Four Surprising Things You Learn About Yourself When Your Spouse Leaves

Four Surprising Things You Learn About Yourself When Your Spouse Leaves

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Whether you are a military couple or not, there comes a time when you will have to spend time apart from your spouse.  For some it could be just a couple of nights but for others it could be a huge chuck of time.  Initially them leaving can seem daunting and intimidating (not to mention sad) but then you start to get used to your new “normal”.  It is in that time apart you begin to learn new things about yourself.  In fact, that time apart can often be empowering and inspiring. 

{Last time my husband deployed I decided to write a book!  Read about it HERE}

I’ve realized no matter how many times I am left alone, I always have the same four realizations.  These four realizations tend to shape my personality and make me grow as a person.  This personal growth is something I make myself look forward to when the threat of time apart looms over my husband and I. 

So here it goes, my four empowering personal growths.  May they help you if you are being faced with separation and/or inspire you to never be stagnant.

1.       You learn YOU ARE STRONG

There are some days when your spouse is gone and you feel like you are encountering enough bad luck to end a civilization.  Just when you think you are out of the woods, something else will knock you down.  The funny thing is though no matter how many times that happens, every time you manage to get back up and keep fighting.  You have no idea where this inner strength is coming from but suddenly you realize that nothing can break you.  It might come from the fact that you have to carry on for the little ones you take care of day in and day out or the fact that you are by yourself and there is no one there to feel sorry for you.  No matter what, once you make it through whatever knocked you down you look back on what happened and you FEEL STRONGER.

My moment of realization for this during deployment was when our car, dog, and washer all decided to break at the same time.  Our car left me stranded to the point I had to call a tow truck and friend to come get me, the pup terrified me thinking that he would require major surgery (but thankfully did not), and the washer filled up completely with water and would not drain which required me to pull what I was washing out of it and manually dump the water out with a pitcher.  All of that happened (literally within the same month) but guess what?  I made it through the tough times stronger than ever. 

This was an expensive fix.  $500 later the Jeep was able to drive again. 

This was an expensive fix.  $500 later the Jeep was able to drive again. 

The washer breaking meant new appliances.  This also occurred on my birthday - Happy Birthday to Me (EXTREME sarcasm here).  Oh and here is the non-broken pup! 

The washer breaking meant new appliances.  This also occurred on my birthday - Happy Birthday to Me (EXTREME sarcasm here).  Oh and here is the non-broken pup! 

{I would be in serious trouble if I did not mention how cool the Jeep became before we ended up having to sell it.  See pictures of it in my Journey to Japan blogs!}

2.       You realize how IMPORTANT your SUPPORT SYSTEM is

When your spouse is gone you cannot call them whenever something major happens in your life.  Usually you have to wait until the next day or send it via email in which you are counting the minutes until you get a response from them.  Sometimes you just need to tell someone that way you can get the required reaction your looking for so you can move on with your life.  

Whether it be a “are you kidding me, no way!?” or “yeah, that person shouldn’t have said that”, a giant relief can immediately wash over you and take some of the weight off your shoulders.  Those little responses that friends say as a result of you airing your grievances really do help you mentally.  That is why it is so important to have a SUPPORT SYSTEM.  Having that person who is ready to hear you vent about your day or to check to make sure you are ok after you stab yourself with a knife trying to cut a veggie (obviously that is a very specific reason) is a lifesaver. 

My fantastic friends took me out to celebrate my birthday so i would not have to encounter that day alone! 

My fantastic friends took me out to celebrate my birthday so i would not have to encounter that day alone! 

3.       You GROW as a person

Whether or not you realize it, you change as a person when your spouse leaves.  The survival instincts kick in and cause you to morph.  It does not have to be big changes, but one occurs nonetheless.  The perfect example of this would be the conversations you have with your spouse.  When you have limited time on the phone (computer or whatever) with them, you start to take into account exactly what is said to one another.  Suddenly the bickering between one another about a trivial subject (like energy drink consumption – i.e. quit drinking so many) can be brought up without a silly argument to follow.  You learn to communicate as a couple and knock things out constructively, so you can spend more time to talk about how much you miss their body heat during winter time in bed. 

4.       You SURPRISE YOURSELF

This is one that ALWAYS gets me and tends to happen when the other three empowering realizations (as stated above) occur.  It is ironic that “you surprise yourself” surprises me, but I tend to notice randomly and usually after I completed something major.  Several examples of instances that can SURPRISE you are:

  • When you realize how strong you are as a person and how much you (in fact) CAN handle, you surprise yourself!
  • When you are on the verge of tears but manage to reach out to a friend, you surprise yourself.  This might not always be the case for all but for an introvert, like myself, who is very private – it gets me every time. 
  • When you are able to do an intimidating task you normally could not do by yourself or find yourself conversing like an “adult” with your significant other, you surprise yourself! 

Being a Military Wife is HARD

Read my blog about the struggles I have faced as a military wife!

 

Now no matter what, time apart from your spouse sucks.  If you manage to stay optimistic and utilize that time to better yourself, then it will not only benefit your marriage but in turn make yourself a better person.  Not every day is going to be a rainbow filled with flying unicorns and cookies but if you take the time to realize all that you are managing to conquer, you just might surprise yourself. 

Always Chase Your Tales, 

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