B is for Buddies
We all have friends, but when you and your husband are together, you create bonds together. Even the friends that you make at coffees, FRG meetings, craft groups, PTA, etc are included in your spouses life, just by daily conversation. But what happens while they are gone.
My husband has made friends with so many soldiers that I have never met. He goes to the battlefield and they make bonds that I will never be a part of. It’s a special bond that only soldiers know. I don’t blame any of them for making that bond. They are there for all types of support, included life saving actions. Soldiers always have each others back.
For me, on the home-front, I create new friendships with new neighbors and others that I meet along the way. And some of the relationships that I had prior to his deployment grow stronger. Just as the soldiers “have each others back”, my girlfriends are there for me in that way too.
The issue with homecoming is that the solider may want time with his family and you have already gotten into a routine with your friends. It can be threatening to the solider, having these other people in his families life. I have coffee every morning and tea every evening with my neighbor. This is not something that I did prior to my husband’s deployment. I don’t want him to think that I don’t have time for him, but I also don’t want to stop an enjoyable part of my day. So, what do we do? I let my husband know that this is time that I need to spend with my friend, but that I will have time for him too. Maybe instead of the hour I spend with my neighbor having tea at night after the kids are in bed, I will shorten it to 30 minutes.
I believe that marriage and family life is all about give and take. And it is very important to give and take during redeployment.
Note: I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given. I do not have any formal schooling on this topic. If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.