a woman and I tried to give him his space.

I hoped for something that was unrealistic to obtain from the beginning but I allowed the feelings to override my instincts because to be honest it felt really good to feel good after not feeling that way for so many years. I loved that he made me laugh endlessly when I was with him, but I also disliked the disconnect I felt growing between us. The last​ night I went out with him alone I struggled to spend time with him and the night ended on a very bad note when he irresponsibly drove drunk in what I perceived as his efforts to get away from me rather than staying at the venue he had admittedly slept at before. 

He didn’t talk to me or respond to my messages for a few days and told me his phone had been shut off but in the next breath told me that he talks to his ex every morning. I was advised by more than one person to not get attached, but that is easier said than done when it comes to humans and emotions. I felt a connection with him that I had not felt with another man since Andy came back into my life, and of course not of the same calliber, I barely knew and still barely know him. I once again let my guard down and opened up too soon.

The last time he came out with me and my husband unexpectedly and returned home with us but refused to do anything besides snuggle, I knew it was the end. He left the next day and we did not speak for about a day. I messaged him to let him know I had started my period, as I thought it may be a relief for him, and possibly the reason he had been avoiding my advances. I got no response, and after a medical incident I alerted him to on Monday went unanswered I really started to get the hint. 

Yesterday I went to the VA to get my IUD inserted and as a person in an undefined relationship, I decided to tell him. I also told him how I really felt about our situation and current lack of communication. I finally got a response today and although it was not the one I wanted to hear, it is the one that I knew was coming. My husband was hurt by his actions and had been encouraging me to let go of the relationship for weeks at this point, but I held on for some reason. 

I responded as honestly and heartfelt as possible to his statement and I got my true feelings out. While I would like to remain friends with this man, my husband feels he doesn’t deserve my time or energy and has stated he is not welcome at our home. It saddens me that what I had hoped would be a great start to a friendship ended so abruptly, but I also know that part of this process involves my husband and his feelings about those involved in our lives as well.

While I disagree with my husband’s thoughts about my judgements and how I treat others he deems as being unworthy of my affection or kindness, I also know that to continue to grow with my husband I have to be willing to compromise with his feelings and actions as well. While I wish my crush had been more open and honest with me about his feelings, I did learn that my unhealthy patterns of beliefs about myself did return when I was unsure of where I stood with him. It made me anxious and almost nauseated at times to remember how scary it is to be in an undefined relationship.

I realized in my own time that I needed clarification on where he stood and I asked for it when I felt I couldn’t continue to move forward with him without communicating further. I learned that I am capable of  having  positive experiences with people away from my comfort zone, which I have been unable to do in over a decade. I remembered how much I enjoy going out to hear my friends play live music. For a short time, just feeling wanted or desired again was nice to experience as well, even though I know I am by my husband still after ten years. 

Many emotions I had been numb to for so many years were able to be felt in a little over a month, this let’s me know that it is possible I can feel a lot more, and I can feel them about myself for the first time in my life. I may have gotten bruised, but I learned and I grew. The bruise will heal too, in time, and I hope that one day he does find what makes him happy, I wish him well, and hope he gets his life in order in a manner he sees fit. I’ll continue to be in the picture however it plays out and although the outcome was not what I wanted, I was reminded that there were two other people involved that wanted different outcomes in the end. 

I Wish my Husband Believed That he Was my Lifesaver

My husband often gets his feelings hurt because I am constantly doing things for others and pushing things I want to do for him off to the wayside. I know it’s wrong and I don’t mean to even do it conciously, but it happens. The day I left for the Navy, June 20, 2001 I knew I was leaving behind a person that cared for me more so than any non related person had ever cared for me. After I arrived at boot camp he religiously wrote me weekly. He was the only one that answered my phone calls and continued to do so after I arrived in Pensacola. 

We spent hours talking while my friends would go out to clubs to meet girls and I laid next to the hotel phone crookedly in the lumpy bed just to hear his voice and long to be in the confines of his little two bedroom apartment back in Arkansas talking the nights away as we always had. I missed his companionship so much that I incurred a five hundred dollar phone bill on my parents calling card in fact, and an infuriated mother.

We made our relationship official, while I was on leave from A-school around Christmas or so of 2001. The week we spent together was so intense, I had never felt love like he had to give. Even after our tumultuous three weeks in Virginia, his immediate move to Massachusetts, the arrival and departure of our child, he never stopped loving me. He was suicidal when I broke up with him the first time, when I was preparing to leave for deployment, but I honestly thought I was doing the best for us both at the time.

He wrote me when I could not receive or make phone calls, when I was restricted from writing letters or emails, still claiming his love for me, a half a world around. When I returned from cruise we had a falling out after a botched visit I attempted to make in Massachusetts. I hurt him deeply, and at that point he decided he was ready to move on with his love life. He let me know in early  2004 that he had met another woman and was smitten by her. I knew at the time I could do little about it, and I was just glad he wasn’t suicidal anymore and seeming to move along with his life. We didn’t speak again for a little over a year. Apparently one night after I had gotten out of the Navy and was at the lowest point in my life, I called him frantic and desperate for a place to go. He told me he had roommates and still was with his girlfriend.

I was so inebriated that evening I did not remember making the phone call. It was the last time we spoke for close to a year or more. After I left Virginia and settled back into Arkansas, my cousin asked me if I had a Myspace account. I replied that my friend had made me one before leaving Virginia but I had never used it. She accessed my old account and I found a message from Andy. He was requesting that I let him know that I was alright after my erratic late night call the previous year. We began communicating again through social media and Thanksgiving of 2006 he called me crying and stating that his girlfriend had broken up with him; he was devestated.

We began speaking more regularly and by March, 2007 I was on a plane to Massachusetts to visit. The moment I saw him in the airport I felt the same as I had the first time I saw him. We hugged and it felt as though no time had passed since we had last seen one another in 2003. I spent the week with him and we had fun visiting the Boston area. I had a blast getting reacquainted with my lost love and when it came time for my plane to depart I felt as if my heart were going to emplode. I felt so lost and alone without his companionship​. We continued talking and I was able to return for a two week visit in the summer.

This trip solidified my decision to move to Massachusetts. I knew to get Andy back I would have to prove my love to him this time around. We began to make preparations for my arrival; slated for June, 2008. It seemed like the longest year of my life, but we remained in constant contact and committed to one another. The day finally came for me to leave Arkansas and start over with Andy. It felt strange leaving, but I was excited for my new adventure. Shortly after my arrival, I found out I was pregnant with our son. 

The moment Andy found out he was committed to being the best father he could be. I instantly felt secure in my new life and relationship and I had been given the greatest gift of all, a life to love. I vowed from the moment I found out I was going to be a mother that I would not do anything to separate myself from my son. Of course I later made stupid choices, but the gift of my son and later my daughter were the missing pieces I needed to remember that I had a purpose in being born on this Earth.

The security and love Andy has shown me the last seventeen years I’ve known him and the gifts of unconditional love I get from all three of them fill every part of me that would ever consider taking my life. It doesn’t get rid of my feelings of worthlessness or that I’m a burden, but because of them I would never purposefully do anything to remove myself from them as they are my life. My sole goal is to make my family the happiest and healthiest we can be physically and mentally with what we have. I know our lives are not perfect, nor do we pretend that they are, but we strive to make it as perfect for us and our kids as possible. 

For the many negative times and petty fights we have and the numerous mistakes, accidents, and bumps in the road, we still continue to move forward, as a family. I’ll never be able to thank my husband enough for throwing me that lifesaver when I needed it most. I hope he knows how much I love, value, care, and cherish every gift he has ever given me, but I’ll never be able to thank him enough for giving me back my life. If it weren’t for his constant support and encouragement to better myself, I would have been gone a long time ago and the fact that I’m still here is priceless.

Halloween Nights; Morning Nightmares

Our command returned to Fallon sometime in mid September or early October. After my stint in my squadron mates room the first detachment, I was sent to complete my temporary assigned duty and placed in first lieutenant, a glorified name for a janitor. The only people in first lieutenant were those that were considered shit bags by the command or those who had no choice. I was partially both, but  respected more than the men that were sent there because of their mental health and other issues.

People were so mean to these men, even lower ranked airman we were working alongside. One day I sent a male out to the Roach Coach to get us breakfast pigs since I had social anxiety and he was always broke. As we were eating he was telling me his grand plan to one day return to our command hanger bay and blow the entire thing up. I had never heard anyone speak like this and the shock read plainly across my face. He gently placed his hand on my arm and looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you’re not anywhere around when I do.” 

I could feel the pain ooze from his words and the agony his eyes carried, how could people be so cruel to make another human to feel so worthless. He remains in my thoughts to this day as I had no clue then I too would understand the pain he felt. He stayed behind when we went back to Fallon and was processed out by the time we returned. Sometime in mid September we said our goodbyes, and I never saw him again. 

When we returned to Fallon as the first lieutenant component of the command we were assigned hanger bay cleaning and out door grilling assignments twelve to fourteen hours a day. I mostly stayed to myself and occasionally left base with trusted individuals on rare occasions. I wore my SpongeBob costume and passed out candy for Halloween to my shipmates and cooked on the grill and spent most of my time with friends that were off. As the detachment was winding down the last week of October and into November and more brass and supervisors left, I was more inclined to venture out.

One night a FLIR tech promised my friend he would let me in a bar he was working the door at that night. I agreed to come along and used another females ID to show at the door. This was the first time I had ever used a fake ID and I was terrified of getting in trouble again. We made it to the bar and began taking shots and drinks with our remaining crew members. A new officer had just checked into our command and people wanted me to dance with him, but I declined fearing fraternization. I continued to drink, but hid in the shadows until closing time.
We prepared to leave for the evening and loaded up in a white duty van. I know this because the man driving was a third class Petty Officer with utilities on. We were supposed to head back to base, but the occupants talked the watch driver into pulling over at an all night bar, Headquarters. I decided I had enough to drink for the evening and would remain in the van. Another squadron mate also remained behind in the front passenger seat.

I began to feel my eyes get heavy as I was overly intoxicated and I laid in the floor on the van between the two back bench seats to try to feel better. The cool floor of the van and the heat from the vents lulled me to sleep. The next thing I remember is that I woke up feeling nauseated. I tried to sit up but I realized then that my squadron mate from the front seat had penetrated me and was on top of me. I’m not sure what happened next but I got sick. I threw up all over him and the van. 

I got out of the van and was still vomiting when the other occupants rushed out to check on me. Someone asked me if he did anything to me but I was so confused; and I knew I would be in serious trouble this time. The watch started freaking out about the entire situation and I just responded, “No.” I sheepishly tried to clean myself off and returned to the van and headed back to base.

That night was not spoken of again for many years. I denied it for a long time. Was I sure he was inside me, why was his tounge in my mouth, my pants were down, it must have been my fault because I thought he was cute before that night, he must have somehow picked up on it and tried to see where it would go. I went into shutdown basically and became numb to many parts of my life. We left Fallon and returned to Virginia for two short weeks before leaving out on the ship and starting the begining of the biggest atrocity I have ever participated in; Operation​ Iraqi Freedom. I had been raped before, in Fallon on the first detachment, but I had denied that one as well, up until 2016 in fact when asked to tell the truth, fourteen years after the incident by a whitness from that night

Denial was the easiest way to deal with it. I knew from Stephanie that I would be separated or relocated with a huge target in my record and no chance at promotion. I had given up my scholarship, I wanted my MGIB. I shoved it all inside and continued to act as normally as possible, to just blend in, unrecognized until I got out. That morning, and the mornings before when my squadron mates decided that my sleeping body meant consent was granted changed my view on my entire life. My self esteem and worth were shattered, I believed I deserved the bad things to happen to me for multiple reasons and stories yet to come, and I became more depressed than I had ever been in my life.

I Went Out While My Husband Kept the Kids

I normally do not venture to far from my husband during his off time. We enjoy being around one another and value the alone time we do get although our intrests vary greatly. Last Friday was no different, I wanted to listen to a friend play a show at a local venue, we had no babysitter, and Andy wanted to play video games. I found our new friend was going to the event and Andy decided he would be all right if I went. I hastily prepared for my last minute plans and was surprised when Andy rushed me out of the door.

The event was BYOB so I turned into a liquor store to grab a six pack of beer. As I did I saw a woman riding her bike in my headlights. I slowed to almost a complete stop when she lost her balance and fell over. I pulled into a safe spot and made sure she was okay before proceeding to make my purchase. A few minutes later I arrived at my destination and my friend came out to great me. I entered the venue and almost immediately became paralyzed by social anxiety. I felt so weird to be out without Andy or another family member, but it was also fun.

My friend helped himself to a seven layer dip and I quietly stood by the kitchen cabinets and took in the scene. A man approached me and introduced himself and when I replied with my name, he responded that his brother had the same name as me. We chatted for a bit and then we made our way to the back balcony so the group could smoke. I gazed at the Fayetteville skyline while the others laughed and chatted and checked my phone. Andy had messaged me, just to check in. I smiled and began to relax and we checked in with each other throughout the night.

The man that introduced himself to me apparently took a liking towards me and I spent most of the evening deflecting his advances, I was there to see my friend not hook up with a random man. We laughed as the man continued to try to touch my breasts, he was being polite and asking but I was not going for it. As the night wound down, we helped clean up the venue and proceeded to get ready to leave. I checked my phone and Andy had been texting and was not happy with my lack of contact over the last hour or so.

We stayed out later than I expected and Andy began to get annoyed, as is understandable. When we arrived at the house, Andy was asleep on the couch. I tried to wake him so we could visit with our friend for a moment, but he did not wake up. The tension was fairly thick so I sat between my husband and our friend on the couch. Andy finally got up and went to bed upset, and I stayed to visit with our friend until he fell asleep.


I invited him to the bedroom, but he declined. I left and went to my bed with my husband, however we went to sleep with much tension between the two of us. The next morning was a bit better, but Andy was still visably upset. I took our friend back to his vehicle and we said our good-byes. I thoroughly enjoyed my night out, and I also learned valuable experiences for my relationship. Andy and I discussed his feelings about the previous night’s events and I listened and understood his concerns. 

While I never imagined I would go to an event with another man I was attracted to while being a married woman, I have to say it was really a great time. My husband would have been miserable at the venue and the music was not anything he would ever listen to. I got to see one friend perform, which I thoroughly enjoy, and get to know our new friend better at the same time. We did not kiss, we did not have sex, we held hands and we talked. It felt really wonderful to be able to connect with someone I like to be around and knowing that even annoyed, my husband would be waiting for me without a worry of him leaving me.

I am proud we have a relationship in which I can go do the things I want with the people I enjoy being around and not have to feel guilty about it. Of course I missed my husband on my night out, but I also know how uncomfortable and miserable the evening would have been for all of us had we insisted he be present as well. Of course jealousy pops its head in, my heart jumped when I saw him entering data on a dating sight, but it was short lived after a brief conversation. 

My main concern was that he had downloaded it without telling me first and I wanted to know if he was going to let me in on the knowledge. He assured me he was and my feelings subsided. I want my husband to meet someone that he can enjoy spending time with doing his intrests and in turn allow me to do the same with mine. I enjoy the value our new friend adds to our relationship currently, with the negative and positive emotions that have arisen. 

I know I’ll be jealous when my husband does meet another pretty lady to spend time with, but I love him enough to know that he would pick someone that added value to our relationship as well. While I never expected to be in this type of relationship, I am thrilled at where we are at this far and I’m beyond excited to see where things go from here. I have learned through this experience that as we continue to grow and change, our relationships must grow and change to fit. Growth is uncomfortable, but it is necessary for relationship survival, and that is one lesson I can say I am proud to have learned through this experience.

Hello, Goodbye

After leaving Andy in Massachusetts my heart and soul felt empty. I drank heavily and worked or slept to forget the pain of being separated; no one had loved me the way he did. We talked daily but his depression worsened mine and we began to bicker over my drinking. About two weeks or so after he left I realized that I had not gotten my period. I fled to the mini NEX on base in a panic. I bought a pregnancy test and immediately peed on the stick.

As the results began to appear and I had never been more frightened in all my life. I was pregnant. I knew master chief would blow his top and I’d be a good for nothing deployment dodger. I returned to my room and laid on my rack and cried. I had always wanted to be a mom, Andy was the first man I had loved that loved me back for who I was. But in the back of my mind I struggled with my commitment I had made to the Navy and my squadron mates, supporting the upcoming war that was inevitable, and honoring my contract. I kept my secret to myself, aside from Andy of course, until we could figure out what to do next.

I knew my command was deploying and the baby would be due before deployment and I would return to sea duty six weeks after its birth. We could have gotten married, and he would be able to return to Virginia to live and raise our child, but that was not an option because Andy did not drive at the time. I continued working but I stopped drinking. It honestly did not make any difference though because within a week or so of me finding out I was pregnant, I had a miscarriage.

I sunk into a horrible depression and blamed myself for drinking and not eating and smoking before I found out that I was with child. Andy was devestated, as I was. The next few months we began to fight more often and I drank far more than I ever had. By the time he turned 21 in August I decided to break up with him. I was getting ready to go on detachments to Fallon, NV and then the ship for the next year or so and I would have no phone and little access to email. I thought I was doing him and me a favor so he would not have to be so lonely while I was away.

He became suicidal and constantly talked or discussed those thoughts with me. I became overwhelmed with the stress of the relationship and did not talk to him much at all when I was on detachment. We found out a good friend of ours died back in Arkansas from a random call I got from Jon one day, and that was the last I really remember talking to him until after I returned from cruise the following year other than letters he sent me while out to sea.

I knew I still loved him, but I also knew I could not be there for him the way he needed me to be at that time. We were both miserable apart, but I often wonder had things been different would we still be together today? Would we have our beautiful children we were so lucky to conceive at a later date? I recently discussed how my PTSD kept me from feeling elated when I found out Andy and I were going to have a child later in life and how frustrated I was to not be able to have those feelings most new moms get to experience. 

I thought, perhaps my loss of our first child that I never really was allowed to grieve and the guilt I felt for harming it as it developed kept me from fully experiencing the joy of having two gorgeous children years later. I love my children more than life or anything it has to offer, they by far are my greatest gifts I’ve ever had, but I have trouble expressing emotion with them from time to time and it’s beyond frustrating. I hope with this realization I finally put my guilt aside and know that the best gift I can give to my first unborn child is to treat their brother and sister the best I possibly can and give them all of the love and emotions I want.

If I had never gotten pregnant the first time and lost our child, the bond between Andy and myself could have been permanently broken. Perhaps that bond is what lead us back together and gave us both the life we desired to spend with one another in the end. I do not always believe things happen for a reason, but I think I can finally burry some of the guilt I harbor over our first child. Afterall, there are two siblings that deserve the same love and respect I’ve held inside me for so long; I forgive myself and I am thankful for my past, my present, and all of the lessons I have learned, especially the negatives.