Deployment feels huge. It brings stress and a lot of pressure for both the member and their spouse. Worrying about your marriage should not be a stressor that comes with deployment. Take steps to strengthen your marriage and ensure it is strong when deployment is over.
Being open with your partner is the best way to strengthen your relationship. Open, honest communication is necessary during deployment. However, it needs to be a practice you use well before deployments take place.
Both of you should express your feelings openly and know that you are able to do so. This is especially true when deployments arise. Discuss your concerns about your family, home, deployment, and anything you feel is important. Make time for both of you to talk regularly.
How Will You Stay In Touch?
Before it’s time for deployment, discuss how you both expect to stay in touch. How often do you expect to hear from each other? At times, it can be challenging to connect during deployments. Different time zones, work schedules, and other fluctuations can make communicating hard.
Make sure you both know and understand what each of you expects from the other. Discuss realistic goals. Be sure one of you isn’t expecting more than the other will be able to provide. This could lead to unnecessary upset and hurt feelings.
This also includes knowing what communication options will be available for you and your member.
- Will you be able to make regular phone calls?
- Will you need to rely on texts or social media messages?
- Will you have to use an alternative app for communication, like Whatsapp?
- Are you limited to email? If so, how many and how often?
- Will you send letters via snail mail? Old fashioned and slow but fun, romantic, and effective.
Make sure expectations are clear for both of you, so you aren’t worried if expectations aren’t met for any reason. Keep your expectations realistic. Also, remember your service member has a mission to complete and that becomes their priority while they are away. They aren’t ignoring you.
What Ways Can You Stay Connected?
While discussing your options for staying in touch, think of ways you can help your member stay emotionally connected to you, your family, and your home. This can help strengthen the bond you share with them.
Many people find sending care packages a great way to send reminders of home and of yourself.
Incorporating songs or music you both share a connection with can nurture that bond.
Pictures and videos of you can also help your member remember their feelings and love for you. This may sound a bit funny. But, if you are a parent or sending your member pictures and videos, you a likely the one behind the camera. Don’t forget to include yourself and make this a priority.
Start a journal of the events going on at home, how you feel, and anything you think they may want to know about. You can send it to them monthly or give them the journal to read when they return as a way to catch up.
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Brandy Hall, Nurse Writer, turned a passion for patient teaching into content writing. She teams up with health and wellness providers to improve patient health and relationships. By creating easy-to-understand patient education content, she helps people understand their health without complex terms and jargon. Now she explores the world through creativity and adventure as a mom and military spouse.