Reverting to Bad Behavior as Soon as the Spouse Leaves


My husband has been TDY a lot lately. Before he leaves, I behave like a normal, sane person. But I’ve noticed that as soon as he walks out the door, I immediately revert to college-student behavior.

Pre-Separation Behavior:

  • Awake at 6:00 feeling rested and ready to conquer the world
  • Work out
  • Shower (shaving legs are part of the showering process)
  • Eat my whole grain english muffin and Activa yogurt for breakfast
  • Begin my work day
  • Eat a pita stuffed with Turkey for lunch at 12:30
  • Continue working
  • Eat a nice, prepared meal around 7:00
  • Finish outstanding work issues and spend some time with my husband
  • Get to sleep reasonably early (usually by 10:00)

Post-Separation Behavior

  • Awake to the sound of an alarm and violently abuse the snooze button
  • Decide that I’ll work-out in the afternoon vice the morning
  • Eat Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Squares (yum) with a glass of milk for breakfast
  • Stumble to the computer, grumbling that I should have an hour’s worth of work behind me at this point
  • At about 3:00, scrounge around in the freezer for a frozen pizza for lunch
  • Back to the computer (dragging)
  • Notice that it’s getting dark and I should probably eat dinner
  • Eat whatever is easiest to make (usually soup) about 8:00
  • Notice that the dishes from breakfast and lunch didn’t make it into the dishwasher for some odd reason
  • Crawl into bed about 11:30
  • Realize that I didn’t take a shower and wonder how that happened. Realize that I didn’t work-out, either.
  • Finally get to sleep about 2:00 a.m. because I flipped channels, read or played on my smart phone for hours
  • Wake up feeling like a concrete block fell on my head during the night
  • Rinse and repeat

Now, I’m an adult. I know that I feel and perform best when I eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise. I know that taking care of myself is important and the right thing to do. I’m actually a bit anal about my daily routine. Which makes me wonder why I find it all too easy to revert to bad behavior as soon as I wave goodbye to my husband.

Thank goodness he’s back. I need some sleep, and I definitely need to shave my legs…

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.

  • Renee L. Ten Eyck

    you wait until he’s gone? I do the college-student behavior for 3 months before he leaves, and get control of everything once he’s gone… don’t do the impending goodbye well.

  • Hahaha you just described my routine in two weeks when my husband will be TDY. Definite college-like behavior for me, only my dinners usually consist of a bag of salt and pepper chips.

  • Oh, this one hits close to home, as I look at my pile of Hershey’s miniature wrappers (empty) and notice that the clock just passed 10PM…

    But it’s no fun cooking for one, is it? Sure I have a 3-year-old, but he doesn’t really count: He’s more than happy to support my “why clean the living room, the toys will just be strewn about again tomorrow” policy and his appreciation for any dinner that doesn’t involve Mac & Cheese or a granola bar is just about zero.

  • Oh my goodness, this is my life, hahaha. I thought it was because I started working from home – which happened at almost the exact same time the hubster deployed.

  • Cassandra Taylor

    I hear ya. Mine is leaving soon and things are going down the toilet. I have all these stress related symptoms that keep me from doing anything constructive. I want to go back to school, haven’t done much of anything for that in weeks, getting fatter by the min with the crap I am eating, not working out, not sleeping, and slowly turning into a basket case. So you are in good company. My remedy is to get help, I am waiting for it to kick in.

  • becky

    Whoa, I had no idea how common this is! When my husband was gone for five months last year, (our first separation,) I went from a 120-lb., working-out-religiously-every-morning, making-myself-a-healthy-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, responsible, confident woman, to a 145-lb., haven’t-seen-the-inside-of-the-gym-in-weeks, donut-and-ice-cream-eating, lazy, no-good piece of you-know-what! And now, almost a year and a half after he came home, I’m STILL struggling to get the weight off! Why does this happen to us, and what can we do to prevent it from happening every time they leave? ANYONE? HELP!

  • lexigirl

    I find I have the opposite reactions. I work out and do all this healthy stuff when he’s not around and the second he’s home I feel like I’m a mother of a 2 year old chasing after dreams because I’m taking care of him and my stubble on my legs and messy hair becomes normal when he’s around…. I think I might have an issue with my marriage when he’s always watching tv and playing video games and I’m the house mom … uh oh!

  • Mary

    I think I did a lot better when my husband was away because I hated being home alone and I had set some fitness goals for while he was away. I was too depressed to do homework at home and shopping all the time was getting expensive. Now he’s home and since I’m not as lonely at home I don’t leave for the gym as much.

  • Anna Weston

    I just stumbled on this website and thank goodness I did. My husband is off at training for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS this is me! He’s only gone 3 months this time but we have a year stretch coming up and I shudder to think about what’s going to happen to me/my home.

  • Stefanie Cruz

    This brought a smile to my face ( as I read this at 4 AM). Tonight I actually got 4 hours of sleep, an improvement since I have had zero sleep the past two days. It’s left me wondering what the heck is going on?! I’m hoping I can find a job as a vampire slayer while my husband is gone..

  • natasha

    Lol, The first half of my dhs deployment I barely slept ever, I went to bed at 5am,then got up for work the next day, barely cooked ever, and i was a wreck. He came home for r&r and I was so emotionally distraut and stressed, I woke up that next morning with a anxiety attack and a migraine from hell, I couldnt see for about half an hour, luckily, he ran me a bath and got in with me till my panic was over and my vision was back to normal, I learned…dont start an erratic schedule that makes you unwell, because its going to catch up. Im trying to stay on a routine for the 2nd half, wish me luck! lol