Deployment

You Know Your Spouse Has Been Deployed Too Long When…

My husband will soon leave on his first deployment…

Right now, he comes home almost every night, we sleep in the same bed and he kisses me goodbye when he leaves in the morning. I know this will soon come to an end, as his ship will go underway in just a few short months, and his 9-month deployment is looming closer and closer.

In order to try to prepare myself for the ups and downs I know I will face, I reached out to my fellow military spouses for some insight.

I asked them what it’s really like when their spouses are gone, and to give me the scoop on the tell-tale signs that they’ve been deployed too long. I received dozens of responses, and they had plenty of examples to share.

The funny ones:

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  • “When you go to the doctor and they ask if you could be pregnant and you respond with a, ‘No, I’ve practiced abstinence for the past eight months.’”
  • “When you start mistaking the wine bottle for the water bottle.”
  • “When you have no one to talk to so you email them every single thought you have and they end up with 100 to 200 emails after two days of not being able to get to a computer.”
  • “When someone asks you what time it is, and you respond with what timezone he/she is in.”
  • “You hold one way conversations with your dogs and answer for them.”
  • “When you don’t care if you look like a gorilla.”
  • “You try to call his cellphone and get pissed when he doesn’t answer.”
  • “When you order your homecoming banner a week into deployment.”
  • “When you’re a hairy beast and you don’t care.”
  • “You spend hours decorating boxes like a kindergartener.”
  • “When you actually miss his farts and his messes.”

The ones we can all relate too:

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  • “The toilet seat is always down.”
  • “You run out of things to watch on Netflix.”
  • “Murphy arrives three days after he leaves and leaves your house three days before he comes back again.”
  • “When you’re considering getting another pet.”
  • “You waste too many groceries and end up living off wine and dairy products.”
  • “You get recognized at the post office.”
  • “You have your phone on and charged at all times in case he calls.”
  • “You start talking in military time.”

And of course the sexually frustrated ones:

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  • “When you realize you should probably buy stock in Energizer batteries.”
  • “When a trip to the gynecologist is the most action you’ve had in months.”
  • “You are so sexually frustrated that even watching The ’40-Year-Old-Virgin’ makes you jealous.”

Some military spouses did share the heartbreaking thoughts, like not knowing when or if their loved one will come home, or having a child that barely remembers their parent, and we should all have empathy for spouses missing their partners, but the most rewarding part of being able to read my fellow spouses’ responses was that most made me laugh or smile. 

They made me feel like I’ll be able to handle my husband’s deployment next year.

As an added bonus, not only were these insights on deployment humorous, but they also provided a forum for spouses to connect with each other, with many stating how they shared similar experiences. For some, this was their first deployment, and others their fifth, but they all could relate in a special kind of way. We may not always have our spouses by our side, but we really do have each other, even if it’s for a small laugh (or virtual hug) on Facebook.

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