Coleman has been gone for 83 days... and it's been 83 days too long! I suppose I should be counting my blessings, because at least I don't have to be away from him for a full year like it was originally planned. But that definitely doesn't make the present any easier. I'm hoping to be in Korea with him before August. I'm medically cleared and he already has an apartment waiting for us - which, by the way, I am SO excited to move into! Now we're just waiting on the ammendments so he can set up things with TMO and get my plane ticket. I'm praying he gets them this week. Please, oh please!
So I came across this list on the internet, and I've added some of my own.. but I thought it was a very good list. Deployments and unaccompanied overseas tours are a sensitive subject for a lot of military spouses (not just me!). Some of these things have been said to me, some of them haven't... if you've said one of these things to a military spouse, don't feel bad - just don't say it again. And while my husband is not in Iraq or Afghanistan right now (which I am so thankful for).. he is still overseas, he is still very far away from me, and it is still hard.
Things NOT to say to a Military Wife (or spouse)
1.) "That's horrible... I'm so sorry."
He's doing his job, and he's doing it without a complaint. So take a moment out of your comfortable lives to be appreciative, and don't be sorry.
2.) "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault for whatever happens over there."
Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. And every day he preserves your right to make stupid comments like that.
3.) "Well, in my opinion..."
Well, you can just stop right there because I didn't ask for your personal political opinion. And right about now, I probably don't care.
4.) "Wow.. you must miss him, huh?"
DUH. I don't have any other words for this one.
5.) "My husband had to go to [wherever] for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."
No, no you don't. I do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment. Do not compare your husbands measly business trip to a 6-12 month (or more) overseas tour or deployment.
6.) "Don't you miss sex? I couldn't do it!"
No.. not at all. I'm a robot. Seriously, military spouses (as should ANY other spouse) learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We appreciate the important things.. like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the sad truth is, most relationships wouldn't be able to withstand 12 months without sex.
7.) “This deployment shouldn’t be so bad, now that you’re used to it.” or "Get used to it, you're a military wife."
Yes, we learn coping skills. We have to figure out ways to make life run smoothly and for time to go by faster. But it will never get "easy". If you only knew.
8.) “What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?”
Short answer: Try to stay sane.
9.) “How much longer does he have until he can get out?”
This one is annoying whether my husband is overseas or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they can "get out". Many of them keep signing back up because they actually love what they do. And it's their JOB or CAREER. Is YOUR husband going to quit his job?
10.) “I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I could do it.”
This may be the one that I've heard the most. Although I think this is intended to be a compliment, it's still annoying. Here's why: it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming of the day where we'd become extremely anxious, carrying our cell phones to the bathroom and into the shower.. to make sure we don't miss a call. Or to try to make sure we're home at the right time so we can skype with our husbands. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we do it because we have to. I'm proud of my husband, and he's worth it.
A thank you, a prayer, a word of encouragement, or even a smile is good enough.