Dawson’s Blog

Your Relationship Can Survive Military Deployment

dreaded deployment
If you quickly open a soda, there is some chance the contents will foam up and spill over the top. Shake that bottle for thirty seconds before removing the top and you’ll have a much more intense experience. Talking with people about relationships with loved ones in the military is like opening a bottle that has been violently shaken. The pressure inside is so great that the questions and experiences come out fast and strong, and they spew in every direction.

Here are some of the comments I have received about deployment and its impact on relationships.
Anonymous wrote: Guys usually don’t communicate the way women do. I know my husband loves me and missed me on deployments. Did he ever write that in a letter? No. The best I would get was a “miss you Babe” on a phone call.

Fadeintoyou82 wrote: My boyfriend is deployed. We had been together for 7 months before he left. Everything was going great the first half of the deployment, then out of nowhere he starts to become distant and disconnected. Then he tells me that he doesn’t know if he has the same feelings for me anymore.

HappyLittleGirl wrote: I am experiencing my first deployment away from the most fantastic man I’ve ever met besides my father. We’ve been dating for 8 months and love each other. He’s in the Navy and deployed somewhere in the Middle East… I love him dearly and I know he loves me… but I worry that he doesn’t miss me.

nicolem28 wrote: I’m engaged to an AF guy and he’s been gone 50% of our relationship. This trip he’s on now has been awful since he has minimal communication opportunities, so I understand how the doubt can creep in.

Lyndsey wrote: Military relationships are special. if they make it through the training and first deployment they can make it through anything.

Your Relationship Can Survive Military Deployment

I’ve asked one of our partners, Mike Jones, to talk about loved ones on deployment. Mike is a former US Army Captain with two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike shares openly about some of the struggles and how to overcome them when your loved one is deployed.

    1. Coping with Lack of Communication
      Dawson: It seems that with a lot of our callers the lack of communication with a deployed spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend is what puts a lot of pressure on relationships.Mike: Communication with those back home is difficult for several reasons. A lot of time soldiers are in isolated situations with limited or command-only communications. If you’re front line like infantry soldiers, you are busy 24-7-365-360 (every hour, every day of the year, all around you). You’re either on patrol, on guard duty, or crashing. There’s very little down time, but even then, the enemy may decide it’s time to lob a few mortars or attack the compound. A lot of that down time is focused on getting ready to go again.

courage beyond military
Dawson: Perhaps it’s more than just the number of emails or the amount of talk-time. If couples really don’t understand or feel what the other is going through, they’ll still have a disconnect whether they communicate a lot or a little.

  1. Importance of Situational Awareness
    Mike: It’s really important for those at home to try to gain some situational awareness regarding their deployed soldier. Talking to other experienced military spouses helps. One of the things to understand is that a soldier needs to stay completely focused on the assignment at hand… not home, not family, not kids, not you… their assignment. If their heads are not intensely focused and in the game, someone can get hurt. Even when a unit is just walking down a road everyone is looking in a prescribed direction for particular things. If one soldier loses intense mental focus and is not looking the right way, you have a sector uncovered. Soldiers are trained to switch off everything else when the mission is on.
  2. Struggles in Switching Modes
    Mike: Also, there are times when soldiers don’t seem to have much to say. Spouses need to understand that it’s hard sometimes to switch back from being warrior to being relational. And sometimes they can’t talk about what’s going on because it’s either too hard on them or they fear it will be too hard on you.Dawson: Do deployed soldiers typically feel guilty about being away from home and family?Mike: Mostly they are so engaged with what they’re doing that they don’t have time for that. But in some cases; yes. If you’ve got a deployed soldier feeling guilty about being away, the last thing they need to hear is complaining about problems at home.
  3. Focusing on Home can be Difficult
    Dawson: While it’s difficult for loved ones to understand what their deployed soldier is going through, by comparison is it much easier for soldiers to understand what it is like at home?Mike: No, not true at all. Some soldiers have no clue about how difficult it is for those at home. Like I said before, some soldiers have a harder time flipping the mental switch from combat focus to home-life focus. Their life in a combat zone is so intense, fear mixed with exhilaration, a sense of mission accomplishment mixed with the pain of losing a comrade. Problems at home that are huge to their loved ones may seem trivial compared to the combat zone. Again, the more loved ones can gain some situation awareness about these things, the easier deployments will become, particularly combat deployments.

Soldiers are trained to switch off everything else when the mission is on. #soldier Click To Tweet

A Suggested Conversation with a Deployed Loved One

Dawson: Do you have suggestions for how loved ones should approach those rare, unscheduled, middle-of-the-night phone calls?

Mike: Maybe something along these lines: Honey, we’re okay here. We’ve had a problem with _____, but we’ve got it under control. Mom and dad are helping, and so is my brother. The FRG (Family Resource Group) is there when I need to talk about Army stuff. We’re all good. I love you (i.e. don’t be concerned about me being unfaithful). Be safe, stay focused, we’re all going to get through this!
(NOTE: TheHopeLine® partners with Centerstone Military Services for additional resources for military personnel and their families.)

Be safe, stay focused, we’re all going to get through this! #militarylife Click To Tweet

Strong Spouses and Loved Ones

Dawson: It sounds like the soldiers and their loved ones all have their individual battles to fight.

Mike: Very true.Spouses, parents, children, girlfriends or boyfriends all have different types of battles to fight, but you all go to war together as a team. If you can hang onto that kind of perspective, things are going to be a lot easier. The worst thing is fighting the battle of deployment and fighting one another at the same time.

Check out Nicole’s 7 Great Ideas to help your relationship survive military deployment:

“I am in a relationship with a man who his spending the next six months deployed. This is our first deployment as a couple. It is also his last deployment, as he will be retiring following this trip. He has been very open with me about the fact that this will be hard, but we are a strong couple, and not getting through this was never even mentioned as an option. I am very sad, because I hate that we are separated, and I worry about his safety. However, I have been keeping myself busy with ways to cope and it is helping. Some of the things I did are:”

  1. I wrote him thirty letters to take with him, made myself a copy of each, and I open one a day also so I remember what I wrote to him.
  2. I started a journal. It is a great place to vent and talk about/work through my fears.
  3. I made an awesome Deployment countdown poster and I am crossing off the days.
  4. I made a list of things I want to do while he is gone.
  5. I am planning/researching the trip we want to take when he gets home.
  6. I am keeping a mason jar and popsicle sticks, and every time I think of something I want us to do together, I write it on a popsicle stick and pop it into the jar.
  7. I plan out care packages with themes, and I will send them over the course of the upcoming months.

“Soooooo, I guess I am hoping this will help those of you who are struggling like me. This sucks, but six or seven months of sadness is a small price to pay for a lifetime of wonderful.
Strength to all!”

Thanks, Nicole, for sharing your ideas!

Learn about what to expect at homecoming.

Are you concerned about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Learn more about it here or download your free eBook.

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • Kaitlynn Eck

    I need help my boyfriend is going to basic training!!
    I am really proud of him but I’m nerves that he will pull away. People say I have nothing to worry about but Im still scared. If there is anyone who can help please do because the time is getting closer

    • Dave Anderson

      We are happy to talk with you about it. Please go to http://www.thehopeline.com and register to chat with us. For the short term, separation like this will generally make two closer or show them that there is no long term future for them. Fear is the issue, there is no reason to “fear” this deployment. There will be many deployments in any military service. I thank you for his service to his country!

      • kaylafightforpeace

        hi guys lol my name is kayla my boyfriend has decided he is going to sign up for the marines we have been dating for almost a year and a half. He is my world and i met him while in college, which i have a good two years or more left of with internshiping as a wildlife biologist if i can. atleast i know i should stay busy enough i think! i just want to stay calm and not be freaking out right now ! i am an extreme worry wort maybe by the end of this i will be more tough lol i just want to do my best to support him and love him. He really needs me and i really need him. God willing we will get through this. For you who are in later stages of deployment i can only say one thing that will get me through all of it for certain and thats alot of praying and strong will! Let’s do our best to stay away from the drinking alot because that’s not going to help anything its only going to create more problems for us thank you for all your support i wish you all happy relationships during and after these experiences you have given me much insight as to what i am getting into and i know i will not give up even though i know its going to be tough so women DONT GIVE UP !!!

  • Hello:) first thank you for being here and helping! Sencond thank you to all the men and woman serving and or Married to a soldier blessings. Anyways I met this man about a month and had 3 personal dates before he deployed for afanstain in July of 2014 my question is that I fear that me waiting here for 12 months could be a waste? Also will he ever be able to make contact with me? Everything happened so fast I did not even get to hug him later before he left just a call as he was leaving and the one lay over. And boy was it tears on both ends. These last weekends I have gone to the last places we went on our dates at sun set and have cried but remember the positive moments we shared. I try to keep hope and try to stay positive. Every morning I wake up and write him a letter and take a picture with counting down day card. Before I go to sleep I light a white candle for a few hours before sleep time. Is there Anything else I should do? Or could talk to someone to clear a few little other things in my mind? Thank you! Sorry for writing a book.

    • Marcela

      Hi i am on the same boat as you, they might even be together right now, if you want e-mail me at dianagil511@me.com we can talk sometimes i feel the same was as you.

    • Loyda

      Wow! I am in the exact same position! I met a wonderful man while he was on leave for a week, so there was a lot of time to text and we saw each other twice. Then he went back to work and communication dropped to a minimum for two weeks.. One day he told me his team had received an assignment and they would be leaving that month. Contact with him stayed minimal, and one day I finally asked if I could see him. Surprisingly, he agreed to meet me! I made him open when letters and gave them to him. We had a great night, and at the end I said “this is probably the last time I see you before you leave huh?”

      His response was yes, because he was leaving in about 12 hours! I thought I had more time, but he couldn’t really tell me when he was leaving before that or where either. Its been 3 days, today is day 4 and I’m just waiting to hear from him.. I don’t even know where he is to send him the care package I already made..

      I’ve known him for a total of 6 weeks. And I don’t know if its silly to wait for him, I’m not even his girlfriend! And he’s only stationed in my state, he’s getting stationed somewhere new in about 6-8 months and then he’ll be done and returning to his home state after that!

      Is it silly to consider being with him if the chances of it working seem so low? And after knowing him for so little time? I have never met anyone like him! I feel so good when I’m with him, and I know that if the circumstances were different, we’d be perfect! I know he likes me a lot too, he’s told me he likes me and then there are moments where he’s looking deep into my eyes, he kisses my forehead, pushes the hair away from my face, kisses me slowly.. but then he doesn’t text me for days at a time.. and now that he’s gone I don’t know when he’ll contact me or if he’s even feeling the same as me!

      Sorry for the novel too! I just don’t know where else to go, I feel like my friends don’t understand because they haven’t been in my shoes.. what ended up happening with you????

    • Ela

      Hello Lexi I’ve read your email (after two years) so what has happened with you at the end? Please write back. I am in very similar situation right now. Ela

  • caity

    Hey Lexi, well, it sounds like you two made a very big connection. but you kind of just have to be honest with yourself if its right for you and him i guess. I’m in the waiting game myself, my best friend of 2 and a half years and as of a month ago boyfriend and a week ago deployed boyfriend, i’m feeling a bit freaked out too, but he told me before he left he has loved me since we became friends and he will continue to do so forever. and i feel the same. so to me its worth waiting. but i know him, inside and out. do you know your man? did you guys agree to be faithful and where you two want to see this going? I am miss my man every single minute of everyday. i wake up thinking about him and fall asleep the same way, but i’m not stopping my life. if your boyfriend loves you than he wants to see you happy, because he has enough to worry about right now than to worry if your ok. letters to him telling him whats up and how you miss him is cool, but then be happy, live your life. go to work/school out with friends (ones that won’t get you to drunk, because when you love a man you can’t even drunk dial believe me the tears will run.) I’m only a week into this deployment but i’ve learned its hard but you can only keep moving. It helps in a way to also think of the things he does that drive me slightly insane, because it cuts the hurt and in the end you kind of start to miss those annoying things, so when he comes back you may love and care even more. hope my perspective helped, and to let you know, your not alone. there is many of us out there waiting for our boys to come home. don’t be scared, don’t be foolish, and be as brave as the man your in love with if not more so. keep on going and living life. don’t let yourself stop. just know why your waiting for him and know if he is worth it. i know mine is to me. also in every relationship not just as crazy of ones like military relationships, know the other person is human. he may be your hero, but he isn’t superman. you have to take care of him as much as he does you and forgive even for having to leave you for so long. hope i helped. with love in my heart hope you make it through this with a strong relationship to look too

    • yvser

      how uplifting your words are caity, thanks for sharing.. i have a boyfriend as an army nurse, he never told me he was leaving but he just mentioned about his deployment, maybe he just doesn’t want me to worry about him going to his area of assignment. long time no communication. really! and me here just waiting… 🙁

  • unknwn

    Dwelling on absense can make the return harder, that is where your job starts with your soldier. An endless amount of patience is required. Speacial training can be recieved for insight into how a soldier is feeling and or thinking. Time and love may be the hardest things to Waite for. Keep by their side no matter what even if it is only as friends because when we are ready we will be your never ending gaurdian in every way.

    • Marcela

      This is really hard, he says he is busy and can’t talk, and i know he is, but still i feel he doesn’t want to talk to me, he did told me he changes when he is deployed, but i want him to show me more affection, he left after two months of meeting each other, i feel that he should show me some affection to give me hope and let me know he thinks about me.

  • Jackie

    I am in the same situation…and really miss him.
    I met this wonderful man 10 months ago..he is in the Air Force and deployed to Quatar. This is my first experience with deployment. I am trying to stay busy and not worry but some days it’s hard…he’s been gone a little over a month now. I am able to talk to him..well by text…and we try to skype every few days. I am a worrier by nature..so I’m trying so hard to work on that and be supportive. Any suggestions? My email is jakinnane@yahoo.com.

  • Nicole

    Ive been with my soldier for a short period of time and he proposed to me. Of course I said yes and Im very excited. I found out this morning that he will be deployed soon and Im terrified. This is my first time experiencing this and Im not sure what can or will happen. Im so in love with and I know he feel the same. He have been going thru a lot and have been very stressed. Im worried about his health. What can I do to make this easier for the both of us?

    • Marcela

      Congrat! This is my first time also, and what i learned was that you need to support him, don’t talk about the deployment, try to meke him feel good, zero stress, spend time together, how long is he going to be deploy for.
      Also if he wants his space give to him, is nothing against you.

    • meg

      I started talking to this great man..
      and he got deployed to Africa and im new at this.. we love each other and im wondering how do you deal..

  • Emy

    Hello everyone ,
    It’s been a week since he left bound to Japan, he told me Japan is only his Base he can be send anywhere :-(. I haven’t heard from him yet . He promised me to contact me as soon as he can.
    I’ve never dealt with any soldier before. I met him 5 months ago at the University where we went together. He was so hesitant to approach me because he knows he will be deployed right after the semester ends, but he was man enough to inform me his feelings. To make the story short everything was so good, the chemistry was outstanding, we both know that there’s this special feeling that bind us. We decided to keep the process slow and really get to know each other. Until deployment week arrived and that was the worst week ever. He came into my house to say goodbye we cried so much, a prior to that deployment week he told me to wait for him. Then he changed his mind saying : it will be totally unfair for me and it will be harder for him while he is in foreign land if we commit or he will ask me to wait for him.We both agree to remain friends .
    He told me and keep repeating it to me – when he come back to Florida I will be the first person he’s going to meet . This will be his last deployment . He want to continue his nursing as soon as he’s back.
    I am currently in a nursing program by the time he will come back I will be on my last semester if gods will. Although I know that there’s no guarantee ,but I want to wait for him and I told him that when he come back and decided to go on with his life without me ,then I will thank him for all the good memoirs that we had and knowing him is an honor. At least I tried .

    So to all those woman out there who are in the same situation like mine, keep your self busy . I know it’s not easy.

  • Mrs.McCall

    Hello all:)
    My husband and I have been married a year as of last week and we are dual military we are both in the marine corps and two months ago my husband left on the first deployment between the two of us 🙁 it’s just a mue so I’m not worried about his safety( he’s a grunt so I’m just thankful he’s not on the ground :), we left on very shaky terms having been apart the 6 months prior to his deployment because I’ve been in training … I’ve hear from him once every two weeks since he’s left and I’m just so worried that this deployment was my husbands breaking point for us. I tried really hard to be a good wife for him before he deployed even though I was in training but I feel like me missing the months prior to him leaving I’ll never be able to make up for … I hope this deployment goes by fast and I’m just nervous about him being gone for no reason … Blah rant over I just needed to get that out I love my husband and I hope he comes back and still loves me … Dual military relationships feel impossible

    • rachael

      Weirdly enough my boyfriend is on a mue as well but for now its training till they leave I Dec….im feeling my relationship with him is on edge as well if you need anyone to talk to im here!!! Hes on the uss new york

      • laura

        my fiancé is on the USS New York too…I think we are in a similar boat (no pun intended) so feel free to contact me anytime!

  • caroline

    Hi, my boyfriend is about to go on his first deployment and I’m really stressing out, but I don’t want him to know that! I’ve moved countries to be with him and due to language barriers I have no friends here and am basically stuck in by myself all day. It’s not through lack of trying I’m just very shy about my language skills (which in trying very hard to learn). I’m just really worried about facing this totally alone. Any suggestions? X

    • kaylafightforpeace

      what country are you in?

  • tati

    Hello, My Boyfriend Is the army and he is deployed in Iraq …. I love this man with all my heart and if I could go from my red bottoms into his combat boots I’ll trade places with him in a heartbeat. That’s how much I love this man.. But I’ve been expressing to him I Love him and I miss him so much last time we spoke he told me he love me too this time he said cool.. Whats wrong? Am i doing to much,

  • Sscrlk

    Hi everyone,
    I have been with my boyfriend for just under a year.. He has very recently deployed for Hes 6 months in afghan, although he has previously been so knows what to expect we wasn’t in a relationship at the time. He is infantry front line so communication is extremely difficult for us whilst he’s gone… I am just so scared that he will forget about me whilst hes there, that the distance between us will make it easier for him too not want me after he’s back,

  • Kayla

    well, this is my first deployment with my boyfriend & the last. he deploys on dec.12th. he is a marine & stationed in camp Lejeune nc. I’ve known him for 3yrs & have been with him for almost 2yrs. this is his 2nd deployment. the thing thats killing me the most is we don’t know where hes going, & we can only write each other. there is so much going on in this world today. his MOS is artillery, & he is amazing at what he does! the marines don’t want him to leave. I’m on here to get support & to give it as well. it’s nice to know I’m not the only one going through something like this.

    • Laura

      I have a feeling my fiancé and your boyfriend are on the same deployment…this is our second one together and it’s much harder than the first because he’s on a boat this time w. basically no communication & I feel like I resent him / tend to want to tell him all that he is doing wrong when we do get to talk! it’s frustrating for me as a person because im not like that. I know I should cherish the times we do get to speak but I feel like the negativity is like word vomit.

  • Andrea A

    Hey, I been with my bf for 8 months, I live in ct, and he lives in VA, he is on the Navy, and he is going to his last deployment to baharain as well. I’m freak out, idk what to do with myself. … even though we been dealing with the distance we always see each other 2 or 3 times per month. We are planning to marry, and I’m going to Bahrain to see him in a few months. .. how are you doing with your situation. .. idk what do do.. just pray and wait to see him….

  • chicken and rice

    I fell for a marine. we went on a couple of dates, and he took me to his base, where I fell for him even more. I slept over and we watched movies, drank, and listen to music till we fell asleep. I not only got emotionally but physically attached to him, as if I did not want to let him go. Haha. But sadly he had to leave for his deployment for 6 months, and I felt as if we did not have enough time together. The last time I talked to him, it felt natural, the way we always talked. And I suppose being Deployed gets your mind off of everything. at least He’s still communicating with me. So i have hope. can i get any insite, or advice? Thanks 🙂

  • TheHopeLine

    Hi Debbie,
    Thank you for reaching out and asking this question. I believe others that see this will be helped too. I’m interested in seeing what others say as well. Since you met him online I would say this is not legitimate. If there was a fee, which I doubt, he should be paying it anyway if he truly cares for you. We have a military resource that would be a great place to contact to see if they have heard of this going on with military relationships. Here is a link to their contact us page on their website. http://couragebeyond.org/contact-us/ You can email or call them with your questions.

  • Chelsea 123

    Ok so im new to yhis but im glad its here. So this is my issue my bf of almost 2yrs is a marine and is on deployment in japan and weve gota stry like we went to school with each othr since grade schoolMilitary relationships are special. if they make it through
    the training and first deployment they can make it through anything.and we just reconnected last year and so now hs been gone for 6mnths and b4 he left everything was ok and we talked and saw. Each other all thw time and now i may get to tlk to him once or twice a month and ita always just a hey and i love and miss u babe when we do tlk so thts pretty much all he can say and idk if he still feels the same about me as he did b4 he left and i trust him and i knw of how hard it is to deal with a military spouse and i support him all the way so does anybody have any thing to say cnn or help me with ?

  • Hi Karla, We want you to know you are not alone. We have talked to other military wives and girlfriends, like you, and we have some great resources for that can help you through this year while your boyfriend is deployed. Chat with a HopeCoach anytime day or night to help you through this challenging time. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp

  • Heidi

    Hi I have been getting to know a guy for three months going on four we found each other on a dating website. He is air force we have attempted to meet however things came up for both of us. Now he is getting more distant since in two months he is to be deployed. I don’t know if at this point, I should wait for him.

  • sharon mason

    I have a boyfriend in the military. He is stationed in Syria we txt at times he suppose to come home the 5of sept I’m kind of weary he wnt show up at the airport. He says he will b there I hope so but for me its the not knowing what hrs going. Through

  • miaka

    hi this post really give me an idea on how to cope up and able to understand my bf and support him on his deployment, though we got used to being far from each other, we’ve been together for 2 years now and though our relationship is long distance from the start and we only spent a month long every year to be physically together, communication (text, video call, voice call) is mostly a huge part on how we survive the distance, i know for sure that were serious about this relationship & committed to taking it to a long term plan. However my bf just recently got deployed in middle east and im afraid that due to lack of communication things might change. I know the time of us talking will change and he will be preoccupied most of the time, I hope this will only help us to grow as an individual and be stronger as a couple. Im really keeping my faith high and trust him 

    • Ela

      Hello Miaka you are such a strong woman. Really so strong. Keep it like this. This man loves you and believe life where he is isn’t that easy and simple. Truly it is not nice. Support him in a nice way. Never be to hard on him. They have been trained to stay strong but really under the uniform they are as we are and feel the same or maybe even deeper. We have so many things we can do or go to. For them is all the same everyday.
      So be strong and write back if you like. Ela

  • Ela

    Hi Amanda, how are you? I really love your story and I love all the stories here really. I am in the same shoes and feel how you feel. Like you I try to be strong and positive because this is what he wants from you and this is what my man wants from me. I also have no children anyone to care for or hold. There are many things you can do and definitely you can write to me any time you like. Ela

  • Ela

    Hi Aqua, how are you. Has he contacted you since your last email here?
    This is so normal not being in touch for 2 weeks. Sometimes it takes longer. Drop him a line saying you are worried. Not to strong and hard. He will eventually get it. Everything will just fine believe me. Write back if you like. Ela

  • Janine

    Hey Ela, our situation is kind of similar. I met a Canadian guy who is in the forces while he was doing some training at a company i was working for at the time. We connected straight away, and had a really nice time together before he left Europe to go back to Canada. We kept in touch using email. At the beginning, it was pretty much constant emailing, all day, everyday for about 3 months, and then the emails started to get less and less. He would tell me it was because he didn’t have much time, and was busy because of work. The messages that he would send me were still the same though, saying that he missed me, and couldn’t wait until we saw each other again, so i wasn’t worried. I haven’t heard from him since the end of November last year, and after a few weeks, i thought he’s probably not interested any more. It wasn’t until a work colleague who had visited Canada in October to train the unit of the guy i was emailing told me that they had been sent to the middle east. I was really confused to as why he hadn’t told me he was going away. Now i’m just waiting for him to get in contact with me, even if i have no idea how long he’s gone away for. Sometimes i get really sad and feel totally hopeless. Other days, i just focus on how happy i’ll be when he gets in contact, and we can finally see each other again.

  • Thanks for reaching out to encourage each other. If you contact us at TheHopeLine we can connect you with some support groups. Chat with us anytime 24/7. http://www.thehopeline.com/GetHelp/

  • Kayla V.

    I am so nervous about my boyfriend deploying. He’s deploying in October to the Middle East as a rifleman in the Marine Corps. Watching the news lately has really scared me because of the recent attacks on Marines and the bases there. Sometimes with the way he talks about deployment and how excited he is because the unit that just recently returned earned combat action ribbons. I am so scared that he won’t come home the same or that he won’t come out at all. I love him so much and I don’t want anything to happen to him. I am leaving for Navy Recruit Training at the end of summer and I am scared that I won’t graduate in time to be able to see him off on his deployment date. And I know that I won’t be able to contact him as much as I can because I will be busy during training, but I want to be there for him whenever he needs it because he has always been there for me when I’ve needed him. Sorry about writing a book, but none of my friends understand what I am so worried, scared, and concerned about because none of them have been in a situation nearly similar to ours. Thank you for listening 😀

    • You are really going through a lot and it is understandable that you are feeling nervous for your boyfriend. Thank you both for serving our country. We really appreciate your sacrifice, especially how hard it is on a relationship. Our chat lines are open 24/7 for you. We are here for you and we care about what you are going through. http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/

    • Taia Young

      I empathize with your situation. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.
      I’m struggling with my boyfriend being on deployment too but I am home safe and sound and available to support him. I’m thankful for that. We all do what we can to support and love our soldiers the best we can.
      We are almost 3 months into an 11 month deployment. The first 2 he messaged daily if not twice a day but recently he was reassigned to a combat zone and has no connectivity so I haven’t heard a word since April 10 at 4:40 am when he called to say he was wheels up in half an hour.
      It’s really difficult not hearing or knowing if I will hear from him before his deployment ends in December. I write a bit to him most days and send it at weeks end.
      But being on a 3 week delay is strange too

  • Taia Young

    Hello there
    My boyfriend is 3 months into an 11 month deployment. And contact has stopped due to a reassignment to a combat zone
    My advice is this…if you love him and choose to be with him you’ve got to find your strength and be a support to him. There is nothing you can do besides support and care for him that will prevent him meeting someone else. But if you’re going to stay with this man while he is deployed you’ve got to stop worrying or you’ll drive yourself crazy. The what ifs will destroy you and your relationship if you can’t stay strong and confident in your relationship. Doubts are normal but see them for what they are…insecurities natural and simple. I hope this helps a little. None of this is easy but you’ll do fine whichever path you choose

  • Taia Young

    That is tough! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Deployments are hard on all involved. I’m sure your boyfriend is just trying to make things easier on you both but I’m sure it isn’t easier for you being in love and wanting to be supportive.
    You’ve just got to do things that make you happy and live your life. He very well may realize during this time away that you’re who he wants and come back to you. And if you’ve been living a happy and full life while he is gone you’ll be ready and if he doesn’t come back to you, you won’t have spent all this time pining away for him and not making yourself happy.
    It’s hard to do this…trust me I’ve been through it…but it is worth it. And if he’s career military like mine is, he will be deployed again and you’ll know how to make it through.
    Much love woman! Good luck

  • Taia Young

    This is so true
    I’m in a similar situation and I loved reading this response

  • Hannah


    I dated a guy who was special forces before and it was hard because we couldn’t talk about his job at all. He went on a training mission and told me he would be going dark. When he came back home days later he told me he was going on deployment in a couple of weeks. I used to be in the Air Force , I worked with computers and never deployed before. I wish these deployments would end or be for a shorter period of time. God bless you and yours!

  • Nicole

    Hi Everyone,
    I am in a relationship with a man who his spending the next six months in Afghanistan. He is Army special forces, and this is our first deployment as a couple, but his fourth deployment. It is also his last deployment, as he will be retiring following this trip. He has been very open with me about the fact that this will be hard, but we are a strong couple, and not getting through this was never even mentioned as an option.
    I am very sad, because I hate that we are separated, and I worry about his safety. However, I have been keeping myself busy with ways to cope and it is helping. Some of the things I did are:
    (1) I wrote him thirty letters to take with him, made myself a copy of each, and I open one a day also so I remember what I wrote to him.
    (2) I started a journal. It is a great place to vent and talk about/work through my fears.
    (3) I made an awesome Deployment countdown poster and I am crossing off the days.
    (4) I made a list of things I want to do while he is gone.
    (5) I am planning/researching the trip we want to take when he gets home
    (6) I am keeping a mason jar and popsicle sticks, and every time I think of something I want us to do together, I write it on a popsicle stick and pop it into the jar.
    (7) I plan out care packages with themes, and I will send them over the course of the upcoming months
    Soooooo, I guess I am hoping this will help those of you who are struggling like me. This sucks, but six or seven months of sadness is a small price to pay for a lifetime of wonderful.
    Strength to all!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your ideas here! These are really helpful and super creative, too. Would you mind if we add your ideas to the blog? Thanks again!

  • Ebony

    What an amazing read. It’s so nice to find somewhere to talk about this kind of stuff. I’ve been with my boyfriend on and off 3 years. This is his first deployment, and the first of us actually being a couple. We’ve had our ups and downs on the lead up to this mammoth task, we’ve both been very anxious and at some points had cold feet about being away from eachother for so long. To help him out I’ve put together a video of all of our memories and personal jokes, with a couple of videos of me talking in there aswell in the hope that it will give him something to refer to and be able to hear my voice or whatever when he wont be able to contact me. While I think I understand what lies ahead, I’m obviously very nervous for him, yet still very proud. I’ve made a plan for what I’m going to do during his deployment and I’m looking at a couple of holidays we can book for when he comes home. It’s so nice to find somewhere to talk about this, because while I want to be strong for my man, and make sure there’s nothing here to worry about so he can stay focused, I still have worries for us of course, although I’d never show him that. He leaves in 4 days so im trying to spend as much time as I can with him in between all of the packing and sorting out work stuff. Here’s to hoping I can continue to vent my worries here, be independent for the next 7 month and keep him focused for the duration. I’d do anything to help him, amazing to find a group of women going through the same thing and sharing experience X

  • maray

    I would love some advice. I meet a army Sergeant on line on facebook” I be friend him. He accepted my request. We talk for about three months now. He recently asked me to send a care package for father’s. Which, I did. With his requested items. We chatted everyday. At a specific time. We r deeply connected and we are both falling for on another. Recently tho” suspicion has arrived! He’s asked me to send him a lot of money to top up his cell phone to talk to me? Red flag!-, I thought they receive free phone calls? The internet is accessible to his accounts!! But yet! He’s asking me to send money for an emergency leave ,he been granted? And he said he’s ready to retire his career! To be with me? He has set in motion his process to Germany to sign his papers? And there air force won’t respond to his calls,for a ride?? R.F.#2- I know that if they take a personal leave before there exit time they have to pay. But why would he ask me to send him money to pay for a ticket to get him home fast to see me,before I leave?? Am I being period a? Or is he truly in need of my help to get home?
    R.F.#3-he won’t release his APO address, or his Military. MiL- address??? I’m scared I fell I befriended and fallen in love with a scammer? Please help me to understand what’s happening?

  • Victoria

    Hi, I’m really happy I’ve found a forum like this. My boyfriend is currently serving his second term in the army and we’re already in a long distance relationship for about eight months. I’m not too familiar with how the army works even though my sister was married to a soldier. My boyfriend was supposed to be away for a couple months training but it’s been four months now and I haven’t heard from him still. I’ve been hearing news from his mom via social media.
    I feel kind of left out of the loop considering that I’m just his girlfriend and am abroad. I hadn’t had a chance to discuss what would happen if he goes away longer than a couple months. I’ve been leaving him private short messages on social media as I have no way to send a care package even though I really wish I could. I don’t even have a count down to know when he’s coming back. I understand he is going through a lot right now so I’m being super patient and understanding. But it’s difficult when I’m not in the environment and not having the support of other women or people who have been through this.
    What else can make it a little easier to get through this? Also would it be impossible for them to call or contact me from abroad? Any advice would be really helpful, thanks.

  • Sara

    I meet a.sergeant in the.military he told. me he was going to another state to do training he called.me.Friday and said got.30 seconds to talk. Then he said call u when I can. Today he called but I guess he didn’t realize it. I texted him yesterday and no response I know he busy and said he call. when he can. Should I let him. call me

  • Melissa Malone


    Im in the same situation and my boyfriend of 3 months was deployed a few days ago. He is alos in special forces and seemed so different and distant before he left which made things harder because as a girl I take everything so personally!

    May I ask how you are coping after 3 months? Im struggling atm 🙁


  • Kwintessential

    This is the first time for me dealing with this. We have been seeing each other for about six months and now he is leaving for 9 months. The last few days he has been distant, wanting to be alone, etc.

  • Brooklyn

    Hi my name is brooklyn, my boyfriend just left for boot camp a week ago and I’m struggling mentally everyday about him changing when he gets back and how to deal with it. I believe your boyfriend has been gone for 2 months now and maybe home now but I justwanted to ask how has it went with you 2 and were the letters normal and reassuring to you and your relationship? How have you dealt with him being gone?

  • Cj

    I have a question my so to be husband got granted for a six month leave to come home for we can get married but I received a email saying something about a payment that I have to send in for he can come home

  • Kristin

    Wow super helpful and terrifying reading all of these comments. My boyfriend of 3 months will be stationed in Okinawa, Japan in August. He will the. Be deployed to Syria shortly after, maybe sometime in September. We want to stay together and make it work but we both know it will be next to impossible with time zones and our schedules. I love him very much and am confused. any advice would be helpful.