Her husband wants to go to Afghanistan. What should she do?

How important is it to support your partner’s every decision? Even when that decision may impact their personal safety. Lilly* writes


My husband is on the verge of joining the Army. If he achieves the appropriate test scores the jobs he has picked out are all of the horrible dangerous variety which involve long stints away from home on training and eventually deployment as well as the entire family moving far from home and any support.I want to support him, I know how important a satisfying career is to overall happiness and if this is what he wants well I guess we have to make that happen but there is so very much I despise about it and so much I am apprehensive of.

Some of our best friends are ‘defence families’ and I have watched my friends worry for their husbands wellbeing, move constantly, and plan and celebrate their Christmases, anniversaries and childrens birthdays alone. We have two children aged 2 1/2 and 1 as well as another on the way, my husband has always been a very hands-on Dad and being a military wife seems to be the equivalent of single parenting. I don’t relish the idea of re-introducing shy children to a father who has been away for most of the year.

I’m also nervous not only about how being in the Army and participating in active service may change my husband but also how I may react to that. I’m not a huge supporter of the war in Afghanistan or indeed war/violent solutions in general, my husband is. It’s never been a problem before but I don’t know I will react to him knowing that he has shot at and potentially killed other human beings.

I guess what I’m really looking for is a heads-up on what to expect, and some coping mechanisms.. How do you cope with having a partner who is away half the year and who’s occupation involves being shot at?