My husband is returning from active duty. What kinds of transition challenges
should I expect?
Though some returning members of the armed forces can slip easily back into
the rhythm of home life, most families do find that there is a period of adjustment.
And that's understandable. Things changed while your spouse was away: the kids got
older, you may be more self-reliant, and your family probably had to adopt some new
routines to lessen the burden of your spouse's absence. It's no wonder that many returning
parents often have a hard time figuring out their place in this new order.
Returning spouses also might need time to process any challenging or overwhelming
experiences they had while serving. It might be hard to talk about these with family
members — even when they know you care and want to understand. Some may seek
extra support from a professional as they work through experiences and readjust to
life at home. You may need to remind your spouse that reaching out in this way is
an act of strength and courage — not a sign of weakness.
But just because you have a transition to work through doesn't mean you can't get
back to where you were before, or someplace even better. Be patient as you get to
know each other again and give the whole family plenty of low-stress opportunities
to ease back into things. As always, good communication is key to finding a new sense