Communication While Deployed

Hey y’all! I’ve been wanting to write very generally about communicating with your SO while they are deployed...I’m afraid this is going to get personal though. Bare with me.

I don’t know about you but my boyfriend isn’t one for talking on the phone. He’s never been. We’ve been together for 6 years, lived together for 4. When he was stateside he would call me to let me know when he was heading home from work and that was about it. Sometimes I’d get a quick call during his lunch hour which was always a sweet surprise but that’s about it. He’s a one word texter, always, and he’s the kind of guy who checks his phone a maximum of 3 times a day...which drives me nuts! By the time he responds to my texts they are completely irrelevant.

Anyway, since he’s been gone, communication has been...odd. It’s not like we argue or bicker, it’s just boring.

At first he would call me, everyday (at the most inopportune times might I add).

The time difference has really played a part in the whole communication issue for sure. Regardless, we would spend a few minutes chatting about our days, asking what’s new, what’s the same, ya know. I’d even occasionally get our dog on a facetime call so my SO could say hello to him. If you know me or my SO, you know this is normal; we’re those people who treat our dog like a child.

All of a sudden, about halfway through the deployment something changed.

I had to call him.

Ok, this is fine...I don’t mind. Because of this calls became less frequent and dull. He didn’t always answer; not because he was ignoring me but because he was working or having dinner or travelling.

Before someone thinks it —— I know he’s busy. I’m busy too. I realize he has a job to do and that he goes on missions and is in the field and can’t always access his phone. Fine. But when I call and he’s laying in bed or playing video games during his down time, that’s when I get to thinking. My mind can’t help but think of the millions reasons why he’s choosing not to call me when he has time to. I think alright, maybe he’s tired, sad, discouraged, homesick. OK - those are good excuses but want to help him through those things if that is the case.

So is it a pride thing? Is he putting up a brave front, trying to pretend he doesn’t miss home? Brushing it off like it’s no big deal? Possibly. You want to know something that I think is soooo wild? In 6 years I have seen my boyfriend cry one time, when his grandfather passed, and not even a real cry (we all know what a real cry is), just a single tear. That can’t be normal, right? Maybe I’m just a crier….

OK, so he doesn’t like talking about his feelings but is it safe to assume he’s okay? That’s really all I’d like to know, but he’ll never tell me. So I need your help.

- How do you communicate with your deployed SO? Any crafty or innovative ideas?

- If your SO has returned, is he “different”?

- When your SO returned home did normal communication resume?

I’m sure all of these things vary extensively from relationship to relationship but I’m desperate for your thoughts from your own experiences!

Overall I’ve been trying very hard to relax, not worry about the frequency of our calls. I’m working on improving the quality of conversation back to what was normal. Basically I need someone to tell me that it’ll all be okay and that this is typical. Is that too much to ask?



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