When Goodbye Feels More Like Good Riddance


During our weekend in Virginia, Andi posted some of our "greatest hits" and one of my old posts prompted a new comment that posed a good question.

Armybrat AF Wife asks if any SB readers' spouses have "crazy coping mechanisms" to make it through a goodbye.  Now, she has me curious too.

In Never Used to Goodbye, I tried to categorize the various scenarios military spouses may face when the moment to board the bus/van/ship/plane approaches and we have to bid our spouse a fond adieu.  Armybrat AF Wife points out that not all goodbyes are surrounded by that poignant haze from a black and white film.

Your tales of deployment goodbyes have been breaking my heart. After many years watching my dad deploy with the Army and now 18 years watching my DH deploy, well, our goodbyes usually go like this... spouse picks fights with me all week (it's easier for him to go when he's mad at me), I try hard to keep my cool knowing he WILL fall apart once he must say goodbye to little people. The AF deployments are usually a "take spouse to airport moment" so we do the whole family thing and walk daddy to the gate, usually wait long hours until he can enter security and then say our goodbyes & watch daddy walk the concourse to "the big plane" (my boys like to watch plane take off)...there daddy goes to protect the world! I smile and comfort everyone, I do not cry, it's not what I do, I sometimes wish I could but I "need to get this over with", eventhough he has picked fights with me for days and said some really hurtful things in order to separate himself from said situation...I will not falter, I am the strong one, I was raised in a military family...this is what we do. And inevitably, the call comes once he is in place..."you couldn't wait to get out of the airport, could you? ... I bet you are glad I am gone"

I love my husband to death, I really do, but I just don't understand this whole senario. I always hear him say "I never have to worry, I know she can handle anything that arises while I am gone" (it's almost like a badge of honor) but after 18 years of marriage, he still longs for "the waterworks" when he deploys and returns.

I swear next time I will take his mother to the airport (no fail solution to waterworks)!

Any DH's out there with crazy coping mechanism's?

I know there are several arguments and nitpicking moments that happen in my house during the run-up to training or deployment.  It can sometimes resemble a bad reality TV show where people talk to the hand or worse, run around with the "Oh, no you didn't!" attitude.

Sad.  Very sad.

But, I think what Armybrat AF Wife describes is another normal, perhaps even typical, scenario.  That pull for our spouses between wanting to believe we can handle it (so they won't worry) and wanting to believe we can't handle it (so they feel needed and missed).

Her final question, though, about crazy coping mechanisms made me wonder if other milspouses see other behavior when the "game face" appears that makes them wonder if their spouse is unique in his/her coping strategy.

Here's your chance to share with your fellow milspouses.  You may have found ways around ineffective coping strategies or ways to deal with and understand them that could help a milspouse new to the military or to deployments.

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