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The Other Side of the Fence.- Does HLTA Hurt A Marriage More Than It Helps?

Lil_T

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I read a few posts here and there about homecomings and stuff like that and it kind of got me to thinking.

Sometimes I almost wish he wasn't coming home for HLTA.

Before you flame me to high hell, understand that I do love my husband very, very much. 

From Jan - Aug 08 I lived with having a part time husband.  If he wasn't up in Pet, he was in Texas or Wainwright.  I saw him on weekends if I was lucky.  Block leave in July was the most time we'd been able to spend together in almost 3 years.    So this upcoming leave feels like a big tease.  Just get used to having him home and he's gone again...It would probably be easier on me and the kids (and the dog) if he did a little travelling or something to that effect during his leave, than having to say goodbye again. 

That being said, I miss him.  I forget what it's like to be able to roll over at 3am and snuggle into his back.  I forget what his voice sounds like without the staticky connection and delay from the phones over there.  I hate that.   I want to remember what it felt like when he ran his fingers through my hair.  I countdown the days til the projected date he's supposed to come home, which incidentally is just before the baby's second birthday. 

I wonder to myself, how much has he changed - how much have I?  I don't want it to be weird when he gets home.  And I can't wait 'til he's home for good.... until the next course or whatever.
 
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:)

Sometimes I almost wish he wasn't coming home for HLTA.

You know, he doesn't have to come home for HLTA. Pack up your suitcase and join him in Thailand instead. Why not ? HLTA is the perfect occasion for you two to enjoy some quality time. These 2-3 weeks will give you a well deserved break and will allow you to fall in love *lust* all over again. His return home will be that much more exciting !
 

Lil_T

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well... being that his flight's already booked, and I have no desire to go to Thailand.  Add to that the fact that we're banking the bulk of his deployment money for some renovations on the house it's just not in the cards.  Sadly the whole falling in lust thing is going to have to be put on the back burner.  The logistics of packing myself, the kids and the dog just so I can meet him in some random foreign city isn't going to work.  I appreciate the suggestion though.  I'm just being practical.

But that wasn't the point of my post.  It's a matter of the weird/ awkwardness when he comes home, and then dealing with having to say goodbye again. 
 
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I am sorry to hear that you feel this way... I guess that your situation is different than mine... No young kids, just a 16 year old son and a cat and a dog... And a mutual desire to travel and experience new things, places and people.

You might want to share your thoughts and feelings with other spouses, friends and family. Take good care of yourself.
 

Lil_T

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Yeah, our situations are definitely different.

I don't want it to seem as though I'm whining, I knew what I signed on for when I married him.  But right now, my priorities don't include travelling.  I would LOVE to reconnect with him, but I can't see that happening very well in a short 2 week time frame, so it will have to wait til he's home for good.

For what it's worth though, I do share my thoughts and feelings with my friends.  Thanks.
 
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I would LOVE to reconnect with him, but I can't see that happening very well in a short 2 week time frame.

See, that's what going away would help you do : concentrate on the 2 of you, and nothing else. Like a honeymoon...

Staying connected through Skype and lousy telephone lines is quite a challenge, and very frustrating ! You are not winning, you are sharing your feelings...

 

Lil_T

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yeah I know, like I said though, it's just not in the cards right now.  we are planning a good getaway to Europe sans kids (barring deployments) for our 5 year in 2011. 
 

leroi

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Lil_T said:
I read a few posts here and there about homecomings and stuff like that and it kind of got me to thinking.

Sometimes I almost wish he wasn't coming home for HLTA.

Before you flame me to high hell, understand that I do love my husband very, very much. 

From Jan - Aug 08 I lived with having a part time husband.  If he wasn't up in Pet, he was in Texas or Wainwright.  I saw him on weekends if I was lucky.  Block leave in July was the most time we'd been able to spend together in almost 3 years.    So this upcoming leave feels like a big tease.  Just get used to having him home and he's gone again...It would probably be easier on me and the kids (and the dog) if he did a little travelling or something to that effect during his leave, than having to say goodbye again. 

That being said, I miss him.  I forget what it's like to be able to roll over at 3am and snuggle into his back.  I forget what his voice sounds like without the staticky connection and delay from the phones over there.  I hate that.   I want to remember what it felt like when he ran his fingers through my hair.  I countdown the days til the projected date he's supposed to come home, which incidentally is just before the baby's second birthday. 

I wonder to myself, how much has he changed - how much have I?  I don't want it to be weird when he gets home.  And I can't wait 'til he's home for good.... until the next course or whatever.

Cheer up Lil_T. That was a tender, honest, heartfelt post.  He will be home soon and the time will fly by if you keep busy.

It cannot be easy for either of you and perhaps more difficult for him--because he is away from all he loves: you, children, family, community.
As human beings we never know what is waiting for us around the corners of life. That's why, I'm sure, you'll make the most of your time together.

I'm sending you this poem by Sara Teasdale (one of my favorites when I'm blue; I'm highlighting the last stanza as words especially for you).
Hope you like it:

                      Life has loveliness to sell,
                      All beautiful and splendid things,
                      Blue waves whitened on a cliff
                      Soaring fire that sways and sings,
                        And children's faces looking up
                        Holding wonder like a cup.

                      Life has loveliness to sell,
                      Music like a curve of gold,
                      Scent of pine trees in the rain,
                      Eyes that love you, arms that hold.
                        And for your spirits still delight
                        Holy thoughts that star the night.

                      Spend all you have for loveliness
                      Buy it and never count the cost;
                      For one white singing hour of peace
                      Count many a year of strife well lost,
                        And for a breath of ecstasy
                        Give all you have been or could be.
                       

     
                                                               





 

Lil_T

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thank you so much leroi.  that poem was beautiful.  I really appreciated that.  I guess I'm just having a down day, but I am really looking forward to seeing him again (and maybe getting a bit of a refresher of those things I'm having such a hard time remembering :) )
 

leroi

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Yes Lil_T, we all have those dismal, dreary thoughts sometimes and your situation--waiting for the return of a loved one--is not easy.
 

Fusaki

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Lil_T,

You're definitely not the first to suggest that HLTA is more of a strain on relationships then its worth.  On my last HLTA I met up with the girlfriend in Australia, and honestly, it did not turn out nearly as pleasant as I had hoped.  It's tough to adjust to vacation mode, then adjust back to tour so soon after.  Psyching yourself up for separation again is a big stressor.

That said, HLTA as a single guy was awsome (read my post about Thailand in the other thread). I'd hate to give up that travel opportunity. As well, there are plenty of married folks who's HLTA goes just fine. Once couples have done a few tours together they know what to expect and it just gets easier.

So there is no easy answer to the problem. My best advice is to have faith:

1) You're not alone in feeling like this, and

2) The first tour is always the hardest.

As well,

The army is looking for a solution to avoid extended periods of separation prior to tours. On one hand it's workup training that keeps guys alive. But on the other hand, long and drawn out workup exercises are tough on families. Again, there's no easy solution. But I can tell you this: The army has identified a problem with the way we are doing things and is working on a way make it better. How exactly? I don't know, but that was one of the LFCA Commander's messages as he was touring Pet last week.
 

Lil_T

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Wonderbread said:
Lil_T,

You're definitely not the first to suggest that HLTA is more of a strain on relationships then its worth.  On my last HLTA I met up with the girlfriend in Australia, and honestly, it did not turn out nearly as pleasant as I had hoped.  It's tough to adjust to vacation mode, then adjust back to tour so soon after.  Psyching yourself up for separation again is a big stressor.

That said, HLTA as a single guy was awsome (read my post about Thailand in the other thread). I'd hate to give up that travel opportunity. As well, there are plenty of married folks who's HLTA goes just fine. Once couples have done a few tours together they know what to expect and it just gets easier.

So there is no easy answer to the problem. My best advice is to have faith:

1) You're not alone in feeling like this, and

2) The first tour is always the hardest.

As well,

The army is looking for a solution to avoid extended periods of separation prior to tours. On one hand it's workup training that keeps guys alive. But on the other hand, long and drawn out workup exercises are tough on families. Again, there's no easy solution. But I can tell you this: The army has identified a problem with the way we are doing things and is working on a way make it better. How exactly? I don't know, but that was one of the LFCA Commander's messages as he was touring Pet last week.
 

thanks for that,  it's not our first tour, but it is certainly our first scary one as the last one was practically in a vacationland.  I think after this though I'll be able to handle just about anything.
 

ladybugmabj

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Lil_T said:
From Jan - Aug 08 I lived with having a part time husband.  If he wasn't up in Pet, he was in Texas or Wainwright.  I saw him on weekends if I was lucky.  Block leave in July was the most time we'd been able to spend together in almost 3 years.   

How many caught the fact that Lil_T isn't in Petawawa where the work up training for this tour was???  You've stated you've basically been a single parent for the better part of your marriage. Is he reg force or reserve??  That doesn't matter, really. the point that you were making is true for all of us. My husband came home on leave  a few weeks after OP Medusa had ended. I couldn't wait to see him. After all he had been through in that hell hole, and knowing what he was going back to, having him next to me every night, knowing he was home with me was wonderful. Although the time was brief, that leave period was amazing. I was able to reconnect with him, he was able to talk..which he needed to, and most importantly, my children were able to have their father home. Try not to look at this as an awkward time, even for those few weeks. How is your husband doing???  I bet he can't wait to come home and see you and your child.

As for going to meet him on the HLTA, an awesome idea, but not always feasible. I did it in 95 and would love to do it again, but I dont' see any more tours for us in a long time (3 in 4 years to Afghanistan is alot)... hang in there!! Enjoy the time with hubby...
 

Lil_T

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You're right, I"m not in Pet.  I actually envy those in Pet, at least their husbands were able to go home at the end of the day.

I am looking forward to it - and we have a web cam date in a little while  ;D  which I'm looking forward to.  He can't wait to get home, pretty much every other email says "I can't wait to get out of this hole" or "is it X date yet?"  I feel bad because I know how miserable he is.  I joked with him the last time we spoke that the next deployment is mine... (if I get in that is)... and he can stay home and hang out with the kids.  I don't know, there are good days and there are bad days.  But since most of my days have been pretty good, and this deployment is just flying right by, I"ll take the bad days as they come.

I really appreciate your input.  thanks.  I can't wait for him to come home now... maybe even more so since a friend offered to watch the baby for the evening so we could have a real date night for once.
 

Lil_T

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;D

almost that time.... almost....

weirdness has subsided, excitement and butterflies abound!!  YAY
 

Lil_T

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Well, he's back where he was.  Thought I'd update.  No weirdness at all.  Which was great.  I didn't realize how used to being alone I had gotten til he had been home for three days ;D.  Love him dearly but there were times that he was just driving me crazy.  He was home for Christmas which was awesome - we went on a search throughout the entire Ottawa area looking for that blasted Tim Horton's china mug (which we later found copious amounts of at the Brockville service centre).  We both totally spoiled each other.  Good times.  Our date night went pretty well, went out to Yuk Yuks, the comics that were good, were really good and the ones that weren't were just awful.  But we had fun just hanging out together without the kids.  So now we're in the homestretch.  Got his travel dates for when he comes home so I'm happy about that too.  It was a great great great 19 days.  The only thing that sucked was that he flew out on New Years Eve.  At 10pm.  Booo.  Oh well... now I go back to the old waiting game.
 

1feral1

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For me it was great, we had so much fun in Greece (Santorini) mid tour. 6 days after I got back after the tour ended, she left.

So, either she was a good actress, or I was to blind to see the facts. Either way, I did not see the coming shyte storm, and the real battle did not start til after I got home.

Good or bad, well, thats like flipping a coin.

My two cents, and no pun intended, ha!

Regards,

OWDU
 

Lil_T

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Geez Wes, that's really too bad about your ex.  Don't know what it is with some people. I'm glad you had a great time in Santorini though.  We plan to travel for our 5 year anniversary.  Though now, it's a debate between Europe and Australia.  He wants to go now after a few of the guys went for their HLTAs.  I don't care, I've never been anywhere.
 

darmil

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It is hard coming home for HLTA on this past roto 5. I came home which is Edmonton and moved my family to Chilliwack.( I'm a reservist ) It was very hard coming home packing up, driving a u haul truck all the way to the wack!Unloading spending almost a week there driving back in my pick up, few days in E town then back to guarding convoys.
I was crazy!3rd location would have been easier for me.I'm living here now with my common law wife and 6 yr old daughter.Hope things work out for you. Take the time to enjoy each other!
 
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