Beautiful Alaska & Spousal Introspection

More photos from Alaska! I rode for three hours each way to Denali State Park, which is roughly the size of New Hampshire. I also learned that with a population of 627,000, it’s about one person square mile in Alaska. Very impressive… very serene! We went hiking in the state park, and enjoyed most unique views. Now, I am not the most outdoorsy lady in the world, but I can camp like a pro, and went through military survival school. However, hiking for the sake of hiking revives unpleasant imagery of said survival school, which I’d rather not ponder very often! I relaxed and enjoyed the scenery and serene stream that was flowing a few hundred feet below me while the guys hiked up a steep, rocky cliff. Nope, no desire to do that!

I return home Friday – can’t wait to start cooking and eating healthily again, as well as have the opportunity to exercise in warm, pleasant weather. We spotted a Caribou, but alas, it did not have any delicious coffee. What it did have was an uncaring attitude to all the large SLR cameras capturing him, though!

The little guy on the right is a ground squirrel, and if you know me person, you will know that I probably had a conniption upon seeing him! Look at that cute little tongue. Quite a large fuss was made over this portly rodent!

As I am progressing through this trip to Alaska, I spend time with fellow gentlemen co-workers. It’s somewhat difficult to be female and listening to them talk amongst their friends; it’s not what you think, however. So many of the men seem to be hurting because of their lifestyle or home situations. The candor in the words they speak is extremely sad, even heartbreaking. These are family men who are confused, misled, or are on the verge of giving up on their marriage or home life.

Because this particular job field is so demanding, many probably wish they could speak to a professional about the goings on in their lives. But with the demanding nature of this career field, it is frowned up on to speak up to get help with these kinds of situations. It marks you negatively as “unreliable” or insinuates that the performance of your duties is in question… which is so false most of the time. Being blacklisted for reaching out makes the problem snowball down the road, and eventually might put the duty performance in question instead of having the resources to get help right away when you need it.

These are strong, capable men who are some of the finest in the world. I think about how much more motivated and higher achievements they could see if only they were happy at home. Some of it is attributed to what I stated above, but it’s also with their family. I see a general lack of support from spouses to support themselves. What does that mean? Each case is different that I hear – some men are unhappy with their bedroom lives, some spouses refuse to make friends and henpeck their husbands instead, some don’t develop a hobby outside of child rearing and expect their husbands to fill that void. I’ve noticed that these spouses refuse to make friends because they’ll “be moving soon” or “have little in common with other spouses”. Not everyone is going to be your best friend; not everyone you meet is going to be the kindred light of your life. It’s not all about you. You get out and make friends to keep busy, social stimulation, and to give a more positive attitude at home. You owe it to your spouse to make yourself happy before they can ever attempt to do the same for you.

When your husband or wife works sixty hours a week, it’s not going to be like the romance movies. Hell, any relationship is not like romance movies. Cut the man some slack. The expectations should be adjusted and the key is serious patience. These spouses knew what they were getting into when marrying a military aviator; the long hours and deployments. I want to give a reality check sometimes: being that my spouse is also military, the time together is just a fraction of most couples’. Our deployments are on opposite schedules. It’s even more difficult to develop a social agenda with others based on our long hours. Traditionally, the military officer is male and the wife’s job was to manage social contacts and engagements, and help raise children. It works. These traditions have changed for the better, of course, giving the lady the choice to pursue interests.

However, in this situation, something always has to give, whether it’s the privilege of spending time together as a married couple, the time you spend with your children, your social contacts/calendar, or the hobbies your pursue. I find it infuriating that some of these stay-at-home wives or part-time workers cannot manage their basic responsibilities, and in turn, are hurting their husbands in ways they can’t imagine. Being military and also having a military spouse is harder than they can imagine, but it was, ultimately, a choice that I made. I take responsibility for it, and try to keep my marriage afloat in the process.

I’m not saying it’s all about the women’s shortcomings, but creating an inviting, quiet, comfortable home for your work-weary spouse is crucial, regardless of gender. Laziness is unacceptable as a military officer’s spouse. You must attempt to “do it all”; it’s a huge responsibility, but such an important one to support the leaders of our United States military so that they may confidently and successfully lead others and climb their career ladder to aid in providing a fabulous life for their entire family.

We won’t have it known, dear,

That we own a telephone, dear.

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