Last night was lonely. All three of the kids were fast asleep and it was only 8:30 p.m. There was nothing on TV. I didn’t feel like browsing the Internet and I didn’t feel like reading. I just wanted my husband. I thought about what he might be doing. I wondered if he ever felt lonely, too. We would usually watch a show together or just sit and talk at this time if he were home. I missed him terribly. This is only one of the first of many lonely nights ahead. I began wondering how can my marriage survive deployment?
When we did get to talk, I asked my husband, “Why is this so hard?” He replied, “We will be okay. We just have to work at it.” I said, “How can you work at this?”
He gave me a list of things we can do to survive this deployment.
- Better communication when I’m having a bad day
- Talking about all of the day to day stuff
- Sending pictures and videos
- Sharing as many happy moments as possible with each other
- Talking as often as we can
- Staying busy
One thing stands out to me in that list:
It is important to set up a plan for communicating with your spouse throughout the deployment. We are lucky in this time to have so many options for communicating. My husband and I talk on the phone and we Skype. We will also email regularly when phone communication is less available. I like to hear from my husband at least once a day. This is important to both of us and it’s our goal. There will be times I am sure I won’t hear from him daily, so I know I need to be flexible in my expectations. At the same time, I know he is doing his best to make sure he can communicate with me whenever possible.
Sending Pictures and Video
Again, technology makes this one so much easier than it used to be. I use my phone to take a lot of pictures just because it’s easy and I always have access to it. I take pictures of the kids doing every day things. My husband is missing these moments and I want him to feel included. I also video more than usual. I even took a video of our newborn sleeping because I wanted my husband to see the funny faces he makes while snoozing.
Something I do struggle with, but feel is important, is to take pictures of myself. Most days I feel pretty frumpy, but my husband thinks I’m beautiful whether I’m wearing pjs and no make- up or I’m dressed up (so he says). So, I try to take pictures of myself to send to him. It kind of makes you feel like a teenager again!
Doing Things for Your Spouse
This is my piece of advice. My husband wouldn’t admit it at first, but he loves receiving care packages. It’s such a morale booster and it really makes him feel loved to receive a box of his favorite things from me. I aim to send at least one package a month, and will probably try to do two a month if I can. They are also really fun to put together. I like browsing the store to find things I know he loves to put in the packages. I also like having the kids do some artwork to send to Daddy.
The Love Dare
If you’ve seen the movie “Fireproof” then you know about the Love Dare. Mr. Simple and I did the Love Dare a couple of years ago and it was beneficial for us. Did you know you can do the dare while your spouse is deployed? I found a website that tells you how to do the 40 Days of The Deployment Dare. It’s pretty cool and I think a good way to honor your spouse while he is deployed. Even the deployed service member can do this challenge.
Just Love Each Other
I think this is the greatest thing you can do. Just love each other. Remember why you fell in love with your spouse. Remember that this deployment is a challenge, a bump in the road, but one you can get through with your marriage intact. A lot of people even say it made their marriages stronger. Pray for your spouse and your marriage. I know this is going to be challenging for Mr. Simple and I. I’m the type of person who feels like I need my spouse with me at all times. At the same time, he is the most important person in my life. I’m putting my trust in him, he’s putting his trust in me, and we are up for working through whatever challenges this deployment throws at us.
I really love this list of long distance love quotes for deployment. I like to read them when I’m down and the distance feels like too much to handle.
What are your tips for making sure your marriage survives deployment?
This post is part of our Deployment Journey series. Don’t miss the other posts!
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