When a solider is deployed, it’s important for them to have their emotions in check in order to have successful missions. They detach themselves from things at home, loved ones and anything that could distract them from their mission. Upon returning home, this can be a difficult transition.
For the spouses, while their soldier is gone, it’s more about staying strong for the people around them. Personally, while I do not hide my feelings from my children and other family members, I try to keep them more in control. I may be down about my husband being gone, but I have children to take care of and I need to be there for them. If I’m having a bad day, I will cry in the shower or in a pillow so the kids don’t hear it. I have cried in front of the children and explain to them that Mommy is sad because Daddy is gone and that it’s okay to be sad. I just don’t want this to happen all the time.
Then your soldier comes home and it is a totally different flood of emotions! I try not to have too many expectations for homecoming. I guess for me it’s the “expect the worst and hope for the best”. And with 3 children, anything can happen. I am always prepared for my husband to be a bit detached and jumpy at first. My children have two types of reactions. My girls tend to be very clingy to their Daddy, while my son seems a bit detached at first. Fortunately, for us, we get over this quickly. It takes a little longer for my husband. Emotionally he checks back in soon, but the jumpiness stays longer. He’s “on guard” for a while.
So when your soldier gets home, love them and give them time to re-adjust. And before long, with talks, hugs, kisses and activities of all sorts, you will be able to reconnect.
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.