Since Joel went to Iraq the first time, I always get asked whether I watch Army Wives. Mostly, it's non-military who ask me... maybe they assume since I'm a milspouse that Army Wives has to be my #1 can't-miss show. But since we live all fancy-like and don't have cable, I've never seen it. But now we're living like royalty and have Netflix, so I've been able to watch all the cable shows I've heard so much about. For some reason, though, I could never bring myself to watch Army Wives.
Last week I decided to see what all the talk was about. And I'm now officially 100% hooked. I've been watching a few episodes each night and have cried more over the last few nights than I have since Joel was deployed last year. Seriously.
I can see why so many milspouses are hooked. Although there is a whole lot of drama in that little group of army wives, there are so many things that are completely relatable, heartwarming and heartbreaking. Since we don't live on post/base, I don't have a lot of military friends. Most of my friends are civilians. And if it weren't for the milspouse blogging world, I would know only a handful of military wives and families. So, during Joel's deployments, I've leaned on family and friends. And I love them. They try, hard, to empathize - but there's a lack of understanding for the military lifestyle that make them unable to sympathize with our life, our separations and our struggles.
One thing that's really moved me about the show is the sense of community amongst the group of friends. They all truly understand each other's emotions. They know, by just a look, why there's a distance in their friend's eyes while her husband is away. They know what to say and not to say when their friend's marriage is struggling because of the stress of deployments. They fill in the gaps when their friend's husband is at war.
Since we are Guard, we have very limited interactions with other military families. Mostly because we don't live on post so we're not involved with each other on a daily basis. But I really want that to change. I need it to change. At this point in our military life, I really need a community around who understand the emotions and the stresses of this lifestyle. I've finally connected with a few families from Joel's unit and it's so refreshing to have other women who understand our husband's "shop-talk" and lifestyle. It's taken 8 years for me to finally feel that I have a few other military wives in my life, who live in the same town, who I can talk openly with about the good and bad of this life.
I really want to make a commitment to that - to work on forming relationship with other military families. I want my kids to know other military kids. I want to do better to reach out to other women who may be struggling in their marriage post-deployment (just like Joel and I have) and offer some support and encouragement. I just want to be better connected and bonded.
After sifting through all the drama, Army Wives has taught me that in order to survive and thrive in this lifestyle, we need to depend on each other.