Military deployments are hard on everyone involved. Not only do we as wives worry about the safety of our spouses, but we also have to manage all the household tasks and responsibilities by ourselves. It can be isolating. Whether you’ve experienced a deployment before or you’re preparing for your first one, it’s a daunting feeling. Fortunately, many military wife support resources are available to help you prepare for and experience your spouse’s military deployment.
How Does Deployment Affect Marriage?
My biggest concern when my husband and I decided whether or not to join the military was how deployments would affect our marriage. I quickly shifted my thinking to remember that all marriages go through hard times, and we can use challenges to strengthen our relationship. As a couple, we committed to each other that we would intentionally take the challenges of deployments as an opportunity for growth. It hasn’t been easy; sometimes we do really well, and sometimes we don’t. But overall, being in the military has strengthened our marriage.
How Do Military Wives Deal with Deployment?
Deployments affect all marriages differently, but you can set yourself and your spouse up for success. You get to determine how deployment affects your marriage to an extent. Your thoughts play a significant role in how you feel connected while he’s away. You can quite literally strengthen or weaken your relationship by your thoughts alone. Here are two examples of how I deal with deployment by managing my thoughts.
1. I Buy Myself Flowers When He’s Gone
I love flowers, and I love my husband. So when he’s gone, I buy myself flowers on his behalf. Even though he doesn’t actually purchase them, I buy them for me from him. And every time I walk by my flowers, I think of my husband. I think of how much he loves me, misses me, and cannot wait to be with me again. I think about these things because they impact how connected I feel to him, even when he’s not there. #notafraidtobuymyselfflowers
2. I Re-read Love Letters from Basic Training or Other Deployments
Rather than thinking, “I wonder if he’s thinking about me,” I tell myself, “He never stops thinking about me. He loves me and misses me so much.” And I look for and find all the evidence I can to support this belief. Instead of worrying about the possible disconnection during deployments, I focus on feeling connected to my husband by reading our past love letters. When I think about how much my husband loves me, and I find proof to support those beliefs (even if it’s proof from years ago), I feel wonderful, loved, and connected to him. While thinking about memories might make you miss him more, at least you’re missing amazing things that make you happy.
Some deployments require more work than others to create feelings of connection, but it’s always possible. You can feel completely connected to your spouse amid lousy internet connections, time differences, and boring conversations. You can minimize the effects of those outside circumstances by keeping your thoughts focused on seeking connection in whatever way possible. As military wives, we can create the exact relationship we want by intentionally thinking thoughts that create feelings of connection and love for our spouse. That’s how I deal with deployment and encourage you to try it too!
For more military wife support resources on this subject, check out my podcast, Simply Resilient: Episode 28 – How To Feel Crazy Connected to Your Husband Even When He’s Deployed
How Do You Find Military Wife Support During Deployment?
Receiving a Brave Crate box each month and participating in the private Brave Crate member’s group is one of the most excellent military spouse support resources out there. In this subscription you set your self up for success in a way where you can take such good care of yourself on multiple levels. The box is filled with amazing things that help you take care of yourself physically and gives you something to look forward to. The FB group gives you an incredible sense of connection and camaraderie. It is a daily reminder that you are not alone. It also really helps with your countdown and gives your brain lots of awesome things to think about that helps you stay more upbeat, positive, and optimistic as you countdown. There are also a lot of other awesome resources out there and we really recommend you find multiple sources of support during deployment that work with your personality.
Simply Resilient Military Spouse Podcast
Simply Resilient is my podcast for military wives, where I share practical tips from my personal experience as a 15-year military wife dealing with deployment. No topics are off-limits–I get personal and vulnerable to help you realize you’re not alone. Military wife life is not for the faint of heart. You need support. In my podcast episodes, I share real-life experiences and examples to provide you with the support, encouragement, and tools you need to thrive during deployments and beyond.