“Troops Coming Home Early” can recently be seen on many U.S. news headlines but the reality is: there are still troops out there, away from their families and loved ones. There are also more troops preparing to be sent out in the year to come.
Many of these parted and soon-to-be-parted spouses and loved ones worry about staying emotionally connected with their soldier while they are away. What are some things a couple can do to prepare before a deployment so that the couple can feel more emotionally connected during this time?
Some ideas are:
- Schedule and go on a date at least once a week.
Though the dating- phase of your relationship may be long over and a real commitment has been made, regularly dating your partner or spouse is incredibly beneficial to your relationship. Dating each other again can give your partner the reassurance of your feelings for them and gives you a chance to get to know one another in a way that a couple cannot normally do in the day-to-day schedule.
Don’t have the money or the babysitter for a weekly date? Even scheduling a creative “date-at-home” can be a fun way to reconnect and spend quality time with one another. For some creative dating ideas, head on over to the Dating Divas to help plan your next date night.
- Start collecting two copies of different books that you and your partner haven’t read yet.
Though a couple may be continents apart, being able to read the same book can give the couple a sense of being close while also being able to share something together while a soldier is deployed. Plan on reading the same book in an agreed upon time and then during one of your online chats, plan an online date where you both get the chance to share your thoughts about the book you have read.
If you and your partner are religious, plan on reading the same scripture passages, inspirational books, sermons, etc. to also keep up with each other on a spiritual level.
- Start a journal for one another.
Before your soldier leaves, try writing a journal for one another. This can be endearing thoughts you may have had during the day about the other, something nice that you noticed that your partner has done for you that day or even simply one reason why you are grateful for your partner. Send each other your journals during your deployment to remind each other of the reasons of why you love one another.
- Get pictures taken together and make small copies to keep close by.
This may seem like the typical and easy answer to staying in touch with a traveling loved one, but many would be surprised at just how many couples do not have any updated photos of themselves together!
For the Soldier: to keep the photo of you and your loved one close by, consider a dog tag made with the picture of you two on it. Note for Military Parents: Operation Military Kids has these types of dog tag pendants for free in the Hero Packs they provide. For Colorado Springs military families, your unit should have access to these packs through either the Family Readiness Center or at any deployment fairs held on base. For military families outside of Colorado Springs area, contact your local Child, Youth and School Services or contact Operation Military Kids directly for more info.
May all those that are apart from their loved ones or who will soon be apart from each other find some sort of solace and the emotional support they need during this difficult and trying time. Prepare yourself now so that you can have the much needed support later! May these military couples find themselves connected and ready emotionally, physically and mentally for their deployments.
Now the question goes out to the readers: What have you done to stay connected with your partner during a deployment? Please share below.