Spouses need to understand that it’s hard sometimes to switch back from being warrior to being relational. And sometimes they can’t talk about what’s going on because it’s either too hard on them or they fear it will be too hard on you.

Again, the more loved ones can gain some situation awareness about these things, the easier deployments will become, particularly combat deployments.

Dawson: It sounds like the soldiers and their loved ones all have their individual battles to fight. Spouses, parents, children, girlfriends or boyfriends all have different types of battles to fight, but you all go to war together as a team.

Talking with people about relationships with loved ones in the military is like opening a bottle that has been violently shaken.

The pressure inside is so great that the questions and experiences come out fast and strong, and they spew in every direction.

Mike: It’s really important for those at home to try to gain some situational awareness regarding their deployed soldier.

Talking to other experienced military spouses helps. If their heads are not intensely focused and in the game, someone can get hurt.If you’re front line like infantry soldiers, you are busy 24-7-365-360 (every hour, every day of the year, all around you).You’re either on patrol, on guard duty, or crashing.Here are some of the comments I have received about deployment and its impact on relationships. Everything was going great the first half of the deployment, then out of nowhere he starts to become distant and disconnected.Anonymous wrote: Guys usually don’t communicate the way women do. The best I would get was a “miss you Babe” on a phone call. Then he tells me that he doesn’t know if he has the same feelings for me anymore.Mike: Maybe something along these lines: Honey, we’re okay here.  (NOTE: The Hope Line® partners with Courage Beyond for additional resources for military personnel and their families.) Dawson: While it’s difficult for loved ones to understand what their deployed soldier is going through, by comparison is it much easier for soldiers to understand what it is like at home? Some soldiers have no clue about how difficult it is for those at home.