Coping With Deployment

Soldier Leaving Home for Deployment

A military marriage may seem appealing to newlywed service members and their spouses: a ticket to see the world on Uncle Sam's dime, be stationed in exotic places and experience rapturous homecomings akin to the infamous LIFE photograph "Kissing the War Goodbye," taken on V-Day, 1945, in Times Square.

While some or all of these benefits may materialize, many couples don't anticipate the heartache and pain that can accompany them. The military experience can vary widely depending on branch of service, duty station, rank and MOS. At the very least, couples can expect to find themselves stressed by the service member's long and irregular work hours, job frustrations and the easy tendency to "bring work home." At the very worst, couples may find themselves divided by oceans, deserts and years apart, entrenched in unfamiliar surroundings, lonely nights and dangerous events. Military life may be exotic, but not always in an appealing way.

These difficult, external marriage stressors can produce a wealth of internal stressors such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), compassion fatigue, pornography addiction, infidelity, and communication difficulties.

As a military couple, you and your spouse need each other (and God!) more than ever. God has an amazing plan for the marriages of His warriors and their equally brave spouses. He holds the two of you close during the heart-wrenching anguish of deployment goodbyes, and He rejoices over you at your exhilarating reunion. He gives strength and endurance in the face of fear and uncertainty. He'll never leave or forsake either of you, and He asks — and enables — you to show the same love and commitment to each other, perhaps not perfectly, but really.

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Next in this Series: The Deployment Cycle

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