July 6, 2011
Military Week: While Apart
***Giveaway Has Ended***
We ALL know that being apart from your spouse might just be the most grueling time of your life! Or at least it seems that way. But it is also a very proving and trying time testing your relationship, and making it stronger as well as making you stronger as a person. Even though you may be thousands of miles apart, there are always ways to show your love to your honey and continue the dating aspect of your marriage. Don’t let the fire die by neglecting each other, but instead put lots of time and effort into your marriage, just as you would if you were together.
We are not the experts on dealing with being away from a spouse for such long periods of time, so we called on Danielle from The Frugal Navy Wife to share with us her insight on how to stay sane (and busy) during this difficult time, and she has some fabulous advice for all of us…
“My husband is in the Navy and he does a lot of in’s and outs for 6 months before and after a deployment. We have been through a couple of deployments and it is hard. The best advice? KEEP BUSY! We all know the weeks leading up to seeing them coming home are the busiest with cleaning, preparing, and more. But the months leading up to that can drag on. Here are the best tips I have found and things I have done to pass the time!”
- Take up a new hobby! I started crocheting during our first deployment. It was something I had always wanted to do. While I am not the best, I got a decent blanket out of it!
- Check off that To Do list. I had a list of things I wanted to do while we were at each station. I took the time to do some of those, be it check out a store, a restaurant, or attraction, I grabbed a friend and went!
- Have kids? Get them into a class, local readings at the library, little gym/gymboree, YMCA classes and more!
- Hit the gym! This is the best time to lose that extra weight you have been wanting to! Our first deployment I lost over 30 pounds (all baby weight after having our first kid) and blew him away at homecoming!
- Take on a House project. Re-do a room, paint, decor, use some of that deployment money to redecorate a room you have always wanted too!
- Don’t have kids? Take on another job. You can take on a job or 2nd job to save up move to pay off debt, buy a house, or just to put money in the bank. You will meet some great new people and it will surely keep you busy!
- Volunteer! I love to help out at the animal shelters and our local Woman’s Shelter. I don’t get to do it much when he is home but deployments are the perfect time! Have kids? Look into something you can have them help with like local events, or ask a neighbor or friend to trade off babysitting.
- Plan and send off care packages. I LOVE planning hubby’s care packages! I do each one in a theme, holiday, season, or just some corny theme. I take the time to sit down and hand write a letter telling him what is going on, have the kids draw him pictures to include and I seal it with a kiss (literally with red lipstick!) spray it with my perfume, and put it in a Ziploc bag…hubby says it’s his favorite part of the care packages! I love to take the time to shop for goodies and things to include!
- Take time for yourself! This is the most important. Enjoy the time that the milk isn’t magically gone and the remote is where YOU left it and the quiet of the house. Catch up on your reading, TV shows, and hot baths!
“Deployments are hard but if you do things for your self, stay busy, and make it a point to enjoy your ‘ME’ time, it will go by so much faster. You will also be in a better mood when talking with your soldier and that will make him worry less and put him in a better mood too!”
Make sure to visit Danielle over at her blog The Frugal Navy Wife for plenty of tips and ideas on saving money.
Now for what we are really good at… giving you lots of ideas and easy ways to keep the love going strong while you’re apart….
…and they are a great way to continually keep your spouse feeling the love. The list is endless of ideas on what to send your spouse as well… AND here are a few from some of the divas…
Create a “Hang in there” or “I’m going bananas missin’ you!” care package packed with lots of great banana snacks and a monkey to keep your lovey company.
“I’m Nuts about you!” Theme
Don’t ever miss a Birthday again. Send a “Birthday in a Box”! Find out exactly how at You Are My Fave.
Don’t forget that you can STILL date long distance! Did you see the idea that aired on Monday?
This adorable “Love Boat“ themed date package?
One of our readers, Lindsay Shugerman, sent in this fun “dinner-and-a-movie” idea:
“My husband and I are apart until June, and he was getting pretty down about missing our time together. So I created a long distance Dinner and a Movie for him. I packed into a flat-rate Priority Mail box: a jar of gourmet pasta sauce, a bag of palm tree shaped pasta (we’re from Florida), a movie that was filmed here in Fla, and movie snacks (a small bag of Jelly Belly’s and his favorite ”Harry & David” Moose Tracks Chocolate popcorn (only $4.99 at HomeGoods!), plus an empty popcorn bag for him to put the popcorn in (package of 12 popcorn bags was only $1.99 at HomeGoods!).
I made up a ”ticket” for his date night ( see above) using a template I found for free on the Microsoft Office website. I wrapped all of the elements of his gift in pretty red cellophane wrap, then put the ticket in the top of his box, so he would see that first when he opened the box. He loved it! We talked off and on while he was cooking his dinner, and a couple of times during the movie, so it felt more date-like.”
Thank you, Lindsay! Cute idea!
Now, maybe you don’t have the funds, or time to create an extravagant care package each time you send your spouse something. But we know how much your spouse absolutely LOVES receiving mail so try sending little notes here and there with simple sayings to keep his heart pounding.
“Stuck To You”
Send your spouse a single piece of gum with this note that Erika created attached to your next love letter. This free Stuck to You printable can be printed on a mailing label and adhered to the outside of your envelope, or printed on regular paper as a note to put inside.
Send some playing cards with a Skor candy bar to the hubby, just to let him know how much you really do think you are so lucky being married to him. Don’t forget to use this I “Skor”ed Printable that Corie created. (Be careful about the time of year you will be sending this, since chocolate will melt in too hot of climates.)
“Snicker” at Life’s Ups and Downs
In order to enter this giveaway you or your spouse must:
*You or your spouse should be a service member in the US military, or a Veteran of the US Military.
*Be a subscriber of The Dating Divas by joining our newsletter at the top right hand of this page.
*Leave one comment on this post which will enter you into the giveaway.
1- Spread the word to your military friends and family about this giveaway, via Facebook.
2- Stumbleupon this post.
3- Add our Dating Divas button to the side of your blog.
4-Add YOUR favorite date idea of ours to your Pinterest board!
Go ahead and leave a separate comment for each extra entry you do.
Giveaway ends on July 15th at 11:59pm PST.
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