Post # 1
I knew when I met my FI what being with him would mean, and having been brought up with an army background with my dad having served then you would think I would accept everything. The thing is I can’t. I thought it would be easy to cope with deployments, well not easy but I thought I would cope. How wrong was I! So FI has been on two deployments and that was meant to be it apart from him going overseas several times for training. Except due to staff shortages (over here in the UK they seem to be getting rid of all there skilled workers and oh wait a minute then they want to recruit at the same time! It’s a load of rubbish and now we have shortages and people are worked to hard!) anyway due to staff shortages he has to be deployed again which ok I get it, it is his job and he can’t say no, but they still want to send him away to the other places right before he is deployed and when he gets back.
last deployment I was on the verge of a breakdown, being a FI or a girlfriend, the armed forces don’t really care about you, basically you don’t exist unless you have the correct ring on your finger oh and a child and even then I’m sure you don’t exist much. yet really other than not having a wedding band we have the same relationship a married couple would. So as you can imagine I had no support network and then invited for a deployment meeting last time where they invited partners yet it was aimed at married women with children. They sent me letters saying I could attend the gym or get my car checked but I’m not allowed on base because I’m not married so why send me this? Anyway this time there is no meeting or any info for me what so ever. I rely solely on my FI updating me himself but I feel so lost. I lose weight (suffered anorexia for years) except this is pure stress I have insomnia and actually thought my heart would give up when it got bad. So I don’t know how to cope. Clearly I was upset with him I know it isn’t his fault but I resent him for going, but I can’t actually accept that he has to go and I don’t know why. I tell myself lots of people do this and for longer and then all of sudden all my logical thinking goes out the window and I turn into the crazy emotional wreck.
i just don’t know how I can support him when I can’t support myself and on the verge of a breakdown. I am proud of him but I can’t deal with him going again when it’s only been a little while since he was there so I am now panicking and having thoughts of bad things and dont agree with the way things are done and I am helpless. I don’t want pity I just want to find a coping mechanism which doesn’t involve losing weight or no sleep! I want to support him and be there for him I love him more than anything but I don’t know how to do this again. I am not strong enough and wish I was but I dont know what to do with myself. Saying goodbye and watching him leave to go to this place is like putting someone in a mine field and just walking away.
I never Facebook what I feel and never mention when my FI is away, last time I said I was stressed to a friend she asked me why (knowing where my FI was) really she asked me why! So I just said we all get stressed and left it at that. No one like her will ever have to understand so I can’t even talk to friends.
there is a whole lot more on my mind but I would end up with enough to go in a book.
any coping ideas would be a blessing.
Post # 3
Oh hun, I am so sorry for what you are going through!!! I have been in a long distance relationship for 2 years now, and I only get to see my FH twice a year for a few weeks. So I can try and share some coping mechanisms since I still have 4 more years to go.
Stay in touch with his family and build a relationship with them. They miss him too and you can bond over that. Find some hobbies, or maybe even get a pet dog (if you have time for a pet). I noticed that it became a lot easier for FI to wait when he had an adorable puppy kissing him all the time. I am jealous that his time spent apart is waaay better than what I have to do 🙁
Just because you aren’t married doesn’t mean you need to keep reminding yourself that! Go to the meetings!!! It doesn’t matter your label! Make friends with those women! They really know what you are dealing with. Do not be afraid. Anything the army offers you to use facilities, take advantage. Meeting people and making friends will build you the support system you so desperately need.
If this doesn’t help, maybe seek some counseling. You need to learn how to be happy and strong alone. I can’t Imagine what you are going through, but you do need to talk to someone. Let this stress out so it doesn’t eat you up inside.
Post # 4
@redbootz: I’m sorry that you become such a wreck when your FI is gone. I lost a BF at the start of the “War in Iraq” and he enlisted after we got together so I didn’t even really get that “prep” of knowing what it was I was getting into and of course being just a GF I got zero communication from the army including when he was killed in action.
I can say only a few things to help you.
1) Get the legal marriage before his next deployment if thats at all possible.
2) Get a proper social support network. There are numerous groups for army wives and yes some for those who are not offically married yet. You do need the support of people who understand what you’re going through.
3) If your eating disorder is coming back then I would recommend some therapy to cope with it. If you can see your family doctor and let them know about the anxiety you feel around his deployments and they may be able to refer you to the right channels or provide you anti depressants that can help boost your mood in those hard times. (Let the dr know if you’re against taking daily medication and want “just in hard times” meds)
But also do NOT critize or say friends without army husbands don’t understand and are asking stupid questions. Your friend may know he’s deployed but that not be what instantly comes to mind when you say you’re stressed. You need a friend to confide in and sometimes that can be someone in a different social situation. They may not be able to fully understand but they can be there for you.
I hope you can find a way to cope and deal with this stress. *hugs!*
Post # 5
My father was an army man too and I am so thankfull that my SO is not. The deployment and missing someone you love is pretty hard to cope with, on top of the fear that something is going to happen to him. My father suffered/suffers from PTSS afterwards which was awfull too and also left me with some emotional scarring.
I do think it’s hard for people who have not gone true this themselves to get what your going true, especially if you are not willing to tell them. So if you want your friend(s) to understand you really need to open up. Sometimes just one word is not enough, but I’m sure she’ll be very understanding once you opened up more. This seems like an ongoing theme in your post. You really should open up more, it’s not neccassary to post on facebook, but tell your family & friends how you feel. You won’t get any help unless it’s clear that you need it and if you’re smiling and pretending your fine they won’t know you need it.
I suggest some counseling, you really seem to need some. A therapist can give you some tools to deal with the stress.
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Deployment is hard, no doubt, but it shouldn’t be that hard. (I am speaking from personal experience here.) Have you thought about speaking with a therapist? You may have some underlying issues that are affecting your ability to cope with the stress. If you can address those underlying issues, it may become easier to cope with the deployment.
And also, stay insanely busy to make the time pass more quickly. Downtime to think is your enemy. Pack your schedule with things to do and things to look forward to.
Post # 7
are there other ladies in your same position on your FI’s base? can you form your own support group of engaged and dating women?
Post # 8
There must be an ombudsman for the unit. They are the ones who send out the “get your car checked” emails (probably who had your information on the first deployment), but they also send out the updates about the deployment and homecoming. You can also use the email list to meet other women who will be able to take you on base for any meetings or events.
Post # 9
I also agree that you should seek out a therapist.
I am a bit worried for you while it is normal to be stressed, upset, etc. in your situation it sounds like this is all a bit overwhelming to you.
Post # 10
I think the real question is — do you want to cope? or do you want a SO that can be by your side?
Post # 11
So thought I would just give a quick update in that I have sought out some therapy I have another appointment booked and hoping it will just improve the way I think. I have been upset as FI is away but we have a short trip booked in the middle of him being away and his deployment so I’m looking forward to that. I think I need to ban reading the news on what is happening in the world as it stresses me so much and going to spend time with my parents. Also my sister gets married beginning of August so I will be helping her with last minute details etc. I need to concentrate on things to look forward to like our wedding which sometimes I don’t think about because I can’t focus very well. I just wanted to say thanks for the advice and everything.
Post # 12
@redbootz: It’s great that you sought therapy and that you’re finding things to do to keep yourself busy. My sister is an Army wife. It was especially hard for her because she had to move to the other side of the US with her husband when they got married, leaving all her friends and family behind. She gets depressed and stressed out too, but she keeps herself busy, and I think that’s a big part of what keeps her from going crazy. When she’s not working, she bakes, does crafts, takes pictures, babysits, talks to people on Facebook, or whatever else she can find to do. She also has fellow Army wives she spends time with, and she goes to church, where she has a lot of support. I am sorry you’re going through this, and I’m sure this is something I couldn’t fully understand without being in your position 🙁 But, if you truly want to keep your relationship with your FI going, I believe you can get through it! *hugs*
Post # 13
@redbootz: no offense but it’s like Military SO 101 to NOT watch the news and stress about whats going on. If you are close with his parents then trust that if something God forbid did happen to him, you would know.
There are a million Military Wife/Gf/FI groups out there, alot are on facebook where you can privately message them and they can get the word out for you that you need help. A few are just around the net. Google around and you will definitely find something. Be forewarned though, alot of the advice is things like pray or trust in God which is not my cup of tea and really angered me at first.
Definitely stay busy. Understand that people who haven’t gone through this, don’t understand. Its not that they arent trying to, it’s just that they can’t. It’s a very difficult thing to understand having your SO gone for so long.
I understand how you mean about not knowing anything and not allowed on base. Someone suggested to contact the ombudsman (sp?) and thats really the way to go. They can give you the info of other wives in the unit. When I was just a gf I was able to speak with the ombudsman.
I just read through your post though and you are in the UK. I assume he is UK military and not US? (if that makes sense) They might have different rules…
Stay strong sweetie…It will be over soon