If my soldier were to deploy tomorrow I would not know what was going to be on TV. He is my TV guide. Sure, there are shows I hate to miss but have so much running through my mind, keeping track of late night dramas is not one of my priorities. Besides, I don’t have to, I have him here to do it for me.
But what happens when he is not around to make sure I tune-in?
While the TV schedule is just a little, trivial thing, it’s a great example of one of a million little and big things that have to be ironed out before he says “goodbye.” What are passwords to our bank accounts? What bills do we pay online? And what is the name of the liquor store that you buy my favorite wine?
There is never a way to prepare for all that can happen when your spouse is not home. But you can sure try.
During our first deployment I was on the phone trying my best to use kind words to the lovely person on the end who was telling me that because my name was not the primary one on the account, she could not help me. If they could just speak to my husband, they said, they could verify that is was OK to talk with me. She had no idea how very much I wanted to speak to him about anything at all – and that I was not going to waste precious phone minutes talking about this account.
If only we had thought to take care of this account or so many other issues like it before he left. That’s why we created a list of questions to go through before we part ways so that we make sure we have everything square.
But there are always other questions that you may not think of – things beyond the normal “are my powers of attorney current?” With a little preparation you can save yourself a lot of headaches and time trying to figure out just where the “safe spot” he put that important thing is. You can also use them to manage your deployment expectations of each other.
Here are seven out-of-the-box questions to ask your spouse before your next deployment.
If a random check comes in the mail and only has your name on it, how do I cash it? Nothing like having money hanging out that you can’t access.
How often do I have to call your mother? Keeping family informed during a deployment is a big part of assuring the support your family needs. But don't assume you know your mother-in-law better than your spouse does. You can never be too informed!
When was the last time we changed our house air filter? This is a good example of the million home maintenance problems that will hit you during deployment. Don’t assume he’s taken care of it before he heads out – ask.
Where did I hide the Christmas presents we bought for the kids in June? If your spouse is your second brain, don’t wait until your hoped-for Christmas Eve call to get his help.
Where did you hide our eldest’s video game after you grounded her? Parenting solo can be difficult enough without mitigating punishments of the past.
What pets do you expect to still have living here when you get back? Better make sure your spouse is OK with it before you send Fido on a permanent vacation to Grandma’s farm in Ohio!
What are some goals we can achieve while we’re apart? Use that deployment time wisely to grow as people – and as a couple – by planning ahead.
Faith Bomar is the gal you meet at that random place in that weird way that ended up being very funny. She is also the women that thought she had life all figured out, right up to the point she fell in love with a man in combat boots. Now a Military wife and mother of four she is keeping a record for her children’s future therapists of the good, bad and hilarious stories that happen in her family’s life. Come bump into her at www.livingbyfaithb.com, or find her on Google + or her Facebook page.