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Thread: First Deployment any advice?

  1. Fresh Newbie
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    #1

    First Deployment any advice?

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    So I am new to the site and also semi-new to the whole military significant other lifestyle. I met my man last spring through a mutual friend who also serves with him. We started dating last April and have been together 11 months now. We have just about hit the 1/4 mark way through the deployment and its our fist one. There's still so many months left ahead though and sometimes it feels like we havent even made a dent in it yet. I have my good days and bad days more of them being good as time goes on. Lately though even though I am not a mess like I was in the beginning it's still hard. We get to talk a lot more than i expected and I am so grateful for that because I know that's not typical and it could change at any time. Lately it's been harder than usual when we sign off a skype call just because of the looming thought that it could be the last time we talk for a while. My friends are great and supportive.. as supportive as a person can be who has no idea what you are feeling or going through because they have never been there. They can't give me much advice or support in that way so I turned to this website. I'm just wondering if you guys have any tips or advice for those of you have been through a deployment before or who are going through one right now.... I have a few questions:

    1) does it get easier with time? or does it seem like time drags the entire deployment
    2) what do you do to pass the time or stay busy
    3) how do you handle listening to friends complain about not seeing their boyfriends for a few days

    Thank you! Glad to be here
  2. Pour a little salt, we were never here
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    #2
    1). I found deployment had ups and downs. The last month was the hardest for me, but there were a lot of good times, and a lot of funks in between. For the first month, I cried every time we hung up the phone (which was every day ). The rest of the deployment, that happened only a handful of times on days when I was particularly emotional. The one thing that did definitely improve for me was my belief in myself that I could handle it.

    2). I mowed my lawn and hung out with my dogs. I also made a few trips but I preferred not being busy (I'm weird though on that matter).

    3). I didn't put myself in situations/conversations where someone would complain to me about that. If I overheard it (on facebook or in person), I had days where I ignored it, and other days where I was able to relate because there was a time in life where I panicked over DH being gone for two days.

    Also introduce yourself in the newbie section and stick around, this can be a great site for support or just killing time while you wait
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    #3
    I found the first and last parts of the deployment the hardest, but there were hard occasional days in the middle too. I did a lot of things to stay busy, including volunteering for OT when work asked for it, as long as it didn't interfere with my skype time. I don't know about friends complaining about not seeing their boyfriends, because none of my friends had that problem. I didn't live on or near a base, because my former partners overseas deployment was national guard. I did have a few friends that would ask me how I could deal with my former partner being gone, and particulary to a war zone, and that made things worse at first. I tried to ignore it as much as possible. I also tried to stay focused on the end zone, to use a sports cliche.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyGf524 View Post

    1) does it get easier with time? or does it seem like time drags the entire deployment
    2) what do you do to pass the time or stay busy
    3) how do you handle listening to friends complain about not seeing their boyfriends for a few days

    Thank you! Glad to be here
    1 - it ebbs and flows - there will be times that will fly, and times that will drag
    2 - volunteer, raise two kids, wrangle a herd of animals, work, try to find time for my hobbies
    3 - by being empathetic and remembering that missing someone is missing someone - rather than focusing on the difference and playing who has it worse you can embrace the things that you have in common and find support in offering it. Remember that their upset/stress/sadness is about them, not about you/your relationship.
    Last edited by Ol' Grey Mare; 03-20-2014 at 07:09 AM.
  5. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #5
    1) I agree with ups and downs. Some days I felt pretty good and some days were hard. Anytime I was sick or stressed out etc. it would be worse. After we got our routine going, things were a lot easier.

    2) Well I work so there's always that. But I also had some hobbies ... gaming, etc. Travelled some while he was gone. Looking back I wish I had done more stuff, like more hobbies/volunteering/etc. Sometimes it really can be hard to find motivation though, but when I forced myself to do stuff I never regretted it.

    3) This can be kind of a contentious issue but I never had a problem with other people missing their SOs. It happens. People's lives and feelings don't stop when someone goes through a deployment. If you think it's something that would upset you, it might be a good idea to talk to your friends about it and let them know it's hard to hear, I guess. For me though, I never wanted people to feel they had to hold back around me and it was just one more common ground to bond over.
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    #6
    1) does it get easier with time? or does it seem like time drags the entire deployment
    Depends, for me the second half was easier in that it seemed to fly by because I had SO much to do (I was moving across country!) But at the same time it felt like it was dragging.

    2) what do you do to pass the time or stay busy
    Hung out with friends, worked, binge watched netflix, cooked, just did stuff I enjoyed doing.

    3) how do you handle listening to friends complain about not seeing their boyfriends for a few days
    Hmm, though our relationship I feel like I have been through what feels like every possible scenario of being separated from DH, it all sort of sucks. I miss DH almost as much now when he works nights (I work days) as I did when he was deployed. I generally sucks to not be around your loved one no matter the length of time. I admit, I used to feel like that when DH was just starting in the military at basic...I had it much worse because he was gone for 2 months..... But, after several years of this, You kind of learn that it all sucks. Embrace their complaints as much as you want them to embrace yours! Get some chocolate, some wine, and just whine about missing your DBs.
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    #7
    1) it was definitely harder on the whole during the beginning. I still have a few rare downs, but mostly I'm okay with deployment now. A lot of people say the last month is the worst, but I'm in the last month and I feel great. I'm so happy and excited and time seems to be flying (some days )

    2) School work mostly, and traveling. Hanging out with friends, going out to dinner, shopping, bowling, and movies. At home, watching lots and lots of TV This deployment I've watched the entire series, of Friends, Boy Meets World, Degrassi, Face Off, That 70's show (for the millionth time) and others I can't think of.

    3) Because I'm overseas everyone here is a military spouse so I don't deal with that. But, if I did, I would sympathize "I'm sorry, that sucks! I know not seeing your boyfriend when you want to can be downer, I definitely know how that goes". I have had some wives who got their husbands back early complain about how they have to share a car, or their husband makes a mess, or is ruining their routine, and that I just couldn't bring myself to have sympathy for I nod my head and keep my mouth shut.


  8. my kitchen is for dancing
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    #8
    1) does it get easier with time? or does it seem like time drags the entire deployment
    Ups and downs are normal. does it get easier. well there are days it seems like it does and then there are days where it seems like time not goes by at all.. The end was the hardest for me. I think it is what you made out of it. if you let yourself down time will not go by.. if you try and live your life as normal as you can. meet some friends maybe find a new sport.. time will go by..
    2) what do you do to pass the time or stay busy
    Sport was always good for me. I also went to college in this point in my life so studying, working and my sport.. there wasnt much time left the end of the day.
    3) how do you handle listening to friends complain about not seeing their boyfriends for a few days
    Honestly I understand them.. because missing is missing.. it doesnt matter if someone is gone for 2 days or for a year.. They are maybe not used to being apart and yes then even 2 days can be hard. Just because they are not as long gone as your boyfriend they do not miss them any less.
  9. Fresh Newbie
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    #9
    Thank you very much this was all very helpful I just find it frustrating when some friends complain about missing their boyfriends and not being able to see them when they seee them almost everyday. I would love that and I wish I could know where he was at all times and what he was doing but I dont. The not knowing is the wort part of it all. I know I will get through it but for some reason this 1/4 way mark is just as bad as the first month. Thank you all though for the nice words and advice
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanduh View Post
    1) does it get easier with time? or does it seem like time drags the entire deployment
    Depends, for me the second half was easier in that it seemed to fly by because I had SO much to do (I was moving across country!) But at the same time it felt like it was dragging.

    2) what do you do to pass the time or stay busy
    Hung out with friends, worked, binge watched netflix, cooked, just did stuff I enjoyed doing.

    3) how do you handle listening to friends complain about not seeing their boyfriends for a few days
    Hmm, though our relationship I feel like I have been through what feels like every possible scenario of being separated from DH, it all sort of sucks. I miss DH almost as much now when he works nights (I work days) as I did when he was deployed. I generally sucks to not be around your loved one no matter the length of time. I admit, I used to feel like that when DH was just starting in the military at basic...I had it much worse because he was gone for 2 months..... But, after several years of this, You kind of learn that it all sucks. Embrace their complaints as much as you want them to embrace yours! Get some chocolate, some wine, and just whine about missing your DBs.
  10. Senior Member
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    #10
    1) Depends. My first deployment it depended on what was going on in my life at the time. Sometimes it was easier and sometimes it felt unbearable. The second deployment I barely noticed he was gone. I had so much going on in my life that I didn't have the time or the energy to really even think about the deployment.

    2) Our first deployment I was at University so I had classes and new friends to help keep me busy. I was also really big into making themed care packages to send. It took up any free time I had left over from hanging with friends and studying. Not to mention super fun. My second deployment I worked between 45 and 60 hours a week, housework, sewing items for all my friends who were pregnant that year, errands, cooking for my neighbor in exchange for help with certain chores that were difficult for me, several other crafty hobbies and reading lots of books. I literally worked myself to sleep every night.

    3)Missing someone is missing someone. There's no use in scaring off your support system by complaining that you have it so much worse than them. Be there for them and empathize with them. Chances are when they are complaining they are trying to let you know they understand as best they know how.

    “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
    ― Rose Kennedy
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