Ex Military Spouse and Veteran’s Day

The other day, I came across a post from another ex military spouse. She talked about how she used to post about her veteran and was so proud on Veteran’s Day, but this year she didn’t post anything on social media.

I’d never actually thought about it, until after I read her post. I realized I did the same thing!

My intentions were to think about it and post my thoughts the next day, which would have been last Monday. Well, that was the day ex asked girlfriend to marry him. I have put this post on hold for almost a week, because I did not want my anger to cloud my logic. I did not want to be angry at ex and write about being proud of our soldiers.

I was with my ex for a total of fifteen years. He was in the military almost that entire time. He joined the military right out of high school. Then 9/11 happened. I remember being pregnant and a newly-wed and him being deployed. I watched the news every day. Stressing if he would come back home.

I support our soldiers. I could not do it – don’t have it in my personality. I have several friends and family members that are members of the military. I hate that so many scammers give military soldiers such a bad name. Or, even worse, that divorce is so common with military members.

It is challenging being married to a military guy. Long distance. Deployments. The unknown. Must be flexible. It takes work.

Now, the rest will be only related to mine and ex’s personal experiences.

Deployments were ex’s vacation. He would volunteer to go. He would not have to parent. He would get to travel. He would chill by the pool or at the mall. He would cheat. His first deployment, I was pregnant – about five months pregnant at that time – and we were on the phone and he was rambling on, and he said that he wished there were more women deployed with his unit for him to look at. He brought back pictures of the trip. One picture was of a woman sunbathing. Every deployment was another chance for him to cheat. The deployment before I filed for divorce he tried to sleep with the woman. She did not sleep with him. Only because she had a boyfriend – not because he was married. They bought each other gifts. She even sent gifts to him to the house.

I have thought about sending her a message. Thanking her. Thanking her for not sleeping with a married man. Thanking her for being another nail in the coffin of my marriage. I never have spoken to her. Hell, thank her for shedding a little more light on my ex’s behavior.

I’m kind of surprised ex was interested in her. I know I’m not “gorgeous” but I am so much prettier than that woman. She had no curves. Tom boy. No makeup. But, then after the divorce, ex went in the complete opposite direction with women. High maintenance. Tons of makeup. Both of the girlfriends I have seen were the same – both fit that description.

Okay, so I’m rambling….

When I was married, I posted about how proud I was of ex for being in the military and for serving. After I finished with him, three years ago, I stopped posting. I still support our troops. But I think a part of me felt like if I continued posting my support then maybe I was still wanting him. Maybe I was trying to “play a part” and lie to myself. Would others see the posts and think I was still hung up on my ex?

Honestly, I’m not sure. Ex blames me for the amount of time he has been on deployments.

I never expected ex to still be in the military. I had figured after his first contract was up he would get out. And each time he would reenlist without talking to me – we were married each time. He even reenlisted early one time, and never talked to me about it.

I’m glad he stayed in the military – for selfish reasons – for our daughter. She gets great insurance and benefits being a child of a military member. I am proud of our troops. But am I “proud” of my ex? No.

I think when I was married, I forced myself to be proud because what a horrible person I would be not being supportive of my military spouse. Even though I knew what was going on during deployments, others didn’t.

I really believe that is why I used to post on Veterans Day – to keep this illusion that I had this wonderful marriage. To fool myself and others. To play the role I was supposed to.

I think I stopped positing my “pride” for my ex as a veteran, because I just remember all the cheating, lying, and fights because of the military and ex. I remember the fear of him threatening to divorce me and take full-custody of our daughter. We had only been married for two years when he first threatened divorce. I seriously believed him. I thought that since he was military the judge would rule in favor of him. He would get everything. I would lose my daughter forever.