Deployment

9 Reasons Why It’s Okay When He Deploys

It’s always a shock when my husband tells me he has to deploy. I go through various emotions coping with deployment separation:

I cry and ask if the military can send someone else. (No.) I panic and think I can’t do it all on my own.

Coping during deployment separations...LOVE these 9 tips!

photo credit: Kristen Wong

After that comes acceptance, but it’s generally a nervous acceptance. I still doubt myself. I still worry.

But at the same time, I always try to look on the bright side of things because if I don’t, I know I’ll completely break down.

Coping with deployment separation. 

I remember the good parts of when he’s gone. I remember why I’m able to cope.

I remember that I can do this.

Here is what helps to remember…

1. I get the remote.

I don’t have to watch bizarre movies like the one where a dude shouts, “This is Sparta!” I don’t have to endure Clint Eastwood movies–he loves Heartbreak Ridge, and it’s okay, but I can’t watch it over and over.

He seems to sense when it’s on TV and switches over to the channel. (And he doesn’t appreciate it when I quote Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire and go, “I thought I saw Clint Eastwood over there, it would make my day, he’s such a studmuffin!”)

2. I don’t have to cook.

My husband likes a meal when he gets home from work and I get it: I would too. But I hate to cook. I only do it because he enjoys it. When he’s gone, the kids and I have a lot of pancakes.

Sandwiches. TV dinners. It’s fantastic because I don’t have to stress and wonder what I’ll be making that evening.

“Sandwiches for all!” is what is generally on the menu.

3. I have the bed to myself.

I love to stretch out. I don’t know how couples can cuddle the entire night. I need my space. I love to rest my head on one side of the bed and have my feet on the other.

4. I can plan outings without having to check with his schedule too.

If I want to take the kids somewhere over the weekend, I don’t have to see if my husband is able to go as well. Sometimes work would keep him busy over weekends and he couldn’t go, but he’d want to go, so I’d re-schedule.

When he’s away, we can do whatever. Whenever.

Coping during deployment separations...LOVE these 9 tips!

5. It forces me to do things on my own.

Sometimes I feel I depend too much on him to put things together and fix my car. When he’s gone, I realize I’m capable of more than I think and it feels pretty darn good.

6. The toilet seat always stays down.

After having kids, my bladder was never the same. So I have to go in the middle of the night. I’m half asleep and don’t pay attention to the toilet.

I sort of trudge over, sit down and…if the toilet seat is up, I fall in, legs stretched in the air.

Curses leave my lips.

I’ll stomp back to bed, and sometimes my husband will go, “What happened?” and I’ll say, “You left the seat up again.” But most of the time he’s already gone back to sleep by that point.

7. I get to do what I want at night.

After the kids go to bed, I can party. Well. By party, it means I can put on The Real Housewives and not have to hear my husband poke fun at it.

I’m able to read and not have to hear, “You’d rather read than talk to me?”

I can stuff my face with chocolate and not endure, “Didn’t you say you were cutting back?” or, “Can I have a bite?”

Related: The Deployment Diet No One Talks About

8. I get to miss him.

We’ve been married for fifteen years. Sometimes it’s easy to take the other person for granted. It’s simple to start behaving like a roommates and not a couple.

But when he goes, we get to appreciate one another. He realizes he misses being around me. I realize the same.

Related: What Military Marriage Really Looks Like

9. Homecoming.

I get to feel the butterflies again when he returns. My stomach flutters with excitement. I actually get out of my sweatpants and into a dress.

And when I see him and we smile at each other?

Yeah, it always makes the deployment worth it.

The smile means that we made it once again. The smile means we know we’ll always be there for one another. The smile means he’s home safe.

Coping during deployment separations...LOVE these 9 tips!


amber myers bioAmber Myers is a proud military wife and mother to two kids who drive her to eat lots of chocolate. She blogs over at Airing My Laundry. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

 


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10 Comments

  1. Hey there i appreciate you writing this because I am very new to being a navy girlfriend and thia August he begins training for deployment and then will leave the following August. I know everyone says to keep busy, but how do you emotionally prepare for it? I have only been with my sailor for a few months and his last two girlfriends couldn’t make it through his deployment and boot camp. I want to get through it and be there at the pier when he returns, but just am getting emotional about him leaving. I hope you have aome tios or advice 🙂

    1. I don’t know about advice, but I can tell you I can relate. My boyfriend only known each other for about three months and been together for two now. He just told me a few days ago that he thinks he’s going to do full time army instead of part time. And I’m quite sure he will. We’ve been together for such a short time but I really feel like I love him and care about him. And I know he feels the same way. We’ve been in previous relationships, and though they weren’t all bad, it was obvious that our exes weren’t really “there for us” the way we are for each other. Being with him makes realize it’s okay that I care about him and that I enjoy being around him so much, and he feels the same way. We trust each other and I’ve learned to be open with him, and since we first started talking he’s been open with me, and means a lot, especially since I know it’s coming from a loving and trusting place, not a place of codependency. I don’t think he’ll be departing until early or late August, so we have time to deepen our relationship even more before then. So I guess would say enjoy the time you have together until he leaves. Make memories that he’ll reflect on while he’s away with happiness and gratitude, and you’ll feel the same when you look back on them. As for keeping busy, obviously do hobbies you enjoy, and keep up with your responsibilities (the obvious things to do). But more importantly, focus on growing. Mind. Body. And soul. Focus on all those areas. Your boyfriend will be doing that by choice, but also simply because he has to. Try to think the same way. I’m not saying you have to follow his regimen, of course, but deciding what you need to do and how you’re gonna do it is important. For me, that looks like (1. Mind) learning more about psychology (I want to be a therapist/counselor and improve on handling my finances), (2. Body) start working out (which will consist of a few squats, sit-ups, and jumping jacks, and push-ups), and (3. Soul) building a better relationship with God. You two will grow in different ways, but that will give you more to share and connect on when he returns. Finally, think about him. Of course, you can’t help that one. He’s gone. How can you NOT think about him. But by that I mean in a more loving and compassionate way. Something that goes beyond “I miss you and I want you to be here with me.” Which is good, cause that means you miss his company (which really does mean a lot). But try thinking about him and how he feels and what you CAN do for him while he’s gone. You can send letters and care packages that let you know you miss him and that you believe in him and know he’ll get through this and grow more from this experience. When you think of him being away in the military, remember that means he made a choice to serve his country and help provide his future (which could possibly include you, and even if it doesn’t, you know the future wife and kids will [hopefully] be appreciative and proud of him). Remember that you want the best for him and that you want him to work hard, and become more resilient, and when he can, to have fun with his fellow soldiers (which means he’s smiling–and we all know we love it when our SO smiles). Think of him warmly and lovingly. This experience requires work and resilience and selflessness. You can’t be focused constantly on how he isn’t here to make you feel the way he used to. Now you have to think of his future, his safety, and his happiness. You have to be there for him. That’s what this relationship means. But I realize this is going to be a truly rewarding one. I hope this helps! (Cause I sure just helped myself… I finally stop crying about knowing he has to leave…. though that will happen again… but it just means I care about him and value the fact he’s in my life!) ?

      Sincerely,
      Your fellow Military Girlfriend

    2. Hey there! I hear ya! I am kind of in that same boat! My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly two years and he leaves in August to the other side of the country for six months, which is the start of 5 years on that side. I am supposed to move there after the six months when he’s settled but I’m so worried about the time apart and how we will make it work. Hard after being together every day pretty much these last two years! How do you shake these worries?!

    1. Every branch can change the homecoming date. Several Times.

      The Air Force tells us we have a 3 month deployment, so we automatically tack on an extra 4 weeks to give them some time set a couple dates. Plus that way my husband comes home ‘before’ my countdown ends instead of after 🙂

  2. This couldn’t be more true:

    8. I get to miss him.
    We’ve been married for fifteen years. Sometimes it’s easy to take the other person for granted. It’s simple to start behaving like a roommates and not a couple.

    But when he goes, we get to appreciate one another. He realizes he misses being around me. I realize the same

    I find it to be a ‘perk’ of being a military wife – so few people get to experience this.

  3. I’m in a one year my relationship with my SO and truly feel he is the love of my life. He is three months in to his 1 year deployment. This is my first relationship with a service member but I am also a service member currently on a Mission away from home as well. I volunteered for this Mission and my SO volunteered for his deployment so I understand his desire to serve.
    My phone is now my lifeline. I live to hear from him… any word, any pic, any conversation makes my day.
    Petty arguments now have no space in our relationship. I’ve learned not to take him or any time communicating with him
    For granted.
    This is his third deployment and he feels the same about making the best of our time on the phone. He checks on me throughout the day, asks me how my day is going especially because I am also away from home. We joke and laugh as much as we can. He said the last time he was deployed, FaceTime wasn’t available.
    It really helps ease my mind when I can see his face, hear his voice, or read his loving messages.

  4. 5, 6, 8, & 9 are so accurate & 9 is the absolute best! Thank you for sharing your story, I’ve enjoyed reading your articles during this deployment so far!

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