When most military couples get married they typically have an idea of what’s in store for them with the military lifestyle. However many assume that love will conquer all during deployments and other challenging times.
And while love may be the overall cure, emotions such as frustration and deployment fatigue do set in. Most military couples come to realize that it may take a little more than love to keep that fire burning.
Deployments absolutely do suck and are challenging, but they can be great for really getting to know your spouse and falling in love all over again.
Forget email, go snail mail
Emails are great for fast communication but can be a bit impersonal. People tend to quickly look at them and move on to the next task, especially if on the computer. Nothing says “I love you” like a letter through the postal mail. You are most likely to pay more attention to them when you receive them and write more when you send them. These letters are the place to share your deepest and most intimate thoughts — the kind of thoughts you may not share in everyday life. Save emails for important things that need a quick response. For military spouses, spruce up your note by spraying your favorite perfume on the letter or inserting a favorite picture. A romantic card always works too!
Send pictures… but not those kinds of pictures
When most people think of sending pictures to their significant other overseas they think of “intimate” ones. However, being in a combat zone comes with certain restrictions and while many people do send sexy photos, it’s not suggested. Instead send pictures of you at places that you both like or suggestive pictures that are not too suggestive. The beauty of being married is learning how to send a subtle vibe. Your spouse will get the hint.
It’s obvious that most of us will use Skype to see each other during a deployment. That being said there is so much more that can be done with video chats other than just staring at each other (by all means if that floats your boat, do that too). Schedule date nights if possible and do something special such as a candlelight dinner. It may not be dinner time where he is but who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner? You can also sleep together via video chat and no I am not talking about the “S” word. What I am talking about is literally falling asleep with the laptop or tablet in your bed. It will make you feel closer.
Embrace the power of music
During my time as a military lifestyle blogger and military wife I have learned that everyone has a deployment song list. Music triggers memories and is the soundtrack for many moments in life. Send your spouse a preloaded iPod or CD of your favorite songs that remind you of him and he can do the same thing. In the military spouse world we call these “deployment soundtracks.”
Send “just because” gifts
Service members usually know they are going to receive care packages and around when. However, both my husband and I found it fun to send little “I love you” trinkets and gifts to one another when it was least expected. I’d send him a first-season DVD of a new show I discovered that I know he would enjoy, and he would send me a custom-made blanket for those lonely cold days.
When I told people that I share my fears with hubby and would tell him about my crappy days during deployments, they would gasp! It’s almost taboo in the military spouse community to share things that may seem stressful with your loved one during a deployment. However, I feel that communication is an essential part of marriage and your deployed spouse wants to feel like they can still offer you support too. It’s OK to hold back on some things — especially if they have a big mission or job coming up — but be open with each other.
More about military families
5 Helpful resources for military kids
Moms with a cause: Advocating for military kids worldwide
How to find and keep a career when you are a military spouse