Deployment Tips: How to Help a Military Spouse
Well hello there! As noticed I have been away for the past month or so. I want to send out a heartfelt apology. I had no intention of taking this break, but life took over and my goodness it was impossible to keep up with all of the demands that I had lying on my shoulders. I packed up my house, moved nearly 20 hours away, all after seeing my husband off for his deployment in Afghanistan. I am settled in comfortably for the period of time that I am here, and learning from past experience I am able to give all of you the proper heads up before craziness takes over our household (hopefully that won’t be necessary!) While the topic of deployment is heavy on my mind, I thought I would offer you tips on
It isn’t uncommon to know somebody or be related to somebody who is in the military or is a military spouse. If you had a girlfriend of yours come to you while she was going through a period of separation from her partner would you know what to say? Would you know the words that offer comfort and uplift her? Most don’t and that is understandable how do you help somebody with something that you’ve never been through? Honestly it isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You just be there. So, today I offer you one of my famous lists of good solid deployment tips.
1. Going through a deployment is not the same as your husband leaving for a week long business trip. I am not a judgmental person by any means. People all make their own choices and handle things differently, but this is one thing that gets under my skin. Your husband leaving for a week is not even close to being the same. Please do not compare the two because in my mind if you do I will have slapped you ten times over.
2. It is hard for military spouses to lean on “non military” friends. I know from personal experience it is very difficult for me to lean on a friend who is not associated with the military life. There is always a part of me that feels like what I’m feeling will either be made into a bigger deal than it is. There is a certain strength that military spouses posses when it comes to a deployment. Even though I may feel like I want to break down reality will set back in and I pull strength from deep in my gut.
3. A warm meal, watching my child, or going to lunch really do go a long way. Since the beginning of the deployment I have noticed that even though I have that “fear” of talking to non military friends, they have reached out more than I ever could have thought they would. I had to realize that even though they don’t know for themselves what I am going through they still have an idea of what separation feels like, even if it isn’t to the same degree. One of my best friends met up with me and we signed up for the gym together so I had an outlet when the separation becomes too much.
4. My emotions can go from 0-10 in the span of one commercial. It is true. Separation will cause some crazy emotions. There are days I feel like I am PMSing 24/7. That new show about finding love? No I have no desire to watch it. That new chick flick? I’ll pass. I want nothing to do with kissing, hugging, lovey dovey ANYTHING. It makes that inner timid spouse start to shine through a little stronger. If you want to help us out lets go out and get lunch, or a nice strong drink to completely forget that it’s only been 25 days since I said goodbye.
5. The stigma of a military spouse not being able to be faithful is not true in every relationship. There is nothing more annoying then people trying to squeeze you into that category. It is not hard to be faithful to my husband. While he is gone I don’t even want to look at another guy, because it reminds of the heavy burden of our separation. I chose this lifestyle with my husband and keeping a solid relationship is not difficult. I would choose this all over again if I had to.
6. Sometimes all we need as a spouse is a huge hug and an ear. It is also a misconception that it gets easier to deal with our husband’s being gone. That is not true. Just as if you were to have someone you love pass away the pain never gets easier, you just find a new normal and you learn to adjust but the pain is just as strong on some days. That is the exact same concept. I may have found a new groove and I may not be sulking all the time but that doesn’t mean that it gets any easier, as a matter of fact the longer it’s been the harder it gets but it is also a day closer to seeing him again.
Are you a military spouse? Do you know someone who is going through a deployment? Comment below and let me know what some of your favorite tips are to getting through a deployment.