D is for Denial of Self (or Self-Sacrifice)
For me, this has to be one of the most difficult ones to deal with. Our soldiers sacrifice life with their families to put their lives on the line for the service of country. As spouses, we often give up part of ourselves to care for our families while our soldiers are gone. We put our needs last many times.
When I married my husband, he did let me know that while I could continue to work, it was unlikely that I would be able to continue my chosen career. It’s not that he didn’t want me too; with the field that I was in and the moving around that we anticipated, it was not feasible. Also, at the time I met my husband, I was toying with the idea of getting another college degree. All that changed when I married a soldier!
Now that we are married, I do give up many things during a deployment because he is not here. I give up some of the fun things that I like to do because I just can’t get a babysitter for everything. I do some things, just not everything I would do if he was home. Most things that I do, are not alone. The kids come along. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but sometimes it would be nice to be alone! And I sometimes forget to take care of myself. I am last.
Now when my husband comes home, I can’t just dump everything back in his lap the way it was. As all of the other entries in this series has mentioned that it takes time and patience. Make sure you tell you soldier how much he is appreciated and that you know that being away is difficult on him too.
Note: I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given. I do not have any formal schooling on this topic. If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.