6 Phases in The Life of A New Army Wife


1. Phase I -Bedazzlement -Life is rosy. Literally. You will be sent flowers from whichever corner of the country your soldier is posted at. You will wooed with chivalry in all its forms known to mankind, rather the womankind. You will be floored even if you had been a feminist all your life before. You are in love with a soldier, you know, those amazing manly men, who live by chance, love by choice and kill by profession!  Those late night talks, those romantic messages, stories from their academy days and their field postings, dreams for the future, etc etc. Your 'civvy' friends will bombard you with questions about your about-to-collapse career and you'd reply - Don't worry, I'm different from other fauji wives. May be they aren't career-oriented enough. But I'll still be working after marriage'.

2. Phase II - Amazement - You get married. You are giddy with happiness. The new bride gets all the attention, and pampering from your new family a.k.a your Unit. Of course, you are the Queen of your Soldier's life. You set up your small little home, Bollywood style. A dazzling man in uniform as your husband, a cute little house probably in the mountains, ample time where you get to sit back and have coffee while you read books you've always wanted to read - you are living your dream life! You even learn to cook and try your hands at exotic dishes, may be even bake! You don't miss your work at all. If you hadn't already before marriage, you go back and resign from your job, because who needed it anyway. Just you, your husband and your little dreamy life here is enough.

3. Phase III: Realization - Something itches. Ladies meets catch up. And welfare 'activities' you cannot make sense of. The saris which made you feel like the epitome of womanhood, which your husband would so lovingly help you put on (and remove ;) ) start to annoy you. You are done exploring the little town. How often would you meet the same 2 or  3 ladies in your unit? They are very nice, but they can't be your friends, because your real friends are back home. You don't have a job, you don't have friends, you feel like you don't have a life. And one day you wake up and realise - What have I done?!?

4. Phase IV: Rebellion - You cry. All the time. Your soldier is never home. And whenever he's home, you fight - because he's never home. You are lonely. But you don't want to meet anyone. You don't want to step out of the house or attend any events and parties anymore. You stop reading books, even though you got so many of them from the library. You stop pursuing all your hobbies.You don't want to cook or bake or wash dishes because - hello! You're not a maid! And being at home, being homely, is not natural to you. You were once a successful career woman  You don't like not having any money in your account and having to ask your husband for money, because it hurts the ego of this 'career woman' who had never asked even a single rupee from anyone once she started working after studies. You just want to get back to work again, and get a salary in your account every month and spend all of it on shopping, like you used to do - before marriage. Heck, you realise marriage is the culprit. Life was so good as a single independent woman!

5. Phase V: Acceptance - After you are done sulking for a few weeks, you realize you have to take charge of your own life. You realize the soldier is never going to have time because of the usual military woes - heavy workload, manpower crunch (If only the government would do something about it!). And the Captain that you married is probably a Major now, so asking for his time is like asking Bill Gates to visit your home for tea and chit chat. So you start going out alone. You start re-engaging with the ladies again, but this time you try to genuinely get to know them and be their friends. Your girls network within the fauj increases. You make new friends. You start participating pro actively in the welfare of the families, may be use innovative means to improve their lives for the better. You join some skill building course. Or you start applying for new jobs. May be you get one. May be you become an entrepreneur! Or may be you apply for that (dreaded) B.Ed after all. You start building your life anew. 

6. Phase VI: Contentment -You are happier. The soldier is also working at managing his work-life balance and tries his best to spend quality time with you. Your life has gained back it's rhythm. You are busy again. You feel useful again. You feel like you are making a difference in someone's life. Your love for your soldier, and this fauji life has only got stronger. Also for the sari! You start treating every hurdle with a pinch of salt! Because you realise, it's not your man or your marriage, or the military that is the culprit - it's the situations we face day to day. And as long as you are a team, you will sail through it successfully.