Originally Posted by MarineWife
This is our 4th deployment in 5 years. I find that it gets more difficult with each one. Even though dh's first deployment ended up being 4 months longer than expected when he left it wasn't that hard. However, it seems that with each deployment he becomes more disconnected from us. He hasn't been home long enough at any one time to make up for all time he's been gone so we never get back to being a whole family before he leaves again. This time he'll be home for about 3 weeks and then gone again for another several months. It's not a deployment this time but still far enough away that we'll be luck to see him twice during that time.
That's actually the reason I came searching for just such a group as this. I'm having a really hard time with the anticipation of my dh's return. He seems to have the expectation that everyone should do what he wants and give him whatever he wants because he's been in such a stressful situation. He doesn't seem to have any understanding of or compassion for what we've been through with him being gone so much. Every time we talk on the phone now (which is every couple of weeks if we're lucky) we argue about this. I think he's being selfish and inconsiderate of us and he thinks I'm being selfish and inconsiderate of him. Usually, I'm pretty good at not having an expectations of his homecomings. This time is different because of the things he has said to me. He just doesn't seem like the man I married anymore. He used to be all about taking care of us but now it seems he only thinks of himself.
That is somewhat understandable since he hasn't really had to think about anyone in terms of family for months and he's been through this so many times that it's like being a bachelor again in a lot of ways. I try to be understanding of that. I also try to be understanding of the fact that after living the way he has he won't be able to just fall back into the role of father and husband. I think he needs to take all of that into consideration, though, and make a real, concerted effort to get back into the swing of things. Instead, he says he wants to come home and have peace and quiet. Well, um, that isn't going to happen with 2 LOs and an adult teenager. Sorry but that's our life and it can't be undone. I've been seriously thinking that if he comes home and sits on his butt for the 3 weeks that he's home and expects me to continue to do everything for everyone I'll leave. I don't need another baby to take care of.
So, there it is. That probably sounds pretty harsh for my intro. I'm really not a selfish person.
I'm just tired of getting the message that I need to make everything perfect for him without any consideration for me.
You don't sound selfish. My husband has not been deployed but we've been through a lot of separations (months long) for work (in Afghanistan as a civilian) before he joined the military and we always had this problem.
My expectation: Now that he's home, I will no longer be a single parent.
His expectation: Now I will finally have a family that loves and TAKES CARE of me.
What helped us last time was that I decided that the only hope we had was if I took the first step. I decided--screw it, if I burn out, I burn out, but I am going to be the wife he needs. I got us childcare to make love once a day in the middle of the day and at night had a cup of coffee and woke him up to make love to him. I had a ton of meals in the freezer and every meal was at the dinner table. I told him he could bring his computer to the table but we missed him so much, he had to be there. I just really, really tried to make it like I hoped he'd imagined, you know, hot meals, etc. And if he didn't respond, he got a back rub.
Honestly, it did work. Of course there was not that combat stress. I'm not saying it will work with everyone. But basically, I said to myself, I'm going to look at his return as my deployment / work and I will succeed if it kills me. And if, after a year of sex once or twice a day, back rubs, etc. etc. he still does NOTHING to appreciate me, then we'll take another look.
But they really must be suffering out there and while I don't expect to do 100%, I don't mind doing 150% for some time while he works up his energy.
(When I used to come home from Afghanistan, I would sleep for weeks. Just sleep. And that was not after combat or anything, that was just after regular work!!!)
I understand how you feel because I share that resentment. But it got to a point where our marriage was going to end, so this is where I found myself.
May or may not work for you guys. I'm thinking of you!