Q. Dear Military Spouse: My husband has been distant since coming home from deployment. Is this normal?
A. It is completely normal! In fact, it is one of the stages of the reintegration process. It can take a while for a couple’s relationship to get back on track. It’s important to remember not to push him/her to talk about his/her time over there. They will talk when they are ready.
Remember you just spent this last 6 months to a year as a “single type” person with no one to rely on but yourself, just as he or she has. You have learned to do things on your own, just as he or she has. You both have changed, not just him/her.
That last statement is VERY important. Remember that even though you may not think so, more than likely you have changed some as well. As a person we change all the time, and in a “civilian” relationship those changes aren’t so in your face due to always being around each other. In a military relationship, it’s just the opposite. Due to the length of time apart, it’s very apparent that the other person has changed. Try not to think of change as a bad thing, because it’s not.
As for him being “distant”. He is probably just trying to figure out what his role in the family is again. Remember he has come home to you taking care of everything.
You now discipline the kids, clean the entire house, do all the laundry, run all the errands, do all the minor repairs, etc… Maybe giving him something to do will help the process along. Or saying “baby I am sure glad you are home, in addition to missing your lovin’ I have also missed my better half, the one that picks up the slack around here and that fixes the broken lamp.
More importantly give him time. And don’t be surprised if ya’ll argue and fight. That too is normal.
Check out Dear Military Spouse’s Emotional Cycles of Deployment to help you better understand the different phases of a deployment.