Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Deployment Cycle: Everything You Need to Know to Survive Pre-Deployment Fights

photo credit: ▲Camille Richez via photopin cc
This is the third installment of my Deployment Boxing Series. To see the first two, click on the below links:

Deployment Boxing: Round Four - What Every Navy Wife & Navy Girlfriend Ought to Know About Pre-Deployment Fighting

Round Three: Just Leave Already! (0-3 weeks from deployment)

Tension are high. You've been walking on egg shells for weeks trying not to let another fight break out but you are starting to get so impatient and pissed that you're cracking shells on purpose. You're thinking to yourself, how long has it been like this? This is so awful - it's like I'm not even married to the same man/woman anymore. Is this just how we are now? I don't want my marriage to be like this . . . what's going to happen if we leave on these terms?

A part of me just wants things to be wonderful so I can enjoy him while he is here, but another part me just wants him to leave already!

photo credit: malloreigh via photopin cc
During the two months leading up to cruise, you are going to experience a myriad of conflicting emotions. You will be fighting and stressed out emotionally, yet the both of you will find a way to continue living despite the fact you are on edge. In some ways it will seem like this has gone on too long, and your marriage is going be damaged by it, but I can tell you as a Navy Wife who is going through this for third time, that is not the case.

If you two had a healthy relationship prior to the cruise madness, I can tell you that when he leaves, at first it might even be kind of nice to have a little peace around the house, but by the end of the week you will start to really miss each other. If this is your first separation, you will start missing him immediately and all that pent up agitation is going to disappear and not matter anymore.

"The best thing you can do to make things easier is to be forgiving . . ."
Round three can progress in couple different ways or with a mixture. Sometimes, as you grow closer to deployment, you will let go of your irritations with one another because mentally you realize you will be separated soon. That means you will be able to have that quality time before he leaves. Or one of you will start to distance yourself from the other in preparation for the separation (this happens a lot with the husband but can happen with the wife too). Unfortunately, this too can be difficult, but it's much easier if you remember, it's a natural and normal psychological reaction to preparing for a separation and not a personal attack against you.  

photo credit: jaqian via photopin cc
All of the crazy emotions both of you are having are natural and normal. Sometimes it's difficult to actually admit that you kind of want him to just leave already or it's difficult to hear him say he wants to just leave already. But it makes sense that you both would want to stop waiting for it to happen and just get it over with.

Is there anything you can do to at least make this all easier?

Yes. The best thing you can do to make things easier is to be forgiving - forgive yourself for whatever thoughts you are feeling that you think are wrong. Forgive him if he has similar thoughts or if he seems distant and cold. Remind yourself that no matter how wrong it feels, it's normal, it's not you guys, it's the deployment and neither of you are doing or feeling anything that is wrong.

You are surviving, getting through it. You should commend yourselves and then try to not worry about or pine on any of these experiences too much. Try your best to be supportive, forgiving, understanding, and loving toward your spouse. He or she will appreciate it, which may help re-kindle something or at least lessen the tension.

Forgiveness won't fix everything though . . . there is one more thing:
Deployment Boxing: Round Four - How to Really Survive Pre-Deployment Fighting

Want more information? Check out these Books on Deployment.

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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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