This Salon.com piece has gotten a lot of milspouses talking...... Read the whole article and join the discussion over at Leftface blog- the blog for "other" milspouses ;)
How to Leave a Soldier, by Courtney Cook, reposted from Salon.com:
You’d be surprised how easy it is to leave a soldier on deployment. You can do it with a letter. (He can’t argue with you. He doesn’t have a phone.) If you lay the groundwork early, saying to the soldier before he leaves, “This will be the end of us, we might as well admit it,” it’s that much easier. The letter won’t even come as a shock.
And if you have children with that soldier? You can handle all that with a letter, too. He’ll write it — because he cares about the kids, because he wants to work with you to do what’s best for them even though you’re leaving him — and you’ll give it to them. Here again, you will avoid a nasty confrontation. Who will they cry to? You? You’re just the teary-eyed bearer of the letter. Him? The one who’s sweating it out in the desert?
There will be no moving truck, no boxes, no house torn asunder. The soldier is peeing in a bucket as you pack. He doesn’t care who gets the couch.
I can chart the entire history of my first marriage along the lines of U.S. military engagements. I fell in love with my ex-husband in no small part because he was a soldier. He was a Dartmouth senior on a ROTC scholarship, and his heroes were George Patton and Ulysses S. Grant. He could use words like “valor” and “courage” without irony. I liked the way he carried himself — taller it seemed, and with honor.
He was from Oklahoma, I was from Wyoming, and Dartmouth was a culture shock for both of us. We were public high school kids who’d grown up driving pickup trucks and going to church on Sunday. We came from families who ate hot breakfasts together and said prayers over dinner. I was a wide-eyed freshman, experiencing Virginia Woolf and Henry David Thoreau for the first time. John was slightly more worldly. He was in a coed fraternity and owned a motorcycle — things that raised eyebrows at the weekly Campus Crusade for Christ meetings we both attended. I didn’t pay attention to their warnings...