One of these themes would undoubtedly be the stress that moving every few years places on a family.
Another theme would be deployments.
It’s not uncommon to hear, “My husband is leaving for his 3rd (or 4th or 5th) deployment.” We are an unusual family because we’ve only lived through one deployment so far.
Deployments are difficult on so many levels. If you have some time and would like to read what I wrote about our family’s time apart, you can read here:
One of the more difficult aspects surrounding deployment can actually come when the soldier returns home. After spending an extended amount of time separated, learning to live together again can be, at best, challenging.
It actually took us the whole next year to work through residual issues from the deployment. I had become somewhat independent, the girls had to get used to Dad being around again, Ron had some emotional issues surrounding what he experienced while deployed, and we dealt with a lot of anger.
I think what made it harder is that all this took us by surprise. Nobody told us to expect this kind of stuff or that it would take so long to work through things. There were times during that year when I wondered if we would survive. It’s sad, but it is no longer a surprise to me that marriages don’t survive deployments.If there’s one thing I could share with all military couples, it would be that even in the strongest marriages, there will most likely be post-deployment struggles.
That is an excerpt from a post I wrote entitled Reintegration. Even if you don’t have time to read the whole deployment story in the links above, please, please read this one. If you have military spouse friends who are in the midst of their first deployment year, please consider sharing it with them.
And if you have a church group, women’s Bible study, or other prayer group who regularly prays for our service members and their families, please add these concerns to your prayer list.