I prepared a great lunch today only for my husband to call and tell me he was not coming home. In the background, I could hear the laughter and conversations that I knew would be part of my husband’s day. Laughter and conversations that I nor my kids would be a part of because it was with you- his other family.
I went into the bathroom and cried. I did not want my kids to see me sad again because daddy had to stay with his other family.
I have tried for the longest to overlook all those times I felt my husband choose you over us. I reminded myself that holidays did not have to be celebrated on a particular day of the year, even though the other families I encountered reminded me all too well that I was simply lying to myself and my children.
Because of you, he missed Santa Claus. Because of you, he missed the Easter baskets being set out and the eggs being boiled. Most of all, he missed memories being made with us because he was with you- his other family.
I wish that I could tell you that I understood but I simply cannot understand his other life. I don’t understand when he tells me you need him because deep down I am screaming so do we.
I try so hard not to be selfish; to understand that you need him just as much, but I am sick of sharing him. I want him home with us at dinner, not with you. I want to know that I won’t have to sit in the church pew all alone, as I do most Sundays because he will be with me, not you.
I want us to be his only family.
I have tried to hate you. I have done what I can to make you the bad guy but his loyalty to you is honorable and if I am honest, cannot be faulted. And when he is being faithful to you, he is providing for us- his family.
So when he calls me and tells me he is not coming home, yet again, I only do what I know to do. I hold my head up high and keep my voice steady and tell him it’s okay.
I will admit that there are days I fall into the trap of self-pity but I try to remind myself there are other wives out there that share their husbands with a second family. And my husband is not the only one that missed Christmas, the setting out of the Easter baskets, and the boiling of eggs or the memories being made.
I have to remind myself there are others at home receiving the same exact call that their loved one, yet again, will not be home today. Knowing that my husband loves you and would lay down his life for your safety makes me take a second look at you.
Over the years, I finally gave in and tried to see a tiny glimpse of his other life. I understand why he calls you family now and why I must share him. I pray that you realize just how wonderful my husband truly is and just how blessed you are to call him part of your family. And I will do my best not to take to heart the times he spends with you. It won’t be easy but being a family never is.
A Firefighter’s Wife