Sleep problems when a spouse is deployed
Sleep patterns are very difficult. Again because you are used to them being there, you are used to having a certain 'bed time' that you go to sleep and the spouse being there, your husband being there, but they're not there. You might fall asleep and wake up in the middle to the night and reach over, and they're not there. So, it becomes kind of difficult for you to go back to sleep. Sometimes you have fears just by being in the house by yourself, you always hear a lot of creaks and cracks and things.
Communication issues following a spouses return from deployment
When Dan returned he was fairly open about his deployment experience. He has always been a fairly quiet guy and I have always been the one that asks ten million questions which drives him crazy but I tried to let him be when he first came home and let him tell me what he wanted to when he wanted to and I think there is still moments where I ask a couple of questions and I don't ask questions that are going to be too pointed or put too much pressure on him.
Couples therapy strengthened their marriage
My name is Anne Marie. My husband is Josh. And he's a former Marine. And he was trained as an Arab linguist. And he served two tours in Iraq. I met him well before he joined the military. We met in high school. We corresponded a little bit when he as in boot camp, and then when I was starting my freshman year of school. And we saw each other one more time after that. But then we just kind of mutually lost track of each other. And then three years later, he emailed me.
So we just started talking casually, then, over email and phone. And then that was November 2002ish until January 2003. And then that's when he got sent over initially to go to Kuwait and then Iraq. And then his world or as I got more sense from the news on what was going on, that he was in a bad situation, then I definitely became very concerned. And just the communication was not that good. He couldn't talk or get on the email or phone that much. So just not knowing was pretty frightening.
The best way I was dealing with it was writing him letters. There's just something about that that I thought felt like I was connecting with him, even if it took weeks for him to get it. And my dad was in the Air Force, so my mom was a good source for that, too. He would tell me stories, but they would be pretty light hearted, about things he was doing with his friends. Nothing in the letters was revealing, any pain or things that he was going through. It was pretty friendly.
Just giving me the idea that he was doing OK. When he came back after his first deployment, we got together at the Marine Corps Ball and actually started dating. So we were officially dating for his second deployment. Everything was heightened, because we had a much stronger connection and it just felt like a lot more was at stake. The communication was better. He could call. Email was better. He proposed to me in October. And we, as a couple, wanted to go to therapy before we got married. So we started going in January 2008, so five months before we.
Got married. And in that therapy that we went to, he started processing with the therapist a little bit more of things that I didn't realize that he was thinking. When we went to our honeymoon, we went to Costa Rica. When he first came to the country, he just had this sense of it being foreign, and that he just went to a little bit of a shut down mode. He just kept to himself more, did a lot of reading. I think that was a coping skill. And he just felt, selfdescribed,.
That he was in a funk. I remember feeling very disconnected, just nothing even remotely that I could relate to or try to share in that experience with, and just really being at a loss for words because I'm not sure how to process that or what he wanted to talk about, and taking the stance that if he wanted to talk, I would just be there to listen. I had never seen him cry before, and there was one couples therapy that he did open up and cry. And that was, I think, a pretty big moment for him.
I think he was a little skeptical at first, but I do think that going to the VA helped to just make that transition happen. He loves school. I know he really is interested in being in academics for life and being a professor. So it'll be nice to finally see that all come to fruition. I think that these men and women have made huge sacrifices that they should take advantage of every resource that's given to them and have no regrets or no shame about it. I think that anybody.
Communicating during deployment
Whoever was left home whether her or him, went through that same experience. You know, they may not have people shooting at them but it is still an experience, where you are home wondering whether your loved one is going to live or die or come back and you got kids to take care of and bills to pay and you may be working and daycare and for them those are really traumatic experiences and I think when I came back I didn't really think about it. You know, she just took care of the family because that is what she was supposed to do.
Tips For Keeping A Strong Marriage While Parenting Asha Dornfest, Author
Parenting is real fun than marriage, isn't it It really is. And I think that when you've been married for 19 years or even fewer than that, you need to spend some real focused attention on your relationship. The two things that have really helped my husband and me as we have progress through this crazy adventure is first of all, assuming the best of each other. Really assuming that the other person is coming up from a place of helpfulness, of love assuming that no matter is going your partner really wants to help and really.
Is caring for you. It may not be expressed in a way that you might want it that particular time. But I know starting from an assumption of goodness and caring has made all the difference because resentment can really creep into a marriage when you have kids. I means, there just no a lot of time to spend on the romance. Let alone the logistics and sort of data management that you need to do as parents. So that's the first thing, just assume the best of your partner. The other thing is to really remember to have fun. It is so easy to get stuck into.
The management details of family life. I mean, there's so many details to remember and milk to be picked up than children to be shuttled and decisions to be made. And you can forget to leave time to just have a good time together. It doesn't have to be anything as elaborate as the date with the babysitter or movie and dinner, it can literally be watching ridiculous tutorials or sharing the private jokes that you have left about for years. It's amazing what happens when there is lots of laughter, sort of padding these difficult moments. It.
Predeployment communication with spouse
Communication is probably the absolute most important thing that you can have within a relationship know how you would handle certain situations if they come up. Like when I was deployed, we discussed, you know, how we were going to handle the finances while I was gone because he was taking over for the first time. So just having, you know, a baseline of how you want to handle things so that you are going in the right direction. You're going the same direction even if they're not at the same speed, at least, you know, you have a common goal.
Different ways to communicate with a deployed spouse
There is email there is also cell phones, so that actually made it very easy to where I have access to call him He has access to call me. They have tried to change and make it easier where you can donate phone cards for the soldiers that they can use through the telecommunications through the computers now. So the access is becoming a little bit easier than it was, I think, when the soldiers first got deployed, but we have been able to stay in very close contact since he has been gone.
Importance of communication during reintegration
I think I would let them know not to expect life to come back to normal immediately. I think you have to give your spouse time to integrate into the family again, and you have to change roles. So, I think everything needs to be done slowly. And I think the biggest problems that the people are having is that they are not communicating. I think, you know, you almost need to share everything. And some families do not have the type of relationship that my husband and I did, so they do not feel comfortable communicating with to start.
Working your way back into the family
The first part is admitting that there's something wrong. They have feelings that they aren't quite sure what they are. A lot of anger. Issues they don't know why that all of a sudden, in the middle of a conversation, they have an accelerated anger response. And the person that they're talking to doesn't quite understand how the elevation got to that point from a conversation. Forgetting. Nightmares. Night terrors. Those are a lot of the things that I'm seeing now that they come in and they don't know what to with that because they.
Thought, I'll get back. It's going to be an adjustment period. A couple months will go by and instead of it going away or getting better, it seems to get worse. It affects not only immediate family, but the extended family. A child doesn't know who to go to. Whether the soldier was mom or dad, they were gone. The primary care giver then, the parent that was behind, was the one making all the decisions. The soldier will come back into that home with all the UNINTELLIGIBLE issues, and all the child will know is.
That I missed mom or dad. And this person that left is not the same person that came home. And so they struggle to find their way and don't know who to talk to because at the same time, the spouse is dealing with the change in the Veteran. Moms and dads have the best intentions in the world. I'm a mom, so I know that I just want my child, my soldier, to be able to cope and be the child I remember leaving. And that doesn't happen. And so sometimes you go overboard, which causes the.
It has motivated me to keep my head high
My name is Darren. I served in the United States Navy. I was discharged as an E5. On the submarine, I was a reactor operator, an ET Nuke. What I did was Reactor Controls division work, making sure that the nuclear reactor was functioning properly and all the instruments were working properly. I was diagnosed with depression. Disqualified submarines, and then they told me I had to pick a new rate, so I picked IT. Because I was on medication, they said I couldn't operate the reactor anymore. My marriage went sour towards the end of my.
Service in the military. And then I really just started drinking quite heavily. It's ruined some of my relationships, just because I was trying to cope with depression, and alcohol doesn't help. I wasn't sleeping well, or I was sleeping too much. It was kind of it varied quite a bit. Didn't really want to be around people. I was a hermit, I guess you would say. I'd try to isolate myself and stay away from others. Just because I wasn't really comfortable speaking with them and talking about what was going on my life.
So I started talking to a chaplain. The chaplain did refer me to Balboa Medical Center because it was in San Diego. I went there and was seen by a psychologist, and psychiatrist, and they diagnosed me. And then after I was diagnosed, they prescribed me medication. And then I would meet up with the doctors routinely. I had a hard time sharing things with my friends, but knowing that they're licensed and that they are there to help, and they do see these things quite often, it was encouraging to open up to them.
I've been able to have better relationships, and I realize that communication is one of the key things within a relationship. And when I would hold my feelings in and not talk about them, it really caused problems within a relationship. And being able to open up a little bit more, it became easier to open up. There are doctors out there that you can talk to and share your thoughts and your feelings, and they will provide you feedback. I would suggest someone to contact the VA hospital nearest them, schedule an appointment.
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