I’ve decided to start participating in Wives of Faith’s “Wife 2 Wife Wednesday”. Hopefully they don’t mind that I am not a “wife of faith”, I just really like the idea of a weekly prompt specifically related to military wives. It’s about sharing your experience as a military wife with other wives and connecting over common issue and challenges.
Today’s prompt is: How many deployments have you been through with your husband? What are three tips you might share with a wife about to start her first?
I have been through 2 deployments with my husband. His first in 2011 where he served 7 months in Afghanistan. His second was more recent, he was gone for half of 2012 and spent 6 months on the 31st MEU (USS Bonhomme Richard) which is a humanitarian/training deployment.
My tips are pretty simple.
#1) Stay Busy: I learned this one the hard way when my husband left for the first time (non-deployment). He went to FL for 5 months of training and we had just gotten married and moved. I had lost touch with a lot of my friends and didn’t have much of a social life because I was still in the honeymoon phase of wanting to spend all of my time with my husband. But then my husband left and I had all this free time and very few friends. I ended up having a rough time with the separation (depression) and after seeing a therapist began to work at expanding my social network with volunteering and putting myself out there meeting other wives.
It made a HUGE difference to be busy, not only with work and school, but with things you enjoy, like FRIENDS! The days that went by fastest for me during my husband deployments were the days where I was having fun with my friends.
#2) Be Positive: Nothing will make you more depressed and lonely than throwing yourself a pity party. Don’t get me wrong, deployments are suck and we all have hard days, but for the most part if you have a positive attitude then the whole experience will be much easier and go by faster. So don’t ruminate on the negative. Choose to focus on the positive!
#3) Live Your Life: This somewhat connects back to #1 and #2, don’t feel guilty for having fun. I’ve seen a lot of wives who really bring themselves down by feeling like they can’t go out and have fun while their husband is in a war zone, that it’s “not fair to him”. Let me tell you, my husband LOVED to hear about me having fun. If I went out with my friends, or went home to see my family or just enjoyed a good movie by myself, it made him happy that I was happy. Just because your spouse is gone doesn’t mean your life stops.