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Thread: 1st deployment, Husband is very distant

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    #1

    1st deployment, Husband is very distant

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    Hi,

    I'm new here and looking for some advice. My husband and I have been together for almost 6 years, married for almost 2, we have a two year old daughter. He joined the military last summer. He was deployed about two weeks after he finished school, so we didn't even have time to get our off base housing. I've seen him all of about two weeks in the last 6 months and he just deployed so you can imagine how long that will be. Any how, he was extremely close to me in boot camp, sweet, etc. In school he became distance. He said he had pressure and to just get through this with him. Now he's been deployed for about a month and he's incredibly distance. He has a magic jack phone, so he gets my text and what not. I don't expect for him to text me or call me right away at all. But he doesn't acknowledge it all, unless I say it's an emergency. He is also really really slow with his responsibilities. For instance sending money. Since we didn't get housing I went back to our home town, but I haven't found work yet, so our daughter and I are fully dependent on him momentarily. He mentioned he was unhappy. So I wanted to send him a care package, but it seems like he doesn't want anything from me. I'm not sure how to handle it. Anyone been through the same thing?
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    #2
    First off, welcome to MSOS! Please introduce yourself in the newbie section when you get a chance.

    I don't exactly understand your situation ... you guys have separate finances? Every couple has a different system that works for them but in this case (you not working, child that needs taken care of, him deployed) it seems like it's awfully risky to have him be the only one in charge of money. What if something happens to him or comms are cut off for an extended period of time and you're unable to access money? There's nothing necessarily wrong with separate finances but it might be good to come up with a plan of waht to do (ex. power of attorney) if he's not able to send funds for you.

    I don't think it's uncommon for soldiers to be unhappy on deployments, and care packages cheer some people up more than others. IF he's only been gone a month he is probably at the tail end of his adjustment phase, so maybe now that he's settled in, it'd be a good time to set some expectations regarding communication, finances, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhalvare1 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm new here and looking for some advice. My husband and I have been together for almost 6 years, married for almost 2, we have a two year old daughter. He joined the military last summer. He was deployed about two weeks after he finished school, so we didn't even have time to get our off base housing. I've seen him all of about two weeks in the last 6 months and he just deployed so you can imagine how long that will be. Any how, he was extremely close to me in boot camp, sweet, etc. In school he became distance. He said he had pressure and to just get through this with him. Now he's been deployed for about a month and he's incredibly distance. He has a magic jack phone, so he gets my text and what not. I don't expect for him to text me or call me right away at all. But he doesn't acknowledge it all, unless I say it's an emergency. He is also really really slow with his responsibilities. For instance sending money. Since we didn't get housing I went back to our home town, but I haven't found work yet, so our daughter and I are fully dependent on him momentarily. He mentioned he was unhappy. So I wanted to send him a care package, but it seems like he doesn't want anything from me. I'm not sure how to handle it. Anyone been through the same thing?
    Hi jhalvare1,
    Welcome to military life! You expressed a lot of concerns in one post and I will try to address them all. First of all, please don't assume that your husband's distance is caused by you or by negative feelings towards you. A lot happens during a deployment that he can not or will not share with you, and that's ok. Better than ok, it's for your own sanity and safety. A deployment is also a time when he needs to dedicate time to two major personal tasks: processing how this experience is changing him and his life, and getting to know his fellow comrades with whom he will be spending ALL of his time. There is no such thing as privacy during a deployment, for the most part, so he probably has people with or around him all the time, which can make it difficult to talk about personal issues with you. In addition, he needs to focus on his work/mission. With all of this pressure on him, it is only natural that he distances himself a little. It's a natural reaction and I am willing to bet it is not intentional.
    You also say that he mentioned not being happy. Well, if I were away from my family, kids, friends, the comforts of my home, etc, I would be pretty unhappy too. First deployments are hard on everyone, but for them there is also the issue of guilt. Many service members feel guilty when things are not going well at home (example, you worrying about having enough money). This guilt, whether expressed or not, can take a negative effect on him and make him distance himself even more. He has been deployed for a short period of time, so I would encourage you to just be patient and give him some space. Don't send him a message labeled as emergency, unless it is one because this can make him feel terrible for not being able to take care of you and your kid. In the mean time, try to focus your energy on taking care of yourself and your child, trying to find a job, spending time with family, etc. Soon enough things will normalize. But please keep me posted on how well you are all doing.
    Best of all!
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    First off, welcome to MSOS! Please introduce yourself in the newbie section when you get a chance.

    I don't exactly understand your situation ... you guys have separate finances? Every couple has a different system that works for them but in this case (you not working, child that needs taken care of, him deployed) it seems like it's awfully risky to have him be the only one in charge of money. What if something happens to him or comms are cut off for an extended period of time and you're unable to access money? There's nothing necessarily wrong with separate finances but it might be good to come up with a plan of waht to do (ex. power of attorney) if he's not able to send funds for you.

    I don't think it's uncommon for soldiers to be unhappy on deployments, and care packages cheer some people up more than others. IF he's only been gone a month he is probably at the tail end of his adjustment phase, so maybe now that he's settled in, it'd be a good time to set some expectations regarding communication, finances, etc.
    Agree with this, esp the bolded. Or what if, god forbid, something happens to him, he gets injured during deployment or worse? You won't have ANY access to funds. That would make me extremely uncomfortable.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jhalvare1 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm new here and looking for some advice. My husband and I have been together for almost 6 years, married for almost 2, we have a two year old daughter. He joined the military last summer. He was deployed about two weeks after he finished school, so we didn't even have time to get our off base housing. I've seen him all of about two weeks in the last 6 months and he just deployed so you can imagine how long that will be. Any how, he was extremely close to me in boot camp, sweet, etc. In school he became distance. He said he had pressure and to just get through this with him. Now he's been deployed for about a month and he's incredibly distance. He has a magic jack phone, so he gets my text and what not. I don't expect for him to text me or call me right away at all. But he doesn't acknowledge it all, unless I say it's an emergency. He is also really really slow with his responsibilities. For instance sending money. Since we didn't get housing I went back to our home town, but I haven't found work yet, so our daughter and I are fully dependent on him momentarily. He mentioned he was unhappy. So I wanted to send him a care package, but it seems like he doesn't want anything from me. I'm not sure how to handle it. Anyone been through the same thing?
    ITA with Tojai's most excellent input.

    Quote Originally Posted by BeenThere View Post
    Hi jhalvare1,
    Welcome to military life! You expressed a lot of concerns in one post and I will try to address them all. First of all, please don't assume that your husband's distance is caused by you or by negative feelings towards you. A lot happens during a deployment that he can not or will not share with you, and that's ok. Better than ok, it's for your own sanity and safety. A deployment is also a time when he needs to dedicate time to two major personal tasks: processing how this experience is changing him and his life, and getting to know his fellow comrades with whom he will be spending ALL of his time. There is no such thing as privacy during a deployment, for the most part, so he probably has people with or around him all the time, which can make it difficult to talk about personal issues with you. In addition, he needs to focus on his work/mission. With all of this pressure on him, it is only natural that he distances himself a little. It's a natural reaction and I am willing to bet it is not intentional.
    You also say that he mentioned not being happy. Well, if I were away from my family, kids, friends, the comforts of my home, etc, I would be pretty unhappy too. First deployments are hard on everyone, but for them there is also the issue of guilt. Many service members feel guilty when things are not going well at home (example, you worrying about having enough money). This guilt, whether expressed or not, can take a negative effect on him and make him distance himself even more. He has been deployed for a short period of time, so I would encourage you to just be patient and give him some space. Don't send him a message labeled as emergency, unless it is one because this can make him feel terrible for not being able to take care of you and your kid. In the mean time, try to focus your energy on taking care of yourself and your child, trying to find a job, spending time with family, etc. Soon enough things will normalize. But please keep me posted on how well you are all doing.
    Best of all!
    and welcome to MSOS -- I do hope you'll pop in to the "newbies" section and introduce yourself so we can all get to know you
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    #6
    Have you flat out told him that it's not acceptable for him to ignore you, and that you need him to contact you at least 3 times a week for at least a short email, as long as he has access.

    Also, than financial set up would not fly with me. At a minimum, I would need a banking POA so that if something happened, I had access to everything, and I'd need a cushion fund of several hundred dollars so that if he couldn't get money to be (no access, being stubborn and ignoring me, whatever) then I'd have that money always sitting and waiting.

    You mentioned that he is unhappy. Do you think that he could be unhappy with the relationship, or is he just unhappy with his situation (deployment, etc.)? Some unhappiness is pretty common during dployments. They are living under difficult conditions (usually, though not always) working long days (usually), missing friends and family, and having little quiet leisure time. So it could very well me all that, but since you didn't specify whey he's unhappy (or your best guess), I felt the need to ask.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BeenThere View Post
    Hi jhalvare1,
    Welcome to military life! You expressed a lot of concerns in one post and I will try to address them all. First of all, please don't assume that your husband's distance is caused by you or by negative feelings towards you. A lot happens during a deployment that he can not or will not share with you, and that's ok. Better than ok, it's for your own sanity and safety. A deployment is also a time when he needs to dedicate time to two major personal tasks: processing how this experience is changing him and his life, and getting to know his fellow comrades with whom he will be spending ALL of his time. There is no such thing as privacy during a deployment, for the most part, so he probably has people with or around him all the time, which can make it difficult to talk about personal issues with you. In addition, he needs to focus on his work/mission. With all of this pressure on him, it is only natural that he distances himself a little. It's a natural reaction and I am willing to bet it is not intentional.
    You also say that he mentioned not being happy. Well, if I were away from my family, kids, friends, the comforts of my home, etc, I would be pretty unhappy too. First deployments are hard on everyone, but for them there is also the issue of guilt. Many service members feel guilty when things are not going well at home (example, you worrying about having enough money). This guilt, whether expressed or not, can take a negative effect on him and make him distance himself even more. He has been deployed for a short period of time, so I would encourage you to just be patient and give him some space. Don't send him a message labeled as emergency, unless it is one because this can make him feel terrible for not being able to take care of you and your kid. In the mean time, try to focus your energy on taking care of yourself and your child, trying to find a job, spending time with family, etc. Soon enough things will normalize. But please keep me posted on how well you are all doing.
    Best of all!
    Hi,

    Thanks for your advice. I am trying to give him space, and I have only texted in him in emergency situations. I can't imagine what he is going through right now, but I hope he does adjust as best he can. Thanks for the additional info and I will for sure keep you posted : )
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    First off, welcome to MSOS! Please introduce yourself in the newbie section when you get a chance.

    I don't exactly understand your situation ... you guys have separate finances? Every couple has a different system that works for them but in this case (you not working, child that needs taken care of, him deployed) it seems like it's awfully risky to have him be the only one in charge of money. What if something happens to him or comms are cut off for an extended period of time and you're unable to access money? There's nothing necessarily wrong with separate finances but it might be good to come up with a plan of waht to do (ex. power of attorney) if he's not able to send funds for you.

    I don't think it's uncommon for soldiers to be unhappy on deployments, and care packages cheer some people up more than others. IF he's only been gone a month he is probably at the tail end of his adjustment phase, so maybe now that he's settled in, it'd be a good time to set some expectations regarding communication, finances, etc.
    Hi,

    Yes we have separate finances. The turn around between finishing school and deployment was so quick we didn't think about joint accounts. I worked before and we never thought it necessary. It's mostly how cold he is and distant. He doesn't want to speak to me because he feels like I don't understand, which I know I will never understand what he is going through. But there is no communication, it's so limited and empty if that makes sense. If I didn't text him to see how he is, which I probably do once every 2 weeks, he probably wouldn't contact me at all. Ok I might be exaggerating a bit there, but you get the idea. I'm trying to figure out how to be as supportive as I can without feeling rejected and taking it personal.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Reagan View Post
    Agree with this, esp the bolded. Or what if, god forbid, something happens to him, he gets injured during deployment or worse? You won't have ANY access to funds. That would make me extremely uncomfortable.
    Hi,

    What a scary thought. I have worked the majority of our 6 year relationship. This is the first time I have been dependent on him, which I don't plan to be for long, finding work always takes some time. In fact, this is the first time in his life where he is supporting himself and our family, in the past it was just me doing it all. It seems like it bothers him. And that's what hurts me. But when we are face-to-face, like when he had leave, it didn't seem to bother him. Like he was happy to do it. IDK...
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jhalvare1 View Post
    Hi,

    Yes we have separate finances. The turn around between finishing school and deployment was so quick we didn't think about joint accounts. I worked before and we never thought it necessary. It's mostly how cold he is and distant. He doesn't want to speak to me because he feels like I don't understand, which I know I will never understand what he is going through. But there is no communication, it's so limited and empty if that makes sense. If I didn't text him to see how he is, which I probably do once every 2 weeks, he probably wouldn't contact me at all. Ok I might be exaggerating a bit there, but you get the idea. I'm trying to figure out how to be as supportive as I can without feeling rejected and taking it personal.
    Before he deployed did you guys have any kind of conversation regarding communication and finances and what each of your expectations were?
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