14 May 2011
While military wives and families are burdended by the constant reminder that deployment is always lingering around every corner, they are belightfulyl blessed witht he tail end of deployment, which means getting to enjot the honeymoon phase all over again. But how long should a couple expect it to last?
Expectation is the mother of all disappointments. Comparison is the mother of all let downs. You can think yourself to death about the what if's and hope that homecoming and after will be one way or another, but in the end, it's an outcome that you can't control.
When a soldier, marine, airmain, seabee, etc. come home from a deployment, there will always be a warm welcoming. Hearts racing, tiny dresses flowing in the wind, fresh high heals, the scent of hair spray dancing in the wind. Yep, sounds like a military homecoming to me. Nothing anyone can do can ruin a homecoming....well okay, your husband coming home to a 6 month pregnant wife after a 12 month tour could do it, but that's not what we're talking about. Focus people, focus.
There will always be a period of "homecoming high". It's like the night after you say "I do" all over again. Neither of you can wait to get home to....yeah. You hold one another's hand tighter than you ever have before, making sure that neither of you will ever let you. You sleep with at least your feet touching, so you don't wake up thining that he hasn't come home yet. Every breath of air seems colder and lighter. Every ounce of sunlight feels like gold. Every raindrop seems to be made of diamonds. Nothing can bring you down.
But it's not all rainbows and butterflies, and once reality sets in that the honeymood phase turns into reality, feelings start getting hurt. Don't let them.
As a military loved one you have to prepare yourself for reality, knowing that you will have bouts of nightmares and fairtales mixed in between. After the honeymoon phase ends, you're going to have to play therapist, and that doesn't always mean you're going to be told how to handle life after deployment. Some things you're just going to have to infer.
Your prince charming will always be your prince charming. The core of the man you fell in love with will always remain the same, but you will have to adapt to things that may have changed while he was deployed, that you weren't there for. You're going to have to look out for signs of PTSD and assess whether he needs help or whether he just needs love. You're going to have to understand that not all behavioral differences are because of you.
As a member of the silent ranks, you have to wear many hats. But the most prominent hat should be the hat of patience.
Homecoming won't last forever, and when it ends, life will go on as if nothing had ever happend and you have to prepare for that. It can be tough going from the longest year of your life, to making sandwiches to send him to work with, and a simple good morning kiss. But it's something that has to be done. Don't let deployment become a grudge. Let it change you, let it lead you to grow, but don't let it consume you.
After all, he's home. You won the war.