My total respect for military wives and girlfriends

Even if he's got a meeting in another part of the country, or he's travelling to see his family, I always know that Man of the House is safe and is unlikely to be doing anything more dangerous than watching the footy in the pub with his mates.

Recently I interviewed a young mum married to a marine who has done tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have a young baby (born last Christmas Day) and early next year her husband is being sent away again. She's determined to make this Christmas one they'll remember for always. When I asked her how she copes, she replied simply 'I worry about him all the time, but I would never try and stop him from doing what he feels he needs to do.'

And this week the incredibly brave Christina Schmid was on GMTV talking about how she coped after the death of her husband.

Sometimes partners may drive us crazy. But particularly at this time of year, I think it's worth remembering those women for whom worrying about whether they're going to get a dreaded message from the frontline is a more pressing issue than a man who leaves dirty socks on the bathroom floor.

written by Liz Jarvis