I think it's natural when first faced with the fact that your spouse wants out of the marriage is to be shocked. You want to cling on. Convince them to stay for you, for the kids, for your history, for the Easter Bunny. You'll pull out guilt, anger, indifference anything to get some type of reaction.
I went through all that. But, then.. I felt a new feeling... freedom. For 12 years, my life has been dictated by the all might Navy. This third party entity that controlled every aspect of our lives. I blindly did what the AMN told me to do without a second thought. I moved when AMN told me too and where to move. I've lived in crappy apartments and shitty neighborhoods when it was all we could afford in cities most people wouldn't live in unless they were made to. I had our first child without the support of my husband. I never got to go to child birthing classes with him, or register for our baby shower with him, or decorate a nursery or go to an ultrasound together. Because AMN needed him, and as a good Navy Wife, I was to shut my mouth and deal.
As life moved on I realized that the needs of AMN was never going to go away. It's seriously the only legal form of Polygamy in this country. You kind of get used to having half a husband. One that can be gone for half a year and when he is home is so exhausted by duty days and PT from when he's spent time with the "other wife". You shoo the kids away as he passes out in front of some show you made sure to record for him. You learn to never agree to make plans without doing the "Navy math" in your head and you learn that even after doing the Navy Math it could all change. You learn to swallow the bitter pills, not realizing that those bitter pills will take root in your belly and eventually bloom into bursts of anger you will take out on your husband. Who else can you complain to? Is it fair? No, but it's how it worked.
Eventually, you find life is easier with him gone. When forced to depend on no one but yourself, you find that fall into a routine that is screwed up when he's home. More bitterness on both parts and you're both starting to not know each other. The wife gets more involved in outside things, commitees, volunteering, mom groups usually started during a deployment to pass the time yet, carried on even when he is back. When you were once there all the time to support his dream, you're harder to find. Not home when you used to be. Not answering your cell because you left it in the car while at the park. Little things like that.
It's not anyone's fault and it's how you handle it that makes or breaks it. Tony, well he didn't handle it well and he broke my heart. Yet, I can't seem to shake the feeling of happiness once the sadness wore off. I find myself smiling all the time because for once I can make all my own decisions. How I feel during deployments? I can feel like that all the time. It's the most freeing feeling in the world.