Frequent Contributor

When we were stationed at our last sea going command, I was going through an extra tough deployment. I use the deployment word loosely in that my spouse was going to be gone for 10 weeks, let's just say we were going to be "separated" from each other for 10 weeks. When I would meet my girlfriend Amy on the soccer field to chat while our kids had practice, she would not even allow me to vent about how long my husband had been gone. Her husband was going to be gone for 7 months, 28 weeks. I never completely understood why, that is until my husband did an IA (Individual Augmentee) tour to Afghanistan. He was scheduled to be gone a year, 52 LONG weeks, and I can tell you when I hit the five-month mark, I completely understood why Amy insisted I get a grip.

 

Looking back I don't even think I hit my stride until week ten. Around week five I was still getting used to him being gone.

There is no magic timeline for when being separated from your spouse becomes easier. I just think some days are better than others and it helps if you have a routine, things to look forward to, friends and goals you are trying to reach while they are gone.

 

In the past few weeks we have talked with two different military spouses, Wife on the Roller Coaster and Household 6 Diva on their thoughts and insights of the emotions they experienced during a deployment.

MilitaryOneSource.com outlines several emotions you might experience during the middle of deployment:

  • Don't try to hide your feelings. It's normal to feel sad, lonely, or angry when you've been separated from your spouse. You don't have to hide these feelings - that may just make it harder to deal with them. Talk about how you feel with people whom you trust.
  • Try to concentrate on the things you can control. It's normal to worry about your spouse's safety during a deployment or about when he or she will come home, but remember, these are things you can't control. Try to focus on things that you can control, like spending time with family and friends or signing up for a class or volunteer opportunity.
  • Learn some stress management techniques that work for you. The stress of living without your service member can take a toll on the way you feel and think. Try out some different ways to relieve stress, such as an exercise class, keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings, or practicing meditation or deep breathing.


Join us next week as we talk about the emotions you might experience as you prepare for the highly anticipated homecoming and reunion!

 

Share your experience in our discussion forum.