When you have a spouse in the military, you know that time will always come when your partner has to start packing the bags and prepare for deployment. And once this happens, you might be wondering what you should do in the next few months that could be a bit hard, anyway. You have to adjust to another lifestyle. When your spouse is gone, you know that things and life be different. However, just because you are not together doesn’t mean that you are all alone.
It doesn’t matter if this already the 20th time that your partner has been away from home or the very first time that the two of you will be spending days and months apart. It is still very possible for you stay and touch and keep the fire burning in your relationship.
Check out these 7 tips for people with a spouse in the military to help you make it through deployment and ensure that love won’t be gone amidst the distance.
1. Turn Off Your TV and Spend Time Outside the House
While you might be tempted to check the news over the internet, newspaper, TV or radio, try to take a step back for now. It might be all too easy to fall into the trap of focusing all your time on the media and expecting the worst but remember that this is not healthy at all. Watching and waiting for bad news will only make you feel more worried, thus draining your energy.
So, instead, of just wallowing at home and watching the rest of the world with negative eyes, make sure you spend time outside the house. You might want to save those special events for when your spouse is with you. But, keep in mind that life won’t be waiting for you.
Explore your won or city. Engage in fun activities. Take that hiking trail in the nearby mountain or watch new movies. Or if you prefer something simpler and easier, go for a quick jog around the neighborhood or hit the gym for your much needed workout.
No matter what you do, step outside the house and bask in the fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.
2. Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Spouse
Now, this is a good thing that you should be doing. There is simply no way for you to know what your spouse is going through at the moment or if you will also act the same way if you were in their situation.
Every time your spouse is deployed, try to imagine how it feels to be like them. Imagine how it would be to be away from the house for a long time and leaving you to care for the home, the kids, and the finances. Sometimes, just the mere thought of this is enough to make you worry to bits.
By seeing the world from your spouse’s point of view, it will be easier for you to get through the whole situation.
3. Find Time to Go on Dates
Going on dates regularly with your spouse is always a wonderful idea but it might not be possible if they are in the military. Their deployment might be too long or they might be drowning in a mountain of work to do. There are also times when dates are impossible because of the kids and hiring a babysitter is out of the equation.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer go on dates. If your spouse is at home, schedule a lunch date while the children are in school. Plan a romantic dinner after tucking the beds to bed. Take a stroll in the park with your little one. Come up with ways to have regular dates.
When they are already deployed, send over some care packages so your spouse will still feel loved and make them feel much closer to home.
4. Always Discuss the Deployment and the Upcoming Separation
Sit down with your spouse and spend a quiet time discussing your feelings and how the two of you should manage the months you will spend apart. Have an open and honest conversation with your spouse. Listen to your feelings and make sure your spouse is aware of all of them. Also, don’t forget to talk about how you will handle the finances, parenting concerns, and emergencies whenever they arise. Identify people who can offer support along the way.
5. Be in the Company of Your Friends
For most people, the most difficult thing about not being together was when there are social events or special occasions, whether these are among the family, friends, or colleagues. These are those times when you realize the important role of your relationships in your social life.
If your partner is away, you might feel single and all alone during social situations, particularly when surrounded by new people. All conversations you engage you seem to require you to have a painful explanation why your spouse is not with you.
To feel less isolated, it is best to maintain and nurture your existing friendships, particularly those who also understand the difficulties of long distance relationships.
6. Pursue Your Own Passions
Pursue your passions and interests and pick up some new hobbies while your spouse is away. Whether you have always want to learn the Korean language or master how to cook Southeast Asian dishes, now is the perfect time for you to do them. Instead of just worrying how your spouse is doing, spend the time to reflect on yourself.
When you feel more fulfilled, it will be easier for you to hand difficult times and separations. Engage in social outings and join civic or recreational groups. You can even start befriending and connecting with other military spouses like yourself.
7. Never Forget That You are a Couple Even if It Doesn’t Feel That Way
Even if you need to carry on and learn to be independent while your spouse is away, help your partner feel more involved by updating them on what is happening at home. Ask for their opinion about important decisions and fill them in on how life is with you and the kids. Seek for input or advice the same way you do when they are around.
Follow these 7 tips for people with spouse in the military so you and your partner can make it through anything and everything now and in the future.