Can your love go the distance with the distance in miles between you? This is a question surprisingly many couples are faced with in today’s society. With thousands of men and women in the military on their scheduled deployments, and spouses seeking jobs outside their county due to market declines, this is much more common now than ever. So we ask our self….. Can we make it? How do we make it? And the ever infamous question of, “will he stay faithful?” These questions can and will taunt an individual all the days of their lives if they do not have a good solid foundation in their relationship.
As a therapist I can confidently state that YES, you can make it, if you work hard at it. Just like anything else, staying focused on your partner or spouse and communicating with them, will allow both of you to feel as if the distance is merely a set back.
Deployments are not forever, but they sure can seem that way. So my suggestion during this time is too stay involved in the activities that surround the other military wives. It can start to feel much like a support group for those women who are in the same situation. Have coffee together, go on walks together, and talk. Openly discuss your thoughts and fears with these women, because if any one truly understands what you are going through, it is them. Some of them you may find have been through multiple deployments and seem to be a pro and handling their inner fears and thoughts. Regardless of this being a first event or one of many, the feelings never really change. And keeping yourself intertwined with women who have dealt with the same issues will allow you to understand how to cope with the distance.
While your spouse is away, start journaling or writing. If you have the time, try to write a letter a day or a letter a week, and send them
off to him. Every time he receives a letter or care package from you, he will feel close to you. He will feel as if the bond is still there and ultimately he’ll know that you are constantly thinking of him. Emailing and sending pictures to him are also great ways to stay in contact. Just remember that while he is away his time on the computer and writing letters is very sporadic, so don’t get discouraged if
the responses are severely delayed. Women tend to let their minds wander to dark places and you have to be cognizant of the fact that he is working. Don’t always expect the worst in every situation. Stay positive and be patient. That email, letter, or phone call will come.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653