Amazin's post on Deployment - 04/01/10 03:06 AM
Military marriages are doomed.
Military marriages shouldn't take place.
Military marriages shouldn't take place.
I've been in the military since 1985 and I personally know numerous couples... one or both of the spouses were in the military for 10 - 15 - 20 - 30 years ... and they are happily married to this day...
However my marriage was not one of those.
I also know couples that went through 20 years of military service together, retired, and 5 years after their military careers were over got divorced. Does that mean civillan life wasn't conducive to their marriage? I don't think so...
Just because you're in the military doesn't mean your marriage is doomed.
I'll bet that any job that requires a lot of commitment, has abnormal working hours/conditions and has a high degree of stress probably has a divorce rate that is higher than the national average. For example, Fire Fighters, Law enforcement, and Airline Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers.
But back to the original question...
Any MB veterans have any ideas about how to work on eliminating LBs and fulfilling ENs while the spouse is deployed?
Because the military lifestyle is a square peg that doesn't exactly fit in to this round Marrige Builders hole..... I think one of the keys is thinking creatively and outside the box.
And I'd say there is some truth in what you said:
This is tough. Most of these require some sort of physical presence.
It is tough... But it's tough even when the spouse is living in the marital home.
SOME of these require physical presence... But not most. As far as Emotional Needs number 1,2 and 4 require the physical presence of the spouse. But the rest can be done from a distance.
But on the bright side think of it this way... When your spouse is deployed the LB's should greatly diminish becuse of the separation. Look at it as an opportunity to put into practice some (maybe not all)of the marriage builder priciples. Eliminating the Love Busters should be easier to do than trying to fulfill Emotional Needs.
Each of you is going though a difficult situation. Try and understand what the other person is dealing with and I think this may help get the creative juices flowing when you're apart. You can start doing things that are supportive and helpful to one another even though you're miles apart.
---The military member may be dealing with a lot of stress and a hostile, high tempo enviroment. Try and keep that in mind at all times when you're communicating with them. Adding additional stress and worry by talking about everything thats going wrong on the home front only makes things worse for the military member. Dont tell your spouse how the basement flooded, the transmission went out in the car, or how G.I. Joe Jr. got caught spray painting graffiti on the school. That's dumb.
---The military spouse may be dealing with a lot of stress and a hostile, high tempo enviroment. Try and keep that in mind at all times when you're communicating with them. Adding additional stress and worry by talking about everything thats going wrong on the war front only makes things worse for the military spouse. Don't tell your spouse how many times you've been shot at or the mortar attacks that take place every night or how dangerous your next mission is. That's dumb.
I'll give you a couple of quick examples of how you can meet EN from a long distance. And then maybe some of the others can think out of the box and throw out some idea's.
1. Financial Support: One of the smartest things I've done in the last two years was to go through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. The Chaplin on base offered it to the military members and their spouses at a discounted price. (And in some cases free) Here's the bottom line. Husbands... If you eliminate your credit debt and have 10-15 thousand dollars in savings... Your wife will feel much more secure and feel that those emergencies that came up while you were on deployment... well... they're not emergencies any more. That $2000.00 transmission isn't a big deal because your wife has the money in the bank to get it fixed.
2. Physical Attractiveness: While your apart, both of you can work on your physical fitness and attractiveness. Send your spouse some pictures of the "New You" before your reunion... And then watch out for the fireworks on reunion day.
3. Admiration: Remember both of you have taken on a tough assignment. Husbands go out of your way to acknowledge the tough job your wife is doing on the homefront and tell her how proud you are of her accomplishments and for the sacrifices she's making so that you can protect our country. Wives... go out of your way to acknowledge the tough job your husband is doing on the war front and tell him how proud you are of his accomplishments and for the sacrifices he's making by leaving his family to protect our country.
4. Affection/family commitment: This may be a streach but it means alot and I think it counts. Wifes... Send your husband a care package once a month. Get the kids involved. Put something personal in the care package like a photo or a letter that the kids wrote. Husbands... send your wife and your kids a small gift from the far away country you're in once a month. Put a photo in the package and a letter to the wife and each child.
5. Communication/Family Commitment: The mens group at my church did something called "Letters From Dad" It was basically a letter writing campaign for fathers to leave a keepsake memory that their children could have forever. They even made special boxes for the children to keep the letters in. Email is nice because it's instant. But letters... if saved...are forever and can be read over and over. The same thing can be done between spouses.
Letters From Dad
I assumed that the husband was the military member and the wife was the spouse.... But it can easily be the other way around.
There are several military members (And Military Spouses) on this website who have deployed several times. I'm sure they would be a great source of information and can contribute what works for them. RIF is one and another is Mortarman.
But if anyone has some more ideas of how to meet Emotional Needs from long distance... post them.