How To Survive Your Marriage Post-Deployment: Lessons Learned From A Newlywed [Part One]
With our deployment being past the six month mark, I’ve started thinking about life post-deployment, and the experiences that I went through last year after my husband returned from his first and very long [fifteen months] trip overseas. Would it be the same this time around? How would it be different? Can I expect any of the same things that we went through last time?
The truth of the matter is that sometimes life post-deployment can be just as tough, if not more so, than the actual deployment itself. And if you’re a newlywed? Forget it. Marriage is difficult enough in the beginning. Throw in never seeing each other, as well as the normal day to day struggles that come with just getting married, and you’re in for one hell of a ride. If anyone tells you that it was easy, and tries to make you feel like you’re all alone, they are full of crap and LYING TO YOU.
My goal here is to do two or three [or more, if it takes more! I tend to not be able to stop once I start writing!] posts over the next few days about my particular situation, and hopefully that will help some of you when your sweeties return! But, before I can dive into what life was like for us after our first deployment, let me share our background.
Three years ago, I moved out here to where we are now after doing a year of long distance with my now husband. I was travelling six days a week because of the job I was working then, and would come out here every weekend that I could. Five months into our relationship [very quick, I know!] we had “the talk” … long distance is hard, and if we didn’t see each other together long term, than what was the point. I told him that I was willing to pack up, leave Seattle and come out here to be with him, if he saw long-term in our future. He told me he wanted to marry me. 🙂 We were engaged about a month later, and about five months after that, when my contract was up with my job, I packed up, shipped everything out here, did everything I could to plan our wedding before I left, and drove cross country.
Now, we had known that the deployment possibility was there. It had been talked about, but in typical Army fashion, nothing had been decided. The rumors flew! Within the matter of a month, the status of the deployment had changed so many times my head was spinning. They were leaving in two weeks, they are leaving in two months, they aren’t leaving for six months, the deployment is cancelled and they aren’t going at all. In the three days it took me to drive cross country, it changed twice. But, since I already had plans to move out there, we continued with that because we had no clue what was going to happen, and we might as well enjoy what time we had. And, if the deployment DID get pushed back, good for us.
A month after I arrived, he got his official deployment orders. He left two weeks after that. I was all alone. No friends, no job, completely overwhelmed by this military life that I had no clue how to handle seeing as how none of my family had been military. It was a new experience for me. But, instead of going back home, I decided to stay and stick it out. I’d have to come back here eventually; I might as well stay and start building our life. So, we [obviously] pushed the wedding back and dealt with the deployment.
Tomorrow: The 15-month deployment, how we dealt, and our struggles.