How to Handle My Boyfriend's Deployment

Isolating yourself during your boyfriend's deployment won't help.
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You knew it when you got involved with a guy in the military – he could be deployed at any time. Even though you thought you were prepared for it, the reality might blindside you and leave you struggling. There's really no right or wrong way to handle the situation, so trying a variety of approaches might help you hit on a solution that works for you.

1 Rediscover Your Girlfriends

When your relationship is new, it's not uncommon to devote all your free time to your boyfriend and lose touch with your girlfriends. Reach out to them again and rediscover all the things you used to do together that brought you pleasure. Go shopping or enjoy a girls' night out. If you determine ahead of time that you’re not going to drag everyone's mood down by dwelling on your guy, you might actually find yourself forgetting that you're blue, at least for a little while. If you find that your friends just don't understand what you're going through – and they might not, if they've never loved someone who's been deployed – consider developing a second group of comrades. Use the Internet to find others who are in your boat. Set up a support group or join one, even if you have to do it online because everyone lives in different areas of the country.

2 Insulate Yourself -- Or Not

The television may be your enemy or it might be your friend, depending on how you handle news broadcasts. If you find that you obsess or panic over every bit of negative information coming out of the area where your boyfriend is deployed, you might want to turn to other programming. By the same token, watching the news might be a comfort if you thirst for any scrap of knowledge about the place where your boyfriend is stationed. If this is the case, you can make use of the Internet too. His unit might have a website offering daily details, up-to-the minute news and other tidbits that can help you feel as though his routines are still an active part of your daily life.

3 Expect Less of Yourself

Military wives caution against making any major decisions from six weeks before your boyfriend leaves until six weeks after he gets home. You may not be your sharpest, most unemotional self while he's gone, so try not to commit to anything with long-term implications. Deciding what college you're going to attend is pressing, but chopping eight inches off your hair can probably wait. Put off what you can, and don't beat yourself up if you make a few mistakes with the little things.

4 Stay Connected

Your boyfriend is still in your life while he's deployed; you just can't touch him or talk to him whenever you want. You can, however, email him and send him care packages to maintain contact. Occasionally, you'll have a little face time with him, courtesy of modern technology, but don't waste it by focusing on how blue you are without him. Let him know how much you miss him in a way that lends support and encouragement and doesn't drag him down. He's serving his country and you want him to be safe, not preoccupied with the personal hardship his deployment has caused you.

Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels including the bestselling "Comes the Rain" and "With Every Breath." Bird also has extensive experience as a paralegal, primarily in the areas of divorce and family law, bankruptcy and estate law. She covers many legal topics in her articles.