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Things You Only Understand If Your Spouse Is Deployed

The reality of the struggles and the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed.

By Sherry CampbellPublished 7 years ago 5 min read

No deployment is the same, but some of the struggles that military families go through are universal. Though it's challenging to go through this time period, it is nice to know that you are not alone in your feelings. There are obvious ups and downs of being a military family member, and knowing that many people are on a similar path to yours makes it that much more bareable. These are some of the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed.

FaceTime dates are extremely important.

FaceTime importance is one of the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed because it's much different than a simple video chat. It's the closest you can possibly get to spending one on one time with each other, and it can be very sporadic. So making sure you're available when they are is definitely one of the top responsibilities while you are away from them.

The last thing you want to see is a missed FaceTime or Skype call on your phone, even if it's just for 45 seconds, the ability to see your spouse's smile, and hear them say I love you, is good enough to get you through the rest of your week, especially when communication is sparse.

You can't relate to civilian friends who complain about business trips.

It becomes hard to relate to friends who do not have spouses in the military, as you are sure it's hard for civilian friends to relate to you, in return. This becomes increasingly obvious when they, maybe even accidentally, complain about things we would beg to whine about. A very obvious example of this is the complaints about business trips, or how they miss their spouse for a short period of time.

You must simply bite your tongue, smile and nod, and hope that that's the entirety of the conversation. This is why having friends who are also fellow military spouses makes deployment that much more bearable. Having people in your life, besides your spouse, that understand how hard it is, makes a world of a difference.

Diagonal sleeping is key.

One of the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed that people might not think about, is sleeping positions during deployment. The best way to try and cover up the fact that your spouse is not sleeping in your bed with you like you wish they were, is to fill the bed in different ways.

This can include diagonally sleeping across the king sized bed, which makes the bed feel less empty. And it can also include treating your bed to some pillow overload, and fill the space with cuddly, soft, pillows. Either way, just a little bit of extra comfort can go a long way for the lonely nights. It's a great tip for new military wives.

Things you used to nag about, you wish for back.

Things that you used to complain about your partner come back into your thoughts after they are away, even if it's for a short period of time. Simply because you miss them, you wish all of those things you used to nag about were back.

You wish you would walk into your room and see their messy laundry all over the floor, or the toilet seat up, or toothpaste on the bottom of the sink, or an unmade bed, the list will go on and on.

Everything that they used to fix, somehow breaks while they're away.

One of the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed that you never knew would happen is that everything possibly fixed by your spouse, ends up conveniently breaking. Why does this happen? No one will ever know.

It seems like as soon as you kiss them goodbye, all the lightbulbs go out, your car starts acting funny, and even the cat gets sick. How much easier things would be if your spouse was here becomes very apparent. But try not to get too overwhelmed. They will come back soon and things will continue to go awry.

You daydream about a surprise homecoming constantly.

Was that knock on the door your spouse? What if a camera crew comes around the corner of the mall? Or what if your next new client at work is actually them? Daydreaming is not harmful, and a surprise homecoming is always at the back of a military spouse's mind. We blame Ellen and all of those YouTube videos that make everyone cry for this. How amazing would it be to see your spouse before you think you will? Sometimes simply daydreaming about a scenario like this can help your mood.

What do I wear for the actual homecoming??

Believe it or not, fashion choices are among the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed. This is only worried about for a short period of time, but the day of your spouse's homecoming is important to you. And you want to look your very best, even if you've been FaceTiming throughout their deployment, they haven't seen you face to face in a long time. So what do you wear!? Only military spouses will understand this struggle.

There is such a thing as a stupid question to ask a military spouse.

Believe it or not, stupid questions definitely exist. You know that civilians mean well when it comes to interest in your military family. However, it becomes difficult to bite your tongue after about the third time an impressively dumb, almost offensive question is asked. For example, "Being sent to a different military base is almost like a vacation, right?" "Aren't you, like, scared for them?" "You think they've killed anyone yet?" "They don't come home for the holidays?" And the painful list goes on...

Ultimately, it's important to remain unphased and not take anything personal, though this is clearly hard during such an emotional time in your life. Just go home and laugh with your spouse about it during your next FaceTime date.

Being faithful is the easiest part.

One of the things you only understand if your spouse is deployed is that someone who is not in your relationship might think of as a difficult part, is really the easiest: remaining faithful. Compared to missing them, being completely independent, and transitioning to a different lifestyle without them, staying faithful is a piece of cake.

Their homecoming makes every lonely day worthwhile.

One of the most heartwarming things you only understand if your spouse is deployed, is that their arrival home makes every struggle worthwhile. It's that beacon of hope throughout the entire deployment, and it's just as satisfying as you think it will be.

No matter how many deployments you have been through with your spouse, each homecoming immediately makes every lonely moment without them completely worthwhile, now that you have them back in your arms.

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About the Creator

Sherry Campbell

Second grade teacher by day, at home therapist for two middle school daughters by night.

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    Sherry CampbellWritten by Sherry Campbell

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