Confessions of a Milspouse – I love my husband more than you love yours.


Every 6 months to a year, I try to re-share this one.

I want to share something I wrote back in 2009 answering a question from a wife in my Spouse Column, “Anything But Dependent.” I’ve updated it since then, and I hope you will share it with all your Milspouse friends. There are so many of us that need to be reminded of what it was like to be new and to reach out to those who are, be understanding, and support them.

Dear Marie, I am a young 20-year-old Navy wife and my husband just left on his second deployment. I read your column about wives and you mentioned the young wife and that she thinks she loves her husband more than everyone else. Well, after being part of the command, I find that a lot of wives that don’t seem to love or even like their husbands. I don’t think it has anything to do with age, I just think there are some bad wives. ~The Young Wife
Thank you for the comment. I love getting emails from readers. Keep them coming! With permission from The Young Wife, I want to talk about this. I thought this was something we could all relate to. Being the young, new wife is not easy. I’m considered more of a seasoned wife at this point, but I can vividly remember my first deployment. I was married at 19 and my husband deployed when I was 21. I had a toddler running around me and one in my arms a few months old. I remember moving to a new base and finding out that my husband would be deploying as our household goods arrived. It all happened so fast. I didn’t have time to cry.
I took him to the pier and said goodbye, and I couldn’t let him go. Tears streamed down my face and I unknowingly did the unforgivable, I whispered, “Please don’t go.” I quickly realized that was not something he could change and with a deep breath muttered, “I’ll be fine. . .WE’LL be fine.” Our very young son cried for his Dad and our daughter, just an infant, slept soundly in her car seat. As my husband walked away, I saw the fear in his eyes about leaving me. He was torn between his service and his love for us. Watching him walk away was the hardest thing I had ever done (at that point in my life).
Once home, I went about my day and thought, “I can do this” I kept busy, checked one thing after another off my rapidly growing list. I was doing exceptionally well until the kids were in bed and I was alone. I couldn’t clean anything else, we didn’t have cable or internet. This was the time I was use to having with my husband. This is when we talked. I had never felt so alone. I cried until I was sick. I didn’t know anyone or where I was. I couldn’t even remember how to get to the commissary that I know we passed at some point. I was overlooked. The command didn’t give anything to my Husband or I and we were too young and new to know better. I went to sleep that night with a broken heart.
The next day I received a quick phone call from a woman I didn’t know, heck, I didn’t know how she had my phone number. She introduced herself as my “phone tree caller” telling me to come to another woman’s house “on the boat” that I didn’t know to take part in a Christmas video that would be sent to our husbands. The guys had only just left and Christmas was months away, but I questioned nothing and jumped at the chance to communicate with my husband. I quickly got all dolled up, put the kids in their cutest outfits and hurried over.
When I arrived, women were chatting and laughing. They looked unfazed that their husbands had just left. I was quiet and obviously out of my comfort zone. I had swollen red eyes from all the crying I had done the night before and could not comprehend what was happening. These wives looked like they were throwing a party. They were throwing a party. I quickly did the video, pausing from teary eyes and then I left as quickly as I came, but even more so, I left confused.
A few days later I went to my first wives club meeting. Yes, it was still called the Wives Club at that point. Wives were talking among themselves about trips they were going to take this deployment and how happy they were that their husbands finally left so they could get back on a schedule. I. Was. Shocked. Take a trip without my husband!? Couldn’t wait for them to leave?? They all seemed so happy…even giddy.
I thought these women were awful and I decided right then and there that I loved my husband more than they loved theirs, because I could never feel that way. I went home angry that night and I didn’t participate in many functions, because of how I felt about those women.
Time and deployments passed. . .
And then I became a Military Wife.
I was looking in on a world I knew nothing about at an age when I thought I knew it all. Those women loved their husbands as much as I loved mine, but they didn’t sit at home crying the entire deployment like I did. They were out with their children and each other having fun…living. They didn’t let their lives stop because their husbands were away. They were anxious for their husbands to leave because of the build up and chaos that comes before a deployment. They wanted the men to hurry up and leave so they could hurry up and come home. Those women still cried. They were lonely and sad at times. But, more than anything, they were strong and chose to live their lives as their husbands came and went out of it.
It might seem that there are wives that don’t like or love their husbands because they choose to find the good, But, they love their husbands very, very much so. You must, to go through this over and over. It takes a very special person to be able to pick themselves up and live their life when their heart is missing a piece.
I know all of this because I evolved into that wife. Life is different for me now that it was all those years ago. My first deployment was 88 days long. It seemed like forever at that point. Today, 88 days would be a cakewalk. Now, once the goodbyes are said, I look forward to having my schedule, time with girlfriends and control of the remote. My life is wonderful and my husband, whom I’m extremely proud of and have loved for over 16 years, comes and goes out of it.
Now, I take my husband to a bus at O’Dark Thirty in the morning with my children snuggled in the back seat in their PJ’s and we say “see you soon”, never goodbye. Jokes are made, smiles are given and I laugh with another wife over a comment made. I ask another wife, “Where do you want to take the kids this deployment?” And we chat over travel mugs and slippers.
Don’t confuse the lack of tears with not loving my husband. More than anything, I want him to stay. More than anything, I will miss him and the tears have and will be shed. It doesn’t ever get easier, you just adapt. It becomes part of you. . .part of your life. I still look around and take the scene around me in. That’s when I see her. The Young Wife, holding on to her husband for dear life, tears spilling from her red swollen eyes and for a split second, my smile is gone. My heart sinks to a place only other milspouses know and I see myself in her. My heart breaks for her.. I want to go to her, but I can’t. She won’t understand; not yet. I can’t explain it will get better or that she will adapt. All she wants is her husband to stay.
It takes time to get where I am. It takes practice and a strong heart, because you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.

169 thoughts on “Confessions of a Milspouse – I love my husband more than you love yours.

  1. I was a military wife. I was young and knew nothing about what I was getting into. I wish I had this kind of suport when my husband went to desert storm. We had just had our first child and I was just recently ripped from my southern roots and moved to california. We met great friends together and my husband and I were just getting our lives settled with each other as a new couple,parents,and military family Holding on and depending on each others suport..then one night the phone call came.. He left that night for desert storm. I looked at him and said when will u be back? He said idk and left. Just like that I was alone with a baby and had felt like my husband just broke up with me. I woke up the next morning and the town was like a ghost town. I was so lost..My mother had the military help me move home and my husband was gone for a year.. Home life wasnt good and I was over it.. Muscled through that year and made it back to california. Things werent the same. Girls “military wives” who I thought were my best friends suddenly paired together and wanted nothing to do with me. I had no idea why..They communicated with each other when our husbands were gone and wanted nothing to do with me.. It broke my heart!! My husband wasnt the same when he got back eather .. It changed my life forever and took my husband to a whole new level of not being himself anymore as well. I was very sad and dissapointed with my life and I told my husband if he re enlisted I would not stay married to him. I was very young! And selfish! I couldnt start my carreer because at that time the military didnt pay well at all.. I couldnt afford to work..I had no friends! I dealt with mean girls /wives… I didnt want to loose my friends but , they decided to single me out. I really needed them and they betrayed me. Purposely not inviting me and get togethers at the swimming pools with their children would have been great for me and my son, no invites to birthday partys and no invites to go shopping or any time . I spent alot of time alone with my baby. Probably one of the reasons I dont have friends to this day. I have friends but, none that I really choose to bond with.. I bond in my own way with just a little space where I dont mix business with pleasure and I would rather be alone then “girls night” or “family friends time” It humbled me so much to the point where I was absolutely miserable being a military wife and told my husband if he re enlisted I was moving on.. He agreed and left his life as a military man so we could be happy… That changed too.. Took us alot to get back to being friends and married again. He couldnt find a job and was drinking alot .. The military ruined my life I used to say.. I never regreted him getting out! But, times have changed now being in the military as a military wife. And it seems to be better but, I come across military wives who have been alone most their marriage and its still taking familys away from each other and they r doing things while their husbands are gone that are making them more and more independent and running their household alone. Sorry, not the life I wanted.. By the time their husbands came back their relationships were horrible. The men all of a sudden came home and took over their lives and wanted to change things and disagree with everything and make rules and disapline the kids and tell them how things were gonna be. These women, I shortly realized were not happy eather and cried most the time when their husbands were home and slowly stopped doing the military wife get togethers. When their men got home life was more stressful because they were so used to doing it without their husbands and living in the world as best they could with no husband to help and no choice.. so for me I saw why they were excited for their lives to get “Back to normal” and excited for the husbands to leave again so they could an their next vacations. Im sorry but, I hated every minute of those 4 years and its takin me most my life to get back on happy track. I just wanted my husband not vacation with a bunch of mean girls or women I had nothing in commen with if they had givin me a chance I felt they would have loved me. So I say.. Its ok to hate being a military wife and its ok to demand for yourself what u want and who u want to be.. Dont let the military dictate how u should feel or how u should just get over it! Be wives who are there for each other and suport each other. Not everyone is cut out to be a military wife and thats ok. What matters is …take care of yourself and family because nobody else will. Its good to have suport of military wives and other familys for help and understanding. I just have to give it a chance. When u see a young military wife alone. Respect her as u would want to be respected by another woman and know shes doing it alone. . Be there for each other…. This is a great read and I respect all who live the military lives.. Its not easy!! Stay strong! God speed!

  2. Read this in tears, I wish I had read it 23 years ago.My husband retired from Special Forces (Army) in 2008. God Bless.

  3. Thank you! This article is amazing ❤️ my partner is about to leave for his 3rd deployment since we have been together. But he has been home for the last 2 years. I felt guilty for looking forward to him leaving but this article helped me to realise that that means not I’m less in love with him and won’t miss him. I mean, if I didn’t love him, why would I wait for him to come home? Thank you ❤️❤️

  4. Wow.I’m not a milspouse or my husband isn’t in the military however this touched my heart.& inspired me on how beautifuly strong those women are…may God continue to bless & strenghthn all of you

  5. Pingback: Confessions of a Milspouse. | The Navy Life of A Pilot's Wife

  6. Thank you so much for the inspirational word’s. Im a recently married navy wife dealing with my first deployment. It’s definitely tuff at time’s however your story has given me the strength and reassurance that I can make it through all of the depressing moments.

  7. Thank you for reposting this. I shared with a new Navy wife tonight. It helped me while I was going through my first deployment. Now, dealing with this deployment while being pregnant, I feel much more like the military wife. I love my husband more than anything in the world. But hurry up and leave so you can hurry up and get home.

  8. Pingback: Becoming the “Seasoned” Spouse | More Than A Military Spouse

  9. Beautiful post! Even us seasoned military spouses have weaknesses. My 15th anniversary is tomorrow and I’m spending it with my kids. Im sad we are not spending it together and will shed many tears tomorrow night when I’m in bed alone.

  10. I cannot even begin to tell you how incredibly inspiring this was. I read this and it brought me right back to how I felt when my husband went on his first deployment. 😀 thanks for sharing!

  11. Pingback: Confessions of a Milspouse – I love my husband more than you love yours. | Navy w{l}ife

  12. I agree with the “adapt” part. At first all I ever did was cry and wallow in self-pity. Few deployments later, I actually learned how to “continue” my life even when the hubby is away. I even had a snotty comment from a non-military wife that I LIKED having my husband deploy coz I’m “free” to do anything and that we get extra “money” when he’s away. Almost smacked the living daylights out of her– but that’s another story LOL

  13. I soooooo needed to read this! I’m a new military wife, about to experience my first deployment and I’m frantically looking around anywhere I can for the wisdom of “seasoned” military wives such as yourself! This definitely helps me gain some perspective!

  14. Love this, the last line in particular! It’s going to be my new response whenever people tell me they don’t know how I do it when I say goodbye to my husband for another deployment. Being strong is definitely the only choice!

  15. That was a beautiful story, I am that young wife. I am a Maine and do is my husband and now he’s deployed. I held onto him and sobbed until I couldn’t breath. He’s been gone a week and a half and I’m doing better but still miserable. Thank you for the story.

  16. This is so accurate! Thank you for putting this up! I don’t think any one of us wives could have written this any better! =) You nailed it. It really does take a very special kind of person to do what we do. =) A lot of respect for all of you lovely ladies.

  17. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you’re a great
    author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back
    very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have a nice evening!

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  19. Your words were lovely. I remember being that wife, so young and unsure. Now I look at their faces and know exactly what they are feeling. 27 years later we have had deployments aplenty. I am not necessarily stronger, but wiser. My heart still breaks like when I was 19 and he left the first time. But my life with him has taught me to live and love to the fullest. Don’t be afraid of the pain. it may hurt but it won’t devour you. Never be afraid of being alone because you never really are. You have to make a life for yourself, your children, and one he will be excited to come back to time after time. I am not strong, I am not slick, I have no secrets to successful stress free deployments. I’m definitely not special in any way. I made a commitment to him when we married and kept it. For better or worse… and it has been far more better…

  20. WOW this was a great post. I am 21 right now and I am going through my first deployment with my husband and I have been tough but def. have cried a lot. Hes been gone since January and I only have 3 more months! The very beginning was hard for me, but over time I realize I can do this, and I have ever since! I just am ready for him to be home but I stay busy and I know it will be here before i know it!

  21. I fee like I have no right to comment on this wonderful article because I am not married to someone in the military however my husband does travel for his job and he is gone a lot. I have had the hardest time learning how to live life once he leaves. I moved to a new state knowing no one. And the few people I have met through my husband travel when he does. I have been so selfish wanting him to stay that I have made it hard on him to leave and unfortunately effected his career. Reading this has helped me so much. I have so much respect for anyone married to someone who is in the military. I am going to print this out and read it often and remind myself to be strong and that just because I live life when he is gone doesn’t mean I don’t love him or don’t miss him. Thank you to everyone out there my husband and I support our troops and have the up most respect for anyone who serves our country and their families who support them.

  22. Lovely post, Im with my boyfriend a year and a half now and its his first deployment. I have to say i thought the build up to it was far worse. The first two weeks were the hardest for me but once you get into a routine it flys by. He’s home in a week after 6 months. He did have a 3 week break in between which made it easier, but harder as i had to get back into my routine again. You certainly feel more independant and stronger as a person and i really admire all the ladies that can cope with it for a long period of time cause i found the 6 months hard. Its part of who he is and i wouldnt change it for the world. Time apart is always good in any relationship and you definately appreciate each other more. I think it will be weird when hes home but i cant wait to see him.

  23. Thank you for this 🙂 I do want to say, that even though you see the “young-new wife” standing there and you think she may not understand, try to reach out anyway. It was years ago, I was left on a pier with noone, nothing. I had no phone tree, no readiness group, noone to check in on me. One friend, especially a “seasoned wife” would’ve made all the difference. With that being said, Cheers to all the Military “dependents” and their Service Members 🙂

  24. This is so great. Thank you for sharing. It is hard being younger and hearing when you get older you will understand. It is so much easier when someone shares their experience and allows you a glimpse into their lives. Thank you for this.

  25. This spoke to me so much. This is my first patrol, and even though I know he has no control over it, I begged and begged and begged him to stay. I was sobbing, and other wives were laughing with each other and smiling, and it was just a simple kiss goodbye to their husbands, but I felt like, and still do feel like my world is falling apart. Especially since we are newly married, just moved here, and I know 1 person. This is the absolute most difficult thing I have ever had to go through in my life. Thank you for writing this. It’s so nice to have something to relate to.

  26. Thanks for sharing this perspective. I’m a new wife, but not a young one (I’m 35) so my experience so far falls somewhere in between. I was on my own so long that I’m pretty independent and don’t worry about being able to function without him. But of course I miss him. And it was tough that he left just a couple of weeks after we got to Okinawa since I didn’t know anyone yet and didn’t have a job. But it forced me to get out and meet people, get comfortable driving on the left, and find my way to places out in town. It was a little bit intimidating, especially since I’m still getting used to the military lifestyle, but I remind myself that most of the things I’ve done in my life, I’ve done without a husband. And to enjoy having the freedom to watch sappy movies and eat popcorn for dinner. It’s sad going to bed alone and waking up alone, but nice to have the bed to myself. I’m much more worried about how I’ll do with him gone once we have kids. I’m so impressed by the wives I’ve met who are home with little ones while their husbands are gone. It’s really great though to see the support network they have with each other. My nightmare when deciding whether to marry a sailor was that I’d be stuck home alone all day and night with kids, but these women are out keeping busy and spending time together. I don’t doubt that it’s still hard, but they make it look more than survivable.

  27. You hit the nail on the head with this article. Navy wife for almost 25 years and he has been a Geo Bachelor for the past 14. My friends often say “It must be so hard to have him away”, I always reply that while I do miss him, When he is home, I get the best of him. I think I will have a harder time adjusting to when he is finally back for good after retirement but we will adjust and enjoy every minute.

  28. This is so inspiring. I felt the pain of my boyfriend leaving and I miss him dearly. Though I now realize I shouldn’t cry, but enjoy the time I have without him because it is what he would want. I miss him and love him dearly even though we are not married or have children yet, but I know someday when he does come back we will be able to have a family.

  29. I remember my first deployment. My husband and I got married 2 months before he left for BCT and then he was gone to AIT straight after that. Once AIT was done and I flew out to watch him graduate, that same day I had to say see you in a year because he was getting deployed. The first day of his deployment it was rough. I was all alone in my hotel room in Missouri before i flew back home to Cali. I’ve gone through a lot the last 3 years we’ve been married. Most wives wouldn’t be able to handle what I had to endure the first year and a half and now everyone is coming to me for advice on how to survive a deployment. Now that I have a 2 and a half month old. It’s totally different. He hasn’t been deployed for a long time now but I just take it one day at a time and surround myself with my girlfriends that are always there and are currently going through a deployment. I’m so lucky to have experienced that the first year of marriage because now it’s only made me Andy husband stronger and closer together. I love my husband so much that it kills me when they say you might be getting deployed. I just look at him and tell him we got this and it’ll make us even more stronger.

  30. Same is true for military “wives.” The only difference is that sometimes “he’s” the one that “stays.”

  31. Thanks a lot for this . I am a new military wife. My husband left on April 23rd 2013 for bct and ait. I cried a lot. Reading all this helped me out a lot!

  32. I’m a seasoned military wife I guess. 6 years married, 3 deployments since, 6 TDY’s, 1 PCS so far. I get the whole stress before deployment thing & the feeling of getting into a schedule does make it easier when he’s gone, but I would never ever act happy he was gone or say how happy I was that he was gone cuz military is all about perception & I would never talk so disrespectfully about my husband. I do a lot when he’s gone. I get into my schedule, I do even more in my career as an actress/singer/writer. Summer 2012 when he was deployed I did 2 commercials, 1 short film, & 3 full length feature films. It does help. But even though he’s gone, it’s still our life together & we stay connected no matter what. These women that live separate lives from their husbands are slowly building up a wall between the 2 of you.

  33. I’m about to start year 18 as an Army wife. During the first 2 years of our marriage we didn’t live together, mostly because he changed duty stations for training frequently and I was in graduate school. At the time we had no children. But living apart was still hard and I think it helped prepare me a little for deployments. His first deployment wasn’t until he was an officer and we had moved to Germany – 5 months in Kosovo. That was a little hard because I didn’t know anyone, but the FRG helped me meet people and having kids that played with my daughter on the playground helped me meet other moms. I don’t know how the Navy works, but I think they felt short in your case in terms of welcoming you and making sure you had your bearings, or at least someone to support you.

    Most people don’t get it, and those who are newly married and without children haven’t had time to realize that their lives don’t have to revolve around their husbands. And they can’t imagine how to ‘replace’ their husbands with friends and still have a good time traveling and experiencing new things. My husband deployed to Iraq twice and during the second deployment I had our second child, whose birth he missed by a day. Thank goodness I had a great friend in my neighbor, who ended up being my labor coach and in another spouse who was happy to answer the phone at 3 am so that I could ask her to please take my daughter while I went to have the baby. But while I was still pregnant I had another spouse ask how I could be so calm about everything. The answer is simple: I can’t do anything to influence what happens to my husband when he’s deployed; I can only influence what happens to me. I can choose to be miserable and mope around or I can make the most of the time that I have. Just because you decide to go somewhere while he’s gone and have fun, doesn’t mean you won’t have just as much fun rediscovering the same place with him when he’s back. Just because he misses certain things during the deployment doesn’t mean he won’t enjoy those things even more when he’s back, and so will you. Worrying or getting stressed out about the small stuff like that just worsens the general stress and anxiety that we all have during deployments. It’s the typical glass half-empty or half-full dilemma.

    My advice to all spouses is always this: don’t go home to your parents or family for the entire deployment. Stay local if possible, and maybe have family visit you if you need help. This may seem odd because many wives need a support system and family is what they think of first. But don’t do it if you can avoid it, because chances are that if your family isn’t a military family or doesn’t live in a military community, they have no idea how to support you and have no idea what you might be dealing with. Also, communication from the command is pretty good when you stay near post; if you choose to go away then people have to make more of an effort to get in touch with you, especially when there’s a time difference. And honestly, the more experienced spouses will listen to you and understand when you just need to vent. Sometimes it’s just good to get together with other wives from the unit and have a glass of wine and share your experiences while the kids all play together or watch a movie. The bonding is what helps the most, I think. We’re all in the same boat during deployments and we all need to support each other through them.

  34. My heart goes out to the writer of this post and all the contributing writers. You are an inspiration to all wives. Thank all of you and your families for your dedication and service to us and our country. May God bless each and every one of you and may God bless America!

  35. So dead on . Great read. Im a Army wife 17 years now and I too was like the young wives , but the military has made me a stronger mor independent woman. I try to tell new wives you got to get out and stay bbusy. Your kids need to be doing things not sitting around watching you be upset day in and day out. Lets do something. Some will some wont. I am one of those wives who is like you leaving soon. Its not that I don’t love him. I was just not used to him being around and got in a sense used to him being gone and away. New young wives need to realize their hubbies are in a demanding career where and when the military calls their souse has to go. So please never take it personally but the military life can be a difficult one or a great one. It is how you handle all aspects of the lifestyle. Keep your chin up and stay positive.

  36. This is the first time I’ve come across your blog, and I have to say this article is wonderful. It’s uplifting and motivating and I think that’s exactly what this community needs more off. Someone else said it as well but you did hit the nail on the head. I look forward to reading more…

  37. I’m going through my first deployment now. I’ve always been a pretty independent person, so I’m dealing with it the way you are now. I’m staying busy, helping friends plan wedding and their showers, having girls night outs and staying in and reading a book. Its not just the amount of deployments you go through but realizing that he signed up for the military for a reason. My husband loves what he does and plans on making it a career and I’m all for him doing that. I’ve felt like a bad wife at times for not freaking out and getting upset that he’s gone but you’ve made me feel so much better, thank you for that.

  38. You have a way with words! You put a bunch of thingsI have wanted to share with people into perfect words! Thank you so much for sharing this! It needs to be passed on!

  39. I want to say thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I have been a proud wife of a soldier for 15 years (army) and deployments are as hard as ever. Still this deployment was so different this time around. you see I was raised in Hawaii married there at the age of 20 and moved with my soldier and family to NC in Aug 2001 where we spent 12 years. In this time our family grew we now have 6 little girls 2 with more medical needs then most (EFMP’s) after 12 yrs I had made lots of good friends and a really great support system. so long deployments like in your story were hard but you found ways to keep busy and have fun. Then we moved to WA state in Aug of 2012 and moved our family deep into country living to show me the ropes a month later my husband was sent on yet another deployment and what made this one so different was I knew no one , I was in a brand new place and had no clue where to turn for support and with what I thought would be harsh winters around the corner I started to panic and I cried all the time because of the unknowns. you see NC winters are very short and 98 percent of the time very mild so being in a new area by myself with no friends or support it was and still is very hard so I can truly relate to your story yet we are not newly married and this is not our first deployment. it is nice to know that there are other wives/spouses that have or are going through these same emotions even more seasoned ones in new environments and locations.

    So again let me say thank you for sharing your story with us!!

  40. Wow did I need this today. My husband just left for a 12 month unaccompanied PCS. Its our first, (my husband and I are only recently married,) and I have been surprised at how hard it has been for me. I mean I’m 40 and very confident in who I am, my life, etc. This put everything into perspective for me as a Navy wife who doesn’t live on base or near other wives. I don’t have the support system many others do and its been hard for me to not be around those who understand what we go through. The build up to this first one was super stressful for both of us and I didn’t know if others felt the way we did. I love my husband and what he does, but it is hard to explain to others let alone newbies! Thanks for putting it all into perspective 🙂

  41. Very well written. Thank you for sharing your feelings with everyone. My husband is currently deployed and its a loooong one. Its our third and everything you wrote is so true. The first deployment you hardly know what’s happening, then later, you are glad when he finally leaves because the build up is so hard and stressful, but it never gets easier. I love the last part where you say “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “I don’t know how you do it.” Really, what choice do I have but do it? I love my husband and this is what we were called on to do. Its ridiculously hard and we just need others to understand how difficult it truly is and help and support us along the way.

  42. This makes me feel a little better. We are at our first unit together, coming up on one year. When we first got here, I didn’t know anyone or anything! I didn’t understand tricare or ‘how things worked’. We got married a little before we got here & I was 19 so not only was being a wife new.. but being out in the world and dealing with everything that gets thrown at you. The first time my husband left, it honestly didn’t bother me (although it wasn’t months, just weeks, he was still gone). The first couple times he left, I still didn’t know anyone and I didn’t leave the house.. at all. I was so afraid to leave. But I’ve gotten much better! And I do ‘like’ when he leaves because it makes our relationship stronger (and I get my space).

  43. Awesome. We just finished deployment #7 and most of my civilian friends look at me like I’m crazy that I’m not falling apart when he’s gone. They also think I’m a b-word when I tell them it’s very hard to learn how to share my house again. I love my husband with my whole heart, but not sleeping in the middle of the bed, sharing the remote and consulting with another adult regarding our plans is something I have to relearn every time he comes home. We’ve been together 18 years, though, so I guess we’re doing something right. For us, anyway.

  44. I am more of the seasoned wife these days too. You really made the point stick and I can vividly remember my first deployment too just 2 months right after marriage and I found I was expecting a baby….or two (twins) just days before he left for 4.5 months. Currently, my husband is gone again. Yes, I still cry and it makes it even harder when we are again expecting and we have 3 boys already who miss their daddy like crazy. Thank you for posting this. I needed this as a reminder. I love my husband like crazy, but I do try to help the new wives because it does seem like yesterday that I was new too. Great Post!

  45. I remember when my first husband left several months after we married for Viet Nam. The entire guard unit from Northeast Kansas was called. For a lot of us this was the first time ever, but having so many from our little town involved it was quite a bit easier for our individual support groups. Over a year later all but one came home to us. Unfortunately the one killed was also a cousin, so the homecoming was bittersweet. I spent the time painting our little house we had purchased, gardening, getting in shape riding a bicycle all over town, and working, etc. It made me a stronger person……

  46. Thank you. I needed to read this today. I also consider myself a “seasoned wife”. 11 years as a Navy wife. I also still remember my first deployment. 6 months turned into 10 and we had our first child while he was away. These are truly the moments that make us stronger. It truly does take a very special woman to go through these moments time and again and stay closer and stronger than before. 😉

  47. I am eleven days into my first deployment. I didn’t outwardly match the woman you described because I wanted my husband to hurry up and leave so he could hurry up and come home. It has been difficult adjusting to being both parents in his absence, but I definitely have enough to keep me busy with four boys between nine and less than a year to keep me running. We are no longer in the Air Force but rather in the Air National Guard, and I live too far away from base to benefit from a network of others who are going through a deployment or have been through one. But, those who have gone before me show that this can be done and be done successfully! I hope that by the end of this deployment I can still hold my head as high as I did after leaving my husband at the airport versus collapsing from the sheer exhaustion of it!

  48. Thank you so much for that beautiful enlightening story. As an Air Force veteran myself, I felt I had a little bit better of a grasp on what to ‘look forward to’ and it did help, but Nothing compares to being on the other side, the side as a spouse. My husband joined later than most, so while I am not a young spouse, I am in most certainly New. I have been trying to figure out where I can get involved with a “Wives Club” but since he is still in A-School, I have been lost. I look forward to the days that I can look forward to my husband’s deployments. Do you have any insight to how I may locate other local wives?

  49. Great post! You really embraced what it is like as a Young wife and then as a seasoned vet. Reading your post I was reminded of my first deployment (or rather my husbands)… You are so right its not easier to watch your husband leave it’s just different. Deployments have taken a lot from my life but they have given me more. I have become the person I am today because of these deployments. And although I miss my husband like crazy every time he leaves in a small simple way it’s kinda nice. I get to be me, do things my way and live for me just for a little while.

  50. “I love my husband more than you love yours.” – Extremely pompous. You guys signed up for it….deal with it.

  51. Hello ladies,
    I wanted to give a big thank you to Milspouse. Although, I am not a military wide my husband has season travel for work. Sometimes he is home months on end, sometimes he’s gone for months on end, a week or two here and there. I am fortunate enough to have the means and flexibility to travel to him for a few days during the long trips. But finally after three years together and a 11 months of marriage, I am finally easing into having my “own” life again. It is a blessing to have him and I always attempt the best possible attitude to have when he is gone. Which sometimes is so very hard. We have discussed children, which I want very badly. But the raising of the children partially solo is frightening. But we all make sacrifices to help make each others dreams come true. Any advice on the whole planning a family with a not always there hubby? Xoxo, D

  52. Thank you for writing this!

    I married my Submariner two years ago and been with our current boat command (my first) since the fall of 2011, with the first year being in the shipyard. Although I haven’t experienced a “full” deployment yet, shipyard life was not fun at all. My husband was working 6-7 days a week, so even though he was there, he wasn’t at the same time, if that makes any sense. Now that the boat is finally out of the shipyard, I’ve been going through sea trials, fast cruises, and short “deployments” ranging anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. The longest he’s ever been gone so far is 6 weeks…and although I’m dreading the day he’ll eventually take off for several months on a patrol, I’ve been (slowly) getting used to him being gone; but that doesn’t mean I love him any less and this article nailed it. Thank you.

  53. Couldn’t have said it better any other way… it pangs my heart until this day, but YES we are planning a trip and being proactive on how we will conquer it all ❤ God bless all of you us!!

  54. Wow, you nailed it, this was so incredibly true. I look back 10 years ago. When I thought my life was over when he pulled away from the peer. Now, three kids later and 10 years behind me, I am so much stronger. It still hurts, but you always say “see you soon”, and “we’ll be fine.” Follow it up with nothing but positive cheerful emails and now I know the true meaning of being a submariners wife!:) This would be great for the young spouses to read to know that they are not alone, even though it sometimes feels that way! Thanks for posting and God bless!

  55. I just want to say thank you for posting this. I am a new wife to a US Coast Guardsman and, while I know it is not a serious deployment, he will be on a boat that stays out for long periods of time; much longer than we have ever been apart. Reading this helped me to know that I will be okay and I will see him again once he is out. It will also help in reassuring me that crying while he is gone is perfectly normal. I am going to try my best to learn to keep my life going, even while he is away. Knowing he will be home to me soon is what will keep me going. Thank you again. This made my day.

  56. Love this. Its so true. Even for those of us that are prior active duty and know the ins and outs of military life its a completely different ball game being the wife and staying home.

  57. This is a great article! I’ve been an Army wife for over 9 years now and I can relate to every step of this post. I was that new wife, and now I am a military wife. I think we should all try our best to take those new wives under our wings and maybe help them to understand why we handle it so well. I had a few wives do that for me, and it helped me to better cope with what was going on.

  58. Our last deployment, I was the seasoned military wife all 5 kids in tow doing our best to give our soldier his support and not shed the tears in front of him. But when spotted that new wife, clinging to her husband with all her might, I asked the kids if we could invite her to back to the house with us. We opened our hearts that night and added a new member to our family. We became her family for the next year to celebrate every milestone, holiday and simply making it through one more day of the deployment.
    My kids made me so proud opening their hearts,in a time of pain, as we said “bye” to Daddy to another human being that needed that love from “family” as she bid her soldier “farewell”. We all helped one another to fill that void created by the deployed soldiers. We changed our lives for the better that day!

  59. I am brand new to this and probably the luckiest….my husband to be (we will be married in a little over a week) is a Navy Lt. Commander Nuke and he will be retiring in just 5 months after putting in 24 years. I read these and think of how I would never have survived as a REAL military wife. I do have to say that the things I have heard about and even had to walk through the pain of my fiance’s past of an uncaring military wife…all wives don’t care like you ladies do. His ex-wife cheated on him so many times it’s just sad, and apparently this happens a lot.

    Even though he is retiring he has been on a ship overhauling it for 3 years now and in his position, when he is off the ship he gets calls at ever hour of the night over issues, there isn’t a moments peace. He spends weeks at a time on a ship that is only 15 minutes from my house but I can’t see him. Again, I give you ladies all of my respect for handling the deployments. All of you are in my prayers!

  60. Great article! I am an AF pilot and my husband is an enlisted maintenance sergeant. I want to add that I feel it is also very important to support your spouse as they deploy because many times it is actually wanted. We do so much training for our jobs and it is nice to go out and apply our knowledge and training. I feel that a lot of spouses lie to their wives or husbands saying, “I know… Another deployment… I don’t want to go either” but they really do want to go!!! I wish my peers wouldn’t lie and would be honest with their spouses about what they want. It would, in my opinion, make the deployments so much easier if the one at home knew that it was desired instead of forced. Being over seas, on the boat, boots on the ground is dangerous but extremely rewarding. For me, I will have been in training for over 2 years… I can’t wait to get over there and help to make a difference.

    This is just a thought…

  61. Hey I am a guy I am the one leaving. I should say already left. reading what you wrote made me cry. It hurt so bad because I dont get to feel that kinda love and I want it so bad more than anything. I say for every man that gets to feel this never forget how lucky you are. I will always wait for what may never come……..

  62. I got married to my husband when we were both 19. At the time we were
    both active duty. Now 15 years later he is still active. Currently he is
    deployed to South Korea. I stay home with our 7 children. Biggest
    biggest biggest pet peeve question is “What will you do while he is
    gone?” As if my whole world comes to a crashing halt, when he is
    deployed. What will I do? The same things I do every day. I will just
    sleep less, pray more and miss my husband the entire time. I will juggle
    appointments and schedules and illnesses without a backup. I may grow a few more grey hairs and lose a few more pounds. I will watch people take their spouses for granted. I will watch people take their freedom for granted. I will listen to people bad mouth what my husband does. I will hold all that in just praying and hoping he will come home safe so that I will get that precious time to spend with him. I will hug my kids when they come home from school crying because someone told them their daddy is going to war or is a warmonger. My bed may be taken over by scared children during a thunderstorm or after a day of particularly scary news coverage. So my question to those who are not military. “What will you do?” My family is doing the hard work. All we ask is for your appreciation and respect. If you don’t agree with our countries military policies, please do not berate me or my children for it.

  63. Great Article…I wish I could give it to every single new military spouse out there. We are rolling over 30 yrs in the military in a few months and it is EXCELLENT!

  64. As I sit here thinking about the last 19.5 years of my life and wonder sometimes how we survived. I realize it’s because we overcame all of the obstacles that were thrown at us together. Even though for almost half of the last 19.5 years we have been separated by miles and miles of land and sea we did it together. We both have grown so much stronger as individuals as well as a couple. We are now ending our military journey and will soon begin on another, the retired one. It won’t be easy, there will be times that are just as hard as ones in the past, and there will be ones that are going to be so much more enjoyable. The key is to remember that you’re together, no matter how many miles of land and sea divide you physically. 😉
    Army wife of 19.5 years

  65. I was that young wife in 2007! I graduated High school married my boyfriend at the time he was 18 I was 19. I got pregnant a month after we got married and two months after that we was stationed down in GA. 5-6 months after that he was deployed for 18 months. That was super hard however I moved back home. I didnt understand a lot of the wives like you said above how they were so happy and were ready for their husbands to leave. It is 2013 and I am the wife that is getting funny faces. Yes I still get sad when he leaves and have my bad days however I just think of when he comes how great it is going to be when we get to figure eachother out again and learn about eachother again. It is like we just ment for the first time. I am now 25 years old and I have wives older than me saying shame on you for wanting your husband to leave. I then have to explain to them it isnt that i want to go but I know that he needs to do something. Now we have been married for 6 years and have two beautiful children 5 and 3 years old and they are just now understanding why daddy is leaving so often it is hard on them but I keep them busy. Now I understand why all those other wives were excited to get on a schedule for their kids, for working out, losing weight (lets face it we all lose weight while they are gone lol) and school! I love the fact that I am able take vacations so my kids will be able to not think of it! I love reading your stuff. Thank you so much!!!

    Meg

  66. I’m prior service and have been on both sides. My husband and I don’t make a big deal out of it because for us it’s not. We have a running joke that when I drop him off, I only slow down for himto do the tuck and roll out his side of the car. He sometimes is afraid to leave me alone only because the last time he left, I bought a new car, before that I got a new cat.

  67. Thank you for writing this. I too have gone through this metamorphosis. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I have hardened, and it makes me feel better that you point out that it is what we HAVE to do. My husband was gone 19 months in 3 years with two shore tours and countless other work-ups and deployments. I think we just have to keep on connecting with other wives/spouses and keep talking. Thanks for putting a voice to this.

  68. Other side of the coin. 15 apr 1944. I graduated from advanced pilot training. married love of my life. had overseas orders- traveled from Marfa, Tx to east coast–. kissed her f goodbye in a park in Greensboro, NC and was in Italy for two years during WW II. Fast forward- got orders to go to Korea.for a one year isolated assignment– wife 6 months pregnant, a six year old girl in a Bucks Traction Device suffering from with Legge -Perthes and a 9 year old daughter. That was a very long year. Only communication, in those w days, was snail mail with about a 30 day turn around time. God bless her —she managed!!!.

  69. Came back to this post to read what everyone else posted. Just read what the post was n then responded. What great feedback you have all written. We are all in the same boat in this situation but so nice to read everyone’s story n how they feel n cope. Makes me even stronger n feel better. My husband hates going out to sea but loves it as well cause with what he does he says he actually gets to do his job. I was confused by that statement at first but now I understand.

  70. Awesome. Well said. I remember the girls saying you want your husband to go to the field?? are you insane?? they didn’t know how happy he was to do his job and I was happy for him, proud of him… In 4 years he has had 3 deployments and it has been hard but as always I raise my kids proud and let my husband enjoy his carrer… Life can be tough but God is my guide

  71. Very well said! Your first deployment is something you will always remember. My first with my husband was 15 months and my husband is currently TDY going on day 92. However no matter how long they are gone 1 day or 100 days the feeling is always the same and you are always 1 day closer with every day that passes.

  72. Thank you so much! I grew up in the Army, with my dad being Special Forces. He was always gone. I joined the Army at 17, and my time was cut short due to a permanent injury. I met my husband while I was in. I got married at 19, he was 20. At the time he was only National Guard, but he just made the switch to active duty so he could pursue his Green Beret.

    He is expected to be gone 18 months. No contact for the majority of it.

    I have seen all three sides of the Army, the brat, the soldier, and now the spouse. Saying goodbye to him last week was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I put on that brave face, “stayed strong”, smiled and said “see ya later”. That night though I cried my eyes out exactly as you said you had done that first deployment. I sat here feeling that empty hole in my chest. My first week I just felt… Lost without him. But like you said, life must go on. So I put on my big girl panties and started making some personal goals and little bucket list to do while he is gone. We have to keep ourselves busy. I sometimes feel guilty about all the fun things I am doing, places I am going. But who wants to live that way? I noticed a lot of the wives who stay in end up resenting their husbands. Who wants a marriage like that? We got to be strong!
    Thanks though for the post. It was a wonderful reminder that we are special, it is ok to live and do fun things, and that we are strong. Just because we continue our lives doesn’t mean we love our husbands any less.

    Thank you so much for this! Brought tears to my eyes and really spoke to me! I thought I would be totally ok with him leaving, but the spouse side of things is by far the hardest side!

    Sincerely,
    Another Young Wife

  73. I know this is an older post but it is a good one! Enjoyed reading the article this morning as much as I did when you first posted! Thanks!

  74. I can so relate. My first 7 month deployment we just moved I had a 2 year old n another soon to be born. So many changes n he was to leave making me deal w a new house n having a baby by myself. Thank god my inlaws were only 2 hours away. They helped me keep it together, n having a new house to decorate n make my own kept me busy, n then of course our new baby. Also got online n joined a moms group where i met some amazing ladies. Now about to get ready for our second big deployment n then onto my hubby moving to flordia without us cause we don’t want to uproot the family for 2 years n our older son will be in school. Many challenges ahead n it’s going to be hard but I love my husband more than anything we will be ok without him but of course would want any thing for him to be with us every given day.

  75. Your story was my story, as most young to seasoned military wives will agree. Beautiul job in writing it! My husband is now retired and working for a contractor. I was sad, when after 22 years of being in the Navy, he decided to retire. Even though the lifestyle was tough at times, I loved it. I made so many friends along the way and lived in beautiful places. The excitement of moving every few years is gone and we have settled, at least until our kids graduate high school. If you embrace this life and enjoy all that it brings, it will be a life changer!

  76. I wish that we could some how get this information out to all the new military wife’s. I think if we did there life would be different. It is Hard to see them leave but it such a wonderful time when they return. It is like having a honey moon when they return.

  77. As a career military wife myself and husband going on 27 years of active duty I understand this well, we have all been that naive young wife and mother, You put it well, you grew into a military wife. Well said!

  78. Oh so true! My husband is Navy and we’ve been married 5 years. The first deployment was right before our first anniversary and it was 6 months. I was the “young wife,” being 21. He had 3 more after that, every year. It has definitely changed since the first time he left! And now we have twin baby girls and it’ll be a while before he leaves again but when he does I will definitely be stronger for them!

  79. I read this post shortly after the last time you re-posted it… and thought about it at 1am on Monday as I was pulling my 4 year old out of bed to take her daddy to the bus that would take him to the plane that would take him to the boat… how glad I was in that parking lot to not be the only one that dragged their kid out of bed in the middle of the night, because she’s got to get used to it sometime, and how glad I was to not be sobbing but be able to say, “See you soon, Love you, enjoy your “Work-cation” and don’t spend too much money”… and realize I have lost count of the number of times he has been to Hawaii and I have not gone once… To see this article again was perfect timing. I don’t miss him less, but I know myself better – I know what I need to do in order to get through it. It’s different now with a kid… with our first round of sea duty, it was just us. Now there’s a 4 year old who forgets he’s gone, and sees his car in the garage and walks into the house hollering, “daddy!” But I keep a smile on my face from 5am to 8pm, and tell her that “It’s just us girls and we can do this”. And it’s hard to go to bed at night, so I’m constantly sleep-deprived. But I cope and I survive because really, that’s the only choice. And I am SO planning a girls’ weekend when he gets home. Because he needs some daddy-daughter time and I need a break! =D

  80. This is Just what I needed to read tonight. My husband Left for Afghanistan today.I think i am that Young Wife we have been married for 2 years. This is our first duty station together after being here 5 months they told us my husband would deploy in 6 weeks. I felt like it came from nowhere as these were shore duty orders for 4 years.I was angry and confused. Today when I dropped him to the airport he looked at me and said dont cry. I was trying to keep them in but they just wouldnt stop rolling down my face. I know I need to be strong not only for him but myself. I will use this 8 months to make new friends, keep busy with work and become a more independant me. Thankyou for your post it is so comforting to know I am not alone.

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  83. Hi! Just wanted to say this article is great! I have been married to my husband for a little over a year now and have seen him for maybe 5 months out of that year. Reading your article I can see my own evolution, I am by no means as “salty” as some but I have a few under my belt and I learned quickly. I use to think the same “why are these ladies not just as torn as I am?” then I realized fast attack life, is just that. Fast. Plans change fast. Schedules change fast. And you get to adapt, fast. Thank you for writing this. It’s amazing.

  84. LOVE the last line….so true!!! There have been so many times when I have wanted to go to these new wives and hug them and take them by the hand and console them. But to get to where we are, you have to really go through what we’ve been through….all the tears and heartache and everything that comes with it. It’s all part of the experience that makes you who you are. =)

  85. This is so beautiful, I cried. I have only been married for a month to my husband in the air force, so I haven’t been threw a deployment yet. But this made me feel better. We went 6 months apart while he was in basic training. He came home for a few weeks and that is when we were married, now he is stationed in Alaska, and I’m in Ohio. Trying to get there as soon as I can, but there are more things we have to do than we imagined! It is so hard being apart from each other, but you just take it one day at a time! =) Thank you for this Post.

  86. I have to admit, the title to this article really turned me off. I know quite a few wives that act and actually think that they love their husband more than I do mine, and defiantly more than a “civi-wife” loves theirs. That frustrates me so much, and I thought it would be one of “those” articles. I was very presently surprised. My husband is currently forward deployed over in Yokosuka Japan. I thought a state-side ship was hard, I had no idea what we were getting into. I have been here for quite a few “new wives” and they don’t understand how I don’t even go anymore for when they go out, and usually not even go when they come back home. I once made the mistake by saying to a new wife, “Just remember that it is just a few days” but then it turned out to be two months. If you have never been in a forward deployed situation, the scheduled is written in the sand a low tied. It changes by the hour. They could be going out for two days, and less than an our later it is 3 months, and then 20 minutes later they could be staying home. I have stopped telling my children that daddy would be home on this day, until they were pier side, and even then he may not be home that night. We have started doing different things while daddy is gone, so we know what we want daddy to be able to see, when he does get a chance to go out with us. But until you have been through the deployments and a few years of the back and forth, the fights, and tears, the lonely nights, the nights that you don’t sleep, the days that all you want is an email saying “I love you” and don’t get it for one or several different reasons, the nights that all you want is your mom, or you family and you realize, that unless they were a military wife themselves, then they will never be able to fully understand what you are going through so you call one of your “sister-military-wives” because you know she will understand. you know that even though she is going through the same heart break, and loneliness she will hold back her tears and listen to yours. She will be there for you, offer for you to come over, or for her to come over there, plan to do lunch. She will be strong for you because she knows that in a few days, a few weeks, or a year down the road she will need the same from you. Because who else could ever understand, and that does not mean that our loves are deeper and more devoted to our husbands. It does not mean that our lives are easier, it only means that we have to deal with other difficulties that others can not understand unless they have been through it. Thank you for this article!! It was amazing, and it puts into words what so many want to say, but don’t know how!!

  87. This article is amazing I completely went back to our “see you later” & me bawling my eyes out. Going home running a red light. Leaving the car on while I went to the store. Finding no comfort in anything or anyone. Just wanting to run after that white bus that ripped my husband from me. Where a month and a couple weeks into this deployment and I have taken control of my life. Although its our first I’ve realized it’s being so young but feeling so old. Mostly loving with nothing to hold. Long nights and a very rare phone call here and there. Thank you for this.

  88. Thanks for this. I’m that clinging wife this deployment – my first. But I have been acutely aware that it’s hard fro him, too. I try to be strong for him, but sometimes that just breaks through in the letters, and while I may whine a little, I always apologize and say we’ll be fine and we’ll get through it. And we will.

    Just a note – had to laugh at 0 Dark thirty!

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  90. I am reading your posts and I must admit, they are making me cry. Not in a bad sense, but in the sense that I am the Young Wife, and I dread when this experience comes. I don’t want to be the one that in my mind seems weak and incapable, but strong; and yet at the same time, I don’t want to be the one that others look at and just think “she doesn’t give a damn”. It’s so hard to be a military wife, and I’m only just beginning to understand.

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  92. I know I can seem like the “cold harded “B” it is NEVER easy and we have over 12yrs of USCG sea time including our current almost 13 month deployment overseas. I try to make light of the situation, and most days I handle just fine. BUT then there are those days that I fall apart. For me I finally figured out to fall apart, b/c it is better when I am finished than pretending that it is all OK. I also have learned to let people know, I am on the verge of breaking and I need assistance. Sometimes they just don’t get it till you put it that way and some still don’t! But that is ok, b/c when we hear someone say it we know it is meant and time for us to open our door and do what we can to help.

    I LOVE this more than most will ever understand.

  93. This is absolutely beautiful. Loved it.

    My husband and I have only been through one deployment together but I think we had a bit of a unique situation. We were friends before he deployed but didn’t start dating until he was already gone. When he got back we got married and are preparing for his second deployment (since we’ve been together) in a few months. I feel confident that I’ll be fine and I know he feels the same way. It is so rough but I know from the first deployment that having me fall apart won’t help either or us or our baby.

    Great post!

  94. Every word was right on the dot. I am about to go through another deployment and all I keep trying to remind myself how I got myself through the past deployment, it feels like it is impossible until the day comes that you have to put on that brave face for your man and say “I’ll see you soon”. When I explain it to my two friends that are “new” to deployments….I always say. The best way to deal with a deployment is just taking it day by day, week by week and month by month. Eventually the time will come to flip that calendar page to the month you’ve been waiting for and damn does it feel good! 🙂

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  96. I myself am AD military and this article made me cry..this hits the nail on the head. I am married to military life as I live it, breath it and have volunteered for the force, but knowing what to expect when my husband deploys DOES NOT make things easier. Thank you for sharing..just know that even AD wives feel the same and we share in the pain, hurt, sorry.

  97. wish i woulda had an fyi before i read this that it was gonna make me cry:P just got my make up on lol! I have only dealt with one deployment but i guess i was already seasoned a bit from trainings that took half a year… I love my husband and when he deployed i had a 15 month old and just found out i was pregnant with #2… It was a roller coaster but life ticked on… even week long feilds are hard sometimes.. especially now that my girls are a bit older and able to do even more… you know.. spreading my brand new bottle of shampoo all over the bathroom… that sorta stuff 🙂 Aug will make 6 years as an Army spouse and it changes you.. physically, emotionally, mentally… whomever said its easy sure as heck hasnt been a mil spouse! WTG and glad someone is sharing the realities of the life with others!

  98. Thank you for posting this, as a ‘seasoned wife’ myself and gone through that exact transformation I get this 1000% Thank you for posting fro both POV, so the New Wives can see there is away to adapt…When we were first married there wasn’t as much support out there as there is now. Embrace all the help you can get, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  99. This is a fantastic post and one I’m going to share on my FB page. I was that young bride whose husband deployed quickly after we got married. I was confused and lost and had the swollen, red eyes and tear-stained cheeks to prove it. The other military wives I knew looked so put together and even kept it together throughout the deployment. Then there was the homecoming. I got all dolled up and was literally shaking with excitement, but there were some wives there who looked like they rolled out of bed—they were still wearing pajamas! But here I am, about to go through our fourth deployment and I’m feeling so much more prepared. I’m still going to cry my eyes out, but I know I can handle it (most days). I’ll still get pretty for the homecoming, though; I don’t think I can just show up looking like he’s seen me every day.

    This post was a wake-up all. It hasn’t been that long for me since I was that young wife and now I’ll keep my eyes out for those who are going through their first deployment. It’s a scary thing to experience. Thank you!

  100. You hit it on the nail. I was pregnant with our first child our first deployment which was over 9 months. and a bad things happened for him and for me. He missed the birth of our daughter but that happens. He was with us for 3 months then he was gone for 6 more months then we were together for 18 months. then he was gone for another 10 months and almost missed the birth of our next child. And once again a bad thing happened for him. He was then home for 18 months and home the whole time for pregnancy for our last child which was wonderful since he was born 3.5 months early… He went on his last deployment which was 9 months and was great… I have never doubted him. at first it was hard having him leave but i always knew he was doing the right thing…

  101. This is so great! To the other German lady out there: THANK YOU for helping out a new German transplant in need. I make it a point to help all foreign wives when I can, being German myself, and knowing how hard it is to adjust to living in a new country, let alone going through a deployment. I’ll be married 7 years in June and my hubby is currently serving in his 4th deployment, so needless to say he’s been gone more than he has been home with me. My first deployment we had just gotten married and moved into housing and I just sat around all day and fell sorry for myself until I started college ( I did work part-time,but only 3 days a week). I graduated HS 3 months before we got married and took some time off from school. Once I started classes things were better, but it was a long 6 months in the meantime. My first deployment when I was in the US I knew right away that keeping busy is the key and went to school full time and worked full time to make the time fly by ( it was a 15 month run, so having no time for anything other than work, school, maybe eat and sleep helped tremendously). This time around I work full time in a busy surgeon’s office and I’ve started taking some classes (like sewing and crafts) to keep me occupied when I’m not at work. I truly believe being a military wife has made me a much stronger person and I hope my newbie wife friends read this article as well and learn from it. Thank you for a great article! I enjoyed reminiscing about the new wife I used to be 😉

  102. Going thru my first deployment right now and sometimes I wondered, will I really ever get use to this lifestyle? Now I know it takes time and its okay to still live my life when hes not gone 🙂 Made me feel much better

  103. We are finishing up our second deployment, and we have 3 kids. He was a geo-bach/deployed for the entire year of our oldest’s kindergarten year, my middle son’s first year of life (he missed his birth and got home one week before his first birthday), and left for the second deployment when our youngest was 10 days old (now just shy of 6 months). I hate deployments. I hate being both parents. I hate that I can’t pull off being super mom like it seems all the other wives in our squadron are. But as an aviator’s wife, deployment is the ONLY time that my kids and I have a stable schedule…I don’t have to wait for the flight schedule to come out to determine how my day will go, I don’t have to back out of commitments at the last second bc the flight schedule changed, and I know who’s picking up the kids…me. However, I cannot wait for my hubby to be home and my heart to be whole again. (And yes, I did cry when he left this time…but it was mostly post-partum hormones and a severe lack of sleep). His departure from the terminal kept getting delayed…and every extra minute was excruciating; the families trying to hang on for those last few minutes, me trying to hold it together and stay strong for my kids, the kids getting tired as it got closer to and then passed bedtime, etc. We finally decided that the kids and I were leaving before he boarded the plane so that we could part on our own terms. So many jaws dropped when we walked out, how could I be so heartless? In the end, it was better for us to do it on our own terms. It wound up that very few of the wives actually stuck around until they actually boarded bc it was so late and they all followed my lead (I didn’t know that until later). But make no mistake, I am ECSTATIC that my husband is returning VERY soon, even if it does mean we PCS and I have to leave my amazing job (again). So much of a being a military wife is just staying strong and being flexible. My neighbor (also Navy) has been awesome and mowing my yard for me and says that just like any Navy wife, we make it look easy. I told him that’s all just perception…we make it look good, even though it’s NEVER easy. But, at least for me, having my husband go away helps me to realize how much I appreciate him and the things that he does, and just how MUCH he does as I add his responsibilities to my own. I doubt very many non-military wives get to have that perspective. (And I’m sure that after he retires and is in my hair all the time, I’ll be asking “Isn’t it time for you to deploy again?” LOL)

  104. My Soon to be Husband had one of his Friends add this to her facebook page.. As I began to read your article I began to tear up.. This gave me hope that WE are going to be okay.. I know that our first deployment is going to be easy in fact any.. But it will go by easier than I thought.. Thank you for writing this.. It helped me alot.:)

  105. This is so true!! The first deployment is so terrible, all you think about is that he is GONE. Then you realize it is a fact of life, and you learn to make the best of it. This last deployment I traveled, I went to concerts, I hung with girlfriends, I stayed up late watching movies he doesn’t like–and I was happy. Maybe more importantly, HE was happy that when he called I didn’t sound like a zombie, just going through the motions, life on hold until he came home.

    I try to view deployments as time to focus on bettering myself and improving myself, it makes it easier, and it makes me a better wife when my husband comes home. Love has nothing to do with it. If you can’t learn to cope, and your spouse stays in the military, there are going to be a lot of dark days ahead.

  106. This was great. I am 25 years old, have been married to my husband 5.5 years. I went through my first deployment 3 days after our wedding. It didn’t phase me because my life didn’t change. I was still living w my parents and going to college. So it was like every other day.

    Now, my husband left for his second deployment about two weeks ago. I definitely cried my eyes out. My life is completely turned upside down. We just got stationed here, and we have a 19 month old daughter. Life is definitely different! It’s not difficult getting through the days. I can manage on my own. I’ve done so the passed 3 years on recruiting duty. Its Ava I worry about. She cries constantly for her daddy. I try to keep us busy with playdates and trips to the water park, but its still hard. I miss him terribly, but we knew this day would come, and will be over just as it quickly. I am enjoying being around the other families and experiencing what life is like on base! Having a husband deployed is sad, but its a great learning opportunity!

  107. My husband has been in the Air Force for almost 18yrs, but this is my first deployment (we’ve only been married 4yrs). He rode to the airport with our friend and his wife because i didn’t want him to see me cry (and it was o’dark thirty in the morning), or to have our kids see me cry. We celebrated New Years, and then he put me to bed saying he’d see me later. All I wanted to do for a week was stay in bed, but I couldn’t, had to take care of our boys. And, 4mo later, I’m patiently waiting for him to come home, knowing that my “girl time” is gonna come to an end. Our friends are PCSing as soon as her hubby gets back, and we have spent the weeks counting down with weekly suppers with our kids as one great big family. Without her, I think I would’ve gone insane. Without skype, I would probably cry myself to sleep every night. But, I’m ok. I made it. And, as much as I already dread the next deployment, I know I can make it because I already have. My fellow Spouses, you inspire me to be a better me. Thank you for being who you are, we are definitely a strong group of people. And what doesn’t bring us down or kill us, only makes us stronger ❤

  108. This was incredibly inspirational!! I am that new “wife” per say -we are not married yet, but I am that young, new one who is struggling and spending the deployment crying. Reading this was helpful. I loved what you said “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” This made me believe in myself more. I thought with this being the 2nd deployment it would be easier because I “know” what to expect. NO. It isnt easier in fact it has been harder, weve grown closer and therefore him leaving has grown harder. Thank you for posting this.

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  110. Thank you for this. I needed to hear it because I am the new wife. Going through our first long deployment, and I cried myself to sleep every night the first 2 1/2 months… I’m stronger now and hold myself together even when times are completely crazy and Murphy’s Law goes into effect. This article is inspirational!
    Bless you

  111. This is true, i once was that young wife too. Married at 18 . Alone, first time away from family from my home state.
    12 years and 3 kids and 5 deployments later i have learned to adapt and remain strong. I love your story thank you for sharing this.

  112. This is exactly what all new military (or newly deployed) wives need to read, and a great reminder for the rest of us! Being in family support, I have seen my fair share of wives that are not supportive or understanding of their very important job as a military wife, and it just breaks my heart. If we could have only got them to go to the meetings…parties…gatherings and hope (and pray) that they would see that there is a pot of gold on the other side of all those tears (or anger in some cases).
    I am going to keep this post and share it at the next family support meeting we have~ It will be sure to tug at the heart strings!

    Thank you so much for sharing this~

  113. I Love this article! Thank You for posting this! Everything that you said was nicely put and true. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. When my hubby left on his first deployment I knew no one and was 5 months pregnant. I only tried to contact my poc when it was getting close to my hubby coming home, to find out that her contact information was not current. Thankfully I had the Lord and prayed to Him for guidance and to find out how I was to get the information as to where to pick up my hubby. My prayers were answered and another spouse had just been transferred to our station and she went to church with me and found out our hubbies were in the same battalion! Such a Blessing! I remember the lonely nights, and your right it’s not that it gets easier, you just adapted! Leaning on the Lord and each other is really what helps make the time go by fast. I wouldn’t trade this for anything! I have learned that I am stronger than what I thought and have come to know my Savior more then I think I would have ever known, had I not married my hubby and have this military life style. : ) It helps not take the time and moments we have together as husband and wife and as a family for granted. : )

  114. Yeah… I just don’t think I’ll ever really get there. Don’t get me wrong–I won’t question who loves their husband more me, or you. But the sock in the gut gets me every time he leaves. I’m always the girl looking around going, “How in the heck do these other spouses look so un-phased?” I carry on too… Don’t get me wrong. But I’d gladly give up ‘my deployment schedule and it’s perks’ to have my husband by my side any day of the week… And I cry that ugly ragged cry every time he goes. That’s the way *I* do things and I try to give others the space to do it their way in the hopes they’ll give me room in my way–messy though it can be.

  115. This is so true. We’re about to start our second deployment to a combat zone in less than a year, and already, it feels so much different than the first. Our colonel’s wife was such an inspiration to me during that time. I know she missed her husband just as much as I did, but you would have never known it by looking at her. She was so strong, and watching her go about her life as though it was just another day was SO helpful to me. It showed me that while it can be awful when they’re gone, it doesn’t HAVE to be. And that with time and practice, you learn to deal with a deployment like you do anything else. I know saying our goodbyes again will be brutal, but I hope the rest of the deployment is all uphill after that.

  116. Thank you for saying it! We’ve been together for 3 years, only one of them did we live in driving distance (not the same state) and it’s so true. Wonderfully said.

  117. this is so true of the military wife. i’m an army wife and my first deployment i was 24 and we had been married only 20 months. we moved from the southeast (where our family and friends are) to HI. he deployed 3 months later and i stayed thousands of miles from anyone i knew in HI. i cried so hard after he left that i couldn’t even drive home. i made it through that deployment but it was so hard. our second deployment i had a 3 year old and was pregnant. it was so much easier. i had the baby during R&R and the baby was 7 months old when his daddy got back. but i learned to thrive and not just survive. it comes with time and experience.

  118. wow. This is a wonderful article. This is my husbands first deployment, and he just left about 2 days ago. This was definitely the longest couple days of my life. The last time we were apart for a while was while he was at BCT and AIT, but we weren’t married then, so I had my family and friends there to help distract me. Right now I’m in that “crying my eyes out over the littlest things” stage, but reading this has helped somewhat. I’m going to get through this, even though it’s hard, and it doesn’t seem like it right now. I’ve just gotta push through it, and before I know it, he’ll be home. =)

  119. It hurts so bad. Keeping busy is key. This story is right on target. Had me crying again! I have five children and worrying about all six is tough. I count down the days until he returns and the days he has been gone. No one has contacted me or checked on us. It is hard to get through sometimes. Where is all the support? We go days wondering if he is ok. Thanks for sharing….

  120. This was a great article , it is me 100%. This is our first deployment and my husband left two months ago. We have a 13 month old daughter and I am trying so hard how to figure out how to make it through. I don’t know anybody here , my family is 12 hours away so this all new too me. We’ve been married two years and this is our second duty station but first deployment and it’s been hard. =/

  121. beautiful article. tho i am not a military wife, i was a military child and watched my mother say good bye to my father more times than any wife should say good bye to her husband. thankfully the majority of these times were while living on a military base.where she had the support of other military wives. times were different during the vietnam war era and very little support was offered by the civilian population. my mother became very active in the nco’s wives club and all the wonder things they did on base. i’m sure this helped her keep her sanity while raising 3 young children.

  122. this is wonderful. I am a new young army wife and sometimes I feel myself thinking the same things. I couldn’t wrap myself around the thought of being alone and being okay with it. sometimes I still can’t. this is our first deployment. he left only a week ago and I am completely heart broken over it. but this post makes me feel like it is going to be okay. I mean REALLY be okay. thank you!

  123. Such a good read. They come, they go. I also discovered that even after decades into his career, some “goes” still through me into a loop. But then, a routine evolves, the dust of commotion settles, sanity grows and life goes on, and then he’s back. Where did the time go, I wonder?

  124. My worst experience was the third deployment. My first deployment was 14 1/2 months and we just got married after it. I thought that that would be the worst time of my life….but it wasn’t. The second time was easier and went relativ smoothly I knew it would be 15 months and it was 15 months. The third time (and I thought I was an experienced wife) was the worst. My husband and me met in Germany and got married there. I am a German and we got stationed the first time in America. So it was my first time I have ever lived in America, my husband left just 2 months after we got there. His unit was already deployed, he was supposed to come back with his unit in april (6 months later). In march he told me, he wouldn’t come until september (which he was 1 of only 20 of his unit). Being in a different country, knowing nobody or anything and your husband deploying after 2 short months, already had carried me above the edge of what I could handle. But him telling me he wouldn’t come back for another 5 months having no support of the so called “FRG”…broke me.
    But….looking back, made me stronger then I ever thought I could be (not that I wish that I ever have to experience this again). America is a beautiful country, but it seemed like hell to me that first year when I had go through this. I have to pay truibute to my daughter, that stood through it (with me being depressed and giving up) so unbelievable strong and wonderful (taking more care of me then me of her in that time).I will never be able to thank her enough for being stronger then a 9 year old should have to be….
    Sometimes when you think it should be getting easier, it doesn’t and you question where this strong community of wifes is, that should help you.

    I made friends in that time anyway and these were the ones that helped me…not my FRG.

    A couple of weeks ago I saw a woman coming from Germany over here, writing on facebook. I wrote back and met with her and showed her around and told her I would help her, because I won’t nobody to ever have to feel like I felt…..

  125. “It takes time to get where I am. It takes practice and a strong heart, because you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice. ”

    This speaks to me on so many levels. Thank you for this article and for your service as well. This is a quote that I will always remember and remember to give credit, where credit is due.. Thank you..

  126. It’s so funny (and true) how our perspectives change as we spend more and more time as military spouses. I recognize both the newbie and the more seasoned spouse in myself!
    Love your blog and will continue to follow!

  127. What a beautiful post! And so very true. I love the closing line, “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you for sharing this!

  128. Wow! I believe that this is true. One of my sisters is an army wife. She has two daughters with her husband. One is 19 and the other is 16. They have been together for almost 20yrs. She has gone through rough times were she doesn’t even know where er husband is. Where he is gone for months but she stays strong and also the girls stay strong. It not something easy to do but I have seen how she loves her husband more than life itself. They don’t go on sad and miserable. They make sure to take advantage of life and when he returns, they make sure he catches up on everything he missed and that he is part of their lives. She has told me that its not easy and that she had days were she didn’t slept but she is proud to be an Army Wife.

  129. Oh so true! I’ve written about being strong in my blog as well – after my husband was wounded in Afghanistan, people always comment that we’re so strong. We have no choice! And now, after 9 months living at Walter Reed, we have a 4 month old and are settling back in to daily Army Life back home. If it is presented to you, you will be able to do it. Simple as that 🙂

  130. Great article, all except for the very last line how you wouldn’t go to the young wife. That’s kinda sad. I would always go to someone, tell them its ok to feel that way blah blah blah… they might not understand at the time but they would also never forget how someone came to them. Just my two cents, I realize not everyone is the same. 🙂

  131. This really puts my deployment feelings into words! When I try to explain them to my friends and they just look at me in confusion, I’ll direct them to this post. =)

  132. This was an amazing piece and really made me look back on that time when I turned from a young wife to a defence wife. We have only been through one deployment with AUS Army and a few trips and promotion courses. more time spent apart then together haha. But Its true what was said just because the tears don’t come as often does not mean I don’t love him anymore than I did. I love him more every time he comes home and wait anxiously for him every time he leaves. I have just recently hit that point where I have learnt to adapt and not feel so alone and desperate for him to stay everytime he leaves and I think this will help those new and younger wives to know that they are not alone and that their time will come when they feel like a true defence wife.

    Thank you
    Beck

  133. Excellent column. Thanks for putting into words how I envision my wife feeling when I deploy. And I agree, if the Air Force told me tonight I was leaving for 88 days, we wouldn’t lose sleep. Thanks for sharing.

  134. I couldn’t help but cry while reading your article-remembering the 1st deployment. I was a wreck waiting for a phone call or email…something, anything. Now 6 years later throw in a few more deployments, TDY’s, and even an unaccompanied PCS to Korea and the emotions still hit me (usually at night when everything is quiet) but I’ve learned to keep myself and the children busy-which ususally isn’t very difficult. This last deployment I don’t think we could’ve been busier if we had planned it. People unaccustomed to the military life always say “oh you should be used to him leaving” and I don’t think that it’s something you ever truly get used to but just learn to adapt and continue on knowing they are missing you just as much as you’re missing them!

    Anything but a dependant in HI

  135. I can relate to your story, I felt the same. Now being in the Navy for 22 years I am the CO’s wife. I look at the young wives on our boat and think wow, they look so young. It does get better and you do adapt. I miss my husband just like the rest of them. It does take a special woman to be a Military wife. So here’s to the young and seasoned wives of the Military! Give yourselves a big pat on the back because you deserve it! Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Month!

    A Military wife in CA

  136. I have been a milspouse since I was 18 (20 yrs) and truer words have never been spoken. People have said some nasty things over the years when I say I can’t wait for him to get underway. The withering looks and unkind comments roll off my back now, because they are civilians (usually) and have no idea what the life of a milspouse is like. Our world is one in which many would not survive. We are definitely NOT dependents. I have graduated from U of W, maintained our home, I work full time (and overtime), volunteer, and juggle whatever ad hoc things are thrown my way. It never fails that when they get underway/deployed something breaks, a crisis occurs or an unforeseen expense crops up that we cannot confer with them on, and we have to manage it ourselves, because they are on a need to know basis once they leave. We cannot burden them or distract them from the mission with such pedestrian things. Our lives are spent managing the ebb and flow of their deployments along with every day life. I commend you for putting so eloquently, what many have tried to convey to those that don’t understand. I love my husband, no matter how close or far he is, I’m just much better at managing the heartache than I used to be. Thank you.
    ~A military wife in WA

  137. Thank you, the beautiful blessings come, when you love someone unconditionally in spite that they can’t love you back the same way. Love on a man this way, and serve him emotionally with kindness, gratitude and telling how you cherish him…..it makes a world of difference…the days seem long as a wife, as nothing in return, but I guarantee you…a time will come when your husband will see your grace, your compassion and your consistency! i wish all could see this through the long days, nights and pain, that there is beauty in the dance of marriage between two who want so passionately to make it work. All my love, a proud naval officers wife!

  138. Beautifully written and it did bring me to tears, which as a MilSpouse for 9 years has become very difficult to do. I remember when I started feeling guilty about looking forward to him leaving thinking there was something wrong with me. It took a great group of deployment ladies for me to realize I was normal and it’s just easier than the build-up the comes right before. Those last six weeks right before are a very bad time for me. Let us remember the young spouses and how we felt and make sure we are reaching out to them, the way some of the seasoned spouses reached out to us in the beginning.

  139. Awesome post! This was exactly how I did on my first deployment. I had to figure out quick that I couldn’t keep going like this… the unit my husband was in had deployments every year, so that would equal alot of misery for me and the kids had I stayed in that mindset. Now, I see it as an opportunity to do connect with my girl friends and more playdates for the kiddos. I used to feel guilty about looking forward to those things, but this is the best way to get through it, like you said… Hmm, think I’ll be stopping here more often! Love your posts! : )

  140. Wow, I just bawled like a baby. I havent experienced that and hope I don’t. My husband is 18 yrs airforce but we only married 4 yrs ago. We have 5 kids altogether and they all live here. The TDY’s are hard enough to send him to war would be devastating. I admire the strength you guys have and will take this with me for if I am ever faced with it I will know. I am proud of you and thankful for your everlasting love to your man because he comes home for you and he is fighting for all of us So thank you ladies for your service and for the service of your men!

  141. This article really says it all. Although I am 29 years old and have been married to my navy husband for 3 years I feel like a new military wife. I just got out of the Marines after serving 8 years and 2 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. We have to two kids, a two year old and a 9 month old. Although my husband is not scheduled to deploy anytime soon, I still dread that first deployment. I don’t know how I will react b/c I have been the one deploying, not the one staying behind. But reading this lets me know I will survive and we will make it. Thanks for writing that. My journey has a “dependant wife” started a month ago and I am still adjusting. It is alot harder than I thought it was going to be. Being a stay at home mom is alot harder than I imagined. I used to look at my Marines wives and think, ” why are they complaining, what do they have to complain about? They sit at home with the kids all day, they have it made.” Well come to find out, it’s alot harder than it looks and I give everyone props and I apologize I ever thought those thoughts.

  142. my husband is currently geo-baching. we are almost 2 years into a 3 year tour. I’ve seen him for a month total in that 2 years. People act like i don’t have a heart when i say i am ok with that. Am I really ok with that . um NO! but it is what it is and its a decision we made together.. i love my husband with every fiber of my being and can not wait until we live together again . but for now. I am ok with it!!

    thank you for this post! its nice to know that other people feel the same way.

  143. Excellent article. You took me right back to my husband’s first deployment for the first Gulf war. I was a young wife, lonely and afraid, but I did whatever I could to make the best out of the 8 months apart. I got a bright idea back then to rally a few of te wives together and coordinate a Six Flags trip, but sadly only two agreed to go. The others felt guilty and chose to stay alone to wait for their husbands. They told me this! But we did the best we could to keep busy. Now 23 years later, he was deployed again, this time to Afghanistan for a year as a civilian contractor. Memories of loneliness flooded back, but this time we had Skype, email and Facebook to keep in touch. Times have changed. We have to be grateful for every little thing, even the new technology helping us all communicate better than we did 20 years ago when there was only snail mail to contend with.

  144. Wonderful article! I just love your last line, it is so similar to what I tell my non-military spouse friends when they comment on how strong I am while my DH is deployed.

  145. You definitely hit the nail on the head. I’m a 15 year veteran with 2 teenagers. My husband’s current tour has him as a Geo-Bach… a decision WE made so the kids could maintain a very stable support system (including a school district that has been the best I’ve seen yet). My heart breaks every time he leaves but reality doesn’t ever really hit until what we call, Day 7. On the 7th day, it’s reality check… I’m really doing this again by myself and it’s going to be a challenge. I’ll cry, I’ll stay in bed, I’m depressed. It’s the ONLY day I allow myself to have a “pity party”…. (and I’ve been known to let my kiddos cut school on Day 7 when it’s going to be a long time before dad comes home) We talk as a family, what we’re feeling, how yeah it does suck that dad is gone, but then we make our plans… what we’re going to do while daddy is gone, how we can fool him when he gets home (I lost 1/3 of my weight while he was deployed once… side effect of cancer surgery and gym time…. he LITERALLY walked right past me, not realizing it was me! The look on his face was PRICELESS!!)
    My husband and I will also plot and plan total surprise visits home. (Like last year when he suddenly showed up at 11pm during Spring Break/Easter weekend and yelled “Pizza’s here!” as he walked into the house)… my daughter was crying and when I asked her what was wrong she declared “These are my Happy Tears!”…
    I’m so used to him being gone, I’m really not sure what is going to happen when he retires in just a few years and is always around! I can say with certainty, my husband can still make me all weak in the knees after 15+ years together.

  146. The worst deployment for me was when he left on a det when our son was 2 months old. I definitely acted like the ‘new wife,’ at least in private, and begged him not to go. But he did and we all survived. When he went on the boat when I was 36 weeks pregnant, (don’t tell him I said this) I was secretly relieved! He was so stressed about my pregnancy and me going into labor before he got home that it was stressing ME! Ha! Luckily our son was late (just like the first two) so it all worked out.

  147. LOVE this. Your words actually made me cry. In 3 days it will be 6 short months since my husband left. Not to deploy, but to be sent more than half way around the world on PCS orders without us for THREE LONG YEARS. Before he left, I was the jaded safe/veteran that couldn’t wait for him to leave so that we could just hurry up time and he could come home on leave and eventually come home for good. Our beautiful daughter will be FIVE when her daddy comes home, she will start Kindergarten without her daddy. I can’t even count the days as they go by, because there are so many that it just makes my heart break to think about them all… over 1000 days in total. So few have passed already, and so many lay ahead. The days spent holding my two year old telling her that some daddy’s have to work far away, and her daddy is one of them… BUT he loves her very much and he can’t wait to come home and see her again.

  148. I remember the first time my husband was deployed (as a married military member). I walked to the terminal with him. I dreaded the boarding call. I wanted time to stop. I tried so hard not to cry, even doing the whole…swallow….swallow….swallow thing to avoid it! I did fine until I gave him one last hug and looked at the lady next to us looking at me with sad eyes and she quietly said “awwwww” but I heard it! Then the tears came! I remember walking back through the airport with tears pouring thinking that all of these people were probably looking at me and thinking that maybe I was crying over a boyfriend leaving or something silly like that! I so badly wanted to stop crying so I wouldn’t scream at someone if they looked at me funny “MY HUSBAND IS IN THE MILITARY AND JUST LEFT HIS FAMILY TO FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOM! THIS IS WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE!” Now I realize that we live special and unforgettable lives as military families. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I will come back and read this as a special reminder to keep my head held high any time I am feeling a pity party coming on in the future! 🙂 Thanks for this.

  149. Thanks, exactly what I needed. I was suffering from “poor me” symdrome today, and I decided to contact a new wife in the command instead of wallowing in my self pity. I think you might have been inspired. 🙂

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