As my husband and I wind down our tour on recruiting, I like to think I've come out a much wiser, self-sufficient individual. Nowadays, I've just sort of ... accepted certain realities, and it's made the process a whole heck of a lot easier.
1. Most of the rumors you've heard are true. Yes, your Marine will work long hours. Yes, your Marine will probably work most (if not all) Saturdays for at least 7 hours. Yes, most times your Marine will have to go to work on a Sunday. Holiday weekends? Yeah, forget about it. Your Marine will probably have to work those, too. In other words? He's probably working 7 days a week. It puts him in a freaking fantastic mood ... so cut them some slack when you can. Think about it, how peachy keen would you be if an indecisive 18 year old was running you around the ringer more often than not?
2. You will do well to get a job or a hobby (I recommend both). My solution to my husband's ridiculous 70-hour week was to occupy my time with whatever I could. Yoga, Horseback riding, World of Warcraft (don't laugh), hiking, biking etc. Joining Meetup.com was a huge help for me! If you have munchkins, this might be a great way to find some Mommy & Me groups in your area! I love my husband and would love to do things with him, but if I sat around waiting for him to come home at a reasonable hour, I'd probably be waiting for months on end. Do NOT wait for him all the time! If you want to see a movie? Go! Honestly, it's the most bizarre feeling in the world to barely see a person you live with. But you'll do well to continue to live your life with the same steam you always have. If he can join you? Great! If not? Well, maybe next time.
3. I have never received a phone call from my FRO. Hell, I don't even know if our Recruiting Sub Station even has one. It's made the making-of-friends process a bit on the tricky side. In fact, I can count them on 3 fingers. I've held tight to the great friends I've made in other states, because my Friday nights? Are pretty boring.
4. Encourage your Marine to find some kind of a stress relief. Hand to God -- it will help your relationship immensely if your Marine can burn off the frustration before they get home.
5. Set up a date night at least once a week. If your Marine is anything like mine, he's going to want to sit on the couch and "relax" as often as possible. I don't blame him. Unfortunately ... I had more down time than he did. I'm a go-go-go kind of a girl. This lead to a few tiffs in our house. We found that taking some time for ourselves at least once a week was a non-negotiable. Our relationship needed it!