When my husband was deployed, being able to FaceTime him helped a lot. We would try to chat on a daily basis but obviously if he had to go out on a mission, it didn’t always happen.
But when it did happen, I’d be excited that I could see him. The kids would be thrilled to see their Daddy as well. It was precious time when I could pull out our army toys for kids and they could really feeling like they were playing with daddy. This technology has truly changed family life during deployments. Still, there are some things you SHOULDN’T do while chatting on FaceTime your service member.
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1. Avoid showing up on camera naked.
Odds are, your conversation is being monitored. You may also want to watch what you say. Telling your man everything you want to do to him when he returns might get awkward if someone is listening. This is much better sent in a letter.
2. Speak cautiously.
……because if someone isn’t monitoring your conversation, your husband probably has a roommate and HE can hear. My husband once said that he had a roommate whose wife always spoke dirty to him and Tom would overhear and be like, “Dude, come on!” He ended up asking me to send him noise canceling headphones.
3. Act natural.
Constantly being upbeat might get creepy. If I were constantly happy my husband would be all, “What’s going on? Why does your smile look forced? You didn’t get Botox did you? Please don’t turn into one of those real housewives with the plastic faces.” Being you is always best, even if that includes a tear or a gripe from time to time.
Don’t get distracted. Honestly, it would be my HUSBAND who would get distracted. Sometimes he’d have the TV on and he’d glance over when I was trying to talk to him. I’d be all, “Um, hello, wife is trying to talk here,” and he’d be all, “Mmmmhmmm,” while watching the screen.
5. Embrace secrecy.
He probably can’t tell you details, if any, over Facetime. My husband had to message me info on when he’d be coming home. He wasn’t always able to tell me what he did that day either. He would just say, “Confidential,” and I’d understand that he’d tell me about it when he returned home. If he was able to. There were some things he did where he was sworn to secrecy.
6. It’s okay to be real.
Dress up. I’m KIDDING. I mean, dress up if you want, but I was mostly in my sweats with messy hair whenever I spoke to my husband. Sorry. I was chasing around his kids all day. I had a friend who said she always put on a nice dress with full on makeup whenever she spoke to her guy. Meanwhile, I was conversing with mine with Cheerios in my hair if it were one of THOSE mornings.
7. Be cool when your faces freeze.
Yes, the screen will most likely freeze a few times. Attempt to not lose your cool when it happens. Just try to reconnect and if it doesn’t, don’t panic. Sometimes the internet is horrible over there.
I would seriously panic when this would happen and think the worst. This is not healthy. I needed to chill out and remember that my husband was there to WORK, not relax.
8. Ugly cry after, not during.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a few tears or sharing your feelings. But the big deployment meltdown is sometimes best without an audience. I admit, I burst into tears a few times because it could get overwhelming being alone and my husband’s eyes would grow big and he’d be like, “Um..it’s okay? Um…do you have chocolate in the house? Maybe go eat that?” (Duh, I always had chocolate in the house and yes, it did help.)
9. It’s not personal.
Your service member may not want to talk for hours on end, and trust me when I say it’s not you. It’s pretty typical to experience shorter call times during deployment. It may have a lot more to do with your service member being in “deployment mode” than anything else.
I am so grateful that I was able to communicate and see my husband while he was deployed. True, the conversations didn’t always go perfectly, but for the most part, they helped me get through the time apart.
Did you FaceTime your service member a lot when he deployed?
Amber Myers is a proud military wife and mother to two kids who drive her to eat lots of chocolate. She blogs over at Airing My Laundry. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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