I know for a fact that my husband loves me more than anything. He's proven it. How?
Last week he not only burned me a CD of my favorite Neil Diamond songs, but then he PLAYED IT IN THE CAR without being asked or prompted.
Of course, he did turn it off when we were going through the gate (he knew the SP on duty), but as soon as the windows were rolled up he turned it right back on.
When I talk to new military spouses, one of the first things I tell them is not to look for answers to their relationship problems on Dr. Phil, on MSNBC or on any of the other popular psych sites of the moment. The very first thing we have to learn about having a military marriage is that we can not use the same measures of relationship success that others can. My husband is not going to come home many nights. He's going to be gone for months on end.
And it has nothing to do with how much he loves me.
It did take me quite a while to get used to this. My expectation was that by coming first in hubby's life, it meant that I could say - as paraphrased by Honey in The Incredibles, that hubby was not going to put on his super-suit this time because we had dinner plans.
Yeah, um, that's not quite how it works. Because, first and foremost, it's not only about how much my husband loves me - it's also about how much I love my husband. I love my husband more than anything, and because I do, I recognize that the person he is (the one that I love so much) is a military man. It is not a job for him, it IS him - who he is. And because I love him, I have to make those allowances.
See? This is how I show hubby how much I love him.
But the fact that hubby is not a conventional husband that follows the conventional Dr. Phil rules about conventional marriage doesn't mean he isn't in love with me. I had to learn through many years of marriage how to gauge the love being shown by by my military man, because there just aren't any books that explain it. His "language of love" is different.
For instance, Neil Diamond. That was a tough one for my Metallica fan husband to do. But he did it for me.
One of my favorite military-language-of-love stories came from Lemon Stand, whose husband would pick flowers during deployment to press and bring home with him. How absolutely meaningful! Joan d'Arc's husband sent her the sweetest one month anniversary gift! And armywifetoddlermom's sweetie has sent her love letters to treasure.
So, when is "The Five Languages of Military Love" going to be published? I do think Family Readiness should stock it in bulk.