First Deployment; shouldn't I be sad? — The Bump
Military Families

First Deployment; shouldn't I be sad?

So my husband is in the Navy and has been for over a year now.  For most of the year he's been gone.  He had three months of boot camp and then about a year of A school.  During that time my DD and I saw him about every third or fourth month for about a week each time.  It wasn't that hard, because I got used to that schedule.  Well he came home around Christmas and then got his orders for his next training post.  It turned out that this would also be his permanent duty station, so he was able to move us out here with him.  His post is two hours away from my hometown so I was okay with moving.  I left my job that I loved, my huge back yard, and my family that was only two minutes down the road.  Here it is a month and a half later and he has his orders to leave in about a week for his first deployment.  It'll only be for about five months at the most (he may be sent home early), and I could care less.  I know that sounds horrible, and I know I'll miss him, but I really am not upset or sad or any of that.  If anything I'm just resentful that I moved out here to be with him for what?  A month?  I left my family, my job, my home for what?  I know I'm supposed to be the supportive wife, but I just keep thinking of all the things that I could've been doing.  I should be spending as much time with him as I can before he leaves, but I just keep thinking "here we go again".  I keep reading other posts where people are all sad and lovey dovey about their husband who is gone or leaving, and it makes me feel so guilty for feeling this way, but it doesn't change how I feel at all.  I guess I'm just wondering if there is anyone else out there who feels a little resentful, or if I'm just a *** who needs to get over it.
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Re: First Deployment; shouldn't I be sad?

  • Nope. Like you said, it's only 5 months, and if you're used to being apart, it's really no big deal. 

    I'm dual military, so I've been on both sides of it. I didn't mind my deployments at all, most of the time. So I know the sacrifices that servicemembers make, but we each make a choice. I don't buy into the logic of where the spouse has to sacrifice his/her dreams because he/she married a servicemember. Your spouse made his choice, but your dreams are just as important.

    My husband's duties now take up almost all of his time (no lie- I've seen him for just about an hour all weekend), and even though I know it's his job I get resentful.

    It sounds like- and I could be wrong- you're the type of girl who doesn't like playing second fiddle. I think the military "supportive wife" role is overplayed, dangerously so, to the point where it is expected. It's works well for some people and I don't judge them, but it's not my cup of tea. I get angry when I get pushed into it- like my career and my life isn't as important. Do you feel that way? 

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  • Yes actually, I do feel that way.  I feel like I've had to give up a lot, including school in order to take care of our daughter while he chased his dreams of being a SEAL, so I guess that has to do with a lot of these resentful feelings.  You definitely have me pegged when you say I'm not the kind to play second fiddle.  I'll do it, but I'll make you know I hate it.  I just don;t know how to tell him all that without coming across as the ***.  I know it shouldn't be all his dreams all the time, but how do I demand that we make time for mine too without sounding hypocritical?
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  • It is not really all that fair to blame your DH for giving up school. YOU made the choice. In all honesty, if this is your attitude starting out, then you married the wrong man. The military will always come first, and if you are already bitching a out having to move away from family, then it will only get worse. You married a military man. The only thing predictable about the military lifestyle is that it is unpredictable. Get used to it.
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  • The above is the exact attitude I dislike. It sounds like someone is drinking the Kool-Aid. "The military will always come first" is the kind of crap military men tell their wives when they don't want to have to make sacrifices on their end. But dual military couples like mine wouldn't work if that were true, and there was no "give" in the system. There are lots of career choices that any servicemember can make that will either take them away from their families all the time, or allow their family to have a good life together.

     I am absolutely against deployment dodgers, but case in point, your husband didn't have to go to SEAL school. You sacrificed so that he could go, and good for you. In a healthy marriage, everyone makes sacrifices. But on the other end of it, did he ask what you want? My guess is this resentment is because he just kept doing what he was doing, and expected you to adjust. It also sounds like he wasn't clear or honest with you- most people know before they get to a unit if it's due for a deployment. Sometimes it's avoidable, sometimes it's not, but he should have at least told you what might be coming. I think you both could have made better decisions for your family if the communication was there.

     I work in Army psych, specifically operational psych, couples and families. I got into this field because I know first hand how hard it is to juggle it all if both of you have big aspirations (and kids!). It requires a lot of trade-offs and open communication. 

    It sounds like for now, there is nothing you can do. Don't beat yourself up over not being sad. But lay the groundwork with your hubby: "I know you have to do this, but I hope you can see the sacrifices I am making for our family. These are my goals, and I need to know that you are dedicated to making them happen." Talk long-term planning. There are always lulls in deployment cycles, and times when he'll be eligible to take less demanding jobs. If he doesn't acknowledge that he has any give, you may have a real problem. I'm optimistic that he just doesn't realize what's going on, though. :0) 

     

  • Sorry- just read your post- wasn't clear if he actually went to SEAL school, but for certain his training was not the shortest option available.
  • Santo614- You ROCK.  A big fat ditto to everything you said in both of your posts.  I am so glad to hear you work in the military psych field. 

    I loathe the "you married a military man, so suck it up" mantra.   Fortunately, I seem to only encounter it on message boards.  Most of the wives I know in real life are vocal about their ambitions and pursue them just the same as their spouse.  Compromises have to be made, but they are most definitely not of the one-sided "the military comes first" kind. 

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  • I didn't mean exactly with regards to SEAL school and whatnot. My point is that when the military tells you to jump, you jump. DH has weekends off, but you can be damn sure that if there is an issue, he has to drop what he is doing and go to work. With regards to being a SEAL, you're right. That is a choice. With regards to deployments and the majority og military BS, it WILL always come first. My DH doesn't volunteer for deployments and other separations, but he has been "volunTOLD" many times. Why? Because the military comes first whether you like it or not.
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  • I'm on my iPad, so I can't edit and whatnot. I'll give you an example of how the military duty comes first, even when you don't want it to. DH changed MOS's a few years ago. He went to school for 3.5 months, and I had to move home because I had to have a fusion on my neck. He would have loved to have been there, but he couldn't. DH came home for two months and was told, guess what? You're deploying for seven months. Awesome. When he came home from deployment, he was home for seven months. He didn't take trips for a couple of weeks at a time during that time though. One day in September, he was told he was leaving the following week for six months for an "in country" deployment. In a two year period, he was gone for about 17 months of that. He didn't want to be, and neither did I, but he was told to go. I certainly had my moments were I was pissed off about it, but I married him. I knew it was a possibility, and I sucked it up.
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  • I have to agree with both sides. In one aspect, you knew what you were getting into when you married him. However that doesn't mean that your life has to be "on hold" while he is gone. Deployments are a great time to get out and meet new friends, start new hobbies and interests. There is so much to do while he is away and you can always visit friends and family for an extended period of time during his deployment!

    TTC our first Navy baby! Me:27 DH:30, together since 8/2003, Married on 7/2006
    9/26/10 stopped BCP and started TTC.
    9/2011 referred to RE. All blood work normal and DH's SA=normal results
    11/2011 HSG=both tubes clear
    One natural (monitored) cycle of Clomid, 50mg 2/2012= BFN
    Getting ready for first IUI, 3/2012 received orders to Japan! (postponed IUI)
    5/2012 Moved to Japan, fought Tricare for months over referral (no fertility treatment on our military base) for Japanese RE out in town!
    8/2012 Started seeing new RE
    9/2012, post coital test= hostile cervical fluid, (finally) moving on with first IUI!
    9/29/2012 IUI #1+trigger= BFN
    10/27/2012 IUI #2+100mg Clomid CD5-9+trigger= BFN
    11/28/2012 IUI #3+100mg Clomid CD5-9+trigger= BFN
    12/28/2012 IUI#4+100mg Clomid CD5-9+trigger=BFN
    2/1/2013 IUI#5+injectables+trigger=BFN
    3/2013 IUI#6+injectables+trigger=???
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  • imageaundraya:
    Yes actually, I do feel that way.  I feel like I've had to give up a lot, including school in order to take care of our daughter while he chased his dreams of being a SEAL, so I guess that has to do with a lot of these resentful feelings.  You definitely have me pegged when you say I'm not the kind to play second fiddle.  I'll do it, but I'll make you know I hate it.  I just don;t know how to tell him all that without coming across as the ***.  I know it shouldn't be all his dreams all the time, but how do I demand that we make time for mine too without sounding hypocritical?
    With all that you addressed here no one "made" you do anything you have choices and your choice was to follow your husband. If you hate it so much why are you doing it? I'm sorry but weren't these decisions discussed before he joined? Plus the part about " I will make you know I hate it" that must be very lovely for your husband I mean really? You can have a life as well and should and heir is nothing wrong with that but if you keep seeing your husband and "his" decisions as te enemy it's going to tear y'all apart.
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  • I wanted to add that when we moved to our first base and I didn't have any friends yet there were moments that I felt like why did he do this? But then I remembered WE made the decision together and I needed to learn to accept that things would not be the same as they use to. Go out and make friends, get a hobby or a job or a career. You need to live as well but don't place all the blame on him because you agreed upon it as well.
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  • I guess I should have represented myself better.  As I'm sure you all have done in the past I did say things while upset that don't truly represent how I feel all the time.  I do realize that I made choices too, but for those of you who have assumed a lot in your attacks, let me clear up a few points.

    First of all, yes I chose to marry him (and I never said I regret that decision), but when we married he had decided not  to join the military or SEALs b/c he knew that the divorce rates for SEALs are higher than any other group.  He also promised to get a job and support me through college.  Because I had earned scholarships and he hadn't, he agreed that I would go to school and then I would get a job and support him when he figured out what he wanted to do.  None of that happened.  He was miserable as a civillian so I agreed to him going into the service.  Then he pushed and pushed until I agreed to SEALs.  He had been in charge of all the money while he'd been home, and had run us into serious debt.  He left for boot camp, opened a new account without me, so that I (who was unemployed and attending school full time and taking care of our daughter) didn't get any money from him until he was out of bootcamp.  So when I say I had to quit school, yes it was my choice, but it was a choice of pay for text books and gas to get to the university that was 45 minutes from my house 3 days a week (my car gets 17 miles to the gallon), or pay rent and buy groceries. Not to mention the fact that I needed a full time job since there was no income for three months.

    So yes I have given up a hell of a lot to stand beside this man, and yes, a lot of the choices were mine, and yes I don't regret a single one, but I don't appreciate the "drink the Kool-aid" attitude either.  I wasn't coming here to say "poor me",or  "it's all his fault". I honestly just wanted to know if I was crazy for not fitting into the cookie-cutter supportive military wife role.  Now I see that it's about 50-50 out there.

     

    To those of you who actually gave advice, I thank you.  I had a heart-to-heart with my husband today about how I've been feeling, and we've agreed to go to marriage counseling when he gets home from deployment, which is something that I truly think will help us learn to communicate better.  He has also agreed to look into SWCC or some other job that would allow for more family time.

     

    You know I typically shy away from talking on military-related boards b/c I've seen so many people shot down for not fitting a mold.  I just think it's sad that someone who feels out of place already can't find solace among those going through the same things. 

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  • Thank you, Santo.  I think we all understand that certain things about the military can't be changed.  PCS orders, deployments, etc... are all "suck it up and deal" scenarios most of the time.  That doesn't have to mean that we as spouses have to put all of our dreams and ambitions for ourselves on hold indefinitely, though.  My H has made sacrifices for the sake of my career, and vice versa. Our marriage wouldn't be much of a partnership if we weren't both willing to support one another professionally.
  • Soooo... over the last 15-18 months your husband has decided to go for a career that you two had previously decided against (at least that's what it sounds like from what you posted), left you in "serious debt" because he apparently squandered all your money, and forced you to quit school because he wouldn't give you or YOUR CHILD any pay while he was at bootcamp?  Yeah I can imagine why you wouldn't be all that upset that he's deploying, and why you're so obviously resentful toward him.  What I can't imagine is why you're putting up with his crap, and that has nothing to do with the military.

    All that aside, some people just cope better with deployments by bucking up and dealing with it from the very beginning.  This is our 4th deployment and it's the first time that I've been really upset when he left, and it was because our kids were so upset, not even so much because of me.  It always catches up to me within a few weeks of him leaving though and I have a day or two where I need to eat ice cream, watch trashy tv, and cry my eyes out for hours.  I don't think that being able to hold myself together rather well before he leaves means that I love him less than other wives love their husbands, I just deal with the inevitable deployment by making myself be ok with it until I can't anymore.  ::shrugs::  It is what it is.

  • I'm still with him b/c I love him.  I know that may sound contradicting to everything else I've posted, but at the end of the day he's the one I want to go home to.  He's had his faults and screw ups in the past.  He still has them, and he will probably always have them, but who doesn't?  He's very ditzy (Idk a better word for it), so when he changed bank accounts, he just didn't think we wouldn't still get the money.  (Don't ask me how he thought that, I've given up trying to figure that one out).  He's come a long way, and we were both very young when we got married, so I feel I owe it to him to cut him some slack.  The only reason I even went into such detail is b/c I didn't feel that I was being completely understood by some.  And I just want to clarify that he is an AMAZING father to our LO.

     

    I think the PP is the closest to the way I deal with his being gone.  I'm fine until I'm not anymore, and then after a day or so I'm fine again.  I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. 

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  • I can see where you're coming from. DH has actually been home more in the past 6 months than he was the past 2 1/2 years and its been nice. But I'm used to him being gone so when he tells me he has to leave for however long, then ok. But since his last deployment he's been looking for a next job that will (hopefully) allow for some more family time. I think that is where our give and take comes in, he's dedicated to the Army but he's also dedicated to our family. Just make sure to take the time to sit down and talk with your H about everything. I'm glad you two agreed to counseling when he comes home. After nearly two years apart, it will be good for your marriage and should help you reconnect. After that much time, people change and its tough to reconnect. So while you do have to "suck it up and deal" you also have a say, and so does he (in his job and everything else that affects your family and marriage). Best of luck to you.
  • Sounds like you are a forgiving person. Most people in your situation would have thrown their hands up and got a divorce. I am glad you and your husband are working through it. Everyone is different and face things differently. I think as long as you don't turn your back on each other and communicate about feelings and such you can work things out.

     

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  • On my husbands first deployment I didn't get sad till a week after he left...it didn't set in until then that he was really gone. When they leave for training and work ups all the time it might take a while for it to sink in they are really gone.
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  • I know how you feel. H and I have been apart so many times and we haven't even been married a year yet. It seems like we spent more time apart than together for this first year of marriage & I know it will only get worse throughout time if he stays in the AF. I know I can handle being away from him (well, I hope I can.. I've never done it with a baby). I don't think there is anything wrong with being used to it. I'm sorry you had to move away from family though but at least it's only two hours away. I am about 21 hours from my family so, I hate to say it but it could be worse!
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