Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Day They Leave

Let's talk about everyone's favorite topic...the day your spouse leaves....ugh

I usually try to stay positive about things like this for my own sanity, but I would not be correctly conveying how I truly feel right now. I am the absolute worst at communicating how I feel about anything. I either appear dismissive or way too excited, there is no in between.

There is no one size fits all story line for what you will feel like when they leave. Some of us have kids to worry about, some of us move home, and some of us are so used to deployments it is just another day. There is no right or wrong way to feel. From talking with my friends who have gone through the same thing, I have noticed a pattern on how most of us are felt when our spouse left.

Am I kidding? No.

This isn't relief in the traditional sense. There is a dark cloud that hangs over your relationship before they leave. You're surrounded by all the stuff they are bringing and odds are it smells. It is a constant reminder that you are basically in purgatory waiting for them to go. The days drag and you haven't even started the countdown for when they come home.

"Just leave so we can get this over with." You feel horrible for thinking that, but they are probably thinking the same thing.



I felt different walking into my house after I dropped him off. It is like I was walking into a place that I didn't know. It went from a shared space to one that I only I occupy. I know it is still our place, but things felt off. Even driving his car felt weird. His office door has not been opened since I don't really need anything in there, it isn't my space.

The next day I did more laundry and grocery shopping in one day, than I normally do in a week. I have now become a full-blown chef and make my own meals nearly every night. While I do enjoy cooking, this is purely a distraction. Instead of coming home to an empty house and just taking in the silence....I fill up the silence with an extremely loud food processor.

Going Into Hiding 
 I have the tendency to become a hermit. I am totally down with just sitting at my house watching tv or reading on a Friday night. If it wasn't for the awesome friends I have here and my job, I would probably barely leave the house. I will also be the first to say that THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE YOUR LIFE. Seriously, it is just plain sad and lonely.

The Curse
The Deployment Curse is a real thing. The theory is, that once your spouse leaves something will break. It could be the the dishwasher, the pipes, etc etc. I thought that this was absolutely not true. But less than a week after he left I popped not one, but two of my tires while swerving to miss a car that made an illegal turn. My advice is....just have some money set aside for the inevitable.

 Letting It Out
If you feel that you need someone to just talk to, check out MilitaryOneSource. You can find resources and information about non-medical counseling by Military Family Life Counselors. These people are trained to work specifically with military members and their spouses. I also encourage you to reach out and see if there is an MFLC assigned to your spouse's unit. MFLCs can be placed with units who are deploying to work specifically with those families.

 Whether it is your spouse's first deployment or their fifth. What matters is that you know that you are absolutely not alone in how you are feeling and coping. You don't have to be "fine" or "okay" all the time. You just have to know that this deployment will come to an end. You will be shocked at how truly well you handled this time apart.

1 comment

  1. The "relief" is so true. Me and my boyfriend just finished the "lets just rip the bandaid off" conversation after his 2nd pass within two months, and now a departure ceremony pre deployment. Its amazing to see them but this being our second deployment we have the dark cloud that follows us and it is suffocating.


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