When you are trying to get your point across, it is not helpful to scream louder or longer. That is a waste of time and energy—time and energy better spent reviewing the perspectives of both parties involved.
All of the constructs I grew up with and believed I would carry on in my own family had to be thrown out the window. As much as I would like one, there is no guide on how to be a stepfamily—we are all too different.
Geographic separation, whether it is for 6 weeks, 6 months, or longer, is inevitably difficult. The key to a successful deployment for any couple is to learn together all you can in order to prepare for your time apart.