Being Away

Being Away

Postby STATMATT » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:59 am

Breifly, I love my wife, very very much. But on the same note I volunteered for Iraq to get away. I felt the creepy crawlies of "grass looking better on the other side." I cam to Iraq and after 7 months I wrote her a letter and told her the truth about what I had done and why I had volunteered for this mission as opposed to a stateside mission. Just the fact that I had broken the ice was a hurtful but bonding experience. Being honest about the hours and hours looking for free porn. or eye balling every beautiful women. "Never touched, but my thoughts didn't leave much for imagining." Just being honest with her about it was a bit liberating. But, now after being away for 11/15 months i feel so disconnected. I found out an Ex boyfriend came by and kissed my wife, she was very honest to tell me that and I appreciate her honesty, but the jealously/violence giant is roaring inside me. I feel hurt and angry, I feel like I should say more than "thanks for being honest with me... I'm frustrated, but what am I going to do here in Iraq." I've lost sleep over this preanalyzing every prior conversation over the past few months. Thinking of the subconcious background noises and driving myself batty. I'm feeling disconnected, Like I don't know the right questions to ask. I read the bank and credit card statement like it is a window into my wifes life. Phone conversations are along the lines of I miss you, I love you, I cannot wait to be with you, Is there anything going on, No, How is the dog, Fine, How is work, OK, And then I'm like OK I'll call you when I can wich is about once every 10 days. I read the book. It sounds great, but my wife and I love each other, but I've become such a different person, maybe it is the toils of combat and combat related stress, But it just seems like I don't know my wife right now at all and that hurts a lot.

Maybe this should be posted on the infidelity board, but Roles and Job seemed relevant when I started writing this. I don't know. I'm really just frustrated.

Wherever this post goes is fine, I just need a backboard. Guys in combat aren't the ones you realy want to talk with about your wife, since it starts a downward spiral of negativity towards women.
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Postby tlescak » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:43 am

If you would rather be in Iraq than at home with your wife, it seems to me you are very unhappy with being married and maybe should look into a different lifestyle. I'm just being honest here, no disrespect intended.

I often think that I would rather be single and "play the field". But then that seems like such an empty existence, and I think of the value of having someone who loves me and cares about me and wants to share my life. In many ways this is far more intimate than any sexual experience I could think of.
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Postby Lonely Canuck » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:54 pm

STATMATT: I kind of have similar feelings as you describe, but have limiting my away time to a business trip or two rather than the Iraq, or as I am a Canadian, Afghanistan option. My conversations with my wife, who I also love, are similar to yours.

So what to do? If I truly knew, then I would not be in the position I am. But Dr John Gottman has written a good book called the "Seven Principles for making Marriage work". His first principle is building a love map - a detailed view of what makes your partner tick. You really need to sincerely ask about her day, what are her likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Perhaps that is a place for both of us to start.
Lonely Canuck
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Postby Hremom » Tue Jul 25, 2006 3:28 pm

Did you choose Iraq over the temptation to cheat, or over staying home with your wife? It sounded more like the first one to me.

Of course combat has changed you. I'm sure being alone and having to handle everything at home has changed your wife too. The military offers some counciling when you return home, I highly suggest you take advantage of it.

My Dad was in the US Army for 20 years. I know it's a hard lifestyle for the entire family, but of course it's worst on the soldier. Wives or husbands left behind have the kids, extended family and friends for support, you only have your fellow G.I.s letters, phone calls and if your lucky email.

Write your wife, even if it's a few random thoughts, daily and mail it off at the end of a week. Be very honest, that your feeling disconnected and unsure. Tell her your dreams for the future (are you career military? Do you have or want children?) Tell her what you love about her and why. Ask her to write back in similar fashion. This was how my parents courted (12 dates, engagement and he went back to Vietnam for 9 months. They literally courted through the mail. My mom still has those letters). Sometimes it's easier to be emotionally open.

So an old boyfriend kissed her. She told you, she didn't let it go any further. IMO that's a reason to feel confident that she's loyal. Don't let your imagination get the best of your relationship.
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Digging the flesh of an old wound

Postby STATMATT » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:05 pm

Much time has passed since this momen of uncertainty. I am fully present to I chose Iraq over staying home with my wife for a variety of reasons that had been there since the beginning of our path together.

Lets see, I came home, moved into the house we bought before I left and 30 days later, I thought things were going better than they have been, and boy was I in for a surprise. She had a boyfriend two hours away, that she said was a girlfriend that she would go down to see every now and then. Then one day I came home and noticed her frustration. I asked..
"What's wrong, I can tell you are upset, but have no idea of the reason?"

She replied, "I wanted to wait until after Christmas to tell you this, but I love you and I'm not in love with you and don't think I ever can be anymore."

I was appreciative of her candidness and honesty, and looked into the army counseling programs. She did not want to meet as a couple so we met separately with different counselors.

She affirmed her position and I gave her the ammo to make the turmoil end... i.e. "I lied to her, and nobody understands why I would do such a thing"

I moved out shortly after and we were divorced about 6 months later, and sold the house finally more than 2 years later.

I've grown immensely, and after several deep dips into suicidal depression, i have come out on top with a life that I love living. Not everything is perfect, but I fully accept the roll I played in the destruction of our marriage, and I started playing it from the start! 9 years earlier.
two major themes
Don't say anything that might hurt her feelings.
And the other was a marriage gone brother/sister or a marriage without touch.

The inauthenticities were large, but it has taken till now to feel that I have dealt with them. for the first, I read attachment theory books and then had a painful forgiving conversation with my mom. The second I went to massage school and learned specifically about nonsexual touch, the duality between giving and receiving, and energywork.

On the other side of the house was getting me into an integrated social life. I took courses with Landmark Education, the coaching from those courses is priceless and being held accountable to be a man of integrity by peers, has really blossomed my life, that I have created, through requests of others and following through on my promises.

After a year of that, I found weaknesses with my relationships to other men. So I did the Warrior Weekend Adventure Training with ManKind project and now have a mens group, that meet weekly and assist each other in fulfilling their life missions.

Valuable lessons, it is OK to speak your truth, even if it hurts or potentially hurts, the next is my relationships with men are much more important than my relationships with women. Also for future relationships, is to be the life that I love and create, for my future mate to be the life that she loves and creates; and for us to choose to cocreate a separate life together, distinct from our own.

So yes, This doesn't include all the other stuff, VA medical appointments, almost loosing my job several times, post traumatic stress disorder(hypervigilance, disturbing thoughts, startle response, constant shaking),
a house in a nosedive market we were trying to sell, forgiveness, lonliness, and homicidal/suicidal intentions.

So I still struggle with depression, and PTSD, my former wife (she's not my ex.... negative, but former... neutral) and I still have a friendship and call each other to catch up about once a month. Both of us being happy for the other, and how if we could do it over again, WE WOULD. knowing the outcome and where we both are in having our own self expression and developing a sense of relating instead of controling. Things are really great now.

That's the update... Is the woun't healed, not entirely, I still find myself crying at times when an event taps into the sadness of those moments and the loss of an expected future. I'm cautious in dating to choose a co-creation over choosing my former wife in a 'different wrapper.'

3 years later,
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Postby Scott Haltzman » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:32 pm

Wow Matt,
Thanks for filling us in after 3 years!
Growth can bring much pain, can't it. (and pain can bring such growth)
Scott Haltzman
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Location: Barrington, RI

Postby STATMATT » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:47 pm

If it wasn't for the spammers sending private messages to my email through this site I would have not taken the time to follow up as I'm a happily single man right now. Who may or may not get married in the future, but also knows that either way I'll be happy.

I guess the major lesson learned in all of this is. Any large swing in life events from the expected, may feel awful in the moment, but as sentient human beings we are resillient. So I've come to look at drastic changes as a good thing... such as being medically discharged from the military after 15 years. That changes my expectations, perspective and commitments for the next 5 years, and in this moment of not knowing out of that, something great will appear.
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