post deployment issues...advice please!

If anyone has any tips on post deployment getting to know each other again issues! My FI just got back from the middle east and getting used to each other all over again is proving to be a challenge.


Getting used to having another person in house with different opinions is hard for me. Its also hard for him to get used to talking to me like a civilian, let alone the love of his life, rather than an employee. He (and picture a really tough man who ive only ever seen cry once in the 8 yrs weve know each other) burst into tears last night telling me he wishes he could remember how to talk to me like he used to and tell me how beautiful andwonderful he thinks I am and how he feels about me, but he finds it hard to be emotional after months of no emotion.


I get upset because he isnt as affectionate as he was before he left and he gets upset cos he doesnt know how to be affectionate anymore.


its going to be a long road to normality again...is there such a thing when talking about the defence force??? lol! But i'm hoping someone else might have some coping tips to get us through a bit easier???

Posted on January 19, 2010 at 9:08 am
mrsP2b
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m.h.1.23
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01/23/2010
m.h.1.23

m.h.1.23

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It is so tough getting back into the swing of things. Part of the problem is the pressure that we put on it- we want it to be just the same or even better than before. But a lot has happened, so it WILL be different, and we need to accept that different does not mean bad.


How long has he been home? Once he becomes adjusted back to 'freedom' (as FI refers to it), it should help ease some of the pressure at home.


Give him space. He knows that he is struggling, and he doesn't want to let you down. They put a lot of pressure on themselves- he knows that you have been waiting a long time to see him, and he wants to make it perfect but just can't. So give him some space to decompress- I'm not saying pack up and move out, just back off. I know I want to follow FI around like a lost puppy- sit in the bathroom when he is in the shower, go for a ride up to the gas station, etc- but don't do it! Let him be alone, let him play video games, etc.


Hang out with some other couples a few times, do 'normal' things once he is up to it, just so he can interact with other people and see other people interacting with significant others.


Make him his favorite meal and talk about a lot of fun things you did in the past- reminding him of all the good times will help him remember what things are like back home. Lay off on making immediate plans, you don't want him to feel crowded as it takes some time to get used to being home.


Let him know that he is needed around the house- guys have a hard time because us military ladies are so efficient on our own, but they want to feel needed! Tell him you really need his help changing a light bulb or hanging a frame or whatever- if he sees that you need help, it is a reminder that it is a partnership.


Most importantly, hang in there and keep loving him! We think it is hardest when they are away, but the adjustment period can be such a strain!

Posted on January 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm
m.h.1.23
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01/23/2010
m.h.1.23

m.h.1.23

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m.h.1.23

woa, just realized that was crazy long- woops!

Posted on January 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm
JVilleBride2010
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03/20/2010
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You know most military bases have family support programs just for this type on situation.  Also since he is military he can get support from militaryonesource and get a referral for counseling and I believe they can have up to six sessions and you can do them with him with a provided therapist.  I know because I was offered counseling when I went through my divorce and i know about the reintergration program b/c I just came back from a deployment and they gave us info before we left.  Ours was called marraige enrichment.  Ask around or have him do it :) hope this info helps!

Posted on January 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm
mrsP2b
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Thank you for your comments...everyone...useful tips and encourangement. Each day gets easier. its good to know we are not alone with this:)

Posted on January 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm
aprilxlirpa
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12/27/2008
aprilxlirpa

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I agree with JVille, look into the marriage enrichment, it was a big help for DH and I.


And as mh123 said, it will be hard, but try to be patient. Reinforce the fact that you love him and that you understand there will be an adjustment period so he doesn't feel the pressure of trying to have things "exactly as they were"


Good luck and hang in there!

Posted on January 21, 2010 at 1:07 am
UTBly07
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07/02/2011
UTBly07

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The chaplain on base is another option.  I think it's good that you're both willing/trying to talk about things.....that's a big problem with lots of people--the lack of communication.  Absolutely, make him feel needed...but also do what you can for him.  I like the idea of making a "To Do List " that is for you (not for him), but put a few things on that you know he can tackle.  But truly, don't say a single thing to him about it..just leave it wherever you would normally leave those things.  I think giving him the opportunity to feel helpful without needing to be asked is important as well.  


Glad to hear things are day by day improving.  :)

Posted on January 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

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