Sitting in the pre-deployment briefing before a deployment is surreal. You think you are ready for the deployment, but the reality is different emotions and feelings come up.
When they start to talk about what could happen and what the military will do if the worst does in fact happen can cause anyone to go into a panic. Knowing that your husband, your soul mate is going off to war and will be spending months in a very dangerous job isn’t something you can easily come to terms with.
You have to know the process too. You can’t stick your head in the sand about this. You have to know what will happen if your spouse isn’t going to make it home. You have to understand what will happen if your spouse gets injured or if you have an emergency back at home and you need to contact them.
You need to make sure they have an updated will and that all the right paperwork is filled out. These are the types of things that will come up in a pre-deployment briefing. They want you to be prepared and know what you will need to do if anything does happen when your spouse is deployed.
When you see them off, when they leave, when the deployment becomes real, there is a sense of fear that can stop you in your tracks if you let it. The key is to figure out methods to be able to deal with the fact that your spouse has a dangerous job. This isn’t just something military spouses have to do. Others have to do this when they are married to police officers, firefighters or any other job that can put their life at risk.
I wanted to share what worked for me and how I was able to come to terms with my husband having a dangerous job. For as hard as deployments were for me, this part of being deployed wasn’t where I struggled. Somehow I was able to get through my deployments without letting this fear overtake me.
Here are some things to keep in mind when your spouse has a dangerous job:
The standard advice is to avoid the news, but I am going to say that depends very much on your personally. Some people need to watch the news to feel safer. Some are not bothered by watching the news at all.
Others have to stay away from the news altogether. You know yourself; you know what will set you off. If watching the news makes you more scared and worried about your spouse, don’t look at the news. Walk away from that until they come home.
Relying on your faith traditions is important during a deployment. For me, that meant always praying and believing that I would be taken care of no matter what happened to my husband. Knowing that I had so many praying for him helped as well. Knowing that God was there, even in time of war was important.
Find your faith during the months your spouse is away and depend on it. Even if you are not super religious, you do believe in something so use that when things feel like they are falling apart and you are not sure you can handle your spouse being in a war zone. Meditate, pray and depend on others to help you through.
I remember telling a non-military friend about how I didn’t think I would ever be emotionally prepared if something happened to my husband overseas but I was going to be as financially prepared as possible. I wanted to know what would happen to us. How we would live and what we would live on.
I wanted everything set and a plan in my head. This helped me feel better about everything and allowed me to stop dwelling on the what-ifs and focus on what I needed to do each day when he was gone.
Talking About It
Talking about all of this with others who are also going through a deployment can help. When my husband was deployed, I talked with my other Army wife friends about what we would do if something happened to our husbands.
We talked about the difficulties we might encounter with different family members or how our career plans would change. This was helpful because doing so allowed us to know we were not alone. Talking about your fears with others who understand them can be very therapeutic.
In the end, know that you are not alone in your worry. Worrying about your spouse going to a dangerous place and doing dangerous things is normal. However, you don’t have to let your fear overtake you to the point where you can’t live your life. You can prepare and do what you can to be able to get through the time they are over there.