Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to connect to with your spouse?

How do I stay close to my hero when he is deployed? I have talked to several other wives in the last few weeks about deployment and how hard it is to keep the love alive. I have a friend who talks to her husband twice a day and loves it and talks about everything.
I have to be honest and say there have been lots of times when my hero is on line and I wonder what the point is because I have nothing to say. He cannot really talk about his job even though it is not high security. I love him deeply but for some reason I am not good at starting conversations with him.
This week I got particular snippy with him about not talking to me. You would think that since we have been through this SIX other times we would know how to do this. Maybe it is because we just moved and I am not as involved in things yet so my life is boring.
So how do you keep close to your husband when he is away? I have some suggestions. First be honest and I am not always honest. As army wives we are trained to not complain to our husbands. We are trained to not put any more stress on them. The reality is that by keeping secrets from them it is causing them more stress. Do not get me wrong I do not think every phone call should be about how horrible your life is. But there is nothing wrong with keeping him updated. You want him to come home and not know what is going on at home.
I remember our first few deployments and how he would come home and nothing would be the same, I would re arrange furniture, re arrange where things like toilet paper is kept. Please know my hero found it comical because he knows I do this all the time. But, when I moved his clothes out of our bedroom closet to give myself more space that was not so smart.
Ok, so back to the point of this post. How do you keep close to your husband? First and most importantly pray for your husband. Not just for his safety in a war zone. But for his emotional and spiritual self. Pray that he will see God in the war (or deployment or field problem). Pray for the people around him that he would be able to lift them up and that they would be able to lift them up. Honest I pray that my husband is not exposed to things like porn or other women. Ladies, our men are as lonely as we are but we have friends and church and facebook (snicker, snicker). They have lonely nights in lonely rooms with nothing but the internet.
Second, make time for him. Man this is the hardest thing ever. Do I set by my phone and computer 24 hours a day or do I risk that precious phone call. If I miss a call, or miss him when he is on line I feel horrible guilt. So I had to talk to Rob about this. His first response was “honey, you have to live your life”. But that did not help. What I had to realize is that I have to give myself some slack and realize that I may not be there.
Third, there are a couple of ways I stay connected. I write him nightly on my blog. His first 6 deployments I would literally write 6 or 8 page letters a day. Four kids later it just does not happen. I post the letters to him on my blog because I really do want others to understand what life is really like when your spouse is deployed. I have to admit I am not always totally honest. Like when Hope dropped a soda on my foot and it hurt a million times more than I admitted. Writing on my blog also lets me send him pictures daily. Why do I write about the silly things like how we had chicken for dinner? Because he cares, as silly as it sounds he likes knowing that I cooked dinner.
Another thing I do is send him cards. Three deployments ago I sent a ton of homemade cards but now I go to Dollar General, Dollar tree, Walgreens, Family Dollar and pick up cards every week. They have a ton of 50 cent or dollar cards. I have sent him 20 Father’s Day cards, one for each day of June. Soon I will be sending him 21 anniversary cards, one for each day of July. I am sure you are thinking that is a lot of time and money. NOPE, remember where I bought them. And I keep them in a large Ziploc with tape and stamps. Then when I am setting at the DR’s office I can address them. Because, I am not tech savvy to make address labels. I will get all 20 ready to go at one time. Then set them by my front door and remind the kids to take them down daily. I wrote Happy Father’s Day on the front so he would know the difference. I do the same thing with everyday cards. I like to put scripture in them. So if you know any good ones let me know. You know the cards are neat because they say something cute. Which always gives me ideas of something to write about?
My marriage is good but it is a lot of work. We have had our ups and our downs. I am determined to not let this deployment or any other hurt my marriage.
Now to packages, what do you send your spouse? Everyone says homemade goodies. Mine prefers that I not send him homemade goodies. So I send him 100 calorie snacks. I send him beef jerky, his favorite toothpaste. He loves scented candles but cannot have them so I send him smelling things. I also send him clean pillowcases with a fabric sheets. There is nothing better than putting your head on a pillow that smells like home.
So how do you stay close to your spouse when he is away? I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas.


lindseylu said...

we found it was far more stressful for us to talk EVERY day, so we only talked 3-4 times a week. This gave my DH time to be able to have nights where he didn't have to wait for a good time to call, and also gave us time for things to build up so we would actually have things to talk about. I was always honest with my DH about army stuff; but that's just how i am. I could never be a full time army wife. I am not very political, and you kind of have to be to do it well. But that's just me. Ofcourse, he was also National Guard, which is WAY more different than full time units.

Jessica said...

I think these are all wonderful ideas!
I remember times when my hubby and I would chat online and have nothing to say...and I felt terrible for that, but like you said we are trained not to sure everything.
During our deployments I would write my hubby or send him a card everyday (love those 50 cent cards) I mailed something everyday...I just wanted him to know that I was thinking about him.
We also kept a journal...just between us...that my hubby shared things with me that could not be said over the phone or online. Of course I did not get to read it until after he was home, but it was neat to read what he was experiencing at the moment.
I think the most important thing is prayer. I love what you said about praying for them because they too get lonely and to protect them from those temptations.

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