Many couples face challenges and times of separation in their marriages and relationships. Separation too military families is all to common. Your spouse or loved one has been away for sometime, and now they are on their way back home. Their are an array of emotions tied to their return. Both parties need to do some work to prepare themselves emotionally, spiritually,and physically to be reunited.
Tips to reconnect well
Tip one: Celebrate the return home by their standards. You may want to plan a large event with family and friends, but that may be a little overwhelming to your spouse or loved one. They may need a few days to become grounded again. So discuss with your loved one what, if anything they would like to do immediately upon return.
Tip two: Take time to re-familiarize yourself with your spouse. Reacquaint yourself with the little things that make them special to you, and their attitudes and quirks. Your spouse is likely to have grown and changed some because of what they have experienced, allow room for the new “person” to come out.
Tip three: Spend time doing fun, enjoyable things together to rekindle intimacy with each other. Watch favorite movies, tell fun jokes, relieve private comical moments that draw you two together.
Tip four: When the time is right and your loved one is ready to share, help them to grieve and remember/celebrate other service members who were injured or had fallen during combat. This could be done with pictures, scrapbooks, and plaques, etc.
Tip five: Be quick to forgive and extend graces to your loved one. The stress that is experienced while away is tremendous. Even though they are happy to be home, some tense moments can arise, so it is best to be understanding and forgiving.
Tip six: This tip piggy backs off of tip five, let go of your expectations and allow your spouse to settle themselves. Don’t put time limits or pressure on them to get over or get past their experiences. If you have a genuine concern after a length of time has past, you can then gently approach your spouse.
Tip seven: Be open to new traditions and other aspects of your relationship, nothing stays the same over time.
These are just a few tips to provide a starting point for spouses and loved ones to prepare to be reconnected after a long separation period. Focus on the love, and why you were attracted to the other in the first place. Be open to build on the relationship and allow the reconnection period the time it needs to be successful.