If you’ve followed me for a while now, you would know that my husband got off of active duty last spring and I the fall before him. My job in the Marine Corps was easily transferrable to the civillian world and I found employment as a government contractor. I was also able to finish my degree while on active duty. This made it pretty easy for me to find something. Actually, I’ll admit that I got pretty lucky because the owner of my contracting company is a retired Marine and he looks out for his own. They actually found me. I’ve been quite fortunate for that and in a little over a year have had two promotions.
Alex on the other hand, was an infantryman. His sole purpose in the Marine Corps is to be on the front lines. In the last 5 years we have tackled four deployments as a couple, three of which were his. When Alex wasn’t deployed he was preparing to deploy. This gave him no time to work on a degree. He doesn’t really like school anyway, but I finally convinced him that it’s a necessary evil and he is enrolled to start classes this spring.
Alex has been umemployed for the better part of a year and we keep on keeping on. I am so proud of us. Sometimes, I have horror flashbacks of having to work so often to try and pay off my tuition and rent that I was skipping classes to pick up extra shifts at work. In the end, I failed. My tuition wasn’t paid off and I had to leave school and I dreaded it. I felt like a disappointment. I was the first kid in my family to graduate high school let alone go to college and I had to pack up my bags and head back home. I was so ashamed to face people and be a college drop out, I enlisted in the Marine Corps and left for bootcamp two weeks later. So for the last 10 months, the rent has been paid, there’s been food in our bellies, and I was able to do it. And I am so proud.
The good new is, Alex has a position. He doesn’t have a start date yet, but he has something lined up. This is like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s like knowing we can start saving for a home and going on more dates. Heck, I may even be able to eat Chipotle once a week again. But the best part about it, is that Alex gets to work. My poor boo has been home stir crazy for months. It may have been a nice break at first from being on active duty but after a few short weeks, it can really take a toll on someone not having a purpose each day. I know that in the month that I was unemployed I was bored and stressed. I knew I had to work, wanted to work. I knew that I stood a better chance of quickly finding a job. I knew that I needed to take care of my family and bring home the bacon.
That’s what marriage is about. It’s about stepping up when your partner is down. Being strong when the other is weak. I often see military couples where things go south as soon as the husband gets off active duty because the wife doesn’t work. In my not so humble opinion, the wife had four years to get her ducks in a row and get ready for their new life outside the military and often times they don’t. So often, working is left to one spouse when marriage is a joint effort.