The last two weeks before a deployment can be stressful. You constantly think about it and sometimes, you even wish that your spouse would go ahead and leave so that you can get it over with.
- Quality time with your spouse is vital. We were so blessed in that we had two of our friends volunteer to keep our son so that my husband and I could go out and have several nice, romantic dates. It really helped us to connect before he left. I believe it is vital to get your marriage on a good and stable foundation before a deployment. Quality time and prayer can help fight against any issues that may occur during the involuntary separation.
- Reduce your nonessential commitments. About two months out, I started taking a break from extracurricular activities. My husband also stepped down from some commitments at church that took a lot of time. We needed that time to focus on each other and what was coming in the days ahead.
- Pack in advance. We spent the last two days sorting and packing, which took away a lot of time that we could have used for each other. We were up until almost 3:00AM and had to leave at 6:00AM to drop my husband off. Needless to say, we were exhausted.
- Find a way to process your emotions. I was in denial for a while, but I still did what I needed to do to get my husband ready. I just didn’t want to think about the part concerning him being gone. Eventually, I had to face the reality that he was leaving. Now, I just take one day at a time. That’s all I can do. Anything over a day is too overwhelming.
- If you have children, do plenty of home videos of your spouse. I videotaped my husband reading to our son before bedtime. I also did a video of him “giving words of wisdom” to our son. Now if I can only find the time to put these on a DVD…