Stages of Deployment
The beginning will suck. There's no getting around it.
You'll say goodbye and be torn in two. You'll take the drive home, and you'll probably calm down. You'll go back to the house and it'll almost feel like nothing has changed. You'll feel like "hey this isn't as hard as I thought it would be." You'll think you're handling it really well, and while you probably are...wait for it.
The first day or so you'll be really bored but not too depressed. You'll want to be alone but you wont be suffering like you thought you would be....but it'll hit you. One day, probably in the first week you'll have a break down. You'll have been waiting for a call and it takes longer than you thought, or you just cant stand the thought of not having to share the bed, or you'll trip over a pair of old boots and everything will come crashing down.
Let it. That's the one thing you'll learn. If you need to fall apart, don't try and stop it. The only way to pick up the pieces is to let them fall.
Once this happens, deployment is going to hurt. A little every day but you'll manage the pain. Stay busy. In the beginning, you'll feel helpless and like you've give anything to keep him from where he's going. But you can't. That's why we send care packages. Go to the store and throw your heart and soul into a care package.
We present care packages like we do it for them, but in all honesty, we do it for ourselves. We want to feel less helpless. Like we're in some way, in the only way, making their lives a little easier, the only way we can.
After the first 3 months you'll set yourself into a pseudo groove. You're used to the deployment by now and with 3 months under your belt, the next three will probably sail by like they never even happened. Before you know it you're 6 months down and only have half to go.
R&R: It's going to be amazing. You're going to have a hard time sharing him, but realize that this is his vacation and other people love and miss him too. realizing and accepting this will make it easier on everyone. He's going to have friends who he hasn't talked to since he left,want to hang out. Let them. That's what our loved ones do. They keep in touch with us and leave the friends for later, so don't hold it against them that they haven't been around. He hasn't let them. he's only made room enough for you in his deployed life.
The goodbye will be the most horrible day of your life and nothing will ever prepare you for it. It almost seems unfair, like there should be an in-between. Because here and gone isn't good enough. There's no slow goodbye, there's no easing into it. One second he's kissing you goodbye and the next you can't see him anymore and you know the next time you do will be in 6 months.
Cry. Scream. Do what you have to do because you need to get this out.
The deployment will be easier for the last half because you have something to look forward to and because at this point, you've done this before. But with the ease, you're going to run into arguments. You're both used to this and you're both tired of it. You're both trying to put on a
happy face but you're both miserable.
While one is comfortable with the situation, another will have a rough day and want some reassurance and the other wont have the energy for it. You'll both go back and forth with this and the arguments will suck. There will be mis-communications, jealousy, and simple frustration.
It's okay. Just figure out which battles don't need to be fought. if you're arguing because you've run out of things to talk about (don't act like this doesn't apply to you) Then give communication a rest for the day. I know it's hard because we think "if we don't talk and something happens I'll never forgive myself"....it'll be okay. Sometimes you just need some time to yourself and so does he.
The end of the deployment will be horrible. Sorry, I know that's not comforting but I'm not going to lie to you. It sucks. If it went by any slower it may actually go backwards, and that's honestly all I can tell you about the end. It sucks and that's normal, but you'll get through it.
And then they come home.