Obviously in your first year of marriage, you don’t expect your spouse to be gone 6 months of it.
Then the second year of marriage, you don’t expect them to leave again…
Being married to a servicemember, you are constantly counting down the days until you’ll be apart again, then you are counting down the days till you are back in each other’s arms.
And repeat again.
I often get asked about how I handle my husband deploying so often. Obviously, I’m not an expert and there are plenty of people that have spouses that deploy way more often. I am the first to say though that his deployments have made me a much more independent person. The first time Jarrett left, the DAY he left, I see my first scorpion in the bathroom.
I seriously was in tears on the phone with my mom basically ready to pack my bags and move houses. For clarification, we do not have scorpions in Mississippi. So, when I saw this one for the first time in New Mexico, I literally freaked. I threw Jarrett’s boots at it till it died (it was in the bathtub). Then, I did the unspeakable. I closed the bathroom door & left the scorpion there for 6 months until Jarrett came home to pick it up. We had 2 bathrooms.
GROSS now that I think about it, but you guys have no idea how scared I am of bugs! I never have lived that down with Jarrett. He brings it up ALL the time.
However, during his second deployment, I gained so much independence. I remember feeling like such a cool kid putting up the toilet paper holder and towel holder on the wall all by myself. However, not without any hiccups. I accidentally pulled the toilet paper holder too hard and ripped the dry wall right off the wall. But because of my newly gained independence I went to Lowe’s and YouTube how to repair a wall. Then tadaaaa. All fixed. I also realized no one was there to protect me from the bugs. So I learned not to be so scared of bugs. I also went and got bug killer which helped a lot. But enough about that, you guys want to know how to survive a deployment. I’ll give you 8 things that can definitely help.
1. Busy yourself.
Take those classes you wanted to take. Find a hobby. Sounds easy enough right? This is your time to shine!
2. Go home.
Unfortunately, Jarrett’s last deployment I only got to go home for about 2 weeks because of nursing school. But this is one of the best pieces of advice I can give to those that can do this. Surrounding yourself with family makes the time go by so much faster. Especially if you have kids – the extra hands can be so helpful!
3. Find friends you can talk to.
If you need to cry, laugh, or anything find a friend that will help you through it. If you’re new to the area, try to plugin to a spouse group – these are your people and they get it!
4. Don’t overload them with trying to Face Time.
You will both think you need to Face Time everyday maybe twice a day. However, limiting it can help both of you. You both will most likely be on different schedules. Therefore, one of you will be getting up earlier or staying up later. Which most of you know, when you don’t sleep enough you are grumpy. Also scheduling it gives you something to look forward toward & saves you the heartache in case his schedule gets messed up (with the military schedules can change so easily).
5. Remind each other how thankful you are.
Make sure to remind them that you’re thankful for their service and guys, remember to remind your wife that you are thankful for her. (This is a big one in any relationship, but long distance can be harder for some).
6. Don’t focus on the “date” they are supposed to be coming home.
With what experience I have with this, they most likely won’t come home on the approximate date. It could be a week late or a month late.
7. Focus on a goal.
Keep your mind on whatever goals you have set for yourself, for both of you, whether that be fitness, finances, etc.
8. Focus on growing your relationship with God.
One thing I can say with true confidence is that absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. I do not think I have ever been more in LOVE with my sweet Jarrett. Remember that this is just as hard on them, if not harder. Growing together is super important.