Loneliness and deployments go hand and hand, don’t they? It just seems to be apart of the deal. We miss our spouse or partner when they are away, and that loneliness can come after too many days apart.
I know I feel it. Sometimes very strongly.
Loneliness can hit at the most random of times. From when I see another couple holding hands or our favorite song comes on the radio…yes I sometimes still listen to the radio, don’t judge 😉
Right after my husband left for his first deployment, I was sitting with a few other wives. We were waiting to see the men drive by on the buses, so we could wave goodbye one last time. As we sat there, we really didn’t know what we were really dealing with.
We didn’t know then how hard the deployment would be. How scary the deployment would feel at times. We really had no idea how lonely we would feel over the months our husbands were deployed.
As the deployment got going, the feeling of loneliness took over me. I remember sitting in my bathroom, after my son went to sleep, wondering how I was going to get through that time without my husband. He is the one person I could talk to about anything.
Even the silly things. The everyday things. The things spouses talk about with one another.
So what can you do when you are feeling so lonely during a deployment? What do milspouses need when they are feeling this way?
A true community
Maybe it is online, maybe it is friends at your duty station, but you need to find some type of community. A group of people to help you through and help you get through that loneliness.
Finding that community can be quite difficult sometimes. You might not feel like you belong or that anyone else cares. But people do, many people do. You just have to find them.
Military spouse communities can be your best support. Other spouses who get it and understand. Other spouses who know all about that deployment loneliness and can get what you are going through.
A good support system
Your support system goes even deeper than your community. It is your parents and your siblings and your friends back at home. It is your milspouse best friend and your civilian neighbors that can help you out when you need it.
Us military spouses need people we can vent to without judgment. We need people who we can call if we have to take a kid to the ER or need someone to help us out with some type of issue. And we need people we can connect with when that loneliness sets in.
Ways to stay busy
Staying busy is one of the best things you can do to get through a deployment. Even more so when that loneliness sets in. You can stay busy in your home, working on projects. You can stay busy by going out, and even hanging out with other people.
Although right now that might be a bit difficult with 2020 and all, normally, finding those friends to spend time with will speed up your deployment.
Back when we were going through a deployment in Germany, a friend and I would let each other know when we needed a “steak night.” That meant, going to one of our houses, ordering pizza for the kids, and making ourselves a nice steak dinner.
It was a way to stay busy, spend time with friends, and that helped so much with the loneliness both of us were feeling.
What do you do when you are starting to feel lonely during a deployment?