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Thread: Boyfriend's First Deployment to Afghanistan, first time in going through it

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    Boyfriend's First Deployment to Afghanistan, first time in going through it

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    Hello everyone! I am completely new to this site but I've read threads before and they seem to help a lot of military girlfriends/wives so I thought this might help so I'll just jump into it...
    So my boyfriend and I dated for 6-7 months back in 2015 then he broke up with me for a year and a half because he had one more semester left at the citadel and he didn't know where he was going to be and when after that, which scared him and he had some insecurity issues that made him think I was too good for him and that I would eventually leave him and break his heart. During that year and a half he was in fort benning then went through ranger school then it was figured out that he would go to fort drum. During that year and a half as well he and I would talk very briefly from time to time but you could tell there was tension and some residual romantic feelings but we never did anything much about it. So fast forward that year and a half, it's June of this year and I visited him in fort benning and we weren't expecting anything to happen but the second we saw each other we realized that we still loved and cared for each other and it was the most amazing weekend and we decided to be together again since then. A week later, as scheduled he moved everything from fort benning to fort drum. I was supportive and we decided, of course, that what we wanted was to be with each other. I remained in love with him the whole time we had been broken up and he still had similar feelings for me while we were broken up too and during that year and a half he was never with anyone else. (He's one of those guys that really really really values sex and believes it should be with a person you care about which is good since I believe that too, plus he's very military career oriented so he was always focused on that as well). Anyway, we have been back together like this for 3 months now since then and a month prior it was decided that he would proceed with his first deployment being in Afghanistan for 9 months. When he told me the news I was both excited for him and also scared. This is going to be hard but I am completely faithful and loyal and to me, he is the love of my life. My problem right now is that we're so used to talking every day and now I have to get used to barely talking/not talking as much and I'm not used to that. So during those 3 months we've been able to spend long weekends together and luckily for us I was able to come up the weekend right before he left so we could spend 3 days together. Since he's in fort drum,NY and I'm NC the distance gets hard and we get into fights here and there of course and he's not as affectionate through text/phone when we're apart. However, when we're together like those long weekends, I'm not kidding you, it is nearly perfect. We rarely fight, we find fun stuff to do together. We could even be sitting on the couch watching football together and we would still have a blast and I just look at him and think if I can do active stuff with him and still be having fun AND be doing absolutely nothing and still have a great time with him then that's somethinf special. Also, I might sound like a hopeless romantic but i feel that it means something special that we broke up for a year and a half and we still came back feeling the same strong feelings for each other all that time. Anyway, we spent 3 days together watching football, cooking, gave him his late bday present which was a 50 page booklet called "reasons in grateful for you" and just filled out the blanks on those pages. (Something he could take with him overseas) on top of that I made a cookies and cream ice cream cake which is his favorite flavor and got a pack of his favorite beer. He doesn't celebrate birthdays too much, especially his but I love birthdays and he's sentimental so I kept it simple but showed him I loved him. Anyway he loved the booklet but said he would wait to read it until he got to Afghanistan so that he could read a small passage whenever he was feeling lonely or down and it could brighten his day a there knowing that he had me back here for support.
    Anyway, he got deployed on the 20th of this month so maybe 8 days ago. We had already exchanged Skypes, email addresses just in case and we got WhatsApp apps since we would probably use that mostly for communication since it's convenient and doesn't cost anything to make calls and send messages through it. So, the day that he left he told me that he knew it might be hard going from talk everyday to not talking as much and that he would try the best he can and that he would let me know where he is when he can. Since this is his first deployment so he didn't know what to expect until he got there. So the first 3-4 days he was gone were fine! He was able to message me to tell on WhatsApp that he was in Germany the next day and then Kuwait the next two days after that then on the night of the 4th day he was gone he called to tell me that his platoon was waiting for a plane to pick them up and take them to Afghanistan and told me that he found out that day that his dog back home had to get put down because she was old. I felt so terrible for him because not only was this first deployment, going through a very uncomfortable and nervous transition in a different country, on top of that the first week he was gone he gets a call telling him his dog he's had since childhood died and he couldn't even be there to say goodbye. I felt for him and it's not like he expresses a lot of emotion but he got off the phone and we messages some after that and I told him that if there is anything that I can do or if he just needs to talk then he has my support and I'm here for him. He said thanks back but was short. He then followed up with a simple message saying "I'm just sad is all." I know him well and probably to him that is him showing a lot of emotion and letting me know how I was feeling. So again I tried to comfort him saying that I'm here for him and he's got me here no matter what and he never responded but that was no big deal. That was on a Saturday night for me, Sunday morning for him since he was 7 hours ahead in Kuwait.
    Fast forward to it being Thursday now and to me it's been maybe 4-5 days since he's said a word and in between Sunday and now I have sent him maybe 3 messages supporting him and telling him that I appreciate him and to just stay focused and keep doing his best. You know, positive stuff. I've sent these messages through WhatsApp and on the app it shows exactly when the message was delivered and when the person "saw and read" your messages. He's seen all of them but hasn't responded at all. I'll also notice he'd be on facebook for a tiny bit then he's off of all of it for like half a day to a whole day. I'm doing my best not to take it personally and not think the worst but it does bother me that he's suddenly not responding to my messages even though he might have his phone. And it wasn't like he was acting this way when he first left, like I said we talked the first 3-4 days while he was in Kuwait and Germany but I guess he hasn't said anything back to me since the day he was waiting to get on a plane from Kuwait to Afghanistan which is the same day he found out his dog died. (Wish there was something more I could do for him.)
    Anyway, I just need some help with this. he's been in Afghanistan for 4-5 days now but is him not responding f right now and indication that he doesn't want to talk to me and wants to end it with us? We were good for the first 4 days he was gone so this was only recently that he stopped responding. So I'm just a little weirded out and trying not to think the worst and get all butt hurt about him not responding since this past Saturday night. If anybody could give me some insight that would be great!
    I'm trying to be a supportive girlfriend by not sending him anything negative pertaining to why he hasn't messaged me back even though he's read my messages and I'm only sending positive ones so he knows that I'm here and that I'm doing my best to handle the deployment. Also, thought I should mention that he is extremely disciplined and hardworking and his actual job in the army is that he is an infantry officer and he's a ranger so he is actually the leader of his own platoon so he is in charge of himself and 40 guys on top of having his bosses that are there too.
    But since this is my first one I don't know exactly what to expect either so anything helps. And sorry about the long post, I feel like it helps if you guys have some background on us and whatnot.

    Thank you so much!
    Last edited by Football93; 09-28-2017 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Forgot to add a bit of info
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    #2
    He's probably just super busy. Don't rely on Facebook to see if he's on his phone, that is often very inaccurate. I do think it is a bit upsetting that he is ignoring your messages, but it sounds like they're just positive sentiments, that might be hard to reply to. If you want a conversation you have to cultivate one.

    How often exactly do you two fight? You said when you're together on the weekends you rarely fight, I feel like even one fight in a span of time as small as one weekend is kind of a lot.
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    Oh we never really fight when we are together. Everything is nearly perfect when we are together, we get along very well. But we've only had arguments/fights here and there while we are apart just like every long distance couple. (Not fighting while he's been deployed by the way, I'm just referring to arguments we've gotten into while he was in Ny and I am in NC). Plus it's easier to resolve issues in person so we do a really good job of that when we are together and I gets resolved very easily so we never dwell on fights when we're together because we're just so happy we get to see each other for a long weekend.

    And yeah maybe you're right about the conversation one. I just tried to tell myself that Kuwait and Germany were just stopping grounds before they got to their actual destination which is Afghanistan so in those stopping grounds it was maybe easier to contact me but the day he was leaving for Afghanistan he also found out his dog had to be put down. And it's been 4-5 days since he's said anything back to me but again I'm just telling myself "don't take it personally, he's grieving for his dog, he's on his first deployment in a different country, he is in charge of 40 men and himself and he just got there 4 days ago, cut him some slack and when he is ready to talk and really can then he will." So I'm trying not to think the worst since I tend to do that a lot. But it would be good to know from military wives/girlfriends perspectives whether this is weird behavior or if this something that at first a lot of couples with these deployments go through in terms of not hearing from their military man for a bit after they get to their destination where they will be setting up camp and working for the next 9 months. But yes, I guarantee you that the messages I've sent since Sunday until today have been nothing but supportive and loving and understanding. Plus I don't want to send him a message saying "why haven't you said anything to me since Sunday morning, it shows that you've seen my messages on WhatsApp." I feel like if I say that in the first week or two of him being deployed then it'll come off as me not being strong enough to handle this deployment, which I am, or have him think that when he said that we might go from talking all the time to not talking as much totally went out the window and that I ignored what he said. He's a very analytical guy so he finds out as much information as possible and since this is his first deployment he doesn't know what to expect so he gets as much info as he can and then tells me what he knows because he's analytical, likes to hit all bases and for the most part try and keep me in the loop and give me different scenarios so that I am as informed as he is or something like that so we aren't caught off guard.
    I am a very strong woman, and I know I can handle a deployment and future ones with him. This is just something that I need advice on since it's the first deployment and I'm just needing some support.
    Last edited by Football93; 09-28-2017 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Need to edit words
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    I don't have much experience here as I am on like day 3 of my first deployment lol but we were told in the pre-deployment seminar to set realistic expectations for communication and to NOT get upset if it's only once a week (or less on occasion) that we're able to talk to our SO...now that wasn't for Afghanistan so I am not 100% sure if it's the same there but I would think communication would be pretty limited there as well...I am REALLY TRYING to prepare myself for that because we talk ALL THE TIME and we spend most of the time we're not at work together so I have a feeling I may get a little frazzled (or a lot emotional) about the lack of communication...I would say avoid the snippy comments and just stay positive as much as you can, he may not have time to reply now but at least he knows you're supporting him! Plus if it's his first time in Afghanistan I am sure it's also an adjustment for him...as much as I am upset being left behind my DB is stressing about being over there bc here "life goes on" and he's missing out on everything while also working 6 days a week over there...so I would say allow both of you a learning curve and trust in what yall have together...at least that's the advice I'm giving myself and trying hard to take
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    That is some good advice. I wish you and your soldier luck in your first deployment!
    He and I didn't go to a predeplyment seminar but like I mentioned before we exchanged emails, added each other on Skype and got WhatsApp so that we could communicate through that. We tried to hit every base and he did sit me down once or twice to really go over and tell me "look, I don't know what to expect when I get there since this is my first deployment so I don't know how often I'll be able to message back or communicate with you while I'm there but we've exchanged all of our contact info together so at least we'lol have that. And I'll do the best I can but I can't guarantee anything since I don't know what it'll be like there." I understood that.
    But maybe you're right that he's busy and even though he read my messages of support and love he might not know exactly what to say since he's not the really mushy type either but he knows that me sending those positive messages let's him know that I'm here and being supportive and I'll be here when he gets back too. Im doing my best to think about it from his perspective. I just don't want to think the worst. He's also a no nonsense kind of man, if he really didn't want to be in this relationship and stay with me then he would have messaged me back and ended things with me already or at least he would have done it while he was still in the states. That's what I remind myself of when I start to think the worst, which is a bad habit, I know and I'm learning to kick that. Like I mentioned before, the first 3-4 days when he was in the stopping areas, Germany and Kuwait, he was a lot more enthusiastic and was able to message back more and make 1-2 calls even if they only lasted like 2-5 min each. So he's been acting like this for the past 4-5 but I know it's not something I could've done because I've been supportive, no negative messages at all.
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    I will tell you that though DB doesn't get deployed until next month, he goes underway fairly often. During those underways, communication is usually pretty spotty. The last time he was gone, he actually was able to open a couple of my Snapchats and fb messages that had loaded (they must've gone through an area that had cell service or something) but he didn't have service long enough to reply. So yes, he read my messages, but he just wasn't able to reply. Sometimes he'll be able to get on the ships computer to message me or email me, but because the internet is so slow, my replies won't always go through or vice versa. I know that we always want answers, but unfortunately it just depends. I've learned very quickly through my relationship that the military isn't a straight answer kind of thing. Everything is always kinda up in the air, and you just never really can say for sure what kind of thins you should expect. I would give him a little more time to get acclimated and then maybe just do a "hey I miss you! How's everything going?" Type message and see where things go from there. Whatever you do, try not to stress over not getting replies right away, even if the message has been read. There are just so many variables, and you never know what the reasoning could be. It's likely that he either didn't have time, or just wasn't able to reply. I wish you luck and happiness!
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    I appreciate your input and I thank you for the advice! So you honestly think that it's nothing bad but that sometimes he has access to wifi and sometimes doesn't, paired with getting really busy? Especially with someone in his position?
    Like I shouldn't take it personally even though the 3-4 messages I've sent have shown that he's read them but hasn't replied?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Football93 View Post
    I appreciate your input and I thank you for the advice! So you honestly think that it's nothing bad but that sometimes he has access to wifi and sometimes doesn't, paired with getting really busy? Especially with someone in his position?
    Like I shouldn't take it personally even though the 3-4 messages I've sent have shown that he's read them but hasn't replied?
    Like all things in the military everyone is going to have a different experience with communication. When my spouse deployed the first time he was so buy I was lucky to get a 5 sentence email each night....normally saying: hi, how are you? I am safe, been busy good night. When my husband deploys here again it will be even worse for us. As he will be so busy and stressed. Email him and just simply tell him about your day or whatever but he will contact you when he has a chance. I would email my husband how my day went, what I did, what my plans were....but 5 sentence back. Its ok. I would get longer emails when he had a second or two more time but it becomes ok or at least you just get used to the idea.
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    You're probably right. I guess it just feels weird to me right now being the first deployment and my messages on WhatsApp are showing up as being read by him but no reply from him so I'm not trying to take it personally and think the worst. I'll wait a day or two before I send him another one. I just don't want to be worried that he's all of a sudden changed his mind about us when he's only a little over a week into the deployment especially since I've been supportive and positive since he's left. I might just be in my own head but I do appreciate your advice and insight, thank you.

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