We always have the best of intentions before our spouse leaves for a deployment, don’t we? We will make everything perfect for them before they leave. We will do our best not to cry and show them how strong we are while they’re gone. We won’t get upset over trivial things and above all, we will not fight with them before they leave or while they’re away.

Unfortunately the best laid plans are often laid to waste. Maybe the frustration of having your spouse gone built up on you until you burst, maybe you’re both under financial stress, maybe you have a reason to be legitimately mad. Whatever the cause, the truth is that arguments while your spouse is on deployment do happen. Every couple fights sometimes, it’s a fact of marriage, however the fight feels that much worse when your spouse is gone on deployment. The last thing you want to do is feel even more disconnected from your spouse when you already miss them so much and that’s why it’s important to apologize. Here are some key things to remember next time after you get in an argument while your spouse is deployed:

1. First of all, remember that it’s ok to fight

Every couple fights. No marriage or person is perfect and getting into a disagreement is totally normal, even without the added stress of a deployment. Fighting can even be healthy, when it’s done respectfully, because it gives both of you a chance to air out your issues. So don’t beat yourself up for arguing, even when your spouse is on deployment. However do remember that while arguing is ok from time to time, not resolving it isn’t healthy.

2. In marriage there can only be one winner

One of the best statements about marriage I’ve heard is that in marriage there are three parties. There is you, your spouse, and the marriage itself and only one of those parties can be the winner. In order for the marriage to win, you both need to set aside your own desire to win the argument, and remember your marriage is more important than who apologizes first.

3. Ask yourself if it will matter in 5 years

If you’re having trouble letting the argument go, or apologizing, try asking yourself if whatever caused your argument will matter in five years. I know this is easier said than done but the truth is most of the things we argue about with our spouse do not matter in the long run. If whatever you’re upset about won’t matter in 5 years, then it definitely isn’t important enough to remain in a fight about while your spouse is on deployment

4. The stress isn’t worth it.

The last thing you or your spouse needs when they are on deployment is added stress over a fight. You’re likely stressed at home from missing your spouse, taking care of your kids if you have them and anxiety over worrying about your spouse. Remember that although what you’re going through is hard, what your spouse is going through is harder. They’re likely stressed from missing you, worrying about things back home, as well as the added stress over being deployed in an unknown, and sometimes dangerous area. No fight is worth adding to that stress. The important thing is that you get through the deployment together and that your spouse gets back home safely, not who had the last word.

5. Remember how much you love your spouse.

If you’re having trouble apologizing or letting the argument go, focus on this one simple thing, how much you love your spouse. If you’re a military spouse chances are you’ve probably made sacrifices, moved to places you never thought you would, gone through hardships you never planned on and you did it all because you love your spouse that much. That’s a crazy amount of love right? That kind of love is worth sacrificing for, even it means sometimes you have to sacrifice your pride and apologize first after a fight.

Next time you get in an argument on deployment, remember the above things and the importance of apologizing. Above all remember that your spouse, your love, and the life you’re building together is more important than any argument, especially when your spouse is on deployment.

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