How a Deployment Saved My Marriage

Marriage is tough. I’ve been married for six years and it has been a roller coaster ride. My husband being in the military adds a whole other level of crazy. It’s difficult spending your life with another human who is also very unique and in our case very much not available most of the time. Deployments, Underways, long work hours, shift work, duty day…. basically a whole lot of time not being home.

In six years my husband and I have grown so much as individuals but not as much as a couple. Much of the struggles we’ve had came because neither one of us were very open and vulnerable with the other. We would not express how we were feeling for fear that it would hurt the other person. This was a vicious cycle just opening us up for hurt ourselves because we didn’t express what we were feeling.

Six months before the deployment I decided to have a very open and vulnerable conversation with my husband about how I had been feeling in our marriage. When we got married I was a hot mess. I didn’t know who I was and I was a pretty horrible wife.  You can read more on that story HERE. It’s difficult to really connect and build a relationship when you don’t know who you are.

Out of those six months he was only home for four of them. We had limited time to work on us before he deployed. There was little progress. When he left I felt defeated and empty inside. All of these thoughts were bouncing around in my head and I was still feeling very much unhappy.

My husband is one of the nicest men I know. He is a hard worker and would be willing to do anything for anyone. After many horrible relationships I felt guilty for being unhappy when I was married to such an amazing man. After all the personal development I had done I knew it was unhealthy for me not to say something.

The six months of the deployment were rough. There were days I wanted to walk away from this life we had built together. Then there were times I just wanted to be in his arms.  The last  six months gave me a lot of time to think. Our communication was very limited and we went weeks upon weeks without talking.

Little did I know that I would need that time. I needed it to to dig deep on what I wanted out of life and out of our marriage. I also needed it to really understand if I was willing to put in the effort to make this marriage work.  Marriage takes work from both people. I needed to be able to define myself as individual and as a wife.

During this time I made the decision to be completely vulnerable in my marriage. I needed to clear the air and let everything hang out. I was scared. I was scared that he would decide it was to much. That he wouldn’t want to work on it as much as I did. I was scared of opening up so much to the person I was closest to and really letting him in.

I am pretty good at being vulnerable in speeches, workshops, on social media, and on this blog. Those are different  because I am talking to people who really cannot effect my life. Being vulnerable with my husband was different. He is the one person that could turn my life upside down and that scared me a lot.

The more open and vulnerable I became the better I felt. It opened us up for some real conversations that needed to be had. I spoke the truth and didn’t sugar coat it which allowed him to see a side that he couldn’t see before. My vulnerability gave him permission and a safe place to be vulnerable too.

This deployment gave us the chance to miss each other. I mean really miss each other. Not the same way that a couple of months being gone has before but it gave us the ability to feel the emptiness without each other. It wasn’t just the empty side of the bed or his car sitting in front of the house unused. It was not having someone to talk to that understood me at a level no one else does. It was not having someone to hold me close when I was having a bad day. It was not having someone to laugh with or celebrate every victory. It was feeling the piece of my family missing every day.

Over those six months I grew as a person. I learned to cherish my husband. I grew a business. I became vulnerable in my marriage. I made new friends. I learned to forgive. I learned that I want this marriage to last. I want to put in the work and I will continue to show up as me every day. All the work is worth it. There is nothing and no one that is worth walking away from this for.

Always Remember YOU ARE ENOUGH!



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