My active duty husband has been gone for well over 1/2 a year. He’s missed all the major holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. He’s due to come home soon. I’m terrified. Not for my health or safety at all, but for our marriage and sanity.

We haven’t fought much at all while he’s been gone. There haven’t been major conflicts, but dynamics have shifted, kids have grown up and personalities have changed some. I wasn’t ever the “meek spouse” that desperately needed him home to accomplish or care for everything.

I’m fiercely independent and proud of it.

I’ve become even more independent in the last year. I’ve gotten involved in base activities and I’ve started a new job and I’ve become very busy.

My personal interests have changed and my involvements outside the house have grown.

Since he left, it’s almost like we’re back to being two very separate or different people as opposed to the Biblical “one flesh” of marriage that we strove for.

So now, I’m scared.

He’s coming home from deployment, so should I be willing to give my things up now?

Where do I draw the line and say “I need this”?

How do I manage expectations when I know things aren’t going to be the way they were when he left?

How do I quell my anxiety so I can just enjoy my husband being home?

Divorce isn’t even a word in my vocabulary, but the last year has opened my eyes to why our squadron has a 75 percent divorce rate. How can a family sustain this deployment cycle year after year?

We’re on year four, and DH told me to expect at least two more. I can’t even imagine who I’m going to be after two more years of this.

Will he know me or I him? We live together only half of our lives. We co-parent only sporadically. He pops in and out of our lives and I’m afraid one of these times he’s going to feel like there really isn’t a place for him, because I’ve had to seal all the leaks of our family up while he’s gone.

I REFUSE to let us sink, but sometimes the patches I put on the leaky lifeboat bring about dramatic change.

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