Monday, February 15, 2016

Five Tips for Communicating During Deployments

As you may recall, deployment has been a huge part of our dating and married life. After five or six deployments (I've honestly lost count), I've developed five simple rules for communicating during a deployment. They are what help keep me sane and I thought I'd share them here with you today in case they can help you out as well.


These are in no particular order because there is no way to order them by importance. Some days, tip number one is what keeps me going while other days it's tip number two. If you have additional tips, I'd love to hear them in the comments!

1. Remember that it's only temporary.
I'm not going to lie - there are days when I wonder if we're going to survive the latest obstacle and if it's all worth it. The phrase "it's only temporary" is what keeps me going on these days. I look to my calendar and find that end date to focus on. (If I don't know the exact end date, then I make one up.) When communication gets slow or tricky, I refer back to the phrase as well. Temporary is easier to deal with than permanent.

2. Keep your expectations low.
There are days that I wake up eager to hear from the husband. If I don't get an email (our primary form of communication when he is underway) from him, then it's a giant let down and puts me in a mood for the day. Over time, I've learned to keep my expectations low. There's less chance of being let down this way.

3. Don't compare.
Social media makes this one really hard. Perhaps you're reading that another wife got a call from her man today or you're reading about how often other couples keep in touch during deployment. These can lead to some unhappy thoughts if you start wondering why it's not the same for you. I want you to remember two things to help you stop the comparison monster: "Every couple is different." & "No two deployments are the same." Seriously, post these somewhere as a reminder if you need to!

4. Avoid negativity.
Try your best to avoid negativity in conversations. I'm not saying don't ever allow negativity to creep in - honesty and openness is still the best policy. Rather, avoid ending on a negative note. You don't want to go to bed angry and alone. That's no fun for anyone. Try to focus on the positive as much as possible.

5. Always end every correspondence (email, phone, mail, etc) with "I love you." 
This is probably my biggest tip! Make sure that you always remind each other of the love that you have together. That love is what will help you survive the deployment after all. We always end our emails, phone calls, and stuff with "I love you." This rule extends into our time spent together as well. It's the last thing we say before we go to bed or leave each other for work.

What helps keep you going during a deployment? How do you handle communication with your significant other (whether deployed or at home)? Do you have any special phrases that are important?


6 comments:

  1. Neither of us are in the military, but my husband works 70-80 hours per week right now while he's getting his PhD and I travel a lot for work. These tips can really help in my situation too. I live off of knowing that this phase is only temporary. One day, he will graduate and things will be different. Also, we always say "I love you." Always.

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    1. I can definitely see how these tips could connect to your situation as well! The temporary phrase definitely keeps me going!

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  2. When Casey goes into the field for extended time, I always make sure that we say I love you. It's nice to have that as the last think we said to one another!

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    1. Yes! I always want the last thing I say to someone to be something positive and loving. :)

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  3. I have so much respect for you and your husband and your relationship. I think it's great that you've come up with these rules to help you deal with those difficult times. I think everyone would do well to remember to not compare and to say "I love you" every chance they get =)

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  4. Thank you for the tips. This is my first deployment, I miss my boyfriend so much but im been trying to always be positive. This is just the first month we are missing 4 more months... What thinks I can do to keep my mind away?

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