During deployment and long term separations couples can easily grow apart. Taking some steps and putting in the extra effort now before deployment can help ease tensions and make the time leading up to departure less stressful.
By following a few steps you and your military partner can strengthen your relationship before and during deployment.
Talk about your upcoming separation
This seems obvious but it helps to air out feelings of separation anxiety. It is important not to dismiss your own feelings or those of your partner. If you have children discuss potential parenting moments that you both should agree on such as who, if anyone, will be helping out around the house or what milestones are important to capture. Finances tend to cause deep rifts for couples so take the time to discuss these plans so there are no surprises.
Discuss how you will keep in contact
Explore options, such as email, phone calls, video-chat and regular mail. Talk about which forms of communication make you feel closest and which options are most easily accessible. It helps to also be realistic about communication. The deployed spouse may not always have access to phone or internet for video chats. Don’t misunderstand this as your spouse not wanting to communicate. Just know that your partner will communicate with you as soon as he or she is able.
Trust, trust, trust
Trust is important in relationships, but it's even more crucial when you're dealing with a separation or deployment. Practice open and honest communication. Even during difficult conversations, mutual respect is essential.
If you’re coming up on a deployment and want help laying a great foundation for your upcoming separation, it can help to discuss with a licensed therapist. We are now offering complimentary consultations. Meet Shaun Hutto, our licensed therapist who specializes in helping military couples.