Reintegration With Wife on the Roller Coaster

Lovelies! Here we are again with another fabulous line up of guest bloggers to entertain you all while I am busy cleaning our new house from top to bottom, grocery shopping, and all of the ever-important mani/pedi, spray tan, waxing, and hair appointments in preparation for the big HOMECOMING!! I am so glad I have all of these wonderful Lovelies stepping in for me so I can focus on the important things not to mention so I can be sure to take breathers in between my anxiety attacks. So please be sure to show all of my wonderful Lovelies lots of love because they deserve it. Today we have celebrity status Wife from Riding the Roller Coaster. If you haven't heard of her and you are in the Milie world, I consider you crazy or living under an internet rock. She is one of my favorite bloggers of all time, a phenomenal writer, and a great friend.

Thank you so much Mrs. S for having me as a guest again!

Reintegrating Roller Coaster Style

We all know that sending our husbands off on a deployment is a huge adjustment. And most of us have learned that homecomings also involve a unique set of adaptations. Well it seems I have a knack for making those reintegration readjustments even more complicated by throwing my own personal life changes into the mix.

When my husband returned from his first deployment, my visions of romantic first kisses, cheek-numbing smiles, joy-filled tears, rib-breaking hugs, and repeated I love you’s all came true. As we cuddled in bed together that first night, I truly believed that everything would magically fall back into place and we’d pick up where we left off 6 months earlier. And I was crushed when that didn’t happen.

I kept telling myself that my husband wasn’t the same person he was when he left, that I didn’t know how to talk to him anymore. But somewhere along the line I realized that I wasn’t the same person either, that maybe he didn’t know how to talk to me. When the deployment started, I was a na├»ve new mom of a 6-month-old. I had just started my student teaching, only a semester away from graduating with my master’s degree. But by the time the deployment ended, my graduation had come and gone, and I was a stay-at-home mom with little adult interaction or intellectual stimulation. I was still trying
to adjust to my transition from full-time student to full-time Domestic Engineer when I suddenly had to learn how to be a full-time wife again. My life had completely changed since the last time I saw my husband.

Flash forward 6 years later to another deployment. This time around we were older and wiser. We both knew what to anticipate before, during, and after the deployment, and I dialed down my homecoming expectations. But I realized that once again, I was coping with another major transition in my own life that coincided with Mr. Roller Coaster’s reintegration. The first time around I was transitioning from student to full-time mom. This time, I was transitioning from full-time mom to working mom.

In a way, the timing couldn’t have been worse. I mean, this was a major lifestyle change for me, and I was doing it in the midst of reintegration when everyone was trying to figure out life as a family again. How was I supposed to reconnect with my husband when I was going through my own identity crisis? How would he feel returning to a wife who suddenly had a different schedule and different priorities than what he was used to?

But in a way, the timing was perfect. We had to get to know each other again anyway. Why not start the introductions with the new me? And I felt that being honest and opening up to Mr. Roller Coaster about my fears and anxieties toward joining the working world again helped to open up the lines of communication that had grown a little rusty during the deployment. Sometimes all you need is a simple conversation starter, and once the words start flowing, they take on a life of their own.

Readjusting to life after a deployment is always a bit tricky, regardless of whatever else may be going on in your life. Men and women have to learn how to be man and wife again after months of living apart. But with a little bit of time, a little bit of patience, and whole lot of humor, normal life does resume. And in the meantime, you get to fall in love with each other all over again.

Now I wonder what my next major life change will for the next deployment. Maybe best-selling author? (Hey a girl can dream right?)


Michelle said...

Best selling author - go for it, girl! Time, humor and patience: you nailed it on the head.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you should be a writer. I love your posts Roller Coaster, they are phenomenal! You explained reintegration to a T. :)

Roller Coaster said...

Thanks ladies! And thanks Mrs. S for having me over today. Hope all is well with you!!! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this. Going through our first "real" deployment, I have this picture in my head that everything will be picture perfect when we see each other for the first time but then I realize that I to have changed a bit. I've had to learn a thing or two lately and it has made me a different person. Chalk that up with returning to school to get my Master's and things are just a tad bit different.

PS I absolutely love your posts, so I would bank money on writing being in your future =)

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this. This being our first "real" deployment, I have this image in my mind that everything will be picture perfect when we see each other for the first time but then I worry because I am learning that I have changed a bit. Things aren't exactly the same as they once were. Chalk the changes up to going back to school to complete my Master's and things are just all over the place.

PS I love to read your posts!! I would bank money on your next phase including some type of writing =)