Staying In Touch
Here’s the place to share those ideas for staying in touch with your husband when you are separated for a time. We have a number of folks with military spouses, spouses that travel for business, etc. How do you keep the intimacy going? How do you share your day? What kinds of gifts and notes will bless him?
When my husband is going away for business, I pack his bags for him, and include one of his hankies with a little spray of my perfume (a gift from him!), and a note telling him that I will miss him.
I recently mailed my husband a care package because he needed some clothes. Inside some of the pockets Iput sticky notes that said “I love you” or something else encouraging. He said that a few weeks after he had received the package he felt something in his back pocket which turned out to be a note from me. He said it really made his day.
I also took a picture of myself holding an “I love you” sign. It is one of his favorite pictures.
As for our family, my husband told me the best thing over there is getting mail. So everyday we send a letter or card or drawing from the kids, and once a week we send a care package. The shipping is the same as mailing in the US, and a small package doesn’t break the bank for us. I put in things he’s missing or needs, and things I think he’d like. He comes home with tons of letters! And he really loves it. It reminds him that we’re thinking of him everyday.
1. I send him emails every day, sometimes a few times a day. Sometimes all they say is “I love you and I’m proud of you.” But I try to send something loving to him every day, and one thing that he has asked for and I have been working on is describing sex to him. I had asked him what I could do to make him feel loved sexually, since we can’t touch each other, and he wanted for me to describe in detail how I would like to have sex. This not only gives him the mental pictures he needs and the love from me he needs, it helps him learn what I like and what makes me feel loved.
2. To go along with that and like I said, I asked him what he needed from me to feel loved. Just simply giving him the opportunity to basically tell me what to do :^) opened him up a lot. It also lets him know that I want to do everything I can for him.
3. I send a huge box of stuff to him every 2 weeks. I asked him what things he needs that he can’t get over there, and it wasn’t what I expected. He wanted presweeted Kool-Aid and lots of it, fly traps, underwear (seems the laundry service tends to loose that type of thing), DVDs or video games (or any other form of entertainment such as CDs and card games), and any food that is shelf stable and can be microwaved. I also send beef jerky and dried fruit. If I have any pictures or items from the kids, I include those too.
4. I’ve let him know that he can tell me anything. If he needs to vent or if he’s just homesick, he knows he can come to me and not be judged or chastised.
5. I try to keep everything I tell him positive, unless it’s something he absolutely needs to know (such as a death in the family). He has enough stress right now, he doesn’t need it from home.
6. I try to tell him about every day life here. I know that sounds boring, but it gives him a glimpse of home. It also giveshim a bit of comfort to know that life is going on as normal without him here.
7. I pray for him several times a day. I pray for his protection, for God to help him resist temptations, for his health, for God to draw him closer to Him, and also for me to know what to say to make him feel loved, respected and secure.
8. One thing I had wanted to do was a small devotional together, or at least try to, but I think I’m going to send him a verse with something that goes with it every day. That way I know he’ll read it, and it won’t be something he’ll have to try to remember to do.
1) When I know he’s going to be gone for a long time I write him as many letters as I can with instructions to open one a day, or one a week, or whatever is going to work for the situation. In the letters I share my feelings about him, how grateful I am for what he’s doing, things from the scriptures, really whatever I know will make him feel good.
2) We keep journals for each other about what we feel and what we miss from each other, or what we’d like to do when we’re back together and then exchange them whenever we can.
My hubby rarely has to travel for business, but when he did, I wanted him to be reminded how much I’d be missing him while he was away. I packed a little gift (a favorite snack, one of his favorite magazines, nice pens with some gum, etc.) for each morning and each evening, along with a card. He was only gone for a long weekend, so I think I packed a total of six or seven gifts, including one for each plane trip. I marked each of the cards with “Open on…” (the plane, Saturday morning, Saturday before bed, etc.).
I filled each card with words of encouragement and gratitude for the man he is and in each nightly card reminded him that I’d be missing him so much and couldn’t wait for him to be back home in our bed. He was pretty excited about all of his little presents and looked forward to the surprise each morning and before he went to sleep. AND, that trip was several months ago and all of the cards are still on his nightstand… I think he enjoyed the loving he got while he was away!
When my husband would be gone on deployment, I made it a habit to write frequently-daily if possible. Tell him about the everyday things that you would have shared in person. The new neighbors that will be moving in, the kids progress in swimming, etc… Don’t burden him with how everything has broken down and he should have taken care of it before he left, but DO tell him you need him. Like…”the car radiator is acting up again and I’ll do my best to get a good price on the repair, but it reminds me of how much you take care of me when you are here…”
Also, I showed our daughter her daddy’s photo each night at bedtime so she wouldn’t forget who Daddy was. When he first arrived home I wanted him to see I had made him a priority while he was away. I said, “Sarah, where’s Daddy?” She immediately ran to the photo and said “Here!”. Oops!
Pray for your husband. His physical safety, emotional well-being, walk with God, witness before others, clear thinking in decision-making, bearing with the weather, bearing with the unbearable, missing the family and friends, that he would have a good refreshing laugh today….be creative, but pray!
My husband was recently away on deployment. I wrote him letters regularly to tell him about our days, but tried to write an actual love letter once a month to tell him what I love about him and how much he means to us. Another thing I do while he is gone is jot down all of the little things he does that I really appreciate. (They really come to mind after he has been gone a while.) I keep them in a notebook and when he returns I tell him all of the things that he has done that I really love and/or appreciate.
The first thing that comes to mind is to get out your digital camera and snap a nude or you-in-his-shirt photo for him. It’s our job to keep our husbands happy and it’s our jobs to make sure our husbands are thinking of us. When he gets lonely… well you know the rest.
Another idea is to either take a headband or undies or something like that, and spray them with your perfume then put the item in a baggie to keep the smell. Smell is the biggest sense that helps people remember. Write letters and stick them in different areas, his pants pocket, on top of the package when he opens it. Send a candle to him.
If he’s away on business, after you talk to him and know he’s in the room, call the front desk and have them order a pizza for him. You know the best way to a man’s heart.
When he gets home from a long trip, make sure you have the kids somewhere that night. He’s been gone for a long time and he’ been dreaming of holding you in his arms. Make a bubble bath for the two of you or give him a bath, then spend the evening in the bedroom. Make him realize that you missed him just as much as he missed you. It doesn’t have to only be about sex, give him a massage, listen to him, let him lay on your lap or your chest, or just be beside him.
Making him feel special is the most important part, not only when he just comes home, but everyday.
I would send photos, a diary that you keep specifically for him, with prayers and dreams and daily updates.
I think one of the things that keeps the sparks going with us is we never let the routines get entirely old. We act like honeymooners most of the time. When I see him each day I try to see him as though it was the first time I’m meeting him. He travels a lot for business so I try to always look great when he returns. Scents are very important to him so I always have a nice perfume or two which I spray on myself and on articles of clothing so as I pass by him he will pick up the scent. I also spray my bedroom lightly with the same scent, especially the pillows.
When he’s been away for awhile, I cook an extra special meal and when he’s home I make sure dinner is ready before he walks in the door, regardless of what’s happening in my own schedule. If I can’t be home before him… I leave dinner in the refrigerator with instructions to heat it up. So, basically I take care of him to show him how much I love and adore him.
Another big factor is the house. A man appreciates that his woman takes extra special care of the house just for him. So, I usually make sure our children clean up with me before he gets home. They are all of 17, 15 and 11 but they sure do help out a lot.
My husband used to go away on business trips a lot. I would hide love letters or cards all over in his things. Maybe in pants pockets, folded in his underwear, folded in his socks, in his spare shoes, or tucked in a shirt sleeve. I tried to put in one for each day he would be away.
He also has a watch (Timex) that beeps and reminders of appointments show up on the screen you type the information on your computer and down load it into the watch. I would type little messages to him on the computer (approx 12 characters) and give different times and dates for the message to beep (I would check his itinerary first to make sure it wasn’t during an important meeting) and then when he was sleeping I would sneak away with his watch and download the messages.
I went away on a business trip just recently and he put a big envelope in my suitcase with mushy love you cards and I miss you cards on the envelopes he wrote don’t open until Thursday, don’t open until Friday etc. on through the whole stay one for each day.
When my husband was deployed, I sent him a card every week. I bought him those I love you type cards. Some were religious, too. Since he was far away and I was home, I thought that it was very important to constantly reassure him that I was totally devoted to him. It really helped him and he appreciated them. It may take a while for them to receive the cards, but their husband’s will appreciate them so very much. I remembered when I was in the military, receiving mail was the best thing. We would run to receive our mail. That was all we had of the outside world. I am sure that it is even more precious and valuable to receive mail in Iraq.
My husband works offshore and is away for extended periods of time. The hidden blessing is that he is also home for the same amount of extended time and we share an unusual amount of intimacy. We enjoy sharing everything. One of the simple ways that we keep tha intimacy when we are apart is that we still discuss the days events. Not just the kids and jobs, but we go through the news events. We have one website that we both try to read once a day that has a collection of news stories. (www.drudgereport.com) It is refreshing for both of us to share our thoughts and opinions on things that are happening in the world.
Tip #2 My husband and I read a book together. (Actually he reads, I snuggle) We started this habit on our honeymoon and have kept it up ever since. When he is away he takes our book to read to me over the phone before I go to sleep. How to share this with your husband? Let him pick the book. Right now we’re reading Tom Clancy and although I prefer a good historic romance or mystery this has really kept me enthralled. Mostly I love how much joy my husband gets out of being able to share this with me even when we are apart.
Tip #3 My husband and I have a “sleepless” rule. When we are apart and can’t sleep, we call the other and wake them up for company. Being the first one to call and wake up a sleeping spouse, even at his request, is difficult, but the rewards are so great. My husband reads to me, prays with me if I am anxious or shares scripture to encourage me. I am so honored when he wakes me up to tell me that he can’t sleep. I know his heart is with me and not on the many temptations that await far from home. Keep something by your bed ready to share with him should he call you in the middle of the night. Sometimes, I find a stash of jokes to tell him to make him smile. My bible is full of ways to lift him up and rest his spirit so he can sleep.
I once borrowed a Polaroid instant camera and had a close friend help me take provocative pictures, that one wouldn’t want to go have developed at Walmart, and then sent them to my man overseas.
My husband doesn’t travel often but when he does I will hide notes and cards inside his luggage or the pockets of his clothing letting him how much I love him.
While my husband doesn’t really travel much, my brother in law is in the Air Force. If my husband were to be gone I would send either with him or to him something fairly practical, but handmade. My husband is big into football. I saw polar fleece at the fabric store with his favorite team logo on it. I thought I’d make him a blanket out of it. Another idea would be for those knitters or crocheters to knit or crochet something like a scarf or socks or even a small cloth to wipe glasses with. I like the idea of something handmade because you are able to think or pray for him while making it and he will appreciate something you made especially for him.
Why stay at home when your husband travels for business? Be a radical. Go along! As Christian wives, we need to take a stand against the way the world does business, e.g. living separate lives. Let’s be lights in the midst of darkness. In my 27 years of marriage I’ve always made it a practice to accompany my husband when he travels for business or pleasure.
My mother-in-law gave her husband a calendar when he was gone for a year in the Air Force. Inside it she counted down the days till he’d get back. She also had down birthdays & special events. Though he wasn’t with them, he still was able to get a feeling of what they were going to do on a certain day.
I recently helped my brother-in-law make a personalized calendar for his wife who is serving a year in Iraq right now. We went out and took special pictures of him that would be just for her. Then, I went through and put birthdays, holidays and silly holidays as a pick-me-up when she is down. We didn’t include pictures of the kids –it was strictly from him to her. SHE LOVES IT!! She can’t get enough of it.
When we were going to be apart for a while, my husband and I took a $2 bill and cut it in half diagonally. We signed our names on our half and then exchanged them. You could also write a little note on them if you like. While separated, looking at the half you carry in your wallet or purse reminds you to pray for your other half that is away. When coming back together, you can tape the two halves together again if you like.
When my husband went to Tampa for a month last year for training, the first time we’d ever been apart since we’d met, I was devastated. To make things easier on him, I wrote a letter to him, one for every day he was gone and packed it in his bag with a chocolate kiss. I would write about things I knew would be going on, like – today this person will be at church, or I am getting reading for someone to come over, and then he would have his kiss He missed a few special dates – we always celebrate our ‘meeting anniversary’ so I made sure I put a card in there for that. He loved having the letters.
My husband is active duty and we have never lived together due to assignments (been married 3.5 years). Luckily we were able to talk every day on the phone. But, some of the things I did for him when he was overseas was send him packages with love notes, his favorite candy, homemade brownies and, hope you don’t mine me opening up a bit, but a pair of new sexy underwear sprayed with my perfume. He also loved getting pictures of me and his daughter. I always wanted to include something to remind him of home, and something to keep the fires burning between us, a catalog of lingerie with stuff circled that I thought he would like to see me wearing.
Oh, yeah, and when he was on the ship I always included a small teddy bear just to embarrass him.
My husband and I made an audio tape for each other while he was deployed to Iraq last year. Sometimes phone calls were intermittent and it could be hard to hear – it was so great for both of us to hear the other’s voice.
Care packages made us feel connected. I was able to “take care” of him and he had something to look forward to. I would try to find creative ways to send him his favorite meals. Some of the ideas included, freeze dried ice cream (he liked it), a pasta anytime microwave meal complete with “romantic’ plastic dinnerware and bread sticks, gummy eggs for “breakfast in bed” and of course well packaged homemade cookies (he would send the Tupperware back to be filled up again) it was nice for him to have something to share. Now when he leaves for a few weeks of training I pack his vitamins in the daily pill boxes with a litte note for each day. God is always faithful to give us great ideas to stay close. Just be yourself – that’s what he loves about you!!!
I made one of those tear off calendars for my husband once. There was one page for each day he was gone (this might be labor intensive if he is gone an extended period of time). I made each page one reason that I loved him and decorated them with stickers, pictures, etc. Then I paper punched all the pages and tied them with a ribbon to a piece of card board. It was very cute.
p.s. Don’t forget to make a title page and be as creative as you want with themes, decorations, etc.
TIP: Using pieces of paper from an old tear off calendar works great. It recycles and saves you from cutting paper trying to make it all the same size.
Since so much must be done by mail/e-mail, regularly write your husband to tell him how you have been praying for him. Maybe write out your prayers and send them. It can really bless your husband when he reads how your heart is being poured out for him before the throne of grace.
1) Send frequent notes and pictures. Even the seemingly insignificant and mundane things that we live with daily can be “special” to a husband and father who’s far from home. Take pictures of the house (especially now with all the flowers blooming), favorite local spots, local friends, the kids, the pets… and send them with notes, cards, and/or letters that offer support and caring. Any time the US flag is flying somewhere, that can be a nice show of support.
1-A) Ask those friends and relatives to do the same, and write to the deployed person.
2) Make the care packages both personal, and communal. Little things that my husband really appreciated when he was deployed to the desert were things like: stick-up’s or the big gel air fresheners, air neutralizer spray, any kind of beverage mixes — Crystal Lite makes a good variety, or presweetened Kool Aid — (the desalinated water can taste awful), his favorite snacks, cookies, or candy. Hard candies are good because they taste good and help keep the mouth from getting too dry. (Beware of the heat in the summer though; even the M&M’s will melt!) Send enough for him to share with his buddies, and those others who don’t get much of anything from home.
3) Paperback books and magazines (of an appropriate nature, of course!) help pass the time well, and can be shared easily. They’re relatively lightweight to ship, too, especially if you ask for the “book rate.” The Reader’s Digest is one of the best for pleasant, short reading, and the “Humor in Uniform” section is always a favorite with military folks.
4) I recently saw a touching piece on the internet about a guy in the desert who’s wife had sent him some soil and grass seed, so that he could have a little “patch of home” where he is. A picture showed him watering it and “mowing” it with a pair of scissors. I thought that was very creative! Even a small plastic flower pot, with some soil and a few seeds of grass, a plant, or flowers, could be a very special touch of home.
(Thanks, Tammy, for the picture!)
5) Remember any holiday and try to help make it fun! Ground Hog Day… Flag Day… seasonal changes, etc… Send simple, but relevant holiday decorations to help dress up those otherwise drab locations. Send colored crepe paper suitable for the holiday: red, white, and blue always works. Tinsel and garland now come in all kinds of colors and shapes, and just 1 roll can be very festive. The party and paper goods stores carry just about anything you could possible think of to send for any kind of decorations. And if it’s for a dad, let the kids draw pictures and send them. If the kids can write, get them involved in writing a letter, or just a small note to their dad. And don’t just do it once and forget it; keep it up as long as he’s deployed. He’ll have a continuous stream of “fun from home” to look forward to!
6) If a birthday or anniversary is being missed, send party hats and crepe paper for a fun atmosphere. Cakes and cupcakes definitely don’t go through the mail very well; but cookies do, if they’re carefully pack with real popcorn; and you get 2 snacks in one! Be sure to send his favorite kind!
7) Whatever gifts you send, keep them personalized; they can be fun or practical, and they can be elaborate or simple, as long as they convey the caring of the sender for the receiver. If the guy has a special interest, send him a special book or magazine about his hobby.
8) Can’t think of anything? Write the deployed person and casually ask what kinds of things they miss the most. If it’s their favorite fast food meal, don’t try to ship the food, but visit the place and ask if they will share some little “favors” — for example, if your guy is a Burger King fan, send him a toy from the Happy Meal, in the bag, with a BK “crown” to wear. Whatever he misses, try to send him something that at least represents that special something for him.
9) Get your local church group(s) to put together a box of “goodies” and have each person write a note of caring and support to go along with the package.
10) If you have children (of almost any ages) use the paper chain idea to keep the kids involved in their dad’s absence. Cut strips of paper (colored construction paper works fine) at least an inch and a half wide; each day, let the kids decide what to write on the strip that is significant about that day for them. Staple each link to the next one each day to form a paper chain. Then you can either send the chain to dad on a weekly, or monthly basis… or keep it at home and let him read and share all of those important daily events when you can all be together again.
10-A) And most of all, stay in contact as best you can with your deployed spouse. Keep the connection as close and personal as possible, through cards, letters, notes, and e-mail whenever possible. Pour out your loving heart in your words and let him know your thoughts and feelings for him are still there. This helps to make the re-connection a bit easier when they do come home.
I hope this will help some of the wives out there who are going through a separation for the first time, or even those who’ve been through it before.
Find a picture of yourself in a swimsuit or otherwise minimally dressed. Get a cute sticker and cover your swimsuit so you look like you are “in the buff”. Scan it and email it.
I know my husband really cares about his extended family. It would mean a lot to him if I would help him by remembering them (with cards, gifts, or phone calls) on their birthdays and other special days when he can’t be here or doesn’t have the time to do it himself.
How about a care box of needed supplies – towels, powered koolaide for the nasty tasting water, hand gel, and homemade crafts from loved ones?
My husband is also in the military. One thing I try to do before he goes on trips is to write numerous letters/notes that he can open throughout his trip. Some letters are simple prayers, others are juicy love letters. He has mentioned quit a few times that they help him feel closer from so far away.
I know that one of my friends sends sexy e-mails to her husband while he is away. You can also set up a video date, a lot of places have web cams available. Care packages, love coupons, and things that he really likes, even pictures of you and the children if there are any. My dh and I wrote e-mails everyday. If they’re in the military there is also what is called the “Hearts Apart Moral Call” where they can call you for a few minutes every two weeks and you call every two weeks, so between the two of you you get to talk on the military’s dime once a week. A video recording telling him how much you love him. A tape recording of you reading poetry or something that he really enjoys reading.
Before we were married, my now-husband and I spent the summer apart. I made him a calendar for the summer, with a different page for each week. Each page had a picture of us together on the top and a chart with the days of the week listed below with a countdown until the end of the summer when he would move back to the state where I was.
This was when long distance phone calls were more expensive, so I also bought each of us a mini tape recorder and some blank tapes. When we missed each other or had a special story to tell, rather than write a letter, we’d record it on the tape. Every few weeks, we’d send the tapes to each other. It was nicer than a letter, because we could hear each other’s voices whenever we missed each other the most. I still have the tapes! This might be a good idea especially for those with spouses who can’t call home very often and for children who can’t read and write letters yet.
One year for Christmas, my best friend made me a quote box. You type quotes then cut them out in little strips and fold them. Take a long piece of ribbon and staple each folded quote to the ribbon. Then, get a decorative box, cut a hole in top, and pull the ribbon through. She made me enough for a year, and it was so great to pull one off to read every day. She included Scripture, friendship quotes, and special notes on holidays and my birthday. I still remember it as one of my all time favorite gifts and i think it would be a blessing to military spouses away from home.
Our church has started a care package ministry for deployed military personnel, and the man in charge of this ministry has found that the post office has a “flat rate” box — if you use the box (I think its less than $8.00) then you don’t have to pay by the weight of the box.
Fill a box with something for your husband to open or read every day while he is gone. Some ideas are: a picture of the two of you, a picture you colored/drew, a bible verse or quote, a card, something sprayed with your perfume, etc. Label each item for which day he should open it. This will give your hubby something to look forward to every day and a way to “connect” with you every day! This takes a bit of time, but it is well worth the effort!
[One of the tips] made me think of a little ‘naughty’ thing I did when my hubby and I were at camp – as counselors, and had to sleep in separate dorms.
Before we left home, I wrote a little note and stuck it inside his underwear. The note read “wish I was here instead of this note”. All the other counselors in our group teased us about that all week long – it was especially sweet for my sweet hubby and me.
When my husband was a truck driver I used to pack his cooler with his favorite foods and treats. In his garment bag I would put a sweet note in his socks or tape it to his underwear so that he would find it when he would shower and dress. Of course wherever the note was, I’d add something personal to it concerning that body part. Hey, don’t blame me, the bed is undefiled! :-) I would also write him a letter with scriptures on his safe journey home and how although headship is on the road, home is still covered by God when he’s away. I would encourage him because I knew that he was concerned about my safety and our baby’s safety. I would also tape pictures with homemade personal frames to his suit case or garment bag so that he would always have us to look at. Then I would put a pair of my sexy underwear (sometimes thongs; sometimes his favorite) in his bag with his clothes and a note asking him to bring them back home for to put on for him. Other ideas, I’ve used include, edible massage oils or coupons from sexy stores where he can get a free massage, sex in an unusual place, a coupon for breakfast in bed, etc.
Take a sheet of paper and cut it up into 16ths. Do the lipstick kisses. On the back of each sheet of paper, write where that kiss belongs. Do this with as many pieces of paper as you want to give kisses
On a nice piece of stationary, write your prayer for your husband. Put this all in an envelope, and kiss the back flap with more lipstick when the envelope is sealed. If you want to hide the kissmark, you can put it inside a larger envelope.
Buy a box of “coin” envelopes and label one for each day of the separation. Write some sort of little note for each day and tuck it into the envelope; use stickers to decorate the envelope and keep track of special days. Share things about yourself he probably doesn’t know – childhood anecdotes, fantasies, dreams, etc. If he’s away from you then organize them in chronological order so he can read one a day.
This time around, we have decided to pray for one another in our daily letters to each other. This way we still have the experience of praying ‘together.’
I bought an organizer and a journal for my husband. It has a calendar, and an address book in it. It’s his ‘daughter’ book as well as his organizer (we have a three month old daughter). I gave it to him so whenever he is able he can write little things he wants to tell her–things to make her giggle, or wisdom to pass on, or stories about his day. That way he feels connected to her, and she can learn about him. I also filled out the address book for him (and had I had more time, would have filled in important dates to remember).
I also sent a journal with letters written on another shorter separation with him in his seabag, so that he had some ‘starter letters’ to read until mail was up and going.
I pray for him specifically in four ways: physically as he deals with the rigors of his job (and seasickness and bugs), mentally as he stays in the game while missing us, and deals with difficulties out there, emotionally as again he misses us, and things can get rough and lonely and difficult things happen, and spiritually that he would be an example, that he could resist temptation, that he would continue growing closer to God.