A military deployment can place a tremendous strain on your marriage. However, you can learn to handle it and make the relationship stronger.
Follow these easy steps to make your marriage work during deployment:
1. Stay aware of the issues.
Marriages that go through military deployments are at a higher risk for divorce and infidelity. The separation from your loved one and long distances can place stress on a marriage. Military deployments add an extra level of stress because of concern about a tragedy happening to your spouse.
Instead of ignoring the issues, it’s important to stay aware of the common risks that can destroy a marriage. By paying attention to the signs in your own relationship, you can work on issues before they become bigger.
2. Handle the loneliness.
If you feel lonely, reach out to family, friends, or coworkers. Start a new hobby or take lessons in a new subject. Find volunteer opportunities to fill your time.
It’s easier to control your feelings of loneliness by staying busy and being around others.
3. Stay in touch with your spouse.
A military deployment doesn’t mean you have to lose all contact with your spouse. You may be able to continue to communicate through phone calls, emails, or webcams.
You can also keep in touch with letters and packages.
In some cases, your communication may be restricted or cut off. Take advantage of every opportunity to stay in touch with your loved one, even if your communication is short.
4. Use support services.
You shouldn’t feel ashamed to use support services set up to help couples dealing with deployment. These services are designed to help you keep your relationship strong.
The military and other organizations have a variety of support services for couples. Explore the options and find services that fit your needs. Your spouse can also participate despite the deployment.
5. Watch your friendships.
A friend can turn into a romantic interest quickly and unexpectedly. Set boundaries in your friendships so you don’t sabotage your marriage.
A deployment can make you feel lonely and make you more likely to reach out to friends for companionship. Although friends can be an important support network, take care to maintain the friendship as “just friends” (and not “friends with benefits”). Infidelity during a deployment can ruin a marriage and hurt the relationship beyond repair.
6. Avoid negative thoughts.
It’s easy to become frustrated and upset during a deployment. Deployments can be difficult for both spouses, but it’s important to avoid negativity as much as possible.
Instead of living in fear that something may happen to your spouse, focus on positive thoughts. Avoid worrying about your relationship, and how it will change after your partner returns.
Stay focused on your family and nurture those relationships. Vow to stay strong and maintain a healthy, pleasant home.
Your marriage can survive a military deployment with the right strategies and tools. You can continue to have a healthy relationship during this time. Use these strategies to help you with the inevitable stresses, and look forward to the day when you can see each other again.