You have waited for months and months, and the day is finally here.
The deployment is over, and you will get your spouse back, after so much time apart.
If you have never been through a deployment or homecoming before, you might be asking yourself how that first night will go, after the deployment is over. For months now, you have joked with your friends about how that will be, and how exciting having your spouse back in your arms again will feel. You have some idea of how things will go, but you still might not really be sure.
What if he is different?
What if she is simply too tired?
What if both of us have changed too much?
And as the day to homecoming draws near, this might be something you worry about. And that is natural, especially if your service member has been gone for a while. You just don’t know what to expect or what that first night home after the deployment is over will be like.
Here are a few things to think about as your homecoming day approaches:
Talk about expectations
One thing you can do before the deployment is over is talk about your expectations for that first night. Find out what both of you are expecting and go from there. You can get on the same page about that first night before they even board a plane.
Everyone is different. What works for my husband and I after a deployment might not work for you and your spouse. Talking about this isn’t going to hurt anything and can save you from hurt feelings and disappointment once the deployment is over.
Give them space
You might need to give your spouse some space. Think about how they have been in a war zone with their battle buddies for all these months and now they are making their way back home. Things are going to be very strange for them and they might need to take some time to adjust.
Enjoy each other
If the mood is right, have fun with your spouse. Get to know yourselves intimately again. Being together might probably feel strange right at first, you might be nervous too, but that is okay.
A lot of couples decide to try for a baby right after
Plan for the kids and other family members
If you have children, have a plan for what you will do as a family after your spouse is home. Will you all go out to dinner? Have a nice meal at home? Make plans to see other family?
Most spouses do want to bring their kids to the homecoming ceremony, but some like to see their spouse
In addition to the kids, you might run into other family members who want to see your spouse too. This can be tricky because you will want your spouse to yourself. Make sure expectations are talked about before homecoming. Things can get heated when you have planned a romantic dinner at home but your mother-in-law has invited 50 people to her house for a welcome home dinner.
The reintegration period isn’t always roses and sunshine. This can be difficult for both the service member and military spouse. If you or your service member are struggling, here are some resources for you to help get to a better place.
- Operation We Are Here
- Military OneSource
- Real Warriors
- VA Deployment and Reintegration Resources
- Post-Deployment Support With the American Red Cross
- National Guard Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
- FOCUS: Resilience Training for Military Families
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you are going through a deployment now, or will be soon, make sure to visit the surviving deployment section on my blog for more posts to help you through.