The moment you start dating a military member you begin to realize you are not going to have a relationship like many of your friends will. You will be put through an emotional rollercoaster: the sadness, stress, and loneliness of deployments, months of training, and the days (or weeks or months) without communication are far outweighed by the happiness of getting that phone call, the elation of that first homecoming kiss, or the pride that comes with loving someone that serves this country. They say that behind every strong man there is a stronger woman, this is you!

Keeping busy is the key to a successful deployment. Many spouses will finish or go back to school, continue working their job, do volunteer work, or take care of the little ones. Keep your own identity; you are not just PFC Joe’s wife. Find a group of friends that are in the same situation. I find that almost immediately I have a strong bond with a fellow military spouse because we already have so much in common! Try out the spouse clubs, or even the internet support groups to find ladies in your situation. Roll with the punches and you will learn quickly that with the military things are never set in stone until they actually happen. Orders change, dates get pushed back.

Finally, cherish the moments you have with your spouse. With as much as our spouses are away I think it makes me appreciate the love we share even more. I am especially thankful to have my husband home for the holidays because I know there are thousands of families aren’t as lucky.

Julia Kysela is a newlywed milspouse and has her own blog about the adventures that come with it titled Pink Champagne, Gatorade, and MRE’s. She enjoys running, cooking, baking, nail polish and wine. She also is involved in her husbands FRG as the treasurer and adopts soldiers via Soldier’s Angels.

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