Deployment Depression: "Please Help"


A few weeks ago on an old, mostly lighthearted and funny Deployment Confessions thread, a milspouse laid out her confession, and it was anything but funny.

This is my husband's 4th deployment, and I go thru the depression each time he deploys. You are so right when you stated that it does not get any better.

Here is my confession. When he is home all is well and the budget is right on. However, each time he deploys, it takes me a few months to get back into following the budget and/or revising it. I spend money on things I would not. This has been a real stress on our relationship, as my husband feels I am throwing money way that he is working hard for. I know he is right.

I am now back on track, yet my husband is so upset, he has stopped his communication with me. In fact, he communicated his reason for his anger to a friend and not me.

I have now gotten back on track after 6 pay periods.

Please help. I am open to any suggestions.

We're all unique individuals and each of us chooses to deal with separation, loss or any other situation differently. If we battle depression, it can manifest itself in different ways. The usual caveat applies here, we know nothing of this milspouse's relationship with her husband, or whether the problem here is one of depression, spending, both or something else, but I think she brings up a good topic for conversation.

When my husband is away, I don't take care of myself like I should. Rationally, I know I should eat right and get the proper amount of sleep, but I tend to act irrationally during a long separation. My irresponsible behavior is poor eating and sleeping habits, yours may be something else (if you exhibit any type of irresponsible or unhealthy behavior at all).

This milspouse asks for suggestions. I would strongly suggest that she talk with a counselor or chaplain. I'm certainly not qualified to give professional advice, but based on many conversations with milspouses throughout the years, in situations like what was described above, sometimes the 'spending' (substitute your verb of choice) isn't the real problem, it's just a coping mechanism employed to deal with the real problem - which can be loneliness and all the stress associated with being separated from your partner. Military One Source is an excellent resource, plus there are several relationship programs available to military couples.

We've hosted several humorous Deployment Confession threads over the years. Perhaps it's time we hosted a serious Deployment Confession thread and hope that it helps milspouses see that they're not alone, and see that other spouses have fought to overcome issues which have threatened to put their relationships, and mental health, at risk. Knowing that others have traveled your path (or are traveling your path) is a valuable nugget of information for anyone struggling with a problem, large or small.

Do you have a serious Deployment Confession? Any stories of how you overcame a problem that you could share? Anonymous comments are welcome.

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