The “Aftermath” of a deployment.
All photo credits: Shannon Cothren Photography
I’ve conquered two deployments and the first was a breeze. The second on the other hand, was so much more than I ever thought possible. Lets jump to the truth, I wasnt sure my marriage was going to survive. Plain and simple. I lost myself, I lost my way, and most of all I wasnt sure if I was going to come out of my funk I was in. I was failing as a wife.
Every military wife knows you have your own way of dealing with a deployment. I was lying. I was telling him every thing was alright, when in reality, I was falling apart. I couldnt make most of the decisions even if they were the easiest I could make. My life was turned upside down for 9 months and I wasnt sure of anything anymore. I missed my husband, I missed myself, and I missed my life.
I was determined to conquer this deployment whether it killed me or not. Over half way into the deployment, my routine was mastered and I was more worried about my husbands coming home and messing all that up. I love my husband and he will always know that, but he understood how hard it was for me to adjust again. The first deployment was easy, why shouldnt this one be right? I thought the same. Things were so natural with him and after thinking of the homecoming, I was finally at peace with him coming home.
2 months before the big day, I was buying his gifts and ordering my “WELCOME HOME” banner from ETSY. I was ready for this day and everything that came along with it, even the feelings and emotions I wasnt sure I was ready to feel. Even typing this blog, I can still the emotions the first time I saw him on that field. I was estatic as if I just married the love my life all over again.
His face. His eyes. My hands grabbing his face. He’s real. He’s here. Was I ready? I knew I was okay with what was about to change. I can handle this.
Change was a big word in our house. It happened often even if we didnt want it to. I was tired of change, but this was good change….or so i thought. The first few days, I was happy. My smile was hurting on my face, but eventually that smile went away. Everything was happening at once, the jokes led into arguments. The arguments lead into not talking.
WHAT. HAPPENED. TO. MY. MARRIAGE?
I never knew a deployment could change someone or even a marriage this much. It was disheartening and everything I didnt want. The military lifestyle is hard and I never thought in a million years things wouldve or could have gotten this bad. I was having issues, and he couldnt understand why. So many nights I have cried wondering why I have felt this way in a way I couldnt understand. I was barely talking, the conversations were nonexistant. Who did I become?
My world turned upside down yet again after he got home. I just wanted everything to myself. This was MY house, MY world, MY pets….EVERYTHING was mine for 9 months. I was not comfortable with this much change.
Within time, I knew that I couldnt be selfish. This was OUR marriage, not MY world. I was tired of the lying, and not speaking the full truth. He deserved to know the truth. Why did I feel this way? He deserved more than this. Divorce was a word I never threw around for the heck of it.
Mentioning divorce was was never part of my vocabulary. I was scared, horrified, terrified, and even worse, I was fixing to loose my marriage. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I prayed every night to God that I wouldnt lose my husband. We were struggling more through this deployment than any other thing we’ve ever been through.
According to Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch data, It found divorce rates increased significantly when spouses spent each month away. Divorce rates for military members who have been deployed are higher:It’s 12.52%for those in the U.S. Navy, 8.9% in the Marines, 8.48% in the Army and 14.6% in Air Force. (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/employees-in-this-field-have-the-highest-rate-of-divorce-2017-07-13)
Prayer was key. We fought hard and we tried so hard to understand one another. Things were not always easy. This life is no picnic. You struggle, you cry, you scream, you curse, you live and you learn. You will make mistakes, say things you dont mean. Through every single little thing, I still have this man. He treats me with respect, encourages me to keep going when I cant anymore. He lifts me up when I dont deserve to keep my head high. He thanks me when I dont deserve it.
Through this madness, this is what I have at the end of the day. I’m so thankful for everything he’s ever done and provided for me. Thank you for loving me when I didnt deserve it.