What To Do If He’s Stationed Overseas in the Armed Forces – And He Isn’t Interested In Your Life At Home…
Andrea’s at home, 6 months pregnant, while her husband is stationed overseas. She’s feeling emotional, needy, and missing him terribly.
She calls him several times a day and wants to talk – to share her pregnancy with him.
And he’s pulling away.
He doesn’t want her to call so much. He’s losing interest. She feels him disengaging and doesn’t know what to do.
Andrea feels “He’s pushing me away…” (You can read Andrea’s whole comment by clicking here):
Here’s my answer:
Andrea, he is not pushing you away – YOU are pushing HIM away.
I know this is not what you want to hear, but this is what’s happening.
Part of this is just about who he is. Some men might call you over and over, all day long, and want to hear everything about your pregnancy, but perhaps (and I’m going to research this) that really isn’t the typical profile for a soldier.
Your husband is telling you that this is how he feels: He’s overseas, in the middle of a volatile, dangerous situation, surrounded by other men. He does NOT want to be picking up his phone all the time to talk to his wife. It’s embarrassing to him, he doesn’t like it.
I don’t know where your husband is stationed, if he’s in a truly dangerous situation or not, or even if he’s under tremendous stress – though I would guess he would be. Perhaps it’s his situation that’s making it difficult for him to be there for you, and perhaps it’s just who he is, and your only option is to do what YOU can to make things better, instead of accidentally making them worse.
And right now, your anger, upset, and need of him – no matter how RIGHT you are to feel that way and to want his support – is making everything worse. It’s simply not getting you what you want.
You have to do the opposite of what you’re doing.
I watched a “Supernanny” episode a few weeks ago where the husband was also overseas in the Armed Forces. The wife was beside herself, nearly unable to cope with their three children on her own. She was coming apart at the seams.
Supernanny did several things. First, she got the wife emotionally together. She got her focused on her children and focused on helping herself feel powerful. She got her to believe in herself as a good mother, and quickly – she started to feel and act like an emotionally capable person.
She did this by changing the way she talked to her children, how she related to them. She also put a family blog up for them, so that they could talk through the blog to her husband (this would be a good way for you to post pictures, and he might like it much more than phone calls, because he can visit when HE wants). She also set up a webcam situation, so they could see each other when they talked – and the call would come through from HIM.
With these things in place, he felt more excited about getting and keeping in touch – he liked emailing, he liked reading the blog entries and commenting, and making his own posts. He liked that it didn’t take him away from his duties or his off-duty activities with the other guys. He liked that his buddies could participate by seeing the blog, by being in the webcam pictures – it was just way more fun for him.
The whole trick here is to give him space, and empower YOURSELF. And I know you’d think he has plenty of space, being so far away. But the truth is – you married a man in the Armed Forces. You knew what you were getting into. I know it’s hard, very, very hard, and yet you can’t marry a man with a dangerous career that requires travel and then want to take it back. You can’t turn a man who is NOT a homebody into a homebody, a regular guy who goes to the office and comes home. That is not who he is.
You CAN, however, make him WANT to talk to you more.
The way to do that is to not NEED to talk to him. You have to get so busy and happy that HE feels the need to talk to you because if he doesn’t – he’s missing out on something GREAT. Right now, he’s running from talking with you because of the need, desperation, and loneliness you’re laying on him.
I know this is harsh. I’m asking YOU to change, and not him. This is the only way to get what you want. Please talk to the other women around you in your same situation, get help and support, learn how they’re dealing with this painful separation and also with worrying about their husbands’ safety, and help each other get through this.
I wish Andrea so much luck, and if you’re in the same situation, it would be great to have you comment so we could create a community around this difficult and painful separation you’re enduring. I’m going to do some research so that I can be a resource for all of you whose husbands are serving our country.