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One of the hardest struggles about being a military couple is staying connected through the frequent separations and time apart.
Nothing can prepare you for the pain of being away from your spouse. Heartache is an unwanted weight, and it is frequently held by military spouses.
But, going into it knowing that you love each other, and that you are in this together, can lift the weight slightly. Enough to breathe.
Here are some ways you can create deeper connections with your spouse or SO even though you are far apart.
Know their love language
This one will help you to connect with them the most. Each of you can take the quiz here!
Once you know the results, you can optimize the way you show your love from far away.
Use the results to cater to your spouse/SO’s specific love language. Is it receiving gifts? Send those care packages! Quality time? Find a time that works for both of you to chat.
This book incorporates the 5 Love Languages book by Dr. Gary Chapman, but is created specifically for military couples! It focuses on building intimacy over long distances, reintegrating after deployment, and so much more.
Send a Care Package
Sending a care package can be such a fun way to incorporate your voice into gifts hand picked for your loved one! It could be themed for the time of year, like a birthday or the 4th of July.
Or it could incorporate a countdown (like this chain) of when you see them next! (10 weeks – 10 drink mix packets, $10 bill, 10 pictures…)
This Etsy shop sells the CUTEST stickers that you can stick to the flaps of your care package!
And it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive – or super difficult. Sign up for Shipthrifty to create SUPER EASY and cheaper shipping labels!
Schedule a date night
Find a time that works for both of you to go on a virtual date night. If you have the chance to text, call, or FaceTime, look up some fun games you could play!
A few of my favorites are charades, card games, and guess what I’m holding/seeing.
I wrote an entire blog post with tons of ideas for date night activities!
No matter WHAT you choose to do, the point is that it brings you closer as a couple even though you are physically apart. If that means reading scriptures, sharing funny stories, or playing games, it is completely up to you!
If you and your spouse/SO enjoy writing and receiving handwritten letters, I would strongly recommend this one! It is so special to be able to receive a handwritten note from your loved one.
It also doubles as a way to “talk” to them even when you can’t talk in the moment.
You can read the letters anytime you need your person. The combination of seeing their handwriting, reading their own words, and feeling the paper can bring comfort, even though it’s not the same as having them with you.
Put up pictures
For me, seeing pictures of my man gives me a little boost of hope and excitement for when I can see him again.
Print off two copies of each picture. Send off the first copies to your spouse/SO, and keep the second copies for yourself! Then you can both have pictures up to look at.
They could be of favorite places you’ve visited, food you’ve tried, special moments, or what you’re looking forward to doing in the future.
Get in a similar routine
Ok, hear me out on this one. Time difference, different schedules, and life can totally get in the way of being able to talk to your spouse/SO on the phone.
With that in mind, it can be so fun to have a scheduled time where you both do something, but don’t have to actually be on the phone.
Here’s an example:
At 10 pm your time, as you’re getting ready for bed, it might be 8 am where your spouse/SO is. You could plan to do something at the same time, even if you aren’t able to talk. You could say prayers, listen to a specific song, or have something you say/think.
Being away from your loved one is hard. You know that, and so do they. But you don’t have to ignore that. You can talk about missing them…with them. It is always comforting to know that you are missed.
I realize that talking about something you can’t change is difficult. But talking through being apart with your person every now and then will only serve to strengthen your bond.
You are in this together, NOT alone.
Have you considered creating a deployment wall? It can include pictures, a clock for their time zone, and more!