As I'm squeezing my facial cleanser into my hand I find my mind begins to wonder. You see, my brain never seems to shut off and I end up thinking up blogs just after I've had a few minutes out doing something a simple as washing my face. In the early days of married life I found it difficult to develop friendships with the partners of my husband’s friend’s. On the outside I maybe appeared a bit of an Ice Queen, but I didn’t mean to be.
You see for a long time I’d been subjected to the horrid tales of people in the forces cheating on their partners. It was rife and it almost made me glad I didn’t live on a military base. Most could not begin to imagine the love triangles that operated. That aside, not living on a base meant I felt a little isolated and I didn’t feel like a proper Army wife. My first quarters were in a residential housing scheme because the former married quarters had been sold to a housing developer when the base no longer housed a regiment, so they only needed a handful of houses. I’d only agreed to move to keep my husband happy. I met a forces family living there the year earlier and thought it might be a chance to be involved in the next best thing; a smaller community where I could be friends with fellow wives. By the time we moved in, that family had vanished. The word on the street was that the wife had done a runner with the children after an affair was uncovered. That was my first experience of “army life” and the way some conducted themselves. I think with the fear of infidelity, some chose to keep themselves to themselves. When I moved into the house there wasn’t many of us. The single guys in the recruiting team occupied one house and it was a total mess. If you looked through the windows into their living-room, it was sparse with the occasional enormous hole in the wall and the grass was never cut. They lived life as you would on an actual base, picking up trash during the week and then out with their “chick” at the weekend. Some of the married guys thought they could do they same, and it wasn’t uncommon to take your wedding ring off and put it in your pocket on a night out. Postings changed all the time and there was a high turnaround of new guys in the recruiting team, usually unmarried guys. Most were local and had a girlfriend in the same town. Not being on a base you would generally only mix with the partners of your husband’s close friends, rather than choosing your own. I remember being on the verge of making my first friendship with one girl when I found out that her boyfriend was being unfaithful. I felt so sad for her. I froze when I was told whom the other woman was; I felt sick. It made me feel like I couldn’t be friend’s, what a great way to start, keeping her boyfriends affair secret to save face for your husband; I knew I couldn’t. What made it so much worse was that this guy was taking said woman to his girlfriends flat, not his flat, her flat and sleeping with this other lassy while she was at work!! What is it with these guys, I just don’t understand what makes them gamble everything they’ve got for sex with some slapper. Some men are not the sharpest tools in the box when it’s being offered on a plate. They probably don’t think that far ahead. They are probably so self-absorbed thinking their wife or girlfriend has forgotten about them, grow the fuck up!! Some just have no idea how tiring it is running a house and looking after children. I felt safe in the knowledge that I could trust my husband, this bad stuff happened to other people.
As I said earlier, making friends was very difficult for me, especially with the baggage that usually came with military spouses. Getting emotionally involved with wives made me feel uncomfortable, not wanting to carry the burden of knowing their husband was up to no good. I needed to try and put my past experiences behind me and make a real effort as a good friend of my husband had met a serious girlfriend. We had met a few of his girlfriends but he said this one was different. The first time we met up we went out for a meal and had such a good time, I thought she was really nice; we seemed to get on. We didn't have much in common at the time, so I guessed we probably wouldn’t be bosom buddies. Unlike me she already had children, she didn’t live in the same town and she smoked; smokers made me feel awkward. I just found most were unsympathetic to non-smokers. However I wasn’t your average non-smoker, I was someone with a serious lung condition who’s breathing was affected by the slightest sniff of cigarette smoke. I tried to be polite about it. Maybe it’s wrong to expect that people will make allowances for you. Her boyfriend worked away from home so I thought I maybe just had to grin and bear it, for the amount of times we would actually see them. The two friends always went out drinking together when he was at home and there were times I resented it because it would happen even if we couldn’t really afford it. Some people are happy to live life on the edge and maybe even take out payday loans when they are a bit short, but I liked to live within my means. Which on the surface can look like you’re being all boring and sensible. I remember this particular night where I dropped my husband off for his latest knees up and I was asked if I wanted to stay and have a drink. They were already a few glasses into their bottle of wine, but I had the car outside, so I couldn't really. This was our first social gathering without our partners there. We chatted about various things and it seems when you’re married but don’t yet have children, everyone wants to know when that is going to happen. This was a bit of a raw subject for me with the ongoing fertility issues but I felt comfortable talking to them, I felt like I was part of the crowd having known my husband and his friend for a number of years. I ended up sharing with them some very personal information, which I foolishly thought wasn’t going to be repeated, but it was and the shit hit the fan. From then on I subconsciously became a recluse as a way of protecting myself where they were concerned. I didn’t want to socialise with them because I knew I’d always have to be on my guard. It didn’t go unnoticed, but it’s not like I wanted it to be like that. I was suffering emotionally and that betrayal of trust deeply affected me. Invisible wounds are the hardest to heal. Everyone deals with things their own way and in their own time. I guess I appeared all ice queen again. There were constant pleas for me to kiss and make up, so to speak. I was always getting told that the guy’s girlfriend thought I didn’t like her. I heard it over and over and over. I did like her but I felt I couldn’t get close to her and tell her anything because it would come back a hit me in the face. It also didn’t help matters that the friends were a pair of gossipping fishwives when they were drunk and unbeknown to her, I was getting a full account of what she actually thought about me, after every night out; which didn’t really help build bridges. He should have really kept that to himself. Was it any wonder I had a sour face in their company.
It’s funny the secrets husbands and wives keep, how they confide in each other and know potentially damaging information. Yes, I know a few marriage breaker secrets of my own. You find you know the in’s and out’s of all their friends relationships and I wonder how much of my life was out there for general discussion. AND GIRLS -No matter what bullshit these guys tell to get into your knickers. That’s all it is, Bullshit. Well done for being so stupid and guess what, they don’t love you, that was also a lie. Now who looks like a fool? These women have no conscience and adopt the attitude that they are single so the infidelity problem is not theirs, but that’s untrue, that’s just what they tell themselves when they realise they’ve been had!! One thing I can tell you though, is that I wish both women and men would show more respect for their partners or people in relationships. Maybe the answer is to get to know a person properly before you open up your soul to them. I’ve said in previous blogs that I trust too easily and that’s something I need to work on in the future. Trust, it take years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair and once broken it's never the same again.