Life hit me hard when I found out that my husband would be leaving me for some time to start his military journey. I couldn’t actually grip the thought of being away from him for 4months at a time.4 MONTHS? Whew! We’ve never, and I mean never been apart from each other. We had our own apartment at the time so we weren’t hard to miss. Anything we ever done was as a family. I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want to be ready but I knew he was doing it for us. For a fresh start.
Loneliness is tough. Tough for regular people but especially tough for military families. Today I give you 6 tips on how I help handle my loneliness during this time of separation! Sometimes it is still difficult don’t get me wrong. However, these things help/helped me dramatically! Currently I am in the last phase of being away from him but with these simple tips you will be a little more at ease.
ONE // Don’t hibernate at home
Get out. Mingle with friends. Take a walk. Go grocery shopping. ANYTHING. Don’t waste precious moments coddling your pillow and watching lifetime movies all day. I mean that was me. I was so bored and drove myself nuts. I didn’t want to be around anyone, and even times I had the opportunity to I turned it down I was that sad. Enjoy some fresh air. Take the kids out and play with them. Listen, kids these days will make you laugh they are so humorous they’ll be sure to put a smile on your face. I know my girls did.
TWO // Read a good book
Nowadays there are so many good, interesting books out I could recommend so many and especially if you’re married. Ive always believed in bettering my relationship by reading and getting others advice about marriage and even if things are going great things could be doing even greater. Books stimulate your mind and gets your thoughts in the right place. When my husband went away I ordered two books, (well one that I sent to him for a gift and the other for myself) one called Women Who Run With the Wolves, and The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. Such good reads that will be sure to keep you tuned in and focused!
THREE // Write them… everyday
This may sound like a bit too much but your soldier is depending on letters everyday. While they’re gone getting worked to death whether its in the hot sun or freezing cold.. they need all of the uplifting words they can get from you. They need those words of encouragement from the ones they love. Remind them of how proud you are of them. Tell them about your day. Ask them to share things about their day as well. Send pictures of you and the kids (or not if you have none) and send affirmation quotes. It helps!
FOUR // Don’t count on phone calls
Don’t rely on getting a phone call. Assuming you won’t get a call and receiving one would be better than hoping for one and never getting it.
FIVE // Keep your phone close
Even though you might not get many calls or might have to wait a long time for them ..keep your phone close by at all times. Calls won’t be planned and I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve missed a phone call and would beat myself up about it. The moment they depend on are the moments when they can finally call to vent to you and share their experiences far with you.
SIX // Engage with other spouses/girlfriends
See if you can find other spouses or girlfriends who have someone in basic when you do. There might be a Facebook group you can join which I did which helped me deal with the process a little easier being you know someone else is going through the same exact thing. Perhaps, exchanging numbers and checking on eachother time after time.
SEVEN // Partake in some retail therapy
EIGHT// Time will fly
Before you know it you’ll be planning a trip to see him at graduation , and then he’ll be PCS to his first duty station. The time will go by so fast when you’re not counting down every second by every minute. You’ll just drive yourself nuts. Instead if you want to make it easier count down by weeks instead. I always told myself “one day at a time Amber”.
I say all of this to say that the first couple of weeks will be the hardest.. but it will all come to an end soon and you’ll be back reunited with your significant other in no time. Leave some things below that helped you cope with separation.