->''O ne'er shall I forget the night,\\
The stars were bright above me\\
And gently lent their silvery light\\
When first she vowed to love me\\
But now I'm bound to Brighton camp\\
Kind heaven, then, pray guide me\\
And send me safely back again,\\
To the girl I left behind me.''
-->-- "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (a traditional departure song of [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships the British Army]])

In cultures with a tradition of adventuring, there is often a yearly tragedy in which families are temporarily split up because some of the men have to be away [[IntrepidMerchant trading]], or [[ProudWarriorRace fighting]] or [[CattleDrive bringing animals to market]] or the like. This brings in the character known as My Girl Back Home. She is almost AlwaysFemale (hence the title), though a child or an old man would work. The male version of Girls Back Home waiting for female adventurers are only a recent storytelling innovation, as adventuring was mostly masculine work in most cultures and time periods and stories reflected that.

Girls Back Home tend to be spouses or lovers though anyone with whom the character in question has a close relationship will do. Expect a Girl Back Home to be TheWoobie, though she will likely hide her emotions under a shell of [[StoicWoobie stoicism]], at least until she is [[WhatYouAreInTheDark alone]]. In the meantime, they will always worry about her and feel guilty for leaving. That never persuades him to stay home, of course, because otherwise we won't have a story. Another trait of Girls Back Home is that they often occupy only a small part of the story except in the thoughts of The Hero.

Also, no matter what happens, if you have a girl back home, '''DON'T''' [[FatalFamilyPhoto show a photo of her]] to anyone!

Related to IWillWaitForYou and LongDistanceRelationship (although that one is a bit more gender neutral in who gets left behind). You may have to return abruptly for YouHaveWaitedLongEnough.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** Winry can sometimes be this, though technically she's quite more proactive than the standard.
** Gracia was this for Hughes during the war. [[spoiler:He unfortunately never heeded the warnings regarding the FatalFamilyPhoto.]]
* Ange Ushiromiya from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' starts out as one of these. She takes a few levels of badass as the series goes on.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Kaya could be considered this for Usopp, thanks to all the ShipTease between them.
** [[spoiler: Gold D. Roger]] turns out to have had one, whose name was [[spoiler: Portgas D. Rouge.]] [[spoiler: He's executed and she falls victim to DeathByChildbirth some time later, so they go into StarCrossedLovers.]]
* Cattleya from ''Manga/RaveMaster'' is this. Especially when Haru quotes her every time he has the chance.
* Ryoko is this for Shin, who is serving as a mercenary against his will, in ''Manga/{{Area 88}}''.
* Rachel for Balzac from ''Anime/TekkamanBlade'', crosses over with CallToAgriculture and [[spoiler:FatalFamilyPhoto]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Guardian}}'', which explores Lulu's backstory in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', has her boyfriend Chappu cast her in this role when he joins the Crusaders, though she's not especially happy about it.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Midway}}'' (starring Henry Fonda), when the ships return from battle, a crowd of civilians is gathered at the navy yard. This includes the girlfriends of two of the main characters.
* Jack Ryan's wife and daughter in ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober''.
* Colonel Moore's wife Julie in ''Film/WeWereSoldiers''. Others have girls back home too, but the [[ApronMatron positively regal]] way she keeps the home fires burning for the [[TeamMom whole base]], makes her the best representative of this in the movie.
* Male example, George Putnam in ''Amelia''.
* Glóin's wife in ''Film/TheHobbit''. He's one of the few married dwarves and carries a miniature of his wife with him at all times.
* In the Czech [=WW2=] ''Dark Blue World'' (2001), the girl is more attracted to dashing fighter pilot Franta than the station master who serenades outside her window every night. But Franta has to go to England after the occupation of Czechoslovakia; when he returns he finds she's married the station master and even his dog doesn't recognise him. He faces this stoically, along with his subsequent imprisonment by the Communist authorities [[NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished for having served in a foreign air force]].

* Penelope in ''Literature/TheOdyssey'': UrExample. She waited ''twenty years'' for her husband to return.
* Both of the wives of ''Literature/HoratioHornblower''. Newlywed Hornblower is actually surprised to find he misses Maria since he married her out of pity, although not in books set later in his life because he dislikes her quite a lot by then. [[spoiler:He does love and miss Barbara, though.]]
* The Gaffer and Rosie in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** Both Éowyn and Faramir are this while in the Houses of Healing as well.
*** Interestingly, it is implied that the strain of being the girl/boy back home for their respective friends is what drew them together in the first place. They wound up happily married by the end of the series.
** Arwen is this for Aragorn.
* The father and sister of Sostratos in ''Literature/OverTheWineDarkSea''.
* Male version: Roland in ''[[Literature/{{Discworld}} Wintersmith]].''
* In ''Literature/CaptainsCourageous'', there is a poignant scene in which the Gloucester fishing families gather at a church to listen to the yearly casualty report and several newly widowed women burst out in tears.
* The ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' novel series, being a story of British Navy men, naturally has these for the lead characters - Jack Aubrey, of course, has his wife Sophie, and Stephen Maturin has Diana Villiers and, after Diana's death, Christine Wood.
* In ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'', the diminutive [[AllTrollsAreDifferent troll]] Binabik is betrothed to the daughter of the King and Queen of his people, but is forced by his oaths to his master and to the League of the Scroll to embark on long missions in the lands of the big people. Sisqi is not pleased to be kept waiting, but when, upon returning home, he is condemned to death for his apparent betrayal of his duties, she aids in rescuing him and later joins him as an emissary of their people.
* Sinead Terekhov, to her husband Aivars, in the Literature/{{Honorverse}} sub-series ''Saganami Island''. The novel ''The Shadow of Saganami'' essentially opens with them facing yet another separation as he is deployed to a distant part of the galaxy.
* ''Literature/RallyRoundTheFlagBoys'':
-->'''Private Roger Litwhiler:''' How do we convince them that we're miserable?\\
'''Opie:''' Easiest thang in the world. Tell 'em how lonesome you are for the gal you left back home.\\
'''Private Ernest J. Hoffman:''' ''[incredulously]'' Tell the ''new'' girl about the ''old'' girl?\\
'''Opie:''' Why, shore. Then she knows she ain't scratchin' after a prize that nobody else wants.\\
'''Citizen-soldiers:''' Ah!\\
'''Private Gustave Morrissette:''' But what if you haven't got a girl back home?\\
'''Opie:''' Then lie. But lie ''from the hort!''

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Theme song for the western ''Rawhide'': Rawhide's contemplatin', his true love will be waitin', be waitin', at the end of the line.
* Mrs. Onedin in ''Series/TheOnedinLine''. Also James Onedin's sister.
* Auggie and Annie in ''Series/{{Covert Affairs}}'' have each been this to each other. However it is usually Auggie who is the Guy Back Home because Auggie is blind and episodes where this is reversed are rare. Sometimes they work together in the field on the same mission but this is also rare; more commonly Auggie is MissionControl.
* Penny is this for Desmond in ''Series/{{Lost}}''.

* "The Girl I Left Behind Me" in numerous Creator/JohnWayne films.
* "Lily Marlene"
* "Girl At Home," on the extended edition of the RED Album by Music/TaylorSwift. It's talking about how the guy in the song shouldn't pursue her because 'he has a girl at home and everybody knows it'. Interesting inversion in that it's in the perspective of the girl who's being pursued.
* The Ulster song "Bonnie Woodgreen":
-->''It was way out in Flanders at the back of the line,\\
We were talking 'bout sweethearts we'd all left behind,\\
When one Irish soldier says, "I have a queen,"\\
And she works in John Ross's of Bonnie Woodgreen."''

* The song "My Girl Back Home" in ''Theatre/SouthPacific''. Possible TropeNamer. The song was cut from the original production, but has been reinstated for the 2008 revival. Ironically the hero was singing that to rationalize cheating on his girl back home.
** Used in the film, however.

[[folder: VideoGame]]
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemEchoesShadowsOfValentia'':
** Lukas has a lover waiting for him, as revealed in his DLC support with Python, although he admits that they might not actually be all that in love with each other, as Lukas doesn't actually miss her too much. His ending never mentions if he got married or not, so whether or not they did stay together is left ambiguous.
** Defied by Tatiana, who tells her boyfriend Zeke that she'd rather use her WhiteMagicianGirl skills in battle than wait for him back home. While Zeke isn't too happy to see her fighting, he understands her reasons and promises to protect her.
* According to [[AllThereInTheManual the bios on the old website]] for ''VideoGame/GhostRecon'', the Sniper specialist Scott Ibrahim is fond of talking of a girlfriend he has back at home. It's specifically noted, though, that nobody else in the unit has so much as [[FatalFamilyPhoto seen a picture of her]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In his memoir, ''Quartered Safe Out Here'', Creator/GeorgeMacDonaldFraser tells how [[ApronMatron Grandmother McDonald]] on hearing the news of the outbreak of war simply said, "I guess the men will be going away again." Fraser lived in a part of Britain that had long provided soldiery and the people adjusted accordingly.
* This was also featured in his ''Literature/McAuslan'' series of short stories, where both sets of grandmothers have experienced waiting for soldiers to return from combat.
* Common enough in RealLife for [[UsefulNotes/{{Mormonism}} Mormon girls]] - most Mormon men, usually right after high school or college, go on two year missions. These missions can be in places as diverse as Iowa, Australia, the Czech Republic, or Argentina - but they are designed to keep the man far away from home. Even if he stays close, he is forbidden to see his girlfriend, so waiting for a missionary is a common event for LDS girls.
** Although slowly becoming a {{discredited trope}}, as increasing numbers of women choose to become [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missionary_(LDS_Church) Mormon missionaries]], and the near-universal trend (i.e. not limited to Mormons) of [[http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/12/14/marriage-rate-declines-and-marriage-age-rises/ increasing age at first marriage]].
* A very extreme version is found in {{CIA}} spouses. They are often parted for long times and the girl or boy back home often has no idea what is happening. Not to mention they have to give an extraordinary amount of [[ThePowerOfTrust trust]] to someone who is after all a trained deceiver. It causes unusual strain on marriages, but in those cases where it actually [[HappilyMarried does work]], it can be an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome awesome]] example of ThePowerOfLove.
** In other cases the trope is averted. If the place they are posted to is relatively safe, they can bring their family with them. After all, "cover" basically means lying about one's job--the vast majority of agents make absolutely no attempt to hide their ''names'', they merely claim to work for someone ''other'' than the CIA (usually the Department of State, but it can also be [[CovertGroupWithMundaneFront another government agency or even a private company]]).[[note]]Claiming to work for the government is called "official cover," since the agent gets [[DiplomaticImpunity diplomatic immunity]]; claiming to work for a private company is "unofficial" cover and is thus much riskier.[[/note]] So as long as the agent in question does a good job of that, his/her family isn't at further risk of leak or of being killed (the spouse or Significant Other generally knows, and the kids will just assume, along with everyone else, that Dad/Mom is a diplomat or something).