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October 1, 2023

How To Reconnect With Your Partner After Military Deployment

by Jackson Weiser

Military deployments or temporary duty assignments (TDY) can have a significant impact on intimacy within relationships. Awareness of the unique challenges involved may help with rebuilding intimacy when your partner returns. When away from each other for extended periods of time, emotional distance can emerge, communication may break down, and both partners may undergo personal changes. In this article, we will explore strategies for nurturing emotional intimacy, reconnecting physically, and addressing potential changes and relationship problems that arise after deployment or TDY. 

Rebuilding Intimacy

1. Emotional Distance:

The physical separation during deployment or TDY can create emotional distance between you and your partner. Reconnecting emotionally becomes essential in rebuilding intimacy.

2. Communication Breakdown:

    Lack of communication or limited communication during deployment can lead to a breakdown in emotional connection and understanding. For more guidance on promoting intimacy through communication, click here.

3. Shifted Relationship Dynamics

    One or both partners may have changed during the time apart which will naturally shift the relationship once you are reunited. Adjusting to these changes can require patience and flexibility to adapt.

Reconnecting Emotionally

1. Engaging in Active Listening and Empathy:

   Actively listening to your partner’s thoughts and feelings while minimizing judgment or interruption is crucial. Show empathy by putting yourself in their shoes and seeking to understand their experiences and emotions. Create a safe space where they feel heard and validated. For more advice on being vulnerable in your relationship, click here.

2. Sharing Experiences and Stories:

   Share your own experiences and stories from the time apart. This can help bridge the emotional gap and deepen the connection between you and your partner. Engaging in open and honest conversations about your experiences during deployment fosters understanding and empathy.

Nurturing Physical Intimacy

1. Rebuilding Trust and Comfort:

   Rebuilding trust is a vital step in nurturing physical intimacy. It may involve open conversations about any concerns or insecurities that arose during deployment. Be patient, understanding, and supportive, allowing your partner to share their feelings and working together to rebuild trust.

2. Exploring New Ways to Reconnect Romantically:

   After deployment, it can be beneficial to explore new ways to reconnect romantically. Find activities or experiences that you both enjoy and make time for them. Focus on fostering shared interests, creating new memories, and rekindling the romance in your relationship.

Dealing with Changes and Marriage Problems

Addressing Changes in a Partner after Deployment

1. Being Patient and Supportive during the Adjustment Period:

   Recognize that both you and your partner may have undergone changes during deployment or TDY. Be patient as you adjust to these changes and allow each other the space and time needed to adapt. Show support by actively listening, offering understanding, and being there for each other during this transition.

2. Seeking Professional Help if Needed:

   If you notice significant changes in your partner’s behavior, mood, or well-being that persist beyond the adjustment period, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Consider gently proposing, being careful not to convey a judgmental attitude, that your partner talk to a mental health professional who specializes in post-deployment issues. Professional guidance can provide valuable support and resources for addressing the unique challenges that arise while returning from deployment.

Managing Marriage Problems after Deployment

1. Identifying Underlying Issues and Communication Breakdowns:

   Deployment or TDY can uncover or intensify underlying issues in a relationship. Take the time to identify and address these issues with open and honest communication. Reflect on any breakdowns in communication that may have occurred during deployment and work together to improve the way you communicate with each other.

2. Seeking Relationship Support Programs:

   If you find that the problems in your relationship persist or become overwhelming, consider seeking a relationship support program specifically designed for military couples. The OurRelationship program offers a free, online program for military couples to explore and address the challenges in their relationship. However, another alternative to consider is couples counseling, click here to read if couple counseling is right for your relationship. 

Conclusion

By implementing strategies to reconnect emotionally and nurture physical intimacy, you and your partner can overcome the obstacles that arise when one of you returns from deployment or TDY. Should these challenges persist, seeking professional help or joining relationship support programs specifically designed for military couples, such as this one, can provide valuable guidance and resources. With these tools and strategies, you can navigate the complexities of post-deployment life and emerge with a strengthened and fulfilling relationship that withstands the trials of military service.

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