Getting back into routines
Many people find that they can move forward with family and friends, although there is an adjustment period where they are getting to know each other again. What can you expect during this reconnection time?
- Begin by creating a brief action plan for reconnecting. Many felt this made the time more purposeful, and with a plan, everyone felt they were a part of it.
- When disagreements occur, try this: "Talk, look and renegotiate." When disagreements creep up (and there can be quite a few at the beginning), step back, take an honest look at what's happening, and be willing to come back to the discussion with a different perspective.
- Put some space between you with personal time. Just because you're back together, doesn't mean that you have to spend every moment together. You each will feel deprived if you don't take the time apart to pursue your own interests and hobbies.
- As a family member, you might want to remain a "buffer" between your returning serviceperson and the outside world for a while. Even just being the one who answers the phone can be a help.
- Don't be disappointed if your returning loved one feels a little "hurt" that you got along so well without him/her (if you did) as far as handling the household.
- As your serviceperson begins to become a part of the everyday tasks, find ways to show your appreciation for the things he/she does around the house.
- One man wrote, "I took a step back to observe how things were being done rather than jump in and take control. That let me realize that some things were being done better, and we decided to keep it that way."
It might not be as easy as you thought, but it can get back on track if you're willing to give it some time. One thing to remember is that sex and intimacy aren't the same thing. Intimacy was the closeness that you maintained while you were apart and sex is that wonderful connection the two of you have now that you're in the same place.
- Lighten up! Appreciate yourselves for who you are. Don't worry that you didn't drop a few pounds before the reunion. You have both changed physically and you love each other anyway.
- Be realistic in your expectation to rekindle the flames. Remember to build on the intimacy you share and that might take some of the pressure off.
- Stress and nervousness can affect performance. Make sure you're letting things happen naturally and not rushing just because you "think you should." Talk to each other about it.
- Try dating each other again. That's when feelings were new and exciting. Think about what attracted you to each other in the first place.
- Would it help to get away for a weekend? It can be the perfect time to ensure that there are no interruptions or intrusions on your time. Or it can put undue pressure on the situation. You decide if it's right for you.
- Try simple things to make you comfortable with each other again. Take a walk. Give each other a massage. Talk about how you first met.
I hope this helps you begin to reestablish the connection you have been missing these past months. The next article will cover parenting and reunion including the special concerns of being a single parent, and a single service member in general. Have a great week!