How to Keep the Romance Alive Despite the Miles– Suggestions By Those Who Have Been There

Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.
~Roger de Bussy-Rabutin

Being a military spouse is tough. And one of the toughest things is the separation. And this past year has seen the already high divorce rate in the military climb slightly… and has risen significantly over the last decade. In 2001, the divorce rate was 2.6%  and now it is 3.6% (per year, not over a lifetime, which, of course, is  higher).  Considering that 56% of military members are married, that makes quite a number of divorces per year.

I couldn’t find any information on military-to-military marriages/divorces, but I’m sure the rate is higher as the separations are longer/more frequent.

So, I’ve asked MilSpouses of varying lengths of marriages what they do to help keep romance/love alive during long separations. I’ve also added my own. You’ll see a credit and link to those MilSpouses who have added input (or their Twitter name). Please feel free to add any advice you might have in the comments.

Tips on How to Keep the Romance/Love Alive During Separations

  1. Write letters. Real letters with real handwriting. If letters can’t be mailed (like when on a submarine), write them ahead of time and number/date them. Have your love open them on those specific dates.
  2. Don’t be afraid to suggest naughty things for when you return. It’ll keep the anticipation alive.
  3. Send a racy pair of panties sprayed with your perfume. Let him know you’ll be wearing a matching one the day he returns.
  4. Don’t forget to tell him how much you love him and how much you can’t wait for him to return.
  5. Send some pinup photos… just make sure it won’t violate the rules of the country he is in (50s Pinup would probably work in most countries). Or just a photo of you in his favorite t-shirt.
  6. Through Skype (Jaxio -Army wife- on Twitter).
  7. Communicate when you can, laugh a lot on Skype and send care packages (Megan from Megan Writes… together 1 1/2 years of long-distance dating and about to be married!)
  8. Take time to send special care packages you know that they will truly enjoy and send special gifts just for no reason but because you love and miss them. (Army wife Tammy from Army Household 6… married 12 years, together 13 1/2)
  9. Before kids, I used to leave panties in his seabag for him to find. I still leave notes in his unifroms in different places for him to find. From I love you to something “naughty.” (Navy wife from Capture Reality… married for 12 years, together 13)
  10. Webcam. (Air Force wife Ashley from Daddy’s Duty… married for 9 years)
  11. Sexy Madlibs and mail them back and forth. (Army wife Awew)
  12. I also emailed him videos of our wedding pics and of our family. The songs in the videos were songs that were special to us. (Air Force wife Ashley from Daddy’s Duty… married 9 years)
  13. My husband and I mailed journals back and forth to each other, writing normal things and intimate things in them. (Army wife from The Albrecht Squad… married 14 years, together 15)
  14. Love letters, remembering happy memories, take lots of pictures when you are together so you have a lot to look at when you are apart. Remember even when apart to trust each other. Trust goes so far. I look at the trust thing like an invisible cord that connects you. You can’t see it but you know you can trust each other. Not being able to trust the person + a deployment would be so hard. (Julie from Julie the Army Wife… married almost 8 years)
  15. I would take 1 pic a day of myself or our son on the cell and email it to the hubs while he was deployed. He loved that! (Yummy Mummy from Yummy Mummy on a Pink Park Bench)
  16. He tries to send me a postcard from everywhere he visits. Started during his summer training as a MIDN, continues today. Helps me feel connected to the places he’s seeing, if that makes sense. (Navy wife from To The Nth… married 3 1/2 years, together for 9 years)
  17. I made Chris a playlist for his iPod with our favorite songs on it. I have it on my iPod too, and when I listen to it, I always wonder if he’s listening to it at the same time. (Navy wife Sespi from And You Never Did Think)
  18. I made David a photo book of all our family daytrips that we took before he deployed. He would look at it when he was homesick and we couldn’t talk. (Air Force wife Ashley from Daddy’s Duty… married 9 years)
  19. I made up a photobook from kodak for him to take with him also I hide cards in his bag to find as he unpacks. Flyboy said nudie pics but I’m not sure who’s pics he’s looking at! (Marine wife The Mrs. from Trying Our Best… married 7 1/2 years)
  20. Get some tastefully done sexy pics taken, make them into a book (through snapfish or similar site) and send it off! (Army wife Hellcat Betty from Hellcat Betty… married almost 2 years, together as couple for 3 and friends for 10 years)
  21. I’ve done a few boudior sessions for deployed spouses before 🙂 the guys always go NUTS. (Marine wife MK from MKell.Fotographie… married 1 1/2 years)
  22. Set exercise/weight goals for yourself and your spouse and be the hottest ever when he/she returns home. (Army wife Stefanie at Yeah Honestly… married 5 years)
  23. I also emailed him videos of our wedding pics and of our family. The songs in the videos were songs that were special to us. (Air Force wife Ashley from Daddy’s Duty… married 9 years)
  24. Flyboy sends flowers when he can tell that I’m feeling overwhelmed with single mom life. Its even more special when we can’t really talk. It let’s me know not only he’s thinking of me but that he appreciates the efforts at home. Honestly you know what I like the best… random texts or emails to let me know he’s thinking of me. Nothing big just “iluvu”. (Marine wife The Mrs. from Trying Our Best… married 7 1/2 years)
  25. Record a video expressing your feelings for him, share the good and the bad. I did one for SGT Daddy so he could play on his iPod when he was lonely or on a mission with no communication. (Army wife Tammy from Army Household 6… married 12 years, together 13 1/2)

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9 thoughts on “How to Keep the Romance Alive Despite the Miles– Suggestions By Those Who Have Been There

  1. I’d been looking forward to seeing what kind of list you would weave together, and you did not disappoint! Many thanks to you and to everyone who shared their tips and tricks.

  2. Pingback: The Scoop Deck – Love and the Navy

  3. I just was browsing some of your older articles and found this one, I love it! Such a great list. I tweeted it and pinned it for my followers too, definitely a timeless list that is good to remember! Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Pingback: Throwback Thursday- How to Keep the Romance Alive Despite the Miles | Wife of a Sailor

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