Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Everything Navy Couples Need to Know About Fights

photo credit: babasteve via photopin cc
This is Round 1 in a three-part series. Check out 

Round 2: Top Five Tips to Survive Pre-Deployment Fighting

Round 3: How to Forgive and Enjoy Each Other Despite Pre-Deployment Emotional Fighting

Round 4: What Every Navy Wife & Navy Girlfriend Ought to Know about Surviving Pre-Deployment Fighting

 Round 1: (10-6 Weeks Out from Deployment) .

What is it about an upcoming deployment that brings out the fighter in us? After almost a decade of marriage, three duty-stations, countless debts, and two deployments, I really thought I might be immune to some of these ridiculous pre-deployment emotions. Nope!

Dude, it’s like outrageously overwhelming. As soon as I realized we were close enough to count down by weeks instead of months, I went from “Oh baby, lets enjoy one another fully while you’re still here,” to “Oh my gosh, everything you say makes me want to claw your eyes out!”

Literally, it was immediate. I said, “Cruise is coming,” and he said, “Yep, it’s only so-and-so weeks away.” My jaw dropped at the realization, and then I was immediately infuriated at him for not telling me sooner that it was so close as if I couldn’t do the math myself or something.

Ever since, my claws have been out and that weird boxing mouth piece thing has been in. Everything he does is pissing me off! I can tell it’s happening to him too. I can see him getting irked by me and trying not to lash out and on at least one occasion actually lashing out for no good reason. I’ve done it on more than one occasion . . .

Some people say this phase is a subconscious effort to make it easier to leave one another, but I think most people would agree, it’s not really that helpful. It’s more just adding onto the pile of emotional madness this pre-separation period brings.

photo credit: malloreigh via photopin cc
Looking back on previous deployments, I can remember being so overwhelmed with emotions in response to this thing. I remember being irritated with him, angry and disappointed in myself for being irritated with him, guilty too, and also frightened that I was losing it, unable to appreciate and enjoy him for the time we had left together because all I wanted was for him to leave me alone!

The good news is I can say I figured out a way to make Round 1 not as bad as it used to be for me the first and second times I went through it. Even though I can’t seem to stop these emotions, I can recognize them and share it with him, “Sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me. Looks like we got that pre-cruise fighting thing going on.” He raises an eyebrow, “Oh yeah, I think you’re right.” It’s not enough to eradicate the angst that is creating the tension between us, but I think it has been enough to call Round 1 a draw.

Acknowledging that it’s happening out loud made it almost feel as if I could relax a little. I’m not losing control. We don’t really hate each other. It's okay to feel this way. It’s just a normal reaction at this point. It made that feeling go away a little, you know that feeling like you have something pent up inside you, and the only way to get it out is to grab him by the collar and shake him until you feel better . . . . Plus, you get cool composure points for being the one to recognize and acknowledge it.

Now in the past I’ve only been able to reflect back on this period of pre-deployment angst, but today with this awesome blog, I have the opportunity to give you guys the blow by blow, so this is going to be a three-part thing. This post is Round 1, and I’ll keep you updated as I experience Round 2 and Round 3. Honestly, I don't really know what will happen next because in the past I wasn't keeping a record of my insanity. My hope is to provide some insight by stopping and analyzing this experience step by step … or at least bring you some humorous bad boxing metaphors.

Like I know how boxing works . . . do they even have boxing anymore? The boys and exercise videos are always going on about this no rules kick boxing stuff nowadays . . . am I right? They have rounds don’t they?

photo credit: jaqian via photopin cc

 DISCUSSION: Anyone got any funny stories or good tips for this Awesome Experience?

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About Stephanie Carroll
U&E Founder & Author
Buy Her Book A White Room!
Photo by Randy Enriquez
I dated and married my husband in 2004 when I was 19. I felt like an outsider for the first half of our marriage. He didn't understand what I needed to know about the Navy, and I didn't know what to ask.

After ten years of learning in the Navy, I founded Unhinged & Empowered. I wanted to spread the knowledge that I needed when I was new, to reveal what took years for me to learn.   
Cover Design by Jenny Q
In addition to being a Navy Wife, I am also a novelist. I write historical women's fiction.

My first novel A White Room debuted in 2013 and is about a woman forced to sacrifice her own ambitions of becoming a nurse to marry a man who can save her destitute family. He moves her to a strange, small town where she slowly succumbs to madness until she stumbles on an opportunity to nurse to the poor despite the fact that her husband prosecutes unlicensed practitioners.

Learn more at and connect with me @CarrollBooks on Twitter, Facebook, or on Pinterest!

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