Having a spouse in the military can be tough, especially when they’re deployed. As a military spouse, you cannot wait for your husband or wife to return home, and while the return is bittersweet, it can also be challenging.
When you and your spouse are away from each other for long stretches of time, it can make the reunion awkward. Most spouses have admitted to feeling like a stranger to each other, which can make your spouse’s adjustment to home life hard.
In order to help your spouse have a better welcome home experience, you need to employ the following tips.
1. Talk openly about your spouse’s return.
You need to have a conversation with your spouse and find out what they want when they return home. Do they want to just come home to you and your family, or do they want you to throw them a huge party? If you throw a party when your spouse just wants to relax, it will make them unhappy and give a bad start to their return home.
2. Don’t plan.
Don’t make a schedule filled with activities for the first few days after your spouse comes home. Instead, leave the days open and let your spouse decide what they want to do. They may want to just spend some quality time with the family, or they may want to go out and visit all their friends and extended family members. Let them decide how they want to spend their days, and go from there.
3. Spend alone time together.
The two of you have not been alone in a while, and it’s important that you spend some time with just the two of you, talking. Share what life has been like without them and get them up to speed with everything they need to know. Be there to listen to your spouse if they want to share information about their deployment, but don’t force them to talk about it if they don’t want to.
4. Ease into a new schedule.
If your spouse used to pay all the bills before they left for deployment, don’t hand them the stack of bills the minute they walk in the door. While your everyday routine may get back to the way it was before deployment, you don’t have to force it. Give you spouse time to adjust to being home, and ask them if they want to take over certain responsibilities again. If you have gotten used to doing everything on your own, you may need to learn how to let go of some of the control and allow your spouse back in.
5. Remain yourself.
When your spouse was deployed, you probably took on some hobbies or activities that helped you pass the time. Just because your spouse is home does not mean that you have to give up the things you love. If you were taking an exercise class while they were gone, still take it. You still have to do things for you, and your spouse will not think you no longer love them just because you now have a hobby.
6. Be patient.
It can take a few weeks before your spouse feels comfortable at home again, so it’s important that you’re patient. Keeping an open line of communication is a great way to ensure your spouse is getting back on track and can help put some spice back into your relationship.
Always remember that your spouse’s return home is a gift, and you need to cherish it will all of your heart. Be patient, listen and talk openly, and you will soon be back in the same relationship and routine you were in before they left.
Lauren Williams writes about the many struggles and relationships of military spouses. She is also interested in technology and the use of US military robots.