Life After The Uniform

Coping with my recently retired spouse

One of the unexpected side effects of my husband retiring from the military is that … well … how should I say this…he never leaves. Which seems like a strange thing to complain about…and I’m not really complaining so much as …well…forget it, I’m complaining. But not because I don’t enjoy his company …I’ve just never had quite so much of it. Here’s what I mean.

Throughout our military days, and especially the last few years, my husband had jobs that required lots of short-term travel – gone for four days, back for three, gone for two, back for seven. You get the picture.

Although I hated the constant presence of a suitcase on our bedroom floor, the Aeroplan points rocked (Elite status … how we miss you). I also enjoyed being able to complete a project from start to finish … choosing my words carefully right now … without “advice”.

You see, my husband and I aren’t just from Mars and Venus … it’s more like Mercury and Pluto. We have the same over-arching life philosophy – we just have totally different ways of getting there.

And I pretty much want to do things my way. All the time.

Certainly during deployments and courses, and even with the in-and-out travel of the past few years, I sort of got used to making the family decisions on just about everything. And now all of sudden, my husband wants a say. What’s with that?

Turns out the guy has ideas about stuff. Like choosing furniture sort of stuff. And kids activity kind of stuff. And food. For 17 years he’s eaten what’s in front of him. Now he has suggestions for the meal plan. Huh?

So, I’ve had to give my inner control freak a bit of a shake…and tell her to lighten up. I let my husband pick out the new barbecue last week; and I didn’t even go to the store with him. That was huge!

But he still needs to stay the heck out of my kitchen…and I’ll stay the heck out of his garage. And it turns out neither one of us wants to do math homework with the 8-year old, so we’ve given that job to the 14-year old. And the rest, well, I imagine we’ll figure it out. It’s not like he’s going anywhere.

Laura Keller spent 17 years married to a military man, who has recently retired from the CF. They live in Guelph Ontario with their 3 kids and dog. Laura also writes her own blog at

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Laura Keller

Laura Keller has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. Eventually, she became the wife of a Combat Engineer and mom of three. After her husband's retirement, the Keller Krew settled in southwestern Ontario, where they readjusted to life after the uniform. The Keller family faced another readjustment when Laura’s husband passed away suddenly the summer of 2016. Laura had been contributing to CMF Magazine since its inception back in 2010.
Canadian Military Family Magazine