Military deployments are tough on relationships, and it’s no secret they can put a real strain between two people. Distance, in fact, does not always make the heart grow fonder. It can feel like distance actually creates more distance, but it doesn’t have to!
It is 100 percent possible to grow your relationship and keep a strong military marriage, even when you are apart and the circumstances are less than ideal. So if you are like me—and you are looking to thrive during deployment, keep your sanity, and stay happily married—stick with me!
Here are some amazing ways to just that…
Rethink what love really looks like.
Sometimes you just have to turn off the Rom-Coms. They will pollute your mind with all this non-sense about how a man is always supposed to be sweeping you off your feet with romantic notes, gooey phone calls, and gifts at your doorstep.
While this is certainly true some of the time, it isn’t a realistic picture of what real long-term married love looks like. Sometimes deployment phone calls are filled with screaming kids in the background and the dog is barking and the connection is horrible.
Real love is taking care of the house when you don’t feel like it. Real love is keeping it together when everything is falling apart. Real love is saying I love you, even when you are at your wits end with the deployment. And so much more. Rethinking what love really looks like is a HUGE first step to staying sane and happily married.
Remember who you are as a person.
It’s easy to fall into the whirlwind of military life, and then feel completely lost once deployment sets in. Keeping up with a hobby or a passion that truly is important to JUST you will make a huge difference and help you feel good about yourself during a deployment.
Here are 25 Self-Improvement Ideas to Do During a Deployment if you are looking for inspiration.
Work to become a stronghold for your family.
I think often times, many people assume the service member is supposed to be the stronghold and center of the nuclear military family. But it is the spouse who maintains the household and keeps the family together while the service member is gone focusing on the mission at hand.
This is not an easy role to fill, but it’s important to take on that leadership role to keep your marriage strong during a deployment. Getting in the mindset of being the family stronghold will help you feel less frustrated when much of the responsibility and family decisions fall upon you.
Don’t allow yourself to fall into sticky situations.
We all get lonely sometimes. And sometimes when you get lonely, you start to think the grass looks a helluva lot greener over on the other side. Don’t allow yourself to fall into this trap. Marriage is tough, but it is also amazing. It’s so worth it to keep your marriage strong and make it work. Don’t allow a deployment to mess with your psyche and find yourself doing something regrettable that will hurt your service member and your marriage.
Financially-proof your marriage.
Money is a huge stress during deployment for some couples. So if you can get your financial house in order and minimize or eliminate financial stress during a deployment, you are going to be way ahead of the game.
Really, really try.
Part of staying sane and happily married is actually trying to do exactly that. Make an effort to keep your marriage strong every day. This may mean writing a meaningful, heartfelt letter to your service member to feel connected to him. This may mean handling major household issues when you really don’t want to. This may mean having a positive attitude when being negative seems so much easier.
Military marriages face a unique set of ups and downs, and that’s okay. You are fantastically capable of handling this. Really, you’ve got this. You’re going to be an amazing military spouse during deployment. Really, you are.
Want more on military life?
- 25 Self-Improvement Ideas to Do During a Deployment
- What Military Marriage Really Looks Like
- 9 Relationship Truths Only a Modern Military Spouse Would Understand
- What Really Goes Down on FaceTime During Deployment