Stop waiting for your spouse to come home…
Updated: Sep 17, 2022
How I struggled with this feeling & my journey to no longer “waiting for him to come home”
When we first joined the military as a brand new married couple with a new baby we ended up being moved across the country. This meant we were MILES, days of driving, or 2 plane rides away from any family or friends we had known.
To say I felt lonely and isolated would be an understatement. Casey was the only person I knew and the person I relied on for adult conversation and my only source of a friend in close proximity.
This led to me being pretty reliant on him. And maybe if the feeling was mutual it would have been a little easier, like if we had been trapped on a desert island and each had to be dependent on each other (sounds dramatic but so was some of this portion of our lives)..
The feeling wasn’t mutual because my husband went to work every day with a shop full of fun, goofy coworkers that he could chat with, laugh with, and connect with every day. I did not have this at the time. So again, I found myself waiting for him to come home every day. Counting the hours until work was over and being overly eager when he’d come home to chat, catch up and spend the evening together. While he always tried to be understanding, I could tell sometimes he felt annoyed of my need for him. He sometimes wanted to just decompress after work and didn’t have the same needs as myself.
I HATED the feeling of waiting for him to come home, but I felt stuck in it. Our daughter was still very young at the time, I was waiting for her to get a bit older before starting nursing school, and I was so socially anxious which made meeting mom friends or other spouses really hard.
Outside of waiting for him to come home from work, I also struggled with this feeling during deployments. I found myself counting the days till he came home (not always a bad thing!). But I often found myself not fully living during deployments or putting off fun things or family adventures while he was gone. This again led to frustrations within myself, feeling a lack of independence, and feeling guilty as a mom for not fully enjoying this time with my kids.
Now this has DEFINITELY improved through the years. Partly through just life circumstances (I started working, kids lives got busier, I made awesome friendships) and partly because I think I just developed coping skills and have emotionally matured (somewhat..) through the years in our marriage.
I found that staying busy is HUGE. That doesn’t mean you have to be working but finding things to fill your time, especially during deployments, is so so helpful. That could be by volunteering, joining a moms/spouse group, joining a sports team, or redecorating your house. Whatever it is, prioritize activities that you enjoy and I promise your mind will feel a little less overwhelmed with the anticipation of “when are they coming home”. Finding my own sources of joy has been hugely helpful. Making an effort to make friendships, listening to podcasts, going to thrift stores, writing blog posts, picking out a cute outfit, whatever it is that day that will add a little fun or self fulfillment. As weird as it is I love cleaning my house. While I wish it stayed clean a little longer then 1 day (thanks kids!) I find that when my work day isn’t too busy I make a point before he comes home to put a podcast on and clean up the house. This makes the last hour at the end of my work day or day with the kids go a little faster, and prevents that feeling of “waiting for him to come home”…
And a lot of it is just time, time and growth. I definitely still struggle with this feeling occasionally on deployments but have really worked hard through the years on ensuring deployments are still a time of happiness and adventure for me and the kids. For the most part, I feel now like I am my own person, like I have my own sense of self-worth, my own identity and my own sources of joy. For the most part I no longer feel that daily dread of ”waiting for him to come home”. But it took recognizing the feelings and the behaviors I was engaging in as a result and working within myself a lot to get there.
And I just want to say though if you are new to this or are still stuck in this place it’s OKAY. You are not alone. A lot of us have felt this or are still feeling it. It will get better. Recognize these feelings and find some ways that you can combat them!