Adjusting to Home Life After Returning Home from Deployment

Dollar Photo Deployment American soldier reunited with familyWhen you’ve been away from each other for a long time because a spouse has been deployed, it’s difficult to imagine that the time you will have after the return home will be anything but wonderful. But that is not always the case. Returning home after deployment can bring with it many challenges.

“The longer your spouse has been deployed, and the more danger he’s faced, the more likely you both have changed. Even if the reunion goes as planned, challenges lie ahead.” (Erin Prater)

When a spouse has been deployed for a long time it’s important to remember:

“Wars begin where you will, but do not end where you please.” (Machiavelli)

After Deployment: A Different War Zone

Reunions are wonderful. But you can also find a different war zone rising between you if you don’t do what it takes to make your transition time together easier. It takes more intentionality on both of your parts than working things out on a “wing and a prayer.”

There have been a lot of events and personal changes that have happened in both of your lives during deployment. That in itself is monumental, in the effort it will take to overcome and bridge them.

And what if there are additional problems, such as what this couple encountered:

“Just back from Iraq, Navy SEAL Mark Waddell suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. And his wife, Marshéle, was clueless how to help.”

To learn more, please click onto the following web site link to read:


And from an article (and additional articles as well) that could help you further in your adjustment time. Please click onto the web site link to read:


More Help

We want to lead you to help in any way we can. So here’s another resource that we’re especially excited to share with you. It comes from an organization called Operation We Are Here. It helps family and friends of those who are deployed. The also help those have come home after being deployed in the military. If the spouse who has come home is suffering from PTSD, please read and take advantage of the resources they offer:

What Can a Family Do to Help Their Veteran?

Here’s one more resource you may find helpful. It’s posted on the web site. It comes from the book, Wounded Warriors: Those for Whom the War Never Ends. If your spouse is in this situation, perhaps reading it can bring a little clarity into what is happening:

Help Your Loved One Through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

May the Lord minister to your marriage and your lives.

Cindy Wright from Marriage Missions International compiled this article.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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3 responses to “Adjusting to Home Life After Returning Home from Deployment

  1. (CANADA)  I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 for just over 7 mnths. When I returned home my wife informed me that something was definitely wrong. Instead of listening to her and trying to get help I did what I always did and went on as if everything was normal. Now, 3 yrs later and 6 mnths separated, I have been diagnosed with an O.S.I. ( OPERATIONAL STRESS INJURY). There is no short term cure for this besides seeking mental health help and talking to friends and family, but it’s a terrible thing when the one person I want to be there to help me, isn’t.

    If you return from overseas and your spouse tells you something is wrong, even if you don’t think there is, go and see a doctor with her and let her explain how she feels. I understand we all come back a little different from our experiences overseas but our families should not have to suffer from this.

  2. (CANADA)  I pray that you and your entire family have begun the your healing journey. I have spent 32 yrs in the military and have been separated too many times to count. Of course in years gone by we would be called weak if we admitted to any type of emotional changes.

    My children have various opinions of who I am and why I wasn’t always there, however, my wife’s faith in Christ and the Bible has kept us together. We have had a tumultuous jouney, and it includes all the lousy stuff we are capable of, including the death of a child. Again I stress, it was our faith in God that stood up to all.

    In the last few years, the military has offered to help with counselling, however be on gaurd. You will get an opinion here and another there. No solid truth anywhere that I/we were sent to. Sometimes it was suggested that the relationship end!!! The sadness of this world astounded us. There is always healing power in Christ. Again, I really pray now, although this note comes along at this date.

  3. (USA) I returned from deployment in May (3rd back to back deployment). I was so happy to be back and it was amazing till a few months I realized that I’m emotionally empty. When I was gone I waited hours in line to check my email. It meant the world to me to receive an email from my wife, with kind words, even a daily I love you and miss, meant the world to me. Now that I am home I am emotionally empty, I cannot even talk to my spouse for longer that 10 minutes before it turns into a disagreement.

    I want to hold her hand but at times she feels alienated by me. I want to hug her at night, but it doesn’t happen; she pushes me away. I stopped with sex a long time ago. I always tell her she is beautiful but she blows my comments off. I can’t even text her, without her being upset at me.

    I sometimes wish I was deployed, at least in that sense I have hope, I have the feeling of being loved. On deployment I feel loved. Even though I am physically away, I feel that my emotional needs are met. I just don’t know what to do. I believe that she is just with me because of our children. We have been together for over 10 years. Please help with some advice. My cousin told me recently, Jay you are scared to leave now because you will lose her. On the contrary I have lost her a long time ago.