Sunday, June 19, 2011

Technical School and Missing My Man

When my husband told me he wanted to enlist in the Air National Guard, my first response was a resounding "No."  And that no remained on my lips for weeks as I nodded in agreement to his choice, as I smiled to our friends and family when he told them the news, as I kissed him in support on his way to the recruiter's office.

Sometimes marriage is holding back your no.  Holding back your fear, your sadness, your bossiness, in order to let the other person say yes.  Sometimes their yes is more important than your no.  Your no may be right, but their yes is more right. 

His yes is motivated by different reasons than my no.  Losing the baby gave him a different outlook.  He was going to be a father, and then he wasn't going to be a father anymore.  Someday he will have a chance to be a father again, and he needs to be ready.  He needs to know that he is the best father he can be to our future children.

His yes is driven by his desire to see who he can be, when he is only himself.  His yes has been waiting inside for years as he has grown up in the same town, as he has stayed safe and gone to school and worked jobs that were expected of him.  His yes was expecting to be given a chance to be proven, to be tested, to be shouted.  His yes has been fighting inside of him for years.  Perhaps his yes could have escaped if we lived in a different life?  If we hadn't gotten married at such a tender age, if he gone away to college, if he had military family members?

His yes was patient.  His yes was ready.  His yes knew that the right time was waiting, that it was coming, that it was here.

This isn't a path I would have chosen.  He has been gone for fourteen weeks, and I miss him.  I ache for him.  I can hardly be without him.  I lie awake and night staring into the darkness, staying on my own side.  I spend money however I want, on shirts and dog toys and fast food.  I stay up late.  I am a version of myself that I may have been if I had been single somewhere along the line, if I hadn't gotten married at nineteen and moved from my parents' house to my husband's house.

My no has truth to it.  But his yes is more than my no.  Sometimes marriage is choosing to say "I am doing this for you", selflessly, maybe even selfishly.  Because if my no had turned in to his no, would he be unhappy?  Would he resent me?  Would he feel guilty for denying a dream he had held onto for all of those years?

And someday I will be glad for his yes.  I will be glad for a husband who is true to himself, to his dreams, to his future.  I will be proud of him.

Tonight I just miss him.


  1. wow, I love this katherine. Holding back your no in or for your husband to strive toward his YES! i love it. and I know you two will be great parents some day.

  2. This is such and sweet and genuine reflection of you and your marriage. Putting our spouses before us is the beauty of the relationship - but I can't even imagine the lonely nights. When my husband leaves for mission trips with the students, I hate it and it's two weeks at the most! I admire military wives as much as those that choose to serve our country as well!

  3. This is a beautifully written post. It must have taken so much strength to look beyond your own fears and reflect on the situation objectively. I am so genuinely excited for what this decision will bring for you both, it just feels right, you know? And even more excited for when he gets home!