I’m a little biased, but I think military couples are the strongest couples out there. From long separations to the isolation of living far from family, military life can exacerbate the everyday stressors that affect couples. Staying connected as a military couple can seem like a daunting task, especially when you throw in a deployment or other longterm separation. As difficult as it is, staying connected isn’t impossible, even when you’re a military couple.
Staying connected as a military couple
Touch the other person.
This is certainly dependent on your loved one’s love language, but I find that a simple physical touch is a great way to feel reconnected to my husband, especially if we’ve been tense or apart for a long period of time.
Something as simple and innocent as reaching for their hand or sitting close to them on the sofa can help you feel connected, both physically and emotionally. Plus after a long separation, a physical connection may be exactly what you’re missing!
Put an emphasis on quality time when service member is home.
Military life separates couples a lot, so spending quality time together whenever you can is vital to keep your relationship strong and staying connected. Quality time together can take many different forms, but it should be something you both enjoy. Put the phones away, turn off the TV and spend time TOGETHER. Talk as if you were on your first date, try something new to you both, explore together and have those conversations that always get pushed to the back burner.
This quality time is so incredibly important after a long separation, like a deployment. So much life happens in 4, 6 or 12 months that your loved one can feel a bit like a stranger when they get home. You’ve both grown and changed during the time apart and dedicating some time to get to know each other again helps with reintegration. My husband and I try to take a post-deployment vacation when he gets home from deployment and the time helps us bond again.
Read a book together.
Full honesty here: I don’t always understand my husband’s stories about work, for a variety of reasons, and this is especially true during a deployment. On the flip side, while he’s gone, he’s a bit removed from our daily life at home. Both of these things can make conversations difficult while separated. What do we talk about?
Reading a book together gives you something to talk about no matter how far apart you may be from each other. You could choose one for the entire separation and break it into chunks or if you’re not sure about a full book, maybe share a few magazines articles. The idea here is to talk about something other than the mundane daily details in an effort to feel more connected.
I’ve written before about the importance of honesty during deployment and I still firmly believe that not sharing negative things leads to a feeling of being disconnected. When you don’t share what’s actually happening (good or bad) with your loved one while they’re away, is it any wonder that they aren’t up on what’s going on at home? How can you expect them to support you in any way if you keep everything bottled up?
Honestly sharing what’s bothering you about the ups and downs of life as a military couple will help your loved one understand what life is like on the home front. Being open to your loved honestly sharing will help you understand what life is like on the front lines. This kind of open communication will help you stay connected with your loved one no matter where they are.
Ideas for honest communication while separated: send a daily video recapping what happened (good, bad or in between), try and share negative things in a humorous way if you feel like you’re complaining too much or keep your venting to once every so often and give your loved one ample time to vent back.
Staying connected as a military couple can feel like an almost impossible task, especially during the hard seasons of military life. However, with a little extra work and a few tips military couples can be just as connected as their civilian counterparts. How do you work to stay connected to your spouse?