Tens of thousands of troops are currently in Afghanistan. If your lover is among them, it’s likely you (and your relationship) feel the distance – and the strain. While being apart can actually make the two of you feel closer and more bonded than ever, the intimacy of the day to day is replaced by longing to be together, and fear of your partner being hurt, or worse. So how do you survive the everyday trauma of a partner at war?
1. Don’t Go It Alone
While it may seem easier to hole up at home waiting for the phone call, iChat or other correspondence, staying sane while your loved one is deployed requires maintaining connections with the friends and family nearby. Odds are you know at least one person who is or has been in a similar situation. Lean on them. Naturally, no one can take your pain (or worry) away, but the people you care about can ease the burden. If nothing else, their presence will reassure you that while you may be lonely, you’re not all alone.
2. Remember That This Is Temporary
It may not seem like it – particularly if you’re dealing with a second or third deployment – but this situation, this distance, your fears, holding down the fort at home alone, will not last forever. Your partner will be home, and while that may present some new and unique issues (acclimating to the change can be tough for both partners after wartime), at least you’ll be able to touch your mate and hold them. Remember that whenever you feel overwhelmed by the situation.
This too shall pass.
3. Keep the Romance Alive
Sure, you’re overwhelmed sometimes, and sex is the last thing on your mind. That’s exactly why it’ll do you and your mate good to keep your sex life active, even if it’s only in your minds for the moment. Whether it’s sending a risqué picture or suggestive note, or whispering saucy sweet nothings when you speak, make sure your partner knows you’re thinking about them sexually. Build the anticipation about what you can’t wait to do when they get home, and don’t be afraid to fantasize. It may make you miss them, but it’ll keep up your intimate connection and make the transition easier when they get home.
4. Take Time for Your Growth
While some parts of your life may be busier than ever in your partner’s absence, there will no doubt be times that you would’ve spent together where you’ll find yourself free. Rather than letting yourself wallow or stare blankly at the TV, use this time to improve yourself – from the inside. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, exercise, a new hobby, or a class, there are probably things you’ve always been interested in that you’ve either never made the time to tackle, or used to do but have lost sight of along the way. Now’s the time to get back into them. The best way you can support your lover is to take care of yourself.