Come Back to Me

If you had the opportunity to speak with my husband about the beginning of our oilfield adventure, almost 4 years ago, he’d tell you it was hell. Not because of the job, the traveling, the distance, the learning, and so on. It was because of me. He will be the first to tell you that I fought him every step of the way when he decided to take this job. I had already lost my brother, a cousin, and a few friends to the oilfield; now I was about to lose my husband. The big difference, for me, was everyone else was single at the time. We were newlyweds, and I felt abandoned. I was downright angry. I mean, seriously? We’d been married for 10 months and he was ready to leave the state? Granted, it was only for a month, but I’m his wife, and I’m emotional, and I was fuming! What scared me the most was what was about to come. Ryan’s a Marine. He was used to traveling, being away, living in a life of male camaraderie, and learning new jobs (terrifying, tremendously important jobs at that). I was petrified the oilfield would spark that love in him again, and that he’d ultimately leave his new love, me, at home…alone. He boarded that plane for his first training trip and with tears streaming down my angry, distraught face I begged him in my head to please, please come back to me.

And that he did. Approximately one month later he came back to me. Well, kind of. His body came back to me, but inside he was different. I could feel it. It seemed as though his freshly hardened muscles came accompanied by a newly hardened personality. He was a little more cold toward me and a lot less patient. Of course, I didn’t help matters by crying all the time. Whatever had happened, whatever this was…I didn’t like it. I wanted to scream and yell “See! I told you so! I told you this would be awful,” and it was!

come back to meAs a matter of fact, it was awful until pretty recently. To sum it up in a small/medium nutshell: Year one was a whirlwind of emotions and ambiguity. He had his new life and I had mine. It was then we learned to “live separately married”. When it comes to oilfield wifery, I’m a bit different in a sense that his rig has been fairly local since day 1, and he’s been able to come home every night. Now, after 16 hours of rig work his body comes back to me, not (I repeat not) a functional husband.  Separate.lives. ‘Nuff said. Year two we were blessed with our first house, our first dog, and our first baby. In year two we learned what it meant to be married (I can hear all the married people out there saying “Yeah! We know that!”). Year three we started to get the hang of things. We knew what to expect. Our 14/14 rotation was down to a science. We became comfortable and solid in our roles as roughneck/husband/father, wife/mother/keeper of all things.

That brings me to this year. This is the year he finally came back to me. And I went back to him. Something clicked and this time we got it right. For a while we were skating on very thin ice. We honestly weren’t sure what was ahead of us. It was sad and scary for both of us. We had lost ourselves in the mountain of bills, jobs, parenthood, more bills, marriage…so lost. But with a lot of not giving up we, somehow, found each other again. Good things didn’t come to us, we made good things happen. We fought with the same brutality that almost tore us apart to get us back. I’m so thankful we did!

Our oilfield life isn’t go anywhere anytime soon, but as you all know, our oilfield life will be changing yet again soon enough! This time we’re better prepared. We’re stronger, more confident in what needs to be done to make it through. This time I know, no matter where he goes, no matter how long he’s gone, he will come back to me. {The hardened muscles are simply an added bonus to a newly strengthened marriage!}

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!


  1. Candice Kirkland says:

    I am feeling her exact pain at this exact time in my life.

  2. Ditto, but the light at the end of the tunnel I just don’t see right now!

  3. Thanks for posting this! Today is our FIRST anniversary and the last 6 months have been rocky, to say the least. The man I fell in love with comes and goes, but for the most part, he’s absent. With a seasonal job, I have idle time to think and wonder and he used to text and call all the time, but the thoughtful gestures are now just a memory. Your website has given me hope that it’s not just “us”, but this job, that’s contributing to his ever changing personality.

    Thanks so much for sharing…

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