On the bright and shiny surface, civilian friends are all pity and good wishes when we go through a deployment. They can't believe we military spouses have to live so many months without the constant presence of our partners at our sides.
In the darkest corners of their hearts, it turns out that civilians envy us the opportunity. Last January, Rachel Zucker wrote about briefly separating from her husband in her story "A Little Bit Divorced."
When Good Housekeeping polled its readers, 90 percent of them said that a brief separation would help their marriages.
I was floored. My husband is currently on his 8th deployment. We have been separated a lot in the past 25 years due to travel and trainings and work ups and a geobach tour and a particularly evil hurricane. I would never in a million years say that all that absence has helped our marriage. Absence is something we work to overcome because we have to.
But I got to wondering if all of you who have also had separations would agree. Does constant separation help or hurt your marriage?