Monday, May 10, 2010

Deployment Question #19--How has deployment changed you?

When Gunner left the first time for Iraq, I was 30, with two kids ages 5 & 2.

He had deployed for a year before, but we were in Germany and since we had no kids, I threw myself into work, graduate school, and learning German.  

We got married when I was 22 and he was 24.  We were young, but I had finished college and was pretty independent anyway.  

As we are about to embark on our 5th year long deployment, I have changed.  So has he.

I know when he leaves, I know that I can handle anything that comes my way.  I could the first time, but I still liked to talk it over with him.

I do a lot more things on my own.  I don't wait for him to travel or see new things.  

I plan trips adventures for when he gets home using some of the extra deployment money.

I make more lists.

I value our time together as a family more.

I don't take certain things for granted.

I maintain traditions for the kids, so they remember the holidays and don't just look at them as "that awful Christmas that daddy was gone".

How have you changed since he deployed?  Or if it has been multiple deployments, how have you changed each time?

7 comments:

MRS Jen McNeil said...

Great question! The first time Michael deployed was in 2006. I had Mikey who at the time was 3 and zachary who was 1. It was hard because I didnt know what to expect with him being gone for so long. We did it though. Stayed busy and it just so happened that I got to be BFF's with a woman whose husband was deployed as well. We were each others backbones and support. Michael deployed again in 2008. This time I knew what to expect. Mikey was 5 and Zachary was 3. This time, I had a pretty little Hailey while my love was in Iraq. He missed her birth. I was bummed beyond belief, but he missed Zacharys birth as well, so I was prepared. Thank goodness for my mama being there to help. I dont know what I would have done if she wasnt there.
Anyways, changes. I have a lot of them and so does Michael. i'll start with me....in list form thankyouverymuch!
*I do things by myself that only I enjoy
*I don't rely on him to "take care of things" b/c I am used to doing them
*I too, maintain holidays and birthdays and our traditional "Family Movie Night" with the kids even when he's gone.

As for Michael, he too is independant, but has pretty much always been that way. The first deployment was a break away from us. I knew it and so did he.The first deployment saved our marriage. The second deployment brought us closer together emotionally. Weird how we can be sooo close yet sooo far away....

I have always always been a list keeper, and that hasn't changed....

I guess the main thing that has changed about me is that I am ok by myself. It gets lonely, sure, but I am 150% ok.

Thats big. Ive never dreamed that when I got married that my hubby would be gone so much, but Ive come to love it and the time that being "alone" affords me to reflect on....myself.

I do hope that this upcoming deployment will let me travel and not feel bad. We have been here in Germany for almost 2 months and I still cringe at the thought of traveling w/o him. I WILL, but I feel guilty about it already.

Any advice on that subject?

S said...

wow, tough question. I have always been very independent and never really could rely on him to be there unless it was the kids birth, other than that, it was me and the kids and on the weekends daddy as well. With that said, during the week nothing changed for us with the deployments, so it was only the weekends which I had the luxury of living always within driving distance to my parents and I realized that without them, it would have been a lot harder. I also realized that the only rock I have besides him is my home town. I can come and not much changes which is good. I always will have a home there and friends, so that kept me sane. As of routines, it stayed the same during the deployments. Only thing changed, kids gotten older and more understandable.

Mel said...

Es macht spass ihren Deutsche sprechen! Meine Deutsche ist nicht so gut aber ich kann vertsehe so la la.

To answer your question...I'm not sure yet. We are in the middle of our first deployment. And we're not married. I'm actually sort of worried that when he gets back all these changes on both our sides will create a lot of work for our relationship. We'll still be long distance since he's in TX and I'm in Minnesota. It's always a challenge. We'll see what happens...

Diva Ma @ Mommy Fabulous said...

I like this question.

While this is our first actual "deployment" to the desert, he has been to Korea 2 times since we have been married. I married him young. I was 20 and he was 24. Went to Germany. We started on our first child rather quickly. Our marriage was rocky and I immediately learned to be independent. When he left me with 3 kids the first time, I immediately thought that there wsa no way I wanted to be all alone with 2 babies. So I made him move me back to the city where my parents live.

Since then I have grown so much and I know that I can take care of things on my own. I completely independent and I don't have to need to ask anyone to help me do things. This deployment I became more involved with my FRG, something I had never participated in before and I keep myself busy by getting out and giving others my time. I'm also a PTO leader. This deployment I refused to wait on something to happen and I al always making things happen for me and our now 3 kids.

Deployments are so tough on a marriage. I'm still hoping everyday that ours will last through all of the many years of separation.

Meg said...

This deployment has been our first as a married couple. We were wed at the end of December '09 and he deployed (to our surprise) on 19 Jan 2010. We never really got to adjust to married life, we moreorless moved in together for a few weeks, then before I knew it, I was by myself again!
I've found that I've really gotten to test what I'm capable of. I've accomplished things in the past few months that I would've never imagined.
As upsetting as it was that he left so soon, I have gotten the opportunity to really get to know myself again after losing touch during the whirlwind of wedding-time. It truly has been a blessing, and I now know that I am a much stronger woman than I ever knew.
As for our relationship, it's become so much stronger than I think either one of us could've guessed. We went from our biggest challenges being about how to schedule our next visit, to buying a home while separated. Our communication skills have developed IMMENSELY and I am so thankful for that.
All in all, the changes that we all go through during deployments seem to be really challenging, but they also seem to change us for the better as individuals.

Erin said...

Before my deployment I was an independent thinker, but liver. I had never so much as gone grocery shopping alone. I never did anything alone. When my husband left, I was forced to live alone, shop alone and be independent. It was a very hard adjustment. But now, I can do anything, I can survive anything. I lived a year alone, with no help and no one to talk to. I had never thought of myself as a strong person, but as the quote says, it's amazing how strong you can be when you have no other choice.

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