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AIBU to ask how fellow partners of people in the armed forces cope during deployments?

(37 Posts)
Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 20:11:26

Bit of background: DP is in the Royal Navy, loves his job and is currently at home. After Christmas he'll be going on a 9 month deployment. Every time this happens I always struggle to fill the time on my own. What do other people do?

I'm lucky enough to have a quite demanding job but it's the nights are what I find the hardest. Is there a dedicated section for military partners on MN?

Flash13 Sun 02-Oct-16 20:28:50

My husband is in the Army, and away Mon-Fri every week... I honestly do nothing but exercise and look after the kids. Wish I could give you some good advice, but after work and doing all the usual household tasks, I usually go to bed and look at mumsnet & Facebook for an hour.
Hugs for you though. Deployments are so hard sadflowers

Acornacorn Sun 02-Oct-16 20:33:39

My DH used to be in the RN.
I would use the time he's away to take up new hobbies, including joining evening classes at the local college. I tried my hand at all sorts of weird things, met some nice people and made sure I filled my evenings. It also meant I always had something interesting to talk about on those precious phone calls with DH.

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 20:36:12

Thanks for the advice guys! I think the evening class thing might be a good idea, I've seen a pottery class I'd like to do. I'm quite lucky that I have a good group of friends around here but rattling around a big empty house on my own is what does me. Well, I have cats but we all know how they are :D

mpsw Sun 02-Oct-16 20:38:28

"Is there a dedicated section for military partners on MN?"


AGruffaloCrumble Sun 02-Oct-16 20:43:10

I find once it's been a few weeks and I'm into the routine it's not too bad. Admittedly DP has only been on one six month tour so not as long a stretch. I just look after the kids, spend time with family, take some 'me' time. Maybe try a hobby. Do you live on a patch? We don't but live in an army based town so know a lot of forces wives, they all band together when husbands are away. Hope it goes quickly for you OP.

pinkiponk Sun 02-Oct-16 20:48:23

Like the others have said, keep busy and try and see as many friends as you can. I'm on a patch and easier to be around people who are going through the same thing, which really helps.
Routine is also key, I find once I'm into it properly I'm much more settled.
I feel for you, the RN seem to go away more than the RAF and Army. You know you'll get through it, and think how excited you'll be when he returns for r and r, and then for good. flowers

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 20:57:24

We don't live on patch, no. Our town is very army-based however so there is a bit of a support network here. The good thing is it looks like this might be his last deployment as he has a very good chance of being able to move in a shore-based position next year which he'll be much happier with (so he says) especially as where he'll be working is only about a 25 minute commute from where we are.

MyBreadIsEggy Sun 02-Oct-16 21:01:42

Do you have children??
I found deployments a hell of a lot harder pre-kids - as backwards as that sounds!! Now we have DC, I'm not going home to an empty house. There's always something that needs doing, which keeps me busy and keeps my mind off the fact that I'm home alone. We live in the arse end of nowhere, away from family too which makes it a lot more lonely. You say that you don't live on the patch, but do you have friends among the Navy community? I found that surrounding myself with people who truly understand what it feels like is the best thing to do! Before we had Dd, I spent a lot of time in the gym just to avoid going home and sitting by myself!!!

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 21:18:25

Nope, no kids. We're hoping to adopt next year though if DP gets his shore-based position as otherwise it's unfeasible for us.

I think you're right though, without kids here it feels a bit lonely. I suppose with kids you have someone to deal with and you're not alone with your own thoughts.

I do have quite a few Navy friends, if that's the right term. We live in different counties but we try to meet up once a month or so but text/message regularly. Funnily enough the entire group of friends went to school together, all of our partners joined the Navy so it's nice to have your oldest friends who can also relate to what it's like.

Dapplegrey1 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:25:54

Nakatomi I'd like to ask you an off topic question:

We don't know any naval families but we know quite a few people who are/were in the army. Now, apart from a couple I don't know what the soldiers voted but I guess from things they say about current affairs etc that they vote Tory. None of them seem left wing.
You have said that you are of the far left. Do you have made friends from naval families that are also very left wing?
Does your husband share your views?
I ask because I had always assumed - probably wrongly and with no evidence - that there weren't that many very left wing people serving in the military.
I would be interested to know.

MrsLyons Sun 02-Oct-16 21:31:20

(Ex) Military adopter here. (Well, DH is ex military). Feel free to get in touch once you start the process.

The 'Forces Sweethearts' section on here is v quiet. Try Rear Party for support for other halves

Deployments are shit. No two ways about it. I always found that the days went slowly, but the weeks went quickly.

Keep busy.... Cliched advice, but the best there is. Start researching into adoption. Do evening courses. Surround yourself with friends.

Be kind to yourself when your throwing your own personal pity party. But don't let them last more than 48 hours.

MrsLyons Sun 02-Oct-16 21:31:39

you're throwing

TalcAndTurnips Sun 02-Oct-16 21:32:23

Dapple - I can add to your tally wink

I would say that, out of the hundreds of service personnel that we have known over the years, they are as varied in their political views as the general population.

Dapplegrey1 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:41:02

Talc, do you mean you can add to the tally of very left wingers in the military?
I hold my hands up and say I know nothing about the subject, but the reason I thought that were weren't many left wingers in the armed forces is because I thought they had to swear allegiance to the Queen.
Maybe I'm wrong about that.
However if I'm correct then I think of very left wing people as anti monarchy.

TalcAndTurnips Sun 02-Oct-16 21:46:34

Yes - left wingers; I don't think my husband has ever found any conflict between his personal views and his duty to his country and job.

Many's the time I have mumbled my way through the old Lord's Prayer at school/work and I'm as atheist as they come. grin

Dapplegrey1 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:50:43

Thank you for answering talc, that's very interesting.
Are you republicans?

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 21:54:43


My DP is generally on the left of things but not as rabid as me. He doesn't like Corbyn because of his stance on Trident, mainly.

Our friends seem to be a bit of a mix. We have a few Labour friends which I think is down to being from the North but some of them voted UKIP at the last election like a lot of ex-Labour voters.

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 21:57:23

Agree with Talc, I've never known politics to have any impact on their jobs and I'm sure that on DP's deployment there are political backgrounds of all kinds.

As for the Left-wing = Anti-Monarchy thing, I have no idea. I personally support the concept of a Monarchy but purely as a tourist attraction. I think you can swear allegiance to the Queen and not necessarily want them to have so much wealth and influence.

TalcAndTurnips Sun 02-Oct-16 21:59:09

I suppose in an ideal world I would prefer that - but I don't believe it will ever happen. I would be happy to see much less fawning and expense; I know people always bang on about the Dutch monarchy riding about on bicycles etc., but that would make a refreshing change

Hmm - Her Maj in a 1992 Ford Fiesta. I'd be okay with that.

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 22:01:35


Cheers for the advice, I'll head over to those sites! I took up sewing during his last deployment and got really into that and it did seem to really help with making my free time pass by. I'm thinking of taking up something I can do with a group this time though. I've seen a few adverts for ladies' book clubs which I could see being fun.

I'm glad to see there are other military adopters though. It doesn't seem to be that common. From what we've seen most military families seem to have biological kids which sadly isn't an option for us. I'm really excited about adopting though, I've been doing lots of research into it and we've so far passed all the suitability checks and stuff, so it's looking good for us.

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 22:03:25


I'm the same. I look at the Royal Families of places like Spain and the Netherlands and sigh wistfully.

I can't imagine Liz turning up to Wimbledon to support Andy Murray in the way the Spanish Royal Family do when Nadal is playing.

Dapplegrey1 Sun 02-Oct-16 22:06:33

Nakatomi and talc. Thank you for answering my questions.

Nakatomi Sun 02-Oct-16 22:09:29

I'll add something else as well Dapplegrey. DP said he was shocked when he first started connecting with people he served with on facebook because they were so political on there and he had no idea some of them held the views they did. That's how little it must come up with them in day-to-day life.

He's still friends with them obviously but he said you'd be surprised how different someone can be on social media compared to in person.

TalcAndTurnips Sun 02-Oct-16 22:10:53

Good luck Nakatomi flowers

You do have to be able to amuse yourself as a military partner. I have had over three decades of it and have got the starfish position in the middle of the bed down to a fine art. grin Having said that, I have more personal freedom than you can shake a hairy stick at. I can watch as much bollocks on UK TV Shite as I want and have spaghetti on toast as a gourmet dinner should I so choose.

I'd rather have him here though. sad

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