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When your spouse is in the military, you get used to missing holidays together. While no one wants to do it, this is something that comes with the territory. Of all the holidays to miss, Valentine’s Day is one that can make many couples sad.

How to Survive Valentine’s Day as a Military Spouse

Some military families will choose to miss Valentine’s Day so they can get Thanksgiving or Christmas together instead. It’s a worthy sacrifice. In times of war, you may not get any choices about your time apart in regards to R&R dates. If the military is making it more difficult for you to enjoy Valentine’s Day in a traditional way, what can you do about it? Should you give up on the holiday altogether?

 

When Your Spouse is Gone for the Holiday

When your spouse is deployed, in training, or on a field exercise during this romantic holiday, it can really be a bummer. Most military spouses have seen their fair share of missed holidaysand it’s something you learn to deal with. That said, you don’t have to completely miss out on this day of sharing and celebrating your love. There are plenty of options to help cope and survive when you aren’t able to be with your spouse on Valentine’s Day.

 

Here are some tips to survive Valentine’s Day when your spouse is gone:

Talk to each other on the phone. When it’s possible, try to call or FaceTime or Skype. This can help you feel even closer. A simple call, even if for a very short time, can do wonders in making you both feel closer during this day of love.

Send each other Valentines. There is something romantic about an old-fashioned valentine sent through the mail. If you can’t be together on this day, consider this idea instead. You could even hand-make your own for an extra special touch. And if sending a card in the mail isn’t an option, see if there is one that you can send via email. Some Soldiers have access to their email and a nice digital card is always a great surprise!

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Celebrate on a different day. Who says you have to celebrate on February 14th? If your spouse is in the field until March, for example, just celebrate when they come back or before they leave. You can call your own shots and celebrate when it works for you. The idea of celebrating Valentine’s Day any day that you want is kind of exciting in itself. You can go the extra mile and even celebrate the holiday before, during and after they get home!

Plan something for yourself on Valentine’s Day if your spouse is gone. You don’t have to sit at home on Valentine’s Day and drown in misery. Plan a fun night out with your kids or call up your nearest relative and see if they want to hang out instead. You can still spend time with others that you love on that special day.

 

When Your Spouse Has PTSD

If your spouse suffers from PTSD from military service, going out can be a challenge. This is especially true on busy holidays like Valentine’s Day. It might be too much for your spouse to take you out on this very popular day and there are some alternatives you can do instead.

Here are some tips to survive Valentine’s Day when your spouse has PTSD:

Celebrate in the comfort of your home instead of going out. You can enjoy a romantic night in with dinner, flowers, and a favorite movie, or dancing in your own living room. Just because Valentine’s Day is a holiday, that doesn’t mean that you have to leave your house. Being in each other’s company is an amazing gift as well. Besides, what man doesn’t like to throw meat on the grill?

Celebrate on a less busy day. If your spouse doesn’t mind going out when it’s not so busy, trying a quieter day and time and just celebrate the holiday earlier, away from all the crowds. Less busy days during the week leading up to or after this holiday of love are always a great idea for eating out at restaurants to avoid the weekend crowd. Typically, Mondays and Tuesdays are the slowest.

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As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day. Military spouses often have to find creative ways to do things that mainstream families might take for granted, but it’s always possible if you’re willing to find a way.

This year, instead of viewing your spouse being away for the Valentine’s holiday as an obstacle, look at it with a clear frame of mind and find a way to make the most of it. Starting out with a positive attitude will make the day and the celebration all that more special, no matter how or when you’re able to celebrate.

The real date of Valentine’s Day is just that – a date on the calendar. You and your spouse hold the key to making Valentine’s Day as special and romantic as you want it to be. Celebrate any day of the week or month you’re able to!

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