Dear Carrollton, TX:
This is not the first time my blog has been summoned at the request of such a search. I'm new in the game, but the quickness both in falling and in the current of the waters, has made it hard to postpone learning. My heart sinks every time I see the search criteria that brought you here and then left you with little more than shallow anecdotes and the obvious struggle. While I have no concrete method to offer you or any of the others, and I can say with certainty that it won't be easy unless you are part stoic machine, I can tell you that there are others hanging on with white knuckles as the rapids approach and then finally subside.
It's probably true that no little girl lays back to welcome day dreams of separation and that helpless pang of wanting her prince charming back home more than anything else in the wide world. She probably doesn't fantasize about inevitable deployments and war and worry. But little girls grow up and see what kind of people the world is made of. They live and learn, they give their hearts away and receive them back in pieces; and in doing so, they realize what it is that is most important. Usually it's more than the little pink threads that held together childhood dreams and the castles and white horses.
Maybe he doesn't trot in to trumpet calls, maybe his silver armor looks more like fatigues, maybe he's the single most incredible person you've ever met no matter what his profession. That's where the answers lie, my unexpected Texas friend. There is no manual I've found that will spell out the step-by-step guide to survival. Frankly, there isn't much advice I've gotten either. I had an aunt tell me once that she thought a relationship's success was 90% commitment. I think in this instance, it's true. Search your soul to see what you're made of and search your heart. The ingredients for endurance will fall into place.
Good luck, be strong, and as my soldier's mom just wrote to me, "hang in there."