I'm not sure why people don't talk about the realities of homecoming and adjusting to life, love and relationships, post-deployment, but it's something people need to hear.
Homecoming is the most amazing moment you will ever experienced. There's something to be said about being so nervous you could be sick, and having lead butterflies weighing your stomach down. You've accomplished something. You have a huge amount of pride not only because of what your loved one has just done for this country, but that both of you have made it through this deployment unharmed. Literally and figuratively.
Sure you hit a few bumps in the road, had a few arguments, said some things you didn't mean. but all is fair in love and war, right? People fight, it's normal, especially when you have to accept that under no control of your own, the person you love more than anything in this world has to be away from you, and they have no choice other than to accept it and to try their damnedest to make you happy while they're gone.
But coming home isn't easy. Well, I mean it's pretty easy. Once you get past the dates that change daily, the delayed flights, the lost bags, the broken planes, and the de-mobilization. Homecoming is a breathtaking experience to say the least. It's everyone's moment to start over. And that's exactly what it is.
As much as we play the blame game "oh he's changed"....... so have we. I don't understand why we all fight it, like we don't hold some sort of grudge...and I couldn't tell you who the grudge is against but it's there. Like the world sort of owes you soemthing for everything you went through. You know you chose to go through it, and that you went through it because you love him, but at the same time, it's hard to accept that you went through all of that pain and there isnt some giant, diamond studded candy bar, wrapped in gold at the end of the finish line. You have your love and that's amazing. Nothing could make you happier, but the excitement wears off after a while.
We build up these monsters, called expectations, and our expectations are so feminine. You're both going to be starry eyed and in love, and spend the rest of your lives in each other's arms, and do nothing but make love and eat ice cream, while staying skinny and tan, and you'll never argue again, because what could go wrong? The deployment is over.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but deployments are never over. It's something you're both going to hold on to for as long as you both shall live. yes, we're saying vows now. You both have to accept that. the deployment isn't going away. You're going to feel the after affects for the rest of your life and so is he, and neither of you are ever going to be able to handle, grasp, or comprehend what the other went through and is feeling.
You have to get to know one another over again. You know you're compatible, and you know you have a physical attraction, but you really genuinely have to get to know one another from the start again. You can't just jump back into life and the relationship like nothing ever happened and expect everything to be okay because its not no matter how much you want it to be its not.
You both just went through completely opposite experiences. You just missed him every day of your life for however long he was gone. You missed his breath on your face, the smell of his skin, the way he leaves all of the cabinets open, his dirty clothes, everything. He missed absolutely everything. Of course he missed you but he also missed driving, he missed normal clothes, he missed American food, he missed sleeping in, he missed time to himself. he missed the quiet, he missed his family, and we get so caught up in what we feel like should be the diamond studded candy bar wrapped in gold, at the finish line, that we forget that this was all about him in the first place.
He's going to want space at times, and you're going to need to give it to him. We are in constant need of reassurance, and in that we don't know how to shut the hell up or back off. When someone wants space, we fear the worst and freak out. First we get hurt, and try and make them feel guilty, but trust me, they're not interested in your sob story of what you went through. Then we get angry, but again....it doesn't matter what we went through. Then we apologize, which entails more and more talking, when the whole time...if we had just given them space, everything would've been more than wonderful. Here's a secret. Men don't speak in riddles. Generally they say what they mean and they mean what they say. We forget that people like that exist, since us women have a tough time dictating our feelings.
Communication is going to be really important. You're going to need to be able to listen to what he needs and give it to him and he's going to need to be able to do the same, and you're both going to need to be able to compromise.
Don't ask him about what he went through. if he wants to talk about it, listen with eager ears, otherwise, just pick up cues from his every day about what reactions and behaviors may be a result of his deployment and accept them and work with them. They wont all be negative, but you'll need to learn when to not pry, and not ask why. Just let him be.
there will be ups and downs. You will experience your highest highs and your lowest lows and you're both going to see the ugly side of yourselves and one another. that's okay. We're all human and I think it's only fair that two people who want to spend the rest of their lives together know what the other is capable of.
Now that I've scared you all, i want to let you know that that was only a warning to the hard parts. the amazing, wonderful, breath taking, heart racing, shoot for the stars and land on the moon parts still exist, and they're going to happen for you. You two are in love and that hasn't and wont change, but deployments are tough and love is tough enough as is. you're both going to need to be strong.
A relationship is only as strong as the friendship that backs it up.
On a side note we going to our first marine ball together on Friday I'm SO EXCITED YAYAYAYAYAY CANT WAIT!!!!!