Emotional Strains on relationships during deployment

Andrea - posted on 10/25/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Did any of you have any strained relationships or friendships while your husband was deployed? I looked it up a little on the internet, but didn't find much info. I thought, if I'm going through this chances are there is someone on here that has felt this way now or in the past. I feel like I have pushed everyone away from me. I pushed family away because they were unsupportive...I can count on 1 hand how many times my husbands family has been there for us..we are 10 months almost 11 months into our 12 month deployment. I don't want to set myself up and think, maybe they'll help..if I know they aren't there, its easier for me to cope. I have 1 friend that has been there for me in the good and the bad, but now I have to accept a friend of hers who continually screws her over, or I will loose her friendship. My friend tells me she is pulling away from me because I don't accept her guy friend. So I feel like I have pushed everyone away from me. Has anyone felt this? Maybe I am just so stubborn that I don't see straight, or maybe I am just fed up without having my husband home and I'm acting different. If you've seen anything on the internet on Emotional stresses on us as wives, please forward it to me at swtypy77@aol.com.
Thanks!

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Heather - posted on 12/06/2010

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I know the feeling too. You aren't alone, If your friend sounds a little insecure if she needs you to approve of her friends. I personally only care about my friend's friends when they are potentially dangerous or have a history of being a bad friend. (Being a leach, using you, being a homewrecker, etc). Other than that it's none of my business but I'm one of those people who treat their friends like family, so I like to make sure they are being treated right. My husband rarely talks to me when he is overseas (he is surface fleet so he's gone constantly) so I can tell you on a positive note (from experience) that it will get easier as time goes by. If you can email each other do that, Facebook is good if you have it, or even Skype if you both have access to a webcam you can video chat. Sometimes it helps to see a face you know what I mean? I won't lie though, it's hard work keeping a long distance relationship alive via deployment. There is always a chance it will end or that someone is being emotionally or physically unavailable and that hurts. You have every right to feel upset! Tell him how you feel and that you wish you could have more communication with him. Ask him if there is a specific time that works best for him to email back and forth. Tell him you miss him and love him as much as you need to.

Do not forget the rules of OPSEC. As nice as it would be to know his date of return (if you are lucky enough to know as most aren't allowed), these dates are not meant to be shared by any mean. If you do, his safe return can be postponed in order to maintain secure entry into port/base. Sometimes it gets busy on deployments (I can personally vouch on that) and other times (in army at least) it can be due to not having a battle buddy to go with you to the media center, which means you can't go either.

When he gets home, go to Fleet and Family to sign up for marriage counseling so you can work on communication. Most guys aren't aware of how important that is for a relationship of any level. If your base offers a marriage enrichment vacation take them up on that offer. It might be a little cheesy but it puts you with other couples who might be dealing with the same thing. It doesn't mean you guys have issues, it means you love each other enough to go through it with him. Ask him if he can look into it and tell him it could possibly involve camping if he's outdoor-sy. Most guys like the man-camp outdoors type of thing. Ask him about things in his life when you talk to him too because most guys are lost when we talk. =]

Amanda - posted on 10/28/2010

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You go threw alot of stress when they are deployed. I have been a marine wife for 11 years almost with 3 kids. Been threw many of deployments and training. It is hard because the only person we have to vent to is our hubbi's but then they r gone and we end up Stressin on them when they call. You need to get a journal and write it all down it helpes. Join a class and DO NOT sit around waiting for him to call it will eat ya up. As for other people and so called friends they bring alot of drama.

Angela - posted on 10/25/2010

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I had problems with my husband's parents family before deployment and after deployment and still now...

The way i dealt with it was - I totally cut them off. it was easier then having to be fake with them when they called - because they had not heard from their son.



I was a single mother before I got married, so when my husband was deployed it was as if I just reverted back to being a single mom of a sort!? I focused more on the kids and myself. In the evening most evening's I wrote a letter to my husband or an e-mail telling him about the goings on. I also started a journal for myself.



When you frined realizes that her guy friend is treating her badly - she will be back to you. you don't have to accept him - it's your choice.



Emotional stresses can be there



If I was you I would just use the time your husband is deployed to take time for you.



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Nicole - posted on 02/04/2014

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My husband is deployed and has a lot of stress on him and he says I put more on him which I dont understand.... He took me off as power of att and changed it to where i get 1500 a month with two kids and myself and bills. I know his job is hard but it seemed like we were okay working through stuff and now he wont even skype with me. He says he's drained ect. We have been through a lot together but now he says do you not want to be married do you think im bluffing? what does that mean?! I love my husband so very much and I really need some input his roommates are single and I don't know if its that or what.. One day he loves me the next he doesn't and he won't really open up with me.. I am not leaving him I love him so very much. When he changed things bank stuff and power of att I felt hurt. I miss him so much and this is our first deployment and I have never felt so lost and alone like hes giving me the cold shoulder in away. Were at Fort, Riley kansas. what should I do??? I really need some input.

Lindsay - posted on 12/10/2010

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You are on your last leg of this deployment and if you made it this far, you got this. I am in the beginning of our 1st deployment and I noticed I was doing the same thing. Pushing people away. I was frusterated that everyone offered to help out and do things for us before he left or shortly after, then never followed through. I am a reservist wife, so i totally get not living near a base, or military support system. When I realized I was pushing people away I made a point to reach out to them. His family is a huge part of my life and I realized that I needed to speak up if we needed something. Yes, they were all gung ho to help and had grand plans in the beginning, but they have lives too. If I dont open my mouth and say hey, I could use a hand, they dont always know what to do. So maybe you should open the door and try to reconnect before your SO comes home. I think my family knows I am a strong willed person and they dont want to step on my toes. Maybe thats the case in your situation too. Hang in there, your almost there! Good luck!

C. - posted on 11/15/2010

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I pushed people away for a while, too. Including my husband for the first few months of the deployment. I guess in my mind, I thought it'd be easier to be away from him if I pushed him further.

Towards the end of deployment, though, our relationship took a drastic turn (for the better). This was our first deployment and we have only been married almost 2-1/2 years total (as of now.) So this was a blessing in disguise, so to speak, b/c we learned to appreciate each other more. But I understand the pushing people away. It happens to a lot of military spouses.

I can't say that I didn't have a great support system, though. Both of our families have a huge military background, so my mom and MIL knew how hard it was when the husband is gone and my brother and sisters.. Everyone was very supportive. So, sorry that I don't understand that part. But if you ever wanna chat, just send me a PM. Best wishes :)

[deleted account]

oh and this helps me some I found it online it's a Poem called "The Silent Ranks" I have no idea who wrote it
I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens
But I am in the Army in the ranks rarely seen
I have no rank upon my shoulders - salutes I do not give
But the military world is the place where I live
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line
But my job is just as tough. I'm the one that's left behind
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man
And the call to serve his country not all can understand
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me
I love the man I married, Soldiering is his life
But I stand among the silent ranks known as the Army Wife

[deleted account]

Honey I only had my friends from work going into this deployment 11 months ago. I lost my job back in May and have been SAHM since so I have pretty much just had his family to "help". Sorry to say my MIL is useless in this she is so worried about her feelings that all it does is upset my 2 kids and make them worry. She is on all kinds of mood meds and is hyper critical of everything I do (seriously if I am out with her and spend like $5 on me she starts about how I am wasting money). So I pretty much keep to myself except for 1 of the other wives who her husband is deployed with mine (I knew her before this deployment). So I spend all my time talking to my husband on Skype and doing things with my kids. Though this deployment seemed to help our 10 year marriage I feel more in love with him now than I did before he left. Don't know if this will help but hey if u want to talk u can contact me on Facebook. I am ALWAYS on (mostly so he can contact me).

Nicole - posted on 11/09/2010

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i feel the same way, we are into month 9 of our 12. i seem to cycle thru my friends but i hate to be around the ones that have someone cause it makes me miss mine even more.

Tiffany - posted on 11/08/2010

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i already had problems with my husbands family before he deployed and i probably always will. they do alot of things that i dont agree with and some things that happened when they were raising my husband and his brothers just dont sit well with me.
when my husband was deployed i pretty much dealt with them the same way i do now...i would go over there once a week and let them visit with the kids and that would be it. they did call and text alot because my husband would probably talk to them once every couple of weeks and they would just want to know if i had heard from him and how we were doing. i never picked up the phone though i always let it go to voicemail and see what they wanted first and then would usually text them back later. it hard to say that i would rather hang with my family over his because i know everyone probably thinks well duh who doesnt like their own family over their in laws, but i honestly worry about his family. at one time when we first were married and had our oldest son, me and his mom and step dad were going to pick his younger brother up from basic and were going to stop and see my husband along the way cause he was away at one of the many schools he has been to for the army, well im at their house and i walk into their bedroom to see if they are ready to go and his step dad is smoking pot!! i freaked! but calmed down and walked out of the room and tried to get a hold of my husband but couldnt to ask what was up with that. i ended up takin my own car and just following them but we shared a hotel room and when we got to the room i found out i that my husbands step dad had brought the pot with him!! it was at that moment that i just knew i would never leave my kids with them.
so i know that was a long story but that is why i didnt see them that much when my husband was deployed. we never went to eat together or anything.
as far as friends i kinda dropped my other friends and only hung out and talked to my friends who were fellow army wives and their spouses were deployed as well. i didnt realize it til after my husband got back and i re kindled all my other friendships but i think it is easier to be around people who are going through what you are going through then people who arent. i found myself getting irritated with my friends who still had their husbands at home with them and didnt understand why i was stressed out or the pain i was feeling not having my husband with me.
i hope that after your husband is home you will be able to get back in touch with all your old friends and maybe will be able to get along with his family.
my prayers are with you!
hope this helped in some way!

Jamie - posted on 11/05/2010

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I found somethings that explained feelings and emotion on military one sourse, it was a lady on a cd who explained the process of deployment, you can order things for free you just have to be verified in deers, thru the system. All my stuff is packed up right now otherwise i would tell you right off. But i have and again now on my second deployment know what your going threw. my in laws are totaly the same. My best friend is my biggest support also, but her partner has not understood many-a-times and makes us both feel bad. I also had a few army wives who supported me in differnt ways mainly just talking about stuff and still do, my concept durring a deployment is you take what you can get and remember what we go thru as spouses and mothers, ect is NOT normal, and its takes while even after they come home to be anything but. Just keep yourself and the kids busy find new things, find people with kids and make welcome home banners or holiday crafts or cookies or something. just stay busy time and the rest will mend. Good luck!

Victoria - posted on 11/01/2010

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You are not alone!!!! There is what is called the emotional cycle of deployment. My husband is in the National Guard, and he recently returned from a year long deployment to Iraq. We have been married for just short of 11 years and have 4 girls together and he has a 19 year old son from a previous relationship. During the deployment I quickly learned that my civilian friends weren't going to be a very good support system to me, and neither were my parents or his mom. I have been involved with the FRG for 3 years, and that is the one thing that kept me busy and sane during the deployment. I started networking with other families also impacted by the deployment. All too often my civilian friends would make comments like"it is so unfair for him to go off and leave you home with 4 kids alone.... or I would divorce my husband if he ever did something like that" It got old VERY fast. I built some AMAZING friendships with other women going thru the same thing I was, and to this day we are still very close. Your children need you more than ever now, so you need to focus on doing what is right for you and your kids. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, what matters is that you guys are being taken care of. If your "family" isn't being supportive, then lean on your "chosen Family" ie your military family for support. Because no matter how sincere people try to be, if you haven't lived the life of a deployment and being left behind, they don't even have a clue! Sending you hugs, I've been there. I can't say it gets any easier, but I can say that there is an end to the deployment. Hold strong, do what is best for you & your kids! And make sure you take the time for yourself & your own mental stability to just focus on you! Victoria

Andrea - posted on 10/30/2010

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Oh Jennifer, I can't imagine going through that. A friend of mine was in that situation and she decided to get out as well. A child that age needs their parents, if not both atleast 1. There needs to be something said, or done about this situation. I know fighting for our country is SO important, but the life of your child is so fragile especially at that age! Thank you for the encouragement. I might just shoot you an email. Things are a little better with my friend. I told her I can be friends with you away from your guy friend and she was ok with it. I am still distant because of the drama she is always having, but we are still friends. We are finally down to 7 wks until he is home! I hope it goes by quick! Your husband is currently in Korea? You are active full time army? Where is your post? We are National Guard, so we aren't near a base or anything close! The support system isn't as great I hear as when you are on a base.

Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2010

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My husband and I were both in the Army when we met. And we got married and had a son. When our son was 2 and a half years old our units both told us we would be deploying to Iraq (different parts of Iraq.) We almost split because of the stress that we had to face. After serving for 7 years I decided it was better if I got out and he continued. He is currently in Korea. His family has been a lot more supported than mine has. If you ever need to talk please feel free to email me, it is really difficult when you have no one. My email is jenn.duhe@gmail.com

Andrea - posted on 10/25/2010

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Thank you Angela...it would be nice to just focus on us. For the last 4-5 months we've done everything with my friend and her drama's! It would be good to have time with the kids and I.

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