Being a military spouse i feel like i have a little bit of experience being alone for some stretches of time. I am definitely not an expert in the subject and my husband has (thankfully) never deployed. But before getting married we were long distance for 2 years, then after moving to Okinawa he has gone on a couple of trainings off-island. Can’t forget the 9 months he lived 2 hours, which meant seeing him only a few times a month. Then next year he will be going back to the states for four months and let’s just say i am dreading it; badly. I thought this was a good subject to write about, since i have a little experience with it.
Here’s a little breakdown of how separation from your spouse usually goes:
1. Saying Goodbye Sucks! – Enjoy every second you have left with your spouse, basically be attached to the hip for the last few days/hours. Go out on dates, lay on the couch together, but especially talk about the next few weeks / months / year. A lot of people write letters to each other to read after they’re separated, or some even send their spouse off with big amount of letters to get them through the course of their time away. Find your special thing, here are a few ideas!
Is your spouse deployed? Check out these awesome care package ideas by a fellow military wife over at Courtney Crafts.
2. The First Few Days Are The Worst – You’d think saying goodbye would be the worst part.. but i don’t think so. The first few days are like a haze.. so cry it off, eat some ice cream, sit on the couch and binge watch a new show on Netflix, i promise you it gets better. To take your mind off it all why not plan a girls day with your closest friends or go visit your family. Like crafting? Create a cute countdown or calendar to help you check off everyday that goes by.
3. Yay! You’ve Found Your Groove – This is when things get easy. After the first few days or sometimes the first few weeks of feeling out of sorts, you’ve finally found your groove. Rejoice!! By this point you have mastered your schedule, you actually look like a human being (HA!), you’re making time for the gym, you’re not eating cereal for dinner everyday, sleeping alone is a piece of cake (having the bed to yourself rocks!) and you’ve finally stopped crying. Go you!
If you’re spouse will be gone for a really long time and you’re able to visit, this would be the perfect time to start planning your trip!!
4. Your Countdown is in the Small Digits!! – And we’re back to another hard part. As the countdown keeps getting lower and lower the anxiety starts creeping up. The days start passing slower because you’re just so close to having your spouse back. Make a To-Do list to help you feel more organized, especially during those last few days. If you’re planning on getting pretty for the homecoming go shop for your outfit and make your hair/nail appointments.
5. Hooray! You did it! – Look back at all you’ve accomplished, go ahead and pat yourself in the back. You Rock! Looking back doesn’t it feel like time just flew? I know that’s how i always feel. The butterflies are probably already settling in, revel in it. That feeling doesn’t happen everyday. Now go ahead and enjoy your homecoming! Oh and be sure to take some cute pictures!
Q: Any other advice you would give to someone about to start this journey?