Well, excuse my French, but bullshit.
I know plenty of spouses who have packed up their lives, had plans ruined because of someone else *(field day anyone? I can't count how many dinners that's screwed up)*, or had to deal with any of the million things that civilian spouses never have to think about dealing with.
So, no, I don't think you have to have survived a deployment to be a 'real' spouse.
BUT I do think experiencing a deployment/long separation is a huge part of the military life, and it can be really stressful. Thankfully, there is always someone else who has gone before and can help the newbies out.
My last post, I wrote about how I was going to teach about the emotional cycle of deployment for LINKS. And Miss Marissa asked for advice on how to deal with a separation.
So, my advice?
Well, this is totally geared toward a deployment, not a separation, and it's an email I sent a friend forever ago when she was dealing with her first deployment, but I'm going to post it here because, honestly, I think it's good advice.