To the Military Spouses and Significant Others Missing Their Partners This Valentine’s Day

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It’s early February and that spot in your heart that’s just always a little sad while you’re apart, it’s throbbing. You can feel it a little more right now as the world ramps up for Valentine’s Day. You feel it every time a jewelry commercial comes on. Every time you walk through the mall past Victoria’s Secret. Every time you look at the calendar and see that stupid number 14, mocking you.

You imagine all of the wonderful things that could be if the military would just get their act together and stop shipping the love of your life far away from you.

And February sucks a little more every day.

#ValentinesDay can be a third rail for #militaryspouses who are dealing with #deployment and separation. #militaryspouse #milso #milsos #navy #army #airforce #marines #coastguard #arng #reserves #jomygosh #milfam #militaryfamily

Let me tell you a little bit about the history of our Valentine’s Days since John and I have been together.

The first year, we were 200 miles apart and didn’t even know if we were each other’s Valentines. I sent him The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s a book about cannibals. Yes, cannibals. I thought it was a great book and I thought he would enjoy it. (Yep, I was trying hard not to look like I liked him TOO much.) Don’t worry though– he sent me The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. As you do on Valentine’s Day.  Apparently.

The second year was THAT Valentine’s Day. We dressed up, had dinner in Old Town Alexandria, the whole nine yards. He even sent me a dozen roses at work that day.

Valentine's can be so tough for people away from their loved ones. #milspouse #milso #deployment
The next year? Deployment. So you know how that went.

The fourth year, a snowstorm ruined our plans and John worked on his master’s degree work all night. We called out for Chinese. They forgot our order.

Last year, we ended up in a dive bar because it was the only thing open in a snowstorm while we were traveling.

That’s all to say that there is no one, perfect Valentine’s Day. That pressure you’re feeling? Especially when you feel like everyone else gets to be with the person they love EXCEPT for you? It feels lonely. It feels cruddy. And those feelings can really overshadow the entire month. Just know that, while it feels like everyone else is starring in their own version of a Kay Jewelry commercial, that’s really not what’s happening.

Find a way to enjoy this month if you’re having a hard time through it. You’ll look back on it with fondness in a few years and say, “Remember that Valentine’s Day I gave you a book about cannibals?”

Well, you probably won’t do that. But you get the picture.

Being apart is hard. It stinks. And sometimes it’s hard to find the silver lining. Who am I kidding? Sometimes it’s hard to find a reason to get out of bed in the morning. But remember: this separation is part of your own, unique story. Even the part with a Valentine’s Day apart from each other. Make it your own.

More Valentine’s Day on Jo, My Gosh!:

4 Responses

  1. I love this, thank you! This is our first year apart for a few special dates.

  2. Does the loneliness ever subside? Or do you find yourself always having to find some sort of distraction from it?

    My girlfriend has only shipped off to basic (for five months) and I can’t help to feel down, lonely, etc. In a week or so I think she’ll be able to write, so that may help some, but we’re missing Valentine’s, her birthday, and my birthday all in one go (and our first of these together). Though, I am planning on having single celebration for all three upon her return.

    I’m just looking for tips, etc. for this and future deployments to help me pass the time. Volunteering I know is a big one, which I’ve signed up for, but usually the loneliness hits during the evening, when I’m alone with my thoughts, etc.

    1. I can tell you one thing, the loneliness is always there, but it gets easier to live with. When my boyfriend left for boot camp, i thought my life was over. At first he told me 9 weeks, then it jumped to 16 weeks ( infantry school + airborne school). AND THEN THEY SHIPPED HIM OFF TO ITALY! it sucked so bad, but when family day comes and graduation comes, seeing them for the first time in uniform, so grown, and matured, it makes it worth while. If you don’t know, Sandboxx is a great app. Sandboxx is an app that allows you to send letters and a photo to someone deployed or in boot camp directly from your phone. Basically, you download the app, upload a picture, type out your message, and then click send. They’ll print and mail your letter. The best part? Your service member will receive a letter that has paper and a pre-paid envelope, too, which means they can write you back right away (as long as they can bum a pen from someone). That means you can send your loved one a letter while you’re watching the kids at the playground or waiting in line at the grocery store. I didn’t know about this app until my boyfriend was already out of Basic. But it will help a lot with deployments as well. I hope this helped you a little bit, Good Luck!

      From one Mil S/O to another :)

      1. Thanks for the info. It does help, and I’m trying to “distract” myself with other things (becoming a Big Brother soon). She can start sending letters hopefully next week, so I’ll have all the info. to send, etc.

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