I can’t believe Marek and I have been married for about three months! I was thinking about our dating relationship a couple of weeks ago and felt called to share a little on what it was like to be a military girlfriend for three years.
If you had told me three years ago that I was going to date and eventually marry someone in the military I would have laughed. Internally, I did not think I had the strength needed to be the significant other of someone in the military. But God laughs when you make plans, so I was not surprised when I found myself falling in love with the cute Coastie from Michigan. I knew early on that Marek would be worth all the deployments and other challenges that our military relationship would endure.
I am not going to lie, the first year was tough. Between trying to learn what all the different acronyms meant and how to balance a long-distance relationship, I felt overwhelmed. But also, at this point I had not experienced much of military life.
About 6 months into dating, I had planned a trip down to South Florida to visit Marek. We had not seen each other in 3 months. I decided to go down there because I needed a break from work. I planned on waking up early one Thursday morning and driving down to be there by the time Marek got off from work.
However, it was August which meant hurricane season and there was a big one headed towards Texas. It was Wednesday and I was at work counting down the hours till I got to see him but then my phone rang. It was Marek. He didn’t usually call me at work, so I was a little nervous. I picked up and I heard him deep sigh (every call after that when I heard that sigh, I knew what was coming). He told me he was on-call and more than likely headed to Texas to help with hurricane relief.
I remember feeling a bunch of emotions at this point. On one hand I was really upset and crying my eyes out but on the other hand I was proud that my boyfriend would be helping people in need. I didn’t know what to do.
I decided to still take the days off from work and just relax. However, at about 7pm the next night my phone rang again. It was Marek. I figured he was calling to tell me that they were leaving soon but he instead he said that they were not needed anymore. I quickly packed a bag and planned on leaving early the next working.
Being flexible and patient when it comes to planning things was a major thing being a military girlfriend taught me. This wasn’t the first and it will not be the last time this has happened. Other times he actually ended up having to leave and I got used to making tentative plans. Learning this lesson has been super helpful, especially recently with having to postpone the big celebration of our wedding because of the pandemic. At the time I was obviously upset but I think one of the reasons I was able to remain positive was because being in a military relationship taught me sometimes plans change and get postponed.
Another big lesson I learned was that love knows no distance. It can travel thousands of miles over the oceans. (I know this is super cheesy but its true). I will eventually write a whole blog post on tips for surviving deployments but for now I want to focus on what deployments taught me.
In our three-year dating relationship, we endured at least 5 deployments. Some of them were short and others were long. Some we could text every night and others we could only email every couple of days.
Deployments are hard and they suck. But they taught me that you can still love someone even if they are thousands of miles away. I remember the way my heart would flutter when I receive an email from Marek after not hearing from in a couple of days. I remember the happiness I would feel if he could call me while in port. And I remember the joy my heart felt after that first hug and kiss when he returned home. Our love always grew stronger after deployments and I could write about the numerous lessons they taught me, but I will save that for another day.
And lastly being in a military relationship has brought me some wonderful ladies whom I am happy to call my friends (you know who you are). These seasoned military significant others listened to me vent, gave me advice, and more importantly made me feel welcomed.
I am happy for the time I spent has a military girlfriend and I know I will continue to learn lessons now that I am a military wife.
Military relationships can be challenging but they are worth if it. If you are new to the world of military relationships and need to chat my door is always open.