Welcome, Ask the Milies!
Here at Blue Star Families, we get lots of questions. The questions cover everything from etiquette to essential services to suicide prevention and support for those who've lost a loved one. Unfortunately, we rarely have the manpower to answer all of your questions here on the blog.
Luckily, there are some great military spouses out there who can answer your questions and we're thrilled to have them join our BSF columnists. Meet, Jacqueline Goodrich and Kerry-Ann Ellington of the popular military spouse advice website, Ask the Milies. They'll be here on the BSF site, answering your questions on a regular basis. If you'd like to submit a question of your own, please fill out the Ask the Milies Form.
Without further ado, here is our first question and answer from the Milies!
How do you handle the "good news" of a deployment date being pushed up? All I seem to do is just cry for hours on end even though I know he will eventually leave, but those days you lose seem irreplaceable.
Deployments are difficult and dreaded, but that fact is compounded when you factor in the date being moved up. So often in military life wives have to be flexible. Nothing is set in stone, and changes happen often. Rarely are these changes for an obvious benefit to us. When that happens I think its important to shift our focus. Its healthy to give yourself a little time during the day to be sad, but crying all the time (even though I know its only natural) takes away from enjoying your husband's time home.
If I were in your situation I would be constantly reminding myself of a couple things. For one, long drawn out goodbyes are never pleasant for anyone. By the time my husband was about to deploy I just kept thinking "Dear God, how much more do we have to endure before the separation even starts?" Now you have less time but that means you are suddenly aware of how valuable every day with him is. Make a list of the things you absolutely have to do together before he leaves. Where do you want to take each other on a date? What sites around your city have you been putting off visiting? Book a suite at a nice hotel and order room service. Use the negative match to light a positive fire.
The other thing I think its important to remember is that the deployment date being moved up means you are a step closer to healing. Life during deployment isn't easy or normal, but you after you've said your goodbye's its time to start new routines and build up your support system. And going through all of that puts you one step closer to planning a homecoming party! I understand these suggestions don't take away the pain and disappointment, but I hope that making a little shift in your focus here and there will help you soak up all the time you have with your husband now and be eagerly awaiting his return soon.
BSF readers, how do you handle bad deployment-related news?