Military Brides

Struggling with deployment.

So I am just hoping for some help. I feel like I have no one to talk with that will actually understand how I am feeling and what I am going through. I know almost if not all of you on here have gone or are going through what I am now. My FI got deployed we were going to get married in june  but everything has changed with his deployment schedule. We have had to move the wedding up now to . I am so stressed with planning the wedding and with him being gone. It's not at all how we wanted this to go, but then again this is the military so you just have to get over it and move on with life. I guess i'm finding it hard because I have to make all the decisions and hope that he likes it all, and I am worried he is not going to like it.. I am also having a very hard time because my FI called me a few days ago and broke down on the phone, he told me how they lost a few guys on a mission, and how it was almost him, he went into great detail (wishing now he hadn't) about what had happened. Now I am spending every second of the day worrying about him. I cry whenever I am alone and wonder when I am going to hear from him again. I just want to go to Virginia and pick him up from the airport.  I also seem to love to torture myself and have been listening to come home soon by shedaisy! I find myself getting edgy with friends who tell me how they miss their husbands or FI when they just had lunch with them earlier that day. Am I crazy or is this normal to get angry? I am sorry for this but I just needed to get this out and hopefully get some advice back. Thanks :)

Re: Struggling with deployment.

  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    You're not crazy to get annoyed with your friends, but it's also not fair to get mad at them. You chose to be with your fiance, and making your friends walk on eggshells around you will not make you feel better.

    I really advise getting counseling, with a therapist, or even a pastor/priest. It isn't healthy to let yourself be terrified/cry all the time, though it's understandable, especially with the things your FI is telling you. The first time I dealt with deployment, I was always listening to depressing music, and wallowing. You just can't let yourself. I've found the best way to deal with hearing about guys that were lost is to put myself in SO's position, and support him and his feelings to the best of my ability.

    SO has a job that is fairly risky, even when he's stateside, and if I let myself worry about him every day, I wouldn't have a life. You've got to find something else to focus on. Do your best to make getting his phone calls a happy occasion, and a nice, unexpected surprise. Write him as much as possible, every time you feel especially down, make a care package for him. It all helps, but in your case, I really advise going to talk to a professional. 
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    Aww!! Most of us can sympathize with you. He probably shouldn't have told you in detail what happened, and especially not that it was almost him.  Keep yourself busy. Write him letters, Put together packages for him. If he's told you that he's fine with whatever you want for the wedding, then trust your instincts. I can't stress enough to Keep Busy!! We're always here as a shoulder. Don't get down on yourself. Make the most of your phone conversations. If you need to see a therapist there is no shame in that!! (I do!). This is a hard life that we have all chosen, but even when our SO's are away, You always have the Military Brides on here to help support you!! Keep your Chin Up!!
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  • edited December 2011
    I understand how you feel. My FI is deployed right now however he will be home this coming Saturday...Thank God! But this is our second year long deployment. It is hard esspecially when he calls and is upset. There is never really anything you can do or say to make it better for him. Don't worry about him not liking the things you plan for the wedding. I used to do that until one day that my FI pointed out that he could really care less about what color the flowers are or whats in the center of each table. He is just happy to come home and see me and wants that day to be the best day of my life. If you ever need to talk or have questions let me know. I understand how you feel...its not easy, not sure it ever gets easy. My email is mrsmoses91011@yahoo.com. Like i said feel free to message me. Hope your FI stays safe.
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Struggling with deployment.:
    You, as a military spouse, need to be his rock. Don't let him hear you falter.. EVER. Cry all you want to after you get off the phone with him. 
    Posted by Luke&Sam625

    I hate to disagree with Sam, and this may be the only time, but I think I have to here. Yes, it's really important to try and be as supportive and strong as possible, but do not beat yourself up if you're not strong enough. He is your fiance, he's going to be your husband, if you're having a rough time, it's okay to let him know, deployed or not. However, the sentiment of Sam's post is definitely true, and it's important you stay as tough as possible, but don't set an unrealistic goal for yourself (not ever letting him hear you sad). Not only can very few people live up to that, but you'll end up beating yourself up if you can't. And you definitely don't need to add beating yourself up to your list of stressors.

    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    You're right Stan, very right. I stand corrected. I just had a complete breakdown over losing a contact lens and called my FI absolutely sobbing (probably just PMS plus the wedding that is very rapidly approaching). What I meant, and what I should have said was, While trying to be strong, and supportive, try not to make it about you. My FI hates to hear me say I'm Lonely, or I'm sad because I miss you. It makes him feel like I'm not thinking about his feelings. Let your FI vent, breakdown, whatever, cry with him if you need to, but try not to add to his stress. It sounds like he has a risky job, and he doesn't need to worry that you're not doing well. I know that you want him focused on his missions, and not worried about things at home. Does that make sense? Thanks Stan!!
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  • mlesleevmlesleev
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Hey chicka,
    I know this is hard. God knows we all know what you are going through. My FI is deployed right now also and will be coming home (hopefully) sometime in January.  This is our 6th deployment together. All the ladies before me are 100% right with their advice.  Let him  know how you feel without giving him reason to be worried about you.  Good communication is essential in ANY relationship/marriage but I think it is especially important for us military couples.  Keeping busy has been the best tactic for me albiet work, reading, planning the wedding, or getting involved in these awesome discussion boards.  All of it really helps.  The first few deployments with my FI I did the same thing you are doing and listened to all the songs that make us military brides cry our eyes out...and while I think sometimes we all need a good cry session....its not healthy to do that all the time.  Try not to stress too much about whether or not your FI is going to like or dislike the details of the wedding.  I think most men dont really care anyway.  For him the most important part of the whole day is that you walk down the aisle and say "I do."

    We are all here for you chicka. Keep your head up and stay strong!  We're all in this together and are here to support our fellow military brides when our men gone.
  • calindicalindi
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this.  Thank you for supporting your man, and we're all here to support you.

    I think both Stan and Sam have a point - you can't be everything all the time, but when he really needs you, it's important to be strong.  However, you need your own outlets and support system.  To some extent, you can rely on him, but especially when he's most stressed and upset, it's important that you're able to set your own fears aside for a moment to comfort him.  It's part of being a couple, but especially in such a stressful situation.

    Look into support groups on base, talk to other spouses from your FI's unit.  Find a therapist or priest to talk things through. It's okay to cry and be sad, but it's important that you're able to put things in perspective and continue your life.  Exercise, eat well, and make sure you're getting enough sleep.  Those three things are the best things you can do for your own well being.

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  • ksrawrksrawr
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I agree with other peoples but also this please read up on OPSEC and take the dates of his deployment out of the post.  Also after the first time DH told me about a mission I told him to never tell me again about those types of things.  I don't mind hearing he went on and so on but the details like that I don't need to know untill he gets home and I have stopped worrying so much because it just makes you worry more.  So maybe you can do something similar with your FI where he can say yeah we went on a mission and yeh some people died but not go into the details untill he gets home.  I was lucky in that DH did not go off his base very often his job kept him mostly on base.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the other posters, they've all given you excellent advice. Many, many people struggle with deployments, especially if this is your first one. I think the most important thing is to have a good support system, and recognize when you need to reach out to those people, and make sure they know when they need to reach out to you. If you feel like your family and friends can't be there how you need them to be, counseling is a really good idea, as the others have said. You don't want to let all of this build up the whole time he is gone. Coming home will be an adjustment for him as well, and he will need you to be strong. As others have pointed out, being strong for him and putting up a good front is important, but communication is also vital to your relationship. I think the key is learning when it is the right time to just be strong for him regardless of how you feel, and when it is okay to break down a little. Over time you'll find a balance that works for both of you. Again, like everyone else has said, people on this board have a lot of experience with deployments, don't be afraid to reach out here.
  • edited December 2011
    I feel kind of fortunate because, compared to most of you, my FI's deployments are much safer.  He's in the CG and they do some pretty risky stuff that he is directly involved in, but the scariest time of my life was when the earthquake hit Haiti.  His boat was in the area and there was a tsunami watch.  I was in terror for 3 hours before I finally got to hear that he was alright.  The worst part was knowing their location and watching the news, just hoping to hear something about his boat.  It ended up that they were one of the first to respond to the crisis which didn't make things any easier.  He saw absolutely horrible things and I ended up hearing about them through the news and his emails.  For over a week I was sick (literally) with fear because of the continuous aftershocks and all the looting and violence. 
    To be honest though, it brought us closer together.  He shared a lot with me and I tried to be strong for him, but usually I ended up crying when I heard his voice.  Since then, whenever I'm feeling overly emotional I watch the absolute saddest movie I can find and I cry my eyes out.  When the movie is over I feel better and can keep things together until the next time I need to watch a sad movie.  I guess it's the best way I've found to control the crying.

    I definitely understand the feelings toward your friends.  My sister's husband recently graduated from law school and she used to call herself a "law school widow" because he'd be studying for hours on end.  It used to make me so mad because at least he came home to her every night and she never had to worry about his safety.  This "job" of loving a man who puts his life on the line daily requires strength and courage in ways most people don't understand.  So try to be patient with your friends, they'll never understand and getting upset with them won't help. 

    As for wedding planning, I'm sorry that everything is so rushed.  It's definitely difficult to plan these things on your own, but it's important to try to enjoy the wedding.  Maybe try to ask your FI what things about the wedding are important to him.  He likely won't care about the little details, but there might be things he wants a say in.  My FI isn't too interested in most of it, but he loves phtography so when he showed me this one phtographer that he loved I took note.  Fortunately, he was in our price range and I was able to book him, but if he hadn't been I would've tried to find someone who was very similar and in our budget.  Since your FI is already deployed, maybe just drop a small line about it into an email and let him know that there is no rush in responding.  If he doesn't give any sort of direction, just go with your gut.  I'm sure you know his tastes well enough to figure out whether or not he'll like something. 

    Good luck with everything, and we are all here to help if you need something.  That's my favorite part of this board! It's a wedding planning resource and a little bit of a support system.  Feel free to send me a private message if there's something you want to talk about.  I hope some of this helped.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you all so much for your support...it really has helped me more than you may ever know. I have been getting better and joined a gym now so I am starting to feel better (and hey if i can go down a few dress sizes before the wedding BONUS!) Can anyone tell me what it's like when they come home? I have never been through this but i have been told that the men say they feel like guests in their own homes. Is it really that hard??
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Struggling with deployment.:
    Thank you all so much for your support...it really has helped me more than you may ever know. I have been getting better and joined a gym now so I am starting to feel better (and hey if i can go down a few dress sizes before the wedding BONUS!) Can anyone tell me what it's like when they come home? I have never been through this but i have been told that the men say they feel like guests in their own homes. Is it really that hard??
    Posted by jlynn5084
    The readjustment period is different for everyone. I've seen guys come home and be perfectly fine at home, and out, and I've seen guys very uncomfortable in lots of regular situations. It's impossible to prepare for, especially if this is his first deployment. SO still doesn't care for crowds (we had tickets to the Inauguration 4 months after he got home the last time, and it was hard on him, though he bit the bullet for me, he was hyperaware and protective the entire day). My best friend says that when she gets home from deployments/trainings, she really has to watch her attitude with her H.

    A lot of people say not to change too much in the house if you live together, but really, even if you don't, it will still feel strange. We want them to be as prepared as possible when they're deployed, and that's not the easiest thing to switch off.

    My best advice is to not think that once the countdown is over, once he's back, that things will be perfect. They won't. There will be bumps, even with the best readjustment. Don't put too much pressure on him (or yourself) for a while. Even though everyone he knows will want to see him, considering making his HC small and simple, maybe just you  or you and his parents. No big parties right away, big vacations, huge plans (hopefully your wedding is a decent amount of time post-deployment) et cetera.

    ETA: And I would be uncomfortable having the months of deployment/hc in my post. It's super easy to edit. I always use seasons ( i.e there's a chance SO will deploy in the Spring, and will be back in the Winter), because even if months aren't an exact date (which is prohibited to post), I want to keep my public info as general as possible.
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  • calindicalindi
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    You could read some cultural readjustment books because, ultimately, that's what it is.  When I lived in China for 6 months, coming home was tough.  If you (and your significant other) have some point of reference for what's going to be challenging, and the typical process to get through it, it can even become amusing.

    When I first came home, my Mom took me to a grocery store.  Just walking in the door, seeing all the products with English names that I could read, and all products that I could recognize, was just a total overload on my brain.  I started having a panic attack in the grocery store, and had to wait for my Mom outside.  It took 2 months before I could go in a grocery store and not feel totally overwhelmed.

    That's just an example of a typical readjustment from a different culture.  And make no mistake, living as a deployed soldier is definitely a different culture from normal American life.  It was a huge help for me to just know that what I was experiencing was normal, and to know the typical process for readjusting.

    Check out this book: "The Art of Coming Home" (click it - it's a link).  While not directly about military readjustment, read between the lines a bit to see how it applies to this situation.  While there are additional issues with military readjustment (specifically if they lost buddies in the field, because they can deal with a sense of "why me?" and experience PTSD), this is a great starting point to understand the basic tenants of readjustment process.  Again, it's targeted towards civilians (specifically corporate relocations), but the information is very good.  Good luck!

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