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How to keep a husband through a military deployment.

Keeping a husband through a military deployment can be a lot harder than you think. Before you leave, they tell you to make sure you keep in touch and call/communicate with your spouse often.

No one tells you that the nine hour time difference is really going to put a wrench in those plans. No one tells you that you will get into more dumb small fights in a year combined than the eight years you spent together prior to leaving. They don’t tell you that your hard days reach an emotional level you probably haven’t felt before.

Leaving your family for a deployment is probably one of the saddest most emotional things you will ever do. You are going somewhere 8,000 miles away to potentially never come back. Now, the likelihood of dying is not that high. However, your family will make it seem like it’s a 1 in 1 chance of death and doomsday has arrived.

“Well, what if you die?”

“Then I die I guess.”

“What if your legs get blown off?”

“I’d rather have my legs blown off than hands.”

“If you had to lose a limb, what one would you pick?”

“My right leg because that knee is going on me anyway.”

Friends make comments that are completely unnecessary. “What if your husband cheats on you while you are on deployment?” You don’t think I haven’t thought of that? And my response is, “Well, if he cheats, I’ll find a husband who won’t.” I don’t know what they want me to say. And remarks like that really are not helping the situation in any capacity. Now, if you saw/know my husband cheated, please tell me. That would be beneficial. But planting that seed in my head is just adding to my anxiety.

There has definitely been a learning curve in our marriage during this separation. A few text fights about him not actually looking for something I know is in the exact spot I told him it was. And then two days later he ‘miraculously’ found it in the place I told him to look. His inattentiveness to order cat foot/litter in a timely fashion has led to a few close calls on them starving to death. Cleaning still seems to be an issue we will never have the same outlook on.

I have also learned a few things. I need to tell him 4x and then text and email him if something needs to be done. “So he doesn’t forget” is his response. My clean and his clean look nothing alike. I need to remember there are things I can not control and I need to stop obsessing about them because that is not a productive use of my time.

I have also realized the whole ‘call your family while you’re gone‘ advise they give you, is a useful tip. Even if we video chat for five minutes, it’s always good to see his face. It brings me back to reality as well. Being away you develop this hard shell of no emotion because it’s easier to handle being gone and doing a job when you don’t feel feelings. Video chatting helps to soften that shell and remember what is waiting for you back home. And talking to my cats is an added perk.

I have also been a connoisseur of finding dumb shit to send him to make him laugh. So far I have sent him a pillow with my face and our cats face on it. An air freshener with our other cats face on it. A very funny George Washington tee-shirt. Sweet sweatpants with the place I’m at on them. And I have a few other things up my sleeve but can’t write them in case he reads this. Sending funny gifts brings me joy as well as hopefully him.

We are five months into this deployment. It’s getting easier to deal with being gone. We have our bad days but otherwise, we’ve come to terms with the situation. Just got to keep moving forward and make the best of it.

Staying busy and having things to do is key. Making goals to reach and picking up new hobbies, like knitting, give me something to master and keep my mind off things I can not control. So far, I have started this blog, read 24 books, practiced photography and guitar, wrote 393827 letters, and I try to work out almost every day. I’m down 20 pounds.

If you need someone to talk too about things, I know what you’re going through. Communication really is key but it has to be two sided. Petty fights are going to happen but the days do get easier. Good luck if you have a loved one leaving or are gone currently.

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