Don’t Get Sucked Into the Deployment Hole
I was in several long distance relationships when I was in college. I can remember so clearly how hard they were. I wasn’t married, but I missed my boyfriend very much. So much so that I felt split down the middle. Half of me was with him, and the other half was trying to live that normal college life.
This was in the day before everyone had a cell phone so I would have to wait in my dorm room for him to call. I couldn’t just go out and do something else unless I wanted to miss talking with him. Plenty of times I had to tell my roommate to go to lunch or dinner without me, and I would catch up later.
This wasn’t a good way to live. I got fatigued with feeling so torn all the time. I wanted to continue the relationship as my boyfriend was important to me, but at the same time, I wanted to be free to make friends and have fun in my college life.
As a military spouse, I sometimes still feel this pull although it is a bit different these days. My husband and I have been married for almost 15 years, and I know where I stand with him. I don’t have the worries that I did as a girlfriend.
And although I miss him terribly, I also want to live my life when he is gone. I want to have fun with friends and my kids. I want to make memories. I don’t want to be stuck in the in between. I don’t want to be stuck in a deployment hole.
You know the one, where everything sucks and you feel sad all the time. Where you can’t seem to live your life the way you want, and you feel so helpless that nothing will be right again until they come home.
So why do I do to help with this? How do I avoid falling into that deployment hole?
Make plans. Get out there and fill up your calendar. You will be glad you did. If you do not have any children at home with you, this is even more important. You don’t want to fall into that deployment loneliness hole by being by yourself too much. Join a club, find a friend to get together with, go for walks, see a movie, just keep busy while they are gone.
Don’t wait for calls
Don’t plan your days around when they might call. Even though we all have cell phones these days, you still might want to stay home for a Facetime chat. Don’t. Don’t be afraid to get out there. I know how hard it can be when you miss a call or don’t get a chance to talk, but when you plan your schedule around possible calls, that can lead to being sucked right into that deployment hole.
Don’t be afraid to have fun
It’s okay to laugh, make jokes, and have fun when your spouse is away. Don’t feel guilty when you do. They wouldn’t want you stuck at home all day being sad. Don’t be afraid to stay busy as it is the best way to make it through a deployment.
Don’t talk every day
I know, I know. Talking every day is ideal, right? Not totally. I know for me I prefer talking once every two to three days. That is the perfect amount of time for me. I have found that talking every day is just too much. You run out of things to say and if you get used to that and they can’t call for a few days or even longer, it’s even harder to wait. Not that I would turn down a phone call but talk to your spouse about phone call expectations.
Try new things
Deployments can be the right time to try something new. A new hobby, a new job, or just work on bettering yourself. A lot of military spouses work on fitness goals or go back to school. Make a list of what you have always wanted to do and put your plans into action.
What do you do when you feel like you are getting sucked down that deployment hole?
Here are some more posts about deployments: