I'm glad you found us here, Erin. You are more than welcome here. Your DH will be working right along side our military and it is a unique experience that not many people understand.
I feel like the time leading up to them leaving is the hardest. It's just hanging over your head and there are so many unknowns that it can really start to drive you both crazy.
Once they are gone, you adapt. The first few days are miserable. There really is no getting around that. You are still here in your normal, every day life and you have to learn to keep living that life, just minus the one person you want to share it with. It's a tough adjustment. But, eventually, you will get into a routine and you will learn to deal with how things are while he is gone.
The good thing is that communication has gotten so much better. Hopefully, your DH will have access to internet in order to get emails and you will be able to instant message together. Hopefully, he will also have access to phones so he can call. You can also write letters to him and mail him packages as a way to feel closer.
The most important thing, I think is to realize that how you deal with it really is a choice. Of course you are going to miss him but sitting around wallowing in your sadness isn't going to make him come home any faster. Keep living your life. Keep having fun. Keep doing things that you enjoy. Find something that you've always wanted to do but have never had the time to do. Watch crappy TV shows that your DH would make fun of you about. Treat yourself to little things to cheer you up. Have short term goals that you can look forward to throughout the 6 months instead of just looking forward to the end of it.
Also, give yourself a chance to prove how strong you really are. You will be amazed at how well you can handle this if you really make an effort to not let it consume you. You can have your bad days and you can cry but then turn around and pick yourself back up and keep going on. Before you know it, you'll be getting ready for his return.
One more thing and this is really TMI but homecoming sex is pretty amazing ;) If you are having trouble thinking about him being gone, just remember what it's going to be like when he's back!!
Hi Erin! I agree with everything Amy said. The time before they leave is the hardest. You really get to the point where you feel like you just want them to leave so that you can start counting down their return. It's hard in the beginning, but it gets better. We have a Saturday countdown each Saturday to count down the weeks since our SO's left. Feel free to join in once your DH leaves.
What the ladies said are true, Amy hit the nail on the head.