Every military relationship is different, every couple is unique and has different needs. If you and your spouse have been separated by deployment you learn to accept a new reality. In the beginning you cry and grieve for your spouse not being with you, after a while you accept the circumstance of your spouse’s job and eventually you begin to create your own routines and life your life while your spouse is gone. No one really tells you that after the initial homecoming things might not be so easy or pretty like in movies or on television shows.
“Despite how happy your spouse is to return to you, he or she will probably come home exhausted, anxious, jetlagged, emotionally overwhelmed, and quite possibly with a huge to-do list from work.” – says Raleigh Duttweiler from Here’s What You Need to Know About Reintegration
There is a whole process when it comes to having your spouse gone for an extended amount of time then have them return home. No one really talks about how to deal with your emotions when your spouse comes back into your life and somewhat interrupting your new normal. Sometimes reconnecting with your spouse after a deployment when you have come to have your own sense of independence can be hard.
What is military reintegration?
Deployment is all about survival without your spouse and reintegration is survival while you spouse is around. I think after being away from your spouse for an extending period can temporarily strain the relationship when come back together again.
“Reactions to the return of the deployed service member can vary wildly; some spouses report not having to adjust at all during reintegration while others report that their deployed partner is no longer the same person they knew previously, making for a rather difficult adjustment.” Says Lydia I. Marek from Returning Home
It’s great to know a little bit about the psyche of your military spouse when coming back from a deployment. Here are some quick suggestions to reference to help you open up with your spouse.
Reintegration for Service Member – What its feel like
Home front spouse: Ask questions, but don’t expect answers right away. You know your spouse better than anyone. Let your spouse come to you, give them time, and don’t expect the world from them.
It’s hard to keep up longtime friends not in the military.
Home front spouse: Talk to your spouse and see if they want to connect with friends in person. Or suggest that your spouse text or call one of their friends they haven’t seen in a while.
Home front spouse: Sometimes the civilian world is crazy and sometimes your spouse can’t deal with everything going on. However, plan to go to community events like movies or music in the park. See a local comedian or try a new restaurant.
Home front spouse: Help your spouse to seek medical attention if necessary in your situation.
Reintegration for Home front Spouse – What its feel like
Service Member: Remember your spouse loves you and has missed you. Help your spouse focus on the present moment with you.
Service Member: Offer suggestions to your spouse on who they could talk to such as family members, friends or other military spouses they could get advice from.
Service Member: You may be going through a lot yourself, however both you and your spouse need to love each other extra during this time. Lean on one another and know you are not alone in the situation at hand. Try to open with your spouse about things and avoid isolation.
Service Member: Of course you want to relax and don’t want to interrupt what your spouse’s routine but ask if your spouse needs help with stuff around the house. Helping out around the house can give you something to do and support your spouse in more ways you can imagine.
Being part of a military marriage is a wonderful thing and may be hard sometimes. Remember, its best to realize you and your spouse might argue or disagree on things but it is okay even normal.
“By altering my expectations, opening the lines of communication, and allowing us time to adjust, I was able to see reintegration from a different perspective and to view it as a rare opportunity to fall in love.” – Wife on the Roller Coaster
It’s up to you and spouse to begin the process of reconnecting and communicating. Do things you love to do; together. Get dressed up and go on a date or just chill and watch Netflix. Whatever it maybe, do things that bring you together.
All it takes to connect again is a little time and a little love.
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What do you to do make reintegration a more peaceful time? Leave a comment!