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I’m hesitant to apply labels to my own sense of self, but when attempting to communicate I find they are necessary. We humans lack the cognitive capacity to relate to each person we encounter as wholly unique individuals, though it is only through seeing an individual that we enter into a relationship with their truest self.

So here are some labels to which I do not object strongly.

I am a Soldier. Specifically, I am a Combat Engineer Noncommissioned Officer, which means I bring nearly two decades of experience as a leader to the table. I’ve deployed into combat 4 times, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. My experiences as a Soldier have provided the framework for much of the stresses in our relationship.

I am an Orthodox Christian. Now, from a certain point of view this should come first, but I’ve been a Soldier longer. I was not raised an Orthodox Christian, but I am one now for reasons that deserve their own book. This outlook and view on Christ and one’s fellow man have deeply informed my view of marriage, of my wife, and of myself.

I am husband to a wife who comprises the reason we’ve got this blog running.

I am a student of psychology. I am carefully not claiming to be a Psychologist – at best, I’m halfway towards claiming that title. But I do have a Bachelor’s degree in that area. The proper study of mankind is man, to quote Alexander Pope. I do not claim that everything I write is supported by the evidence of psychological science, but where I can, I will.

I am comfortable with paradox – and anyone in a relationship needs to understand that way of looking at the world. Insisting that everything should make sense as you understand it is a recipe for frustration.

I am a nerd – which is to say that I am unreasonably enthusiastic about certain areas of knowledge and utterly uninterested in others. My specific areas of interest include literary science-fiction, Star Wars, certain MMOs and some computer gams, military history, Byzantine and Roman history, and the Society for Creative Anachronism. I have an affection for both miniatures wargaming and tabletop roleplaying games as well.

I also live with adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder of the combined type, which is to say both inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. I happen to enjoy it, because I’ve figured out how to make my brain work for me, however it does require some adjustment on both our part. I have to figure out how to communicate with neuronormatives and not drive them all (and my wife specifically) insane, while she has to figure out how to deal with me in a way that I can handle.