Being apart during deployment requires adjustment for military couples, and so does learning to be together again after homecoming. When the end of deployment is in sight, it’s wise to prepare for a time of readjustment and look for intentional ways to reconnect.
Karen and Corie offer these practical tips for reconnection after deployment:
Over-communicate rather than under-communicate. Be up front about hopes and expectations.
You will both change while you’re apart. Focus on positive change. Express pride in one another’s accomplishments and growth.
When planning for deployment and reintegration, remember to discuss finances and budget needs and limitations. Decide together about large purchases during and after deployment.
During deployment, there will be changes in family dynamics and parenting strategies. Talk about the changes that took place so you can parent as an effective team when you are back together in person.
Multi-sensory experiences together create memories that will last. When you are together again, plan date nights that are fun and multi-sensory: an escape room, a foodie restaurant tour, hiking or biking.
When deployment is over, keep your balance by maintaining individual hobbies, friendships, and even alone time.
If you are planning a trip together after deployment, make sure you both agree about where to go, how much to spend, and how long to be gone.
Decide together when to invite your parents or other family and friends to come visit after deployment. Consider taking time to reconnect as an immediate family before inviting more people to the mix.
Healthy habits make a difference, so eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise. You’ll both be better able to manage heightened emotions when you are healthy.
Be patient with yourself and your spouse as you go through this process together.
Request a deployment/reunion event for your group.
We have exceptional speakers available for keynotes or to lead military family events. All workshops and presentations are customized to meet the needs of the participants/audience.
Karen Pavlicin’s workshops:
“Your dynamic presentation to the unsung heroes of the 10th Mountain Division provided instruction, encouragement and hope at a critical time and will have a major impact on the health and welfare of the Soldiers and families at Fort Drum, NY.”—Command Chaplain Nichols
To arrange an event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri Barnes collected her best Stars and Stripes columns in her award-winning book Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life. Deployment, reunion, moving, motherhood, friendship, and more.
Military Life: Stories and Poems for Children is a collection of original stories and poems that touch on many aspects of military life from a child’s point of view. From moving to making new friends, deployment, homecoming, patriotism, and tender family moments.
Deployment Journal for Spouses: Memories and milestones while my loved one is deployed by Rachel Robertson is a personal journal for anyone who has a loved one deployed with the military. Gentle journal writing prompts and inspirational sayings guide you through deployment and homecoming.