M.I.C.: The Beginning of the Marine Corps

7:00 AM

In March 2009 Clark and I were facing some rough times. I had been in a sorority for about seven months. At the time I really didn't see what it was doing to our relationship. I was investing more and more into these girls and less and less into my marriage. I mean, let's face it. I was just about 20, a sophomore in college, and was really just starting to experience life. Most people at this age aren't married, or even close to it. I think the number one reason for that is maturity.

If you're going to get married young, you need to be prepared to really grow up with the person you marry.

I digress....

So, I was investing a lot of my time and energy into the sorority. Clark was competing for my attention. Whenever I gave it to him, sorority sisters complained. Whenever I gave them attention, Clark complained.

I was torn.

Clark was feeling useless. Here I was in school, and there he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his part of our life. He said he wanted to take online courses. He started. Then we met with a Marine Corps recruiter and he considered going active duty, then he backed out. We met with the OSO (Officer Selection Office... I think) and he started talking about the long-term plans. He liked that idea... for a while.

Clark was impatient. He wanted the change now. He wanted to be done with school, going to The Basic School, and all that jazz. He didn't want to take all the steps that lead to the ultimate goal-- he simply wanted the ultimate goal. He wanted to accomplish something. He wanted to BE something.

I clearly wasn't showing him at this time that he was someone, especially to me. Or, if and when I did, it just wasn't enough. Ahh to be 20 and married.

Well, in March Clark decided to go talk to a recruiter again. We had been over it and over it and I told him I'd support him. While we had talked through many options, I didn't see any other than him doing something that would make him feel successful. I realized that all my "success" in school was making him feel inferior. Marriage was about compromise, communication, and sacrifice, right? Well, I was willing to do whatever it took. I knew he was restless.

Before Clark went, we knew the OSO had ratted him out to his parents. He had talked to them about what he wanted to do, and how he was restless, and they had no answers other than everything would take time. That's clearly not what Clark wanted to hear. So, he went to talk to a recruiter about his options. His dad was calling me nonstop while he was away. I ignored the calls. One was around one in the morning. I was so angry. It was our decision after all. We were our own family. Even if we were making mistakes, they were our mistakes.

I knew that one way or another, Clark was going to join the Marine Corps. I just didn't know he was going to do it right then. When I got a phone call saying it was done, that he had signed the paper work, that he was going reserves, that he'd leave for boot camp (13 weeks straight of no communication other than letters) at the end of the month... I was furious.

Anyone who talked to me at that time, or around that time, will tell you I was a disaster. I didn't know what to do. I felt like I was completely losing control of my marriage. That may sound crazy, and it may sound like we were just irresponsible kids who shouldn't have been married in the first place... but it wasn't either of those things.

It was another bump in our marriage, yes, and perhaps at the time I didn't know it was another time for God to carry me through, but it definitely was something that needed to happen to make us both stronger.

Clark came home late at night. I cried, yelled, cried, and yelled. I'm pretty sure at some point I may have thrown a thing or two as well. I just didn't know what to do.

In the end, we talked, we prayed, we called family. It was all we could do. Like with everything else, this was just the beginning of another adventure.

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  1. I remember this period of time all too well. You are a very strong woman with a very strong marriage to got through this hurdle. So proud to know you. You give me hope for my own marriage.