From the Mailbag: New Husband, First Deployment. Advice?


SpouseBUZZ reader G is seeking advice from military wives. She’ll be marrying a soldier in July and he will be deploying a few months later.

Hello SB. My fiance is in the Army National Guard and we will be getting married this July….at some point this fall he will be deploying for the first time in his military career. I was wondering what advice do you have for newlyweds faced with a deployment, and any advice on how to get through it? ¬†Since he isnt AD Army I will be moving back with my mom while he is deployed. My other question is what type of support is offered to Army National Guard Spouses during deployment and after?

I married into the Army years before September 11 and had a chance to become familiar with the lifestyle before I experienced a deployment. It’s one reason I’m in such awe of the younger spouses who dive into this constant deployment cycle head-first and display such resiliency. Although I know we do what we have to do, I’m still not sure I would have had that much strength when I was younger. G mentions that her husband-to-be is in the Guard and not Active Duty, so she may not be surrounded by a community of people who understand what she’s going through. That can be both good, and bad. I think online forums such as this one are crucial for all spouses, but particularly those who are geographically isolated from a military community.

I think it’s fantastic that G is already using the internet to make connections, and reaching out for advice. It made me think of this old post by Guard Wife on advice for military spouses. G, we wish you luck with the upcoming wedding and deployment and just remember, we’re here 24/7!

So, what advice would you give someone like G who is just starting out on her journey as a military spouse?

Connect with more military spouses on our Facebook page and get information on SpouseBUZZ LIVE, which may be coming to an installation near you this year!

About the Author


Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.

  • One word: Run!

    Okay, just kidding! The best advice I can give you is to keep an open mind, your sense of humor, and your sense of self. If you “get lost” in your husband’s career, you’ll find yourself very frustrated with the daily ups and downs of military life. My goal during hubby’s deployments is to find something major to accomplish while he’s gone. Look for a photography class, cooking class, pottery class…just something that occupies your time so you’re not sitting by the phone (FOR HOURS) waiting for his call.

    Also, if you can find a way to include him in your daily activities, that would help you two stay connected. Maybe you could make a daily 1-minute video of your activities. Or you could do it in photos. Or even through emails. Just something to make sure he knows you’re thinking of him often! And, if you knew you were going to share it with him, it might keep you from zoning out on the couch for months at a time. Or maybe I’m the only one who has a tendency to do that.

    All the best on your upcoming wedding!

    • gypsyjen08

      That’s an awesome idea about taking pictures and including your spouse in things that you are doing. I’ll have to remember that!

  • Julie

    Welcome to the club!! Try to reach outside of your comfort zone and do things that you may have never imagined possible, just like he is. If he can have R&R and you can save money up, try to visit him somewhere besides home. If there is a problem with the car, try and figure out the solution without him or mom, then present your plan to him. Nothing is more comforting to a husband far from home, than a wife that is capable and confident. He will be worried about you, give him less to worry over. After 20 years of marriage(he flew in from training for the wedding and we drove away to his next training site after the reception) the best compliment my hubby has ever given me(in public, lol) was that I am amazingly CAPABLE!! I do my best to never call with a problem, unless I have formulated some sort of solution, it may not end up being used, but I have at least made an effort.

    The most successful military spouses are those that make lemonade out of the lemons. He says “were getting orders” you say “Wahooo!!! Lets go!!”

    No Fear, only Faith!!! Julie

  • Andi

    Below is advice posted on our Facebook wall in response to this post:

    Natasha said: stay busy

    Lori said: Don’t feel like you can’t talk to other people. It’s okay. There are a lot of us out there and we’ve most likely ‘been there – done that’ – and MOST of us are nice and would love to help a newbie. :)

    Monique said: Don’t watch the news. Take a class on anything – pottery, swimming etc. Keep a journal.

  • reasad

    Our first deployment Hubby was NG. It was a different ball game. He was in a unit that was 8 hours north of where we lived at the time. Stay connected to the FRG somehow for information and keep busy. Not so busy that you collapse on the couch exhausted every night. Do something weekly, monthly or every other week to pamper yourself and give yourself down time. Write letters to your husband. Handwritten letters mean a lot to them when they are gone. You find out what works for you and stick with it. Somethings that work for others may not apply to you and that is ok. Give yourself slack and your husband too.

  • ArmyWife22

    Im so happy you asked this question, Im a newly wed and my husband will be deploying to afganistan in the late summer. I have so many questions and concerns but by reading this have had a few of them answered.

  • Sydney Rae Knowles

    My husband was deployed two short weeks after we were married. He will be coming home for the first time in 6 months this upcoming Sunday. Trust me when I say it is ALL about EXPECTATIONS. By expectations I mean that you must BOTH understand and communicate what expectations you have for each other. This will save SO many fights while he is gone. If he expects you to be available for his phone calls at a specific time or if you expect a letter at least once a week, either way you must both understand and respect these ideas of how this deployment is going to work. You must both realize that mistakes will be made, and chances are, you will both get a little upset at least once or twice during this deployment. But you were put together for a reason, and I do not believe that any deployment is entirely impossible to make it through, though they may be difficult at times. Just remember what you saw in each other before he left, even when it feels like that person is long gone…that will get you through the long and tough nights. Good luck to the both of you and God bless.

  • Monica

    I am going through the same stuff. Except me and my better half arent married yet. We are engaged and plan on getting married on his r &r. It is so hard to have him away from me. This is his first deployment and its already been four and a half months. Like most have said before I cry a lot
    But when I talk to him on the phone I feel as if I need to be strong. Not only for him but also so it doesn’t put anymore stress or worry on him. Your post about your experiances have really helped me see that its normal to feel this way. I live two hours away form the closest base. Because once he got deployed I moved back to my home town to be around family and friends.

  • Monica

    …… I am still new to the whole sending care packages not sure how to go about that. And would really appreciate it if someone could help explain it to me. Anywho me and wgm skype everyday. And there has been days where I dont get to talk to him. Those days I worry like crazy. I have been praying and trying to have faith but its so hard. I feel like a piece of me is missing. I read in one post about communication is key and I truely believe that. I love him with everything in me and will do anything for him. Im just at a loss for words. Can anyone help me. Please.

    • angels28

      Hi my name is Lena and I’d like to encourage you, God is with you both and you will get to a place of inner peace. Our biggest test at home is trust, we have to trust that angels surround our loved ones. What helps your loved one deployed is when you can show him you are ok at home because they can’t help you from there. They have to be focused while deployed I encourage my husband by texting on skype or when we talk in person. I dress sexy everytime we connect on skype. I encourage him to tell me what he is experiencing before I talk about me. I tell him I love him praying 4 him and ocassionaly say I miss him. Post office has boxes you send for cheap anything you can fit inside just mail it to his APO address. It takes a week. I’m praying for you. I volunteer with the police it gives me something to do & they encourage me. Most are ex military. Show him you trust support and love him always. Let him know you are praying 4 him and are proud of him that his sacrifice is appreciated. Be encouraged stay strong it’s ok to worry. Stay in touch with others. You’ll be ok.

  • angels28

    Congrats! I’ve been married 12 years & this is his 1st deployment. Include God into your marriage, allow yourselves to make mistakes, be quicker to forgive than to blame. You both will be forever changing as individuals,communicate everything and always say “ILove You” even if your mad. Words spoken in anger echo 4ever in time becareful what you say. Dress sexy when on skype let him know you are hisbeautiful wife & support. Go with the flow this is new for him also. Don’t ever allow thots of him cheating pray for him & you. Love will always see you both through. Don’t send things he’ll be stuck with later. Try not sharing all negative things from home he can’t help you find a support at home. Encourage him every time you talk and keep yourself busy at home. I volunteer for the police department they understand. Encourage your husband to share what he is experiencing freely without getting freeked out. You have to believe he is surrounded by angels and so are you here at the home front. God Bless you both and your marriage may unconditional love become the foundation of your home.

  • Ashley

    Thank-you for such a great post. I am marrying my high school sweetheart this November, and we will be experiencing his first deployment the following March. Some part of me is nervous, but I know the tips. I’ve been told of the horrible stories of other milspouses, and oddly enough those have made me worse than the deployment! Its great to know that there is hope for a good support group!!

  • JMJ

    I’m plaanning on joining the air force reserves and will be leaving my wife and 2 year old at home, while at basic training . Any suggestions??