Military Emotions

Dear Miss U,

My husband and I are used to the long distance thing, as the two years we were dating we were half way across the country from each other. We are both used to deployments too, since he deployed while we were dating last year. But now that we are married, I am living in Arizona in our apartment alone while all of my friends are in Wisconsin. I have a few friends here but I don’t really feel like I can open up to them yet.

He can only call and talk to me on the phone for about a half an hour a few times a week, which I am thankful for since most Marines don’t even get that. But when he calls all I do is get sad and miss him. I have a hard time thinking about anything other than how lonely I am without him. He always tells me to be happy for him when we talk so he knows I am okay and he doesn’t have to worry about me but it’s so hard. He was always the person I could turn to when I was sad or upset and I can’t do that right now. I know he would listen to me if I did tell him everything but it would just hurt him more and it probably wouldn’t do me much good.

I just don’t know what to do because I am bottling all of this up and it’s really starting to affect me. Please help! I want us to both be happy and make the best of this deployment!

– Stuck on the Home Front

Hello Stuck,

The only things I can suggest is for you to join a support group with like-minded people, and to start a journal or a blog. These will give you an avenue to let your feelings out; and possibly receive feedback and support. You are certainly not alone, and you shouldn’t have to suffer alone.

Remember that having done it before doesn’t mean that it will be a walk in the park. Sometimes you get to a point where you feel you’ve had enough of long distance, you feel like you’ve “done your time” or “paid your due”. You need to be kind to yourself.

At some point, you will also need to open up to your husband – whether or not he wants to hear it. He has a responsibility to nurture and support you, and he can’t just turn a deaf ear on your problems, even though right now he can’t do more than remind you that he loves you and help keep you focus on your mutual future goals. It’s not your job to carry this burden alone. Sometimes knowing your partner understands is enough to help you accept a situation and move past it, and occasionally we just want to hear they are suffering a little too (as mean as that may seem.)

And call your friends in Wisconsin! They love you, turn to them.

Dear Miss U,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2 years. We live over 600 miles away and we’ve never seen each other except on the webcam. Our parents don’t want to take us to visit and the distance is starting to hurt. I love him and he loves me, but the distance hurts so much. How can we make it better?

– LDRs suck

Sometimes they suck an awful lot, don’t they?

It also sucks being young, having no money and no freedom and needing permission for everything you do. But the good news is that doesn’t last forever. And besides that, young internet romance is a beautiful thing (it has earned a warm spot in my heart.)

Looking at the positives – your parents know, and they still let you talk. That’s a really big thing, and as time passes and you two remain together you will earn more lenience from them.

Sadly, there’s not a whole lot you can do. If you want this relationship, you just have to tough it out. You can get jobs to earn your own money so you can work towards paying for your own visits (including the public transport to get there), and you can keep what you do have fun and interesting.

Happiness is largely a state of mind – you can choose to be positive and to look to the future, or you can wallow in the fact this is not an ideal situation and let it tear you down.

It is worth it, and you can do it. Nothing makes it suck less, but once you get through the other end, it makes a great story!

Dear Miss U,

My boyfriend is currently in the Military, still in boot camp, I’ll see him in a few weeks for his graduation though. I’ve been having quite a rough time absorbing the new lifestyle without him. And my cousin, or my best friend, who is in the military as well she is far away! So my character of personality has changed dramatically. NOTHING makes me happy anymore and I find myself running off tempted to do reckless things. It’s like a Bella Swan type of thing, when Edward leaves her…literally. So instead of doing reckless stuff I just workout a lot and I never or rarely sleep. Well, he has enlisted for 6years and I don’t know if it will be getting any better or worse or where either of us will be. Like he tells me “just go with the flow” I support his decision 100% and I love him so much. I am in college pursuing my dreams going to nursing school; I just want to be happy again. But I want both of us to be happy.. He says it will all be worth it in the end. Yet the topic of marriage or kids brings his mind and mouth to a complete halt. I have no idea what to do with myself?

– Lost & Insecure.

Dear Lost,

Did you seriously just use a twilight reference there? My mind is officially boggled. Please don’t do that.

Firstly I would suggest talking to a registered professional, to rule out depression and also to help you build your coping skills. Six years is a long time, so you’re going to have to be tough and let go of any melodramatic tendencies to make it through, that’s for sure.

It might be too soon for the whole marriage and children thing for him. Perhaps he actually wants to be around when he has kids, and thus isn’t thinking about having them until the end of his enlistment? Or more likely he just thinks 19 is too young to be considering these commitments as he’s just made a huge commitment in his career.

I think for the time being, you need to find a way to relax, sleep and generally calm down and get a grip on your life. Major life changes can really shake things up, but humans can adapt to amazing challenges if we put our minds to it. Work on your coping skills, surround yourself with people who care and will support you, then give him six months to settle into his career before you bring up marriage and kids again.

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