There have been times when my own husband has had to deploy to a dangerous place. When I heard where he had to go, my heart skipped a beat. How could I handle this? How could I get through? What if he didn’t make it back to us?
For thousands of years, military spouses have had to stand strong as their loved ones went off to war. To wars, they might not even understand. To wars that didn’t always make the most sense. To wars that seem so scary and unpredictable.
How do you deal with a spouse that has to deploy to an active war zone? How do you handle the fact that they are not going to a “safe” place but a more dangerous one? How do you make peace with your spouse going to war?
Here are five things to remember if your spouse has to deploy to a dangerous place:
This is what they are trained for
When you watch as your service member is packing up their bags, remember, this is exactly what they are trained for. That month they spent away from you this summer? This is what they were working on. As a soldier’s wife, I had to accept this, and doing so isn’t easy but once you do, life will become a little bit easier.
War is messy. War is difficult. We have no idea what to expect. We have no clue what is ahead. But we do know that our spouses are in an amazing military and when they have to go, they have to go. And in the end, we know, they are making our world a better place. They are not going into these situations uninformed, they are doing so trained and ready.
You are not alone
You are not the only military spouse having to send their loved one to a dangerous place. You are not. There are so many others in your shoes too. And many who have done this over and over.
You are not the only girlfriend who is crying in their pillow because they know the person they want to spend their life with has to spend six months overseas before that wedding day comes. You are not the only wife who will be scared that their husband might not make it home in time to see their daughter being born. You are not the only one scared of what could happen during the deployment.
There are so many others out there that have a spouse with a dangerous job. They understand how you feel. They know how hard saying goodbye can be. They have been there, and they are willing to help you as you work through your own feelings about your current situation.
Us military spouses are a community. We can support one another, help each other out, and be there when things get scary. We need to depend on one another because fellow military spouses are the ones who know what sending a spouse off to a dangerous place is like.
You can handle this
You can get through this. I don’t care where your spouse has to go, or how long they will be gone. You can get through this. I know it seems challenging and like your world is crashing in. I know when you see how many days they will be gone the deployment seems like forever, but you can handle this. Even if you have to do so one day at a time.
This deployment won’t last forever
At the end of the day, when you do say goodbye, whether you had two months to plan or two days, know that the deployment will not last forever. Deployments are temporary. I know when my Grandpa left for WWII, he didn’t know how long he would be away. In the end, he was gone for three years.
These days are easier than that. These days you will get an end date. Even if that date changes, which it probably will, the deployment will eventually end. Remember that during your more difficult days. Remember, this too shall pass.
When your spouse has to deploy, you figure out your new normal. You figure out ways to get through, no matter how long they will be away. The deployment becomes your new normal, but they do eventually end.
The numbers are on your side
No matter where your spouse has to go, in today’s world, most service members come home. They do. While not everyone does, and that breaks our hearts, the odds are your spouse will return to you.
This is something I took a lot of comfort in. I told myself that most likely, my husband would be home with us again soon. That he would make it back. Wars didn’t always use to be this way, for some of them, the odds of coming home were pretty slim, but these days things are a bit different.
As a military spouse, you know that going to war is a part of the deal. That doesn’t mean saying goodbye will be easy or you won’t worry too much. That doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter unexpected challenges or worry you won’t be able to get through them.
As a military spouse, you wake up every morning and work to figure out how you will get through the difficulties that a deployment or future deployment will bring. You will find a way that works for you. You will figure out how to handle knowing where your spouse has to go. While you might never be able to be 100% okay with what they have to do, you will figure out how to support them and make it through your deployment.
How you do deal with your spouse having to go to a dangerous place?
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