The Deployment Ache
There is something that happens when you are away from your spouse for a period of time. Something that just isn’t there when he is home. It’s an ache. I am not sure how else to describe it. It isn’t just feeling sad. It isn’t just missing someone.
It’s an ache. The deployment ache.
If you have ever been in a long-distance relationship, you know what I am talking about. The ache is the feeling when something isn’t quite right. You could be having a very good day, enjoying everything in front of you and still feel it. The ache doesn’t just go away because you are happy.
The ache is something you can’t control. It’s there because you are not with the person you love the most. It’s there because something is missing and nothing can take the place of being with that person. You can ignore that feeling for a while but it is still always there. Reminding you that your life is not quite complete in the way that it should be. That something important is missing.
I hated the deployment ache.
The ache was the hardest part of the deployment and sometimes you could see it on my face. Friends told me they could see such a huge change after my husband got home. Even if I was smiling when he was gone, it just wasn’t as big as when he was home. When he was home, the ache was gone. It wasn’t there anymore. It was the difference between being deployed and not being deployed.
The deployment ache is when you put the kids to bed and all you can think to do is cry yourself to sleep because you are not sure you can handle one more day.
The deployment ache is when you hear that your husband will be deployed a little bit longer than you had thought and there is nothing you can do about it.
The deployment ache is when you realize he will miss your birthday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day for the third year in a row.
When your spouse is gone, you tell yourself that once they get home everything is going to be okay again. Then they return, you have a honeymoon period and then life sets in. They go back to work, the kids need you, life gets busy and semi-normal again. You have a bad day and you can be surprised about how you feel. During the deployment you told yourself you would never have a bad day again as long as your husband was back home with you.
The reality? Life is hard for everyone sometimes, military or not. Life gets complicated and you will have your good and bad days. However, when your spouse is home you are not going to have the deployment ache. And that is the reason that being home is so much better than being away.
Because when they are home, the ache is gone and you can focus on everything else going on in your lives instead. You can talk to your spouse often, you can work on issues the two of you are dealing with, you can parent together and you can be a couple, in the ways you hoped you would be when you got married. The ache is gone and you can move forward with your lives until the next time they would have to go away.
Have you felt the deployment ache before? How do you deal with it?
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