Skype During Deployment: Oh How We Love (And Hate) Thee
Skype during deployment is such a blessing… and such a curse! Skype can make your relationship soar, and it can add tons of frustration and even cause arguments! If you can keep a healthy perspective, you can minimize the frustration of technology and enjoy Skype to its max.
Skype during deployment as a blessing
Nothing compares to the joy of seeing your loved one’s face, even if it’s through a computer screen. It’s amazing how communicating face to face can make us feel closer and more connected to our spouse. You can see the love on his face and feel it coming through!
Skype is an amazing gift that allows us to keep our relationships going with our men. Even though we have daily things they aren’t a part of, we can catch them up more quickly and easily through video chat. You can read their body language and see those beautiful eyes and the smile that melts your heart.
Skype during deployment as a curse
While there are so many positives, Skype can be a source of frustration during deployment. When we have the expectation of chatting easily, it is MADDENING when the connection is broken up or your screen freezes (though I will say, that makes for some hilarious screen shots!).
I’ve been in the middle of very emotional or important conversations, only to have to hang up and recall again and again. Or the wifi dies. Or the sound goes out. Or I expected to chat and his schedule changed and I missed him by 2 minutes.
All these frustrations have made me want to pull my hair out at one time or another. And worse, Skype has made hubby and me upset at each other just out of the pure annoyance of misunderstanding. Of course, it’s not each other’s fault, but when you have to repeat yourself 5 times it gets irritating!
And really, it’s so upsetting because our hearts are breaking with the disappointment of missing out on time with our favorite person in the whole world. Who is already on the other side of the planet… so do we need this situation to get any more difficult!?!? Thanks anyway Skype.
Keeping a good perspective and enjoying skype during deployment
So how do we keep a good perspective and minimize our frustration with Skype? Here are two keys:
1- Remember that it’s better than snail mail. I know this is obvious and I’m trying not to be annoying with this one. But it’s really true. We are so lucky to not have to wait weeks upon weeks to receive A (1) letter from hubby.
I have a friend who told me that her grandpa didn’t meet his son (her dad) until he was 4 years old because he was born during World War II. Then, I have a few other friends who have delivered babies with their husbands on Skype in the delivery room! I’m not saying it’s “easy” now but it’s way better than it was. (PS I think that any wife who’s delivered her baby without her husband by her side is a ROCKSTAR!)
2- Even though technology is amazing, we have to prepare ourselves for inevitable technical difficulties.
We had the best advice given to us in our marriage counseling: Unmet Expectation = Frustration.
It is SO true and has applied in so many aspects of our marriage. But it really applies here. We can easily let the frustrations of a frozen screen, bad audio, or repeated attempts get us down. We can start to act irritable or grumpy towards our hubby even when it’s not his fault (been there, done that, not proud of it!).
Instead, decide in advance that you will take it with a grain of salt. Have a backup plan: “If this call is a fail, I’ll send you a long email.” It will still be disappointing but you will have channeled your frustration into something constructive rather than taking it out on your man.
Making it work
Skype (or FaceTime, Tango, etc) is truly a blessing. If we don’t let the frustrations get us down and keep our perspective, it can help to strengthen our relationships and bring us closer to the one we love.
For more communication tips see my post on Communication During Deployment