Lessons from Loving a Sailor


I’ve had this list in my drafts since my first experience with deployment. With another one impending, I thought I’d finally publish it.

1. His job always comes first.

Changes in military scheduling will always trump prior plans. Dates tend to change often, and as an SO I just have to roll with them. I want to whine and complain so bad because even when he’s home I have to let him go so often. But I don’t because I know he’s just doing his job.

2. He comes second.

I can describe my boyfriend in one word around deployment time: tired. He works so many hours and gets little sleep so time with me ends up more than often being cuddle and fall asleep time. It’s easy to feel jilted from quality time (especially combined with my first point) when he gets like this, but I have to remind myself that this is what he needs. And loving him means putting his needs before my own.

3. Homecomings are wonderful, but they’re hard.

When he came back from our first deployment as a couple, I remember feeling so happy to have him home, but also out of place from not having seen him in months. I had to get used to having him around again. And he had to get used to being home again. It took some time, but it was totally worth it.

4. Communication takes discipline.

During deployments, I try to write every day just so I can have something to hold onto. It keeps our connection alive when we can’t talk on the phone or see each other in person. It gets hard when he doesn’t respond for weeks at a time, but I keep it up as best I can because I know it will benefit both of us in the long run.

5. You’ll surprise yourself with what love will allow you to handle.

I never thought I’d date someone in the military. I thought long separations were too much for me to handle. They’ve been hard for sure, but there’s so much love in my heart for my man that serves and I’m so proud when I can be his rock on a hard day. Love trumps all of these difficulties. I can’t imagine my life without him, even just missing him.

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