Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dealing With Relationship Fears During Deployment

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Today I just want to put two things out there to my MilSo friends. First it's totally normal to worry that your relationship will survive deployment. There are relationships that don't survive it. But the vast majority do. But some days those demons will get in your head and not easily let go. My antidote for those fears is this. Be laser focused on living your life the best you can. Be your best you. That way when he does get back, you will be your best yet and he will probably be quite excited about that.

If you've just stewed and fretted the entire time he's gone it's going to be written all over your exhausted face and show in how little you've evolved and grown while he's been gone. The best recipe is to keep working on your fabulousness. (Yes I made that word up and I love it.) Again, these fears happen to everyone but how you deal with them have a huge power over whether your relationships will or won't survive.

Second, there will very likely be days where you really don't know if your relationship will survive. You will very likely have at least one ugly, sad conversation with your significant other that may end in one or the other saying something to that effect. Even though they are deployed and you can't imagine fighting, it will happen. In some phases of deployment it will feel like that's all you do is get into bad conversations. Here's my healing balm for these days. These bad periods usually pass and blissful times return. Don't get too glum. Learn how you can best approach your loved one when these things happen. Sometimes it good to just not talk for a few days. Sometimes it's great to apologize for your little mistakes even if they made bigger ones. When you say sorry to someone for something small they're more likely to apologize to you for what they've done.

This advice does not apply when egregious acts have been done by one or the other partner. I'm not saying stay no matter what. I am saying under normal circumstances small bumps and blowups can resolve themselves over time. It doesn't mean your relationship is doomed or over. It can feel like it when you're in the middle of the unhappy stuff. I have learned that the hardest conversations can bring the biggest growth in our relationship.

But know that both these scenarios are very normal. It doesn't mean you're doomed to lose your relationship or that you're crazy. It just means you are going through some very normal things. Take heart and don't get too worried or upset. Just keep focusing on doing your best, being loving and kind. Those simple things will take you a long way and build your confidence and your relationship strength.

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