Building a Strong Marriage During Deployment
Building a strong marriage during deployment can be a real struggle for couples, and rightfully so. There are many factors at play from learning how to live life without your significant other being in the home, figuring out what your new normal will look like, and accommodating being a “single” parent. Even in the midst of this hardship, the good news is you can still build and have a strong marriage in the process.
During Michael’s military career our marriage was subject to 5 year-long deployments. These deployments forced us to really dig deep into our “why” and ensure that we would create a plan to make our marriage grow, even during our time apart. And while there are many ways your marriage can thrive during deployments, today we’re excited to share 5 ways you can build a strong marriage during deployment.
5 Tips to Building a Strong Marriage During Deployment
These tips are not a fix-all or one-size-fits-all as each deployment has its own unique situation. Some deployments are a month-long, six months long, or even a year in duration. Even then, deployments can include going to a hazardous environment or taking another job in a different location (not deemed hazardous). Here are ways to keep your marriage strong while your spouse is away on deployment.
Make the most of the time you get to talk to your spouse.
While it’s easy to unload all the things on your spouse once you get the chance to talk to them, try to only tell them need-to-know things. In addition, use the time to get to know them better. Make it fun by playing a question and answer game.
Read a book (or do a Bible study) together.
There are some great books out there for military couples. Here are a few to consider looking into:
Consecrated Conversations: 30 Conversational Devotions for Couples
Faith, Hope, Love, and Deployment: 40 Devotions for Military Couples
Making Your Marriage Deployment Ready
Military Spouse Journey: Discover the Possibilities & Live Your Dreams
Stories Around the Table: Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life
Journey Through Deployment: Stepping Forward with Confidence During Military Separations
Defending the Military Marriage
The 5 Love Languages Military Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts
Although the days and times you’ll be able to talk to your spouse may vary, try to be intentional with reading the book/bible study and discussing it together.
How to Build a Strong Marriage During Deployment
Celebrate the small things.
Even if you’re not able to spend birthdays, anniversaries, or celebrate small accomplishments together, make an effort to still acknowledge them. Some military spouses will decorate and still have a party or ceremony so the spouse can be a part of it through a webcam (this is the webcam we used during 5 combat tours). Another unique idea is to enjoy a candlelight dinner together – virtually, of course.
Protect your heart.
Spending a significant amount of time away from your spouse can lead to emotional sensitivities and the doorway of having an affair to open. Some of the strongest military couples we know have admitted to having to cast down thoughts they’ve never had before. We hate to say this is completely normal, but it is. This is all the more reasons to protect your heart, join a deployed spouses accountability group, and keep your marriage first. You can also try confessing scripture over your marriage to build your faith and leave your marriage in God’s hands.
Pray for your spouse (and yourself).
You can never go wrong with keeping your spouse (and your marriage) prayed up. In fact, we’d say it’s a necessity for building a strong marriage during deployment. The enemy loves to prey on sensitive situations and circumstances, and this is certainly one of those times. Look through the Bible and find a few scriptures to pray over your spouse. Pray them throughout the day and journal them as well. Switch them up each week to keep your prayers and journal times fresh. Share them with your spouse so he/she knows what you are declaring and decreeing over them and your marriage.
Going through a deployment is a tough thing. Being equipped the best you can will put you one step closer to building a strong marriage even with your spouse deployed. Remember, the deployment will not last forever and what you do during the time apart will be felt when you come back together. Hang in there and know that we are praying for you!