Here is a significantly edited version of his response. Keep in mind that we'd already talked a little about this on the phone... and I'm providing only a snapshot of his response:
"baby i love you... i don't think i have a problem with the idea of being married to you and living with you (kids is still a touchy issue though so don't push it) but going from us now to that is really hard on me."
ahh... answers that make sense. I love those. This is not over... I will need something before we move to Georgia, ideally an engagement ring, but I'm open to negotiations. And yes, our relationship is so weird that it probably will sound just like negotiations.... but it works. The double talk and the confusion are explained, and he and I are both aware of some things. Him talking about marriage and not backing it up is not working out for me... and I promise I've been as least pushy as possible! but I'll keep trying harder. And trying to make it easier for him to feel better about him and I. And Hopefully, if our Army cooperation lasts (which I'm not counting on), I will have five weeks this summer when I don't have to be on this awful Island...
I'm still not looking forward to going through another deployment as 'just a girlfriend,' and I am sure that we will have many conversations between how and then to figure out how I'm not going to lose my mind through this one. There was an interesting post at SpouseBuzz recently that got me thinking. It was about mil-to-mil marriages and the possibility/very real reality that casualty notifications can slip through the cracks. I guess maybe in that way I have more in common with mil-to-mil spouses than other spouses. I go crazy during deployments, but only half of it is because something may happen to Ranger Man. The other half is the knowledge that if something (heaven forbid) does happen to him- no one has to tell me. That's the real scary part.... and the knowledge that the 'no news is good news' mantra will keep me in the ark for what, days, weeks, could I go for months- thinking he's deep in some mission, being okay with not hearing from him.... shudder. that's what scares me about being a girlfriend. But, we'll figure something out, I'm sure. everything will be okay, right? (mantra number 2)