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More Tips For When They’re Back # 81

Equality – Tip #81

During the deployment or absence, you both had it hard.  I am confident that you could both make very long lists about all the things you had to struggle with or suffer through.  Avoid playing the ‘who had it harder game’ as playing it is like the age old battle of comparing apples and oranges – they are both fruit (you are both human), they both have peel (you both have a lot of layers to you), they provide important nutrients to people (you both did and provided important services to people) and there are other similarities but a lot of differences too.  Apples and oranges taste different, some are seedless and some aren’t, etc., etc.  You cannot treat or talk about these fruits equally as they are different!


  • Treat each other fairly and recognize that you each did ‘battle’ during this experience
  • Don’t compare your situation or try to claim that life was harder for you, you can’t compare and you will tire yourself and your family member trying
  • Talk to and treat each other as if you had it equally as hard
  • Avoid sentences that start with “At least you didn’t have to…”, “You have no idea how tough it was…”
  • When your family member is complaining or sharing with you their struggles try responding with, “That must have been really hard.”, “That sounds awful.”, or “I had no idea, thanks for telling me”

For more information about our blog, books or resources go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org


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