To Tell or Not To Tell – That is the Question!


I feel rejuvenated after a fun-family loaded long holiday weekend, filled with good food, BBQ’s, homemade sangria, and of course some sale shopping too. It’s always a blessing to be surrounded by family and I appreciate every moment – even when they make me feel like I just want to pull out my hairs.

This weekend I also went to visit my sister-in-law who has been home sick with meningitis. Since my return from our family vacation about 3 weeks ago she was hospitalized for over a week and transferred twice to other hospitals before doctors were able to finally diagnose here. Feeling helpless, it was a scary time for the family. She is a young, vibrant, healthy, and always active woman. You would never think her health would fail her. After countless medical tests and numerous specialists, our prayers were finally answered. Thankfully, doctors were able to diagnose, provide appropriate medication, and discharge her from the hospital. She is now home and slowly recuperating.

When I was first told of my sister-in-laws’ hospitalization, my husband’s oldest sister contacted me. She, being the protective older sister, mentioned she hadn’t told my husband so he would not worry. I completely understood where she was coming from. I also did not want him to worry about anything more than what he ‘needs’ handle while on deployment. So here I found myself – stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do I tell him or not?

I was expecting a call from my husband that day and all I could think is – “what if he asks about his family or his little sister?” I don’t want to lie – I never keep anything serious like this from my husband. I always tell him everything. (Ugh!) What do I do? Again, like my sister-in-law said, I didn’t want him to worry.

 After much consideration, and contemplating my options, in the end, I went with my gut feeling. I told him that his little sister was in the hospital but eliminated the extra details, such as they didn’t know what was wrong the first few days and that she had all kinds of specialists seeing her. I waited until she was properly diagnosed and treated to finally fill him in on all the specifics of her condition.

I know this is not going to be the first and last time I’m confronted with this situation in which I must battle in my mind: to tell or not to tell? Communication is always a huge factor in relationships – but even more so when there is thousands and thousands of miles between you.

I try my best to follow the tips about phone calls with your deployed spouse: try to be positive, try to not only speak of the frustrations but how you resolved the issue and to let him know that you still need him – but all I can promise is to be me and to be honest and as most wives – military or not, I don’t intend on lying to my husband either – I can only follow my intuition on deciding how to inform him about the circumstances on the homefront.

Naturally, if I’m worried, sad, or scared – I obviously want my other half to know and feel it with me – and I’m sure my husband wants to be there for me too. He is fully aware of what I’m dealing with here on the homefront – the bills, the food, the home, the cars, THE KIDS, the good, the bad, and the ugly and he wants to part of it. However, I too am fully aware of how full his hands are and my husband needs to maintain his focus on his current deployment – I want him to! His role for our country surpasses any appointment I need to make or car that needs to get fixed! I don’t want my husband to be anxious unnecessarily about the issues happening on the homefront and just as he protects my freedom I will do my best in protecting him from burning into a crisp from emotional overload.