Real Tips from Military Wives on Dealing with a Spouse's Deployment

Ever wonder how the wives and girlfriends of men and women in the military do it? With their significant other deployed for long periods of time, they somehow manage to maintain a household and the relationship. No one would say it’s easy, but there are ways of getting through it. Here, the women in iVillage’s Military Wives Community share their tips for dealing with a spouse’s deployment.

Embrace Bad Days
“If you're having a really bad day and just feel like you need to cry, don't hold it in. If you let yourself have a good cry and get it out of the way, you'll only have one bad day or even part of one day instead of having a few days in a row that are miserable because you're trying not to be.” -- bradsarmybride (pictured above with her husband, at right)

Clear Out Your iPod
“Take a few days at the very beginning to mope, sulk and pout, get it out of your system then get back to normal. Stay busy. Then the time won't drag as much. If someone offers help, take them up on it. If a friend wants to go out, do it. It's okay to cry, it's okay to be sad, it's okay to have a bad day, gnash your teeth and have a hissy fit. Remove songs off your iPod that will make you sad. Lonestar's "I'm Already There" is definitely on that list.” -- mom2jess_n_ky (pictured with her family at left)

Set Short-Term Goals
“The one thing that definitely helped me the most was having short-term goals. Trying to look into the future to 15 months later when homecoming would happen was just too overwhelming. Instead, I'd plan something fun to do once a month and then keep my mind focused on making it to that date. Sometimes it was a trip. Sometimes it was shopping. Sometimes it was going out to my favorite restaurant. The point was, I had something to look forward to each month and it broke the time down into manageable sections.” – amermae

Make Dates
“Remember that your deployed spouse is probably having just as hard a time as you are. Speaking from experience, I am not only a spouse of a military member, but an Active Duty Military member myself... and currently deployed in support of OEF. My husband and I have Skype dates every weekend, we make plans for when I get home (in 110 days), what will we do on my R&R, where we will go on vacation for our anniversary... lots of things to look forward to. Being home holding it down isn't easy but remember the jobs being done in the AOR is not easy either. I can't speak for any other services, but The Airman and Family Readiness Center on most Air Force installations is an excellent source of support and information.” -- specialk10

Use What the Military Gives You
“If you're Marines or Navy (I sincerely hope the other services have this but I don't know so...) Utilize the RDST (Readiness & Deployment Support Team). They're at the MCFTB Office. Utilize that entire office (MCFTB).

“You do not have to be alone and miserable while your spouse is gone. RDST does weekly meetings with fun topics, they do movie nights, they offer classes, they have stuff for adults and kids. Get out there have fun, meet other people. Your spouse does not want you moping around the house. Turn on the call forwarding (if you have a land line and worry about missing calls) and get out.

“Again, Marines/Navy: Look up your base MCCS (Marine Corps Community Services) site, look up stuff that they offer. Use it or you lose it. All of this stuff is free. Needing childcare is not an excuse, they pay for it, they feed you, you'll meet people, a lot of those classes can be put on your resume. It's not just classes, they have activities, parties, all kinds of stuff. Too much to name or put here.

“The above all helps with the ‘Stay busy!!!’ thing.” -- mom2jess_n_ky

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