Keeping Love Alive During Deployment (Part 1 of 2)
I'm here. Asking people to define the word. Appreciate it's like when something goes up in value. It's telling someone they did a good job. Focus on the family invites you to give a gift that appreciates. When you give a non cash gift of stocks, bonds or mutual funds. You'll avoid a capital gains tax get into action and help families thrive for generations to come. Find out more about non-cash gifts just visit focused planned giving dot com. This is John Fuller. And please remember to let us know how you're listening to these programmes on podcast app or website military are deployed sometimes for a long period of time. And how do you stay connected in motionlessly when you're half a world away? That's a very good question from Dr Gary Chapman, and you'll hear more from him and is co-authored Jocelyn green. On today's episode of focus on the family. Your host is focused president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. We talked about the five love languages in various iterations and applications but with Veterans Day coming up on Sunday and remembrance day in Canada. We wanted to honor our military families by returning to this program exploring how the love language is applied military families, so often we get mail from listeners who are part of our armed forces. And we appreciate each. Every one of you, and the letters and emails that you send a you'll ask us to address some of our content toward you because you live with some very unique circumstances. And while this program is directed toward you there's application for all of us that have careers that call them away from home and to extensive travel, for example, a lot of professional truck drivers listen to us too. And we appreciate you. We know you're on the road for very long periods of time and many other vocations call for travel on the road, quite often. The things you'll hear today will apply to you. And our guests is I said are Dr Gary Chapman and his co author Jocelyn green. Dr Chapman is the author of the five love languages, and he wanted to create a special edition for military families, which he did with Jocelyn, and we're going to pick up this focus on family broadcast as Dr Chapman gives a recap of the five love languages. Well, one of them is words of affirmation this verbally picking out. Something about the person that you appreciate in just saying, do you really appreciate what you did from the are you look tough tonight, this whatever, and you can write the words, I guess, you could even sing the words, but it's using words to communicate that you affirm the other person, and then there's gifts it's universal to give gifts as an expression of love. My academic background is anthropology. We have never discovered a culture where gift giving is not an expression of love. That's really interesting court us as human beings. It's something we do. Yeah. Because the gift says they were thinking about me, look what they got from me so gifts, and then there's quality time giving the person your undivided attention. I'm not talking about husband and wife sitting on the couch watching television together someone else says your attention. I'm talking about sitting on the couch with the TV off looking at each other. And. Talking with each other quality time physical, touch, which you mentioned already, and then acts of service doing something for the other person that you know, they appreciate your remember the L saying actions speak louder than words for some people. That's true not for all people. But if that's their language actions speak louder than words, well, any we have a quiz to find out what your left languages, we've got over at focus on the family dot com. And as we talk about the five love languages and the military Jocelyn, you've got military experience you married into the military. And so you're probably thinking. Yeah. This makes a lot of sense for me. And it's been helpful. Helpful when we were in the military. My husband was in the coast guard, he's no longer active duty. But when we were we were not familiar with the five love languages. So my stories are not this is how it changed our marriage when we were in military. My stories are more along the lines of this is how we did things poorly. And this is how we can rethink things. My love language is quality time, and that's hard when your husband's C three weeks four weeks home two weeks gone again back again, Gary lemme ask that question of you because I had two questions that popped into my mind when you were talking about the love languages, generally one. Is there a gender distinction? Two more women fall one direction and men and other direction or is it gender neutral that you know, human beings express, their love language in a variety of ways. Jim I'm often asked that question, and to be very honest. I don't know you don't see it. I've never done research to indicate that some of these are more female, some are more male. The important thing is to discover your love language. I do know that a man can have any one of these five as his primary love language and a woman can have any one of the five. So they may be some that ten more to male or female, but I haven't really tried to figure that out. Well, then you look at Joscelyn's application. I mean, I would think in the military, particularly if your love language is quality time or physical tach that's gonna put a lot of demand on the relationship. Are there degrees of severity within the love languages in? It will stress couples more than others. I think any one of them if it's your primary love language, and you don't receive that love language, it can be deadening emotionally in the relationship because when we feel empty when we feel they don't really love me are wonder if they love me life begins the look pretty dark and one of the reasons that motivated me to work with joslin all writing this book is that there's so many military couples the divorce is much higher is, you know, among military marriages, and wherever I've gone, the last fifteen years military chaplains of said to me, you know, we use your book all the time the five love languages, but if you could write a military addition, which speaks to the unique factors of military life. It would be really helpful to us and when Johnson got together, and I realized she had this background and she's a writer an excellent writer. We both interviewed a lot of military couples and got the ideas that we. We share in this book on how to stay connected when you are deployed these languages can be spoken. I know it may seem impossible physical touch quality time it can be done. And we're sharing that in this book at Jason. I'm gonna come back to your story. Because when I read it I was like, oh my goodness this poor girl. And what I mean by that. You lived it you and your husband were married and two days later. He's deployed two days after you got married is that right? Two days later, we moved from Washington DC to Alaska. Okay. That in itself is big one month anniversary, he kissed me goodbye and went to see for how long not long, according to military standards that was maybe a month or two and I had the privilege of moving our furniture into our house. Once it came and painting a house without him. And how did you? I mean, again, you're a person who your heart yearns for quality time. And here you are married. Your dream fulfilled. You met you man. And you know, life is going to be fill in the blank you had some expectations. And then all of a sudden move in two days from an urban city like Washington DC to Alaska, which many of us would say, that's a great move. But then to to lose him a month later to be deployed, and then to have everything kind of crash on you, how did you feel emotionally? Well, I'd like to point out that it was not a surprise when we do marry an active duty military person. It's not like we expect to have all of our time with that person. And I think all of us would say we made the decision that we would rather have some time with this one person that we believe God has chosen for us then to have all of our time with the wrong person. Hey, let's true. Love your that. It is true. I've got a challenge you a little bit though. Because I think generally in marriage, we all go in with expectations of marriage being a certain way, and it's going to meet our needs in a certain way. And whether you're in the military or just a civilian marriage can be tough and your expectation. Nations aren't met. So I applaud the fact that you're aware of what to expect but underneath that. And Gary mentioned it military marriages suffer higher divorce rate than the civilian side. So something's happening there. Well, I'll tell you what. Which of my expectations was not net. We all expect to point it to be hard. I don't think that I had any idea that when he came back that things would not be perfect. I think we all expect that when we have that reunion. It will feel like honeymoon all over again, we will just pick up where we left off. But we have to learn how to be a couple again Mather than to individuals. And that's where my expectations went unfulfilled, especially since I'm a quality time person when he came home. I was expecting to have him to myself for a certain period of time before he went off and size friends. But he. Had spent a tour in Alaska before he had community there. He had friends you'd come home and after being on the ship for weeks at a time p want go out and see his friends Hewitt invite me to come along with them. But in my mind that does not count. Some of the tension really came out. Did you communicate that to him? How did you guys struggle through that? I probably was not very gracious about it. And because we had not read the five love languages. I was not able to articulate clearly, hey, Hon. My lovely quality time. Don't you're earning for something. So what happened was I grasped after it. I wanted to spend time with him alone. And he felt suffocated might not because he did not understand. And he had a different love language. The which I was not meeting. What is his lead like service home? Well, man, that's incredible. Think for a military homefront spouse, we do acts of service all the time. Right. When they're gone. We take care of the property in the home. We did not have children at that time. But that would be part of it. But somewhere in our first year of marriage. There were some things around the house. I decided once the man's job. I did not wanna do that. Because I grew up watching my dad do that type of thing, and by golly, I was just going to make a list. How did that go? Maker. Exactly, john. From his perspective. He would be on the ship. And he was exa which second in command. So he was doing things fixing problems all the time with no break, come home. And I would say so glad to see you, by the way, this is broken fix it. That did not communicate love to him. It would have been better. If I had just called someone if I couldn't figure it out myself, just call someone hire someone to come fix tests. Is that true, John I say Amen to that. Jocelyn is really putting your finger on it. And again the application here goes well beyond military. Marriages the stress of it, though is probably heightened in that military environment that talk about that expectations unmet expectations. Let's let's dig into this, right? Where Jocelyn and her husband were at that moment. What could they have done to begin to set the path in front of them in such a way that it would help them strengthen their relationship? Well, I think if couples understand some of the dynamics that we're talking about in this book in terms of how do you reconnect when you come back? This is the key issue. Staying connected. However, while you're apart is a big issue because if you can stay connected emotionally while you're apart. Then when you come back it's much easier to reintegrate back into the relationship. But I think recognizing what Joslyn said that it's not gonna be a second honeymoon. When you get. Back together. It's going to be friction. It's going to be some tension there. And if we simply recognize that and talk about it. This is the big thing talk about it. Honey, this is the way I felt last night when you did. So and so you might preface it by saying don't wanna hurt you failings. A no this is all kind of new to us again, we're getting readjusted here. But last night when you did this is the way I felt it's those kind of conversations that help you get back together reconnect mostly and learn how to be a team again. Because when he's deployed she's running the whole show. He comes back. He's on the team. But what role is gonna play? Now. Just let me ask you. How many it rations of that process? Did you and your husband have to go through before you begin to think about it? What's not working here? How many times did you give them a less than he looked at you? Like, what are you doing? I mean, I'm sure it was more than one. It was. More than once, but not many more fast learner fast learner. But when he looked at me, and there was just a certain expression on his face like he just looked weary and clicked for me. I was able to read his face. And when I thought okay, I need to forget what I grew up with in my home. This is different military marriage is different from civilian marriage. You described for me his emotional state coming off a tour when he would do his duty over weeks and months, and he would get back to the home describe where he was at emotionally as best as you can well he was not in a combat situation. So what I'm describing is not typical of many others who have these additional stressors of combat trauma. He was very tired. There are some search and rescue issues there were he was just on all the time as Exo you're always on. On. And so when he comes home he wants to relax. He certainly doesn't wanna honeydew list. He wants to connect with people. He wants to be able to have fun and being his own personality because he had to train himself to fit into the Exo personality to just be very to carry out warders to do the mission. That's not naturally who he is. And so that's very draining thing to do. There are so many applications of these five love languages that. Dr Gary Chapman is written about. And we have him along with his co author Jocelyn green talking specifically today on focus on the family about the impact of military life on a couple's relationship in Jim. We still have a few minutes for those in our gallery to interact with their guests. And we didn't mention it earlier, but we have several military families observing the conversation today. And I wonder if any of them might have something on their mind that Dr Chapman or Jocelyn might be able to help with. All right. So do you folks have a couple of questions? Hi, I'm Katherine, and I've been a military spouse for twenty years. Thank you. Has been deployed five times. The first appointment was much different than this one. We're much better at it now. But in it, we have become very independent and found that I'm not very perceived as the submissive life, and we are facing eleven to twenty three months apart, and what kind of comments could you give us becoming this business of life. When he doesn't live here. Wow. That is a heartfelt question. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for your service. Your family service, Gary voice, she speaking to so many people with that question because it's just it's the nature being separated taken the bowl by the horns, and you're getting things done, and it just doesn't feel like that's my role any longer. How does a woman particularly find her biblical position in her marriage in a good and healthy way? Let me remind you first of all this submission is not a female word Christian word scripture, say submit yourselves, one to another before it says submit yourselves to your husbands and husbands love, your wives. As Christ loved the charge. Each of us has to have an attitude of submission to the other. It's very close love and submission, very close. They're both sacrificial. They're both thinking about the other person. How can I help you? What can I do to make your life easier? How can minister to you? How can I be a better husband or a better wife? But I think however coming back to this specific situation. That when we are deployed and the wife is running the whole show when he's gone, and then he comes back. It's difficult for her to know, what would the helpful for him for me to give up, and what would be helpful to him for me to continue doing, right. It's a matter of kind of rethinking the whole issue of who is going to do what in this relationship is it necessary to the sounds, very practical. But you sit down over the course of the week or so each evening after the kids are in bed, and you actually begin to write a list of these things and agree on who's going to do what that sounds almost too perfunctory. But is that helpful I think it can be very helpful because it's concrete when you write it down concrete. And so I would suggest that you sit down individually and let him like a list of the things that he thinks that he would like to be responsible for now and her Michael list of what she thinks she would like to be responsible for and if you think you're going to share them. You know, you could put the other person's initials by them. We're both going to buy groceries together, or whatever, you know. And then get together and look at your list and see where you agreed. And maybe you disagreed where you disagreed. You talk about it, and you negotiate it, and you say well for the next three months, we try it this way, you'll do that. And so now, you're both on the same page in terms of who is going to do what this is often a point of conflict, whom we don't do that when they're not clarified. We run into each other. Because he thought she was going to do it. She thought he was going to do it. And nobody did well in frankly, that's where that the Christian communication if I could call it that that's where we can miss us submission. Yeah. Absolutely. We begin to budget each other with it. And that's not what the Lord intens with that. At all. Like, you said adjustment. You lived it. So speak from that experience. Sure. Well, I would say it is very difficult to come across as submissive wife when you are doing everything while your husband is not there. I think it really does come down to your attitude, for instance, if you know that your husband is not want you spending a certain amount of money, if you've got a budget respect that and don't go beyond it. That's just one example other people might look at military whites lifestyle and say, that's not a submissive way. Well, it looks different in the military marriage. You might before a deployment find out from your husband. What are the things that you just would like me to handle in your absence because I don't think that it deployed spouse really wants the wife to come to him and say, what do you want me to do this which I do about this? What do you do about this? I mean, there are other things on his mind. So if you come to him, you have a conversation before he leaves and say, what do I what should I do in my best judgement knowing what I know about your values and your principles where you stay. On this. And what should I really bring before you are attention and just hash this out. And I think a lot of it comes down to attitude, and frankly, some people are going to look at a military wife and say that's not submissive allow just taking let me ask you this. Because in her question, particularly what I heard was that almost fear that he's being deployed for a year. Maybe even almost two years at a time. I would think that fear is appropriate that even if you do a good job of hashing this out. You know, you're together for a few months, maybe and then he's gone again. It would create a new a guarded nece that could be unhealthy in natural. Because you know, I've been doing it. And I give all this back to you. And then you're gone. I feel abandonment. How do you manage that expectation of loss again? I think that's why it's important once you're getting ready for another deployment to sit down again. And talk about just what Johnson said okay now. How are we going to handle it this time? What do you want me to do my own? And what do you want me to bring to your attention? New car new house. I think you should bring it to his attention. You know, there's a whole lot of other things have to be done that perhaps she will do exactly what she did last deployment. Or maybe there'll be a few changes. So you're always tweaking it. So that both of you feel comfortable about what we're doing. We've talked a lot Gary about the five love languages, which the Lord really gave to you many years ago in the way that it's been applied here specifically with the military. I hope military families are lessening, and I hope they'll get a copy, and I would love to offer the book for any donation, John. If someone you know if it's just a dollar to cover the postage. That's great. And we wanna make that available to people. So that it would help them to cope with their environment. Thank you so much for being with us and for encouraging our military in this way. Thank you. Thank you. Next time. We'll have more ideas on how to love your spouse. When you just don't see each other, very often, certainly the case for military families as we've mentioned today. And of course, we're deeply grateful to each of you who serves your country. Get a copy of Gary and Justin's book, the five love languages military addition for gift of any amount when you click on the link in the podcast description and be sure to rate us on I tunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And if you'd like more help for your marriage journey whether you're just starting it out or perhaps your ten or fifteen years into it. Or you've been married for thirty forty or fifty years. We have a lot of great resources for you to keep the marriage going strong at our website, that's focused on the family dot com. On behalf of gym daily and the entire team. Thanks for listening to focus on the family. I'm John Fuller, inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. In the back of my mind. I didn't believe it can happen hurting, husbands, and wives. Share their stories of renewed hope from tending focus on the family's hope restored a marriage intensive counseling program for married couples. We were definitely messed up marriage was in full blown crisis. This was the last chance for us. Hope restored can give you in your marriage. Hope our premier Christian counseling program provides in-depth quality care that will make a difference in your life and your marriage. We now have the direction tools and roadmap. We need to productively works. You are damage and to heal our relationship. Find out more at hope store dot com. Scholarships are available even if the divorce papers already in process hopers stored can help you start a new God used hope restored to help start over number. And that's what we really need it. 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