Few things are tougher on a deployed GI than being away from the woman he loves. Feelings of loneliness, worry and anxiety are all common emotions. Careful planning before you leave and strong bonds of communication are no substitute for her presence, but they can make being away from her a little more tolerable.
1. Make Plans for Being Apart
You can reduce some anxiety before you even deploy. Sit down together and have honest and open conversations about every possible issue. Make budgets, draw up contingency plans and arrange for back-up resources. Having a stronger confidence of your family's security will help ease your separation anxieties.
2. Threats to Long-Distance Relationships
Being away for a year or more strains the strongest relationships, and lack of communication lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. To fill that gap, either you or she may reach out to others for comfort, opening the door to infidelity. Financial problems and disagreements over children are other common issues that feed anxiety within long-distance relationships.
3. Communication is Critical
Although there may be times you are unable to do so, frequent communication is a key ingredient to address these and other threats. All sorts of digital tools facilitate correspondence, but try going beyond electronic communication. Your woman would especially enjoy seeing a letter written in your own hand. Many will cherish heartfelt cards you obviously spent time picking out. Send her little surprise gifts you know she will appreciate. It is not so important how expensive something is or how much you like it. What matters is that you obviously associated the gift with something only you know about her. She is proud of her soldier, sailor or airman, and sharing your accomplishments, however humble, mean a great deal to her. Staying in touch with her in these ways will help you overcome some of the loneliness you feel for one another.
4. Take Care of Yourself
She is going to worry constantly for your health and safety. Contacting her frequently assures her you are alive, but you need to go further. Take good care of yourself, and tell her how you are doing it. Eat well, stay active and keep a close eye on your mental and emotional health. Although it does no good to worry her over things she cannot control, she is going to want to know what she can do to keep you happy. By engaging her in your well-being, she will continue to feel vital in your life.
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