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Guest Blog: Reconnecting Post-Deployment


Blogger Biography: Born and raised in Phoenix, Jessica moved to New York City for college, where not only did she discover her love of magazines, food and travel, but she also met her Army husband. As they move across the country, and hopefully around the world together, she is working on her graduate degree, honing her cooking skills and making their home together.

When my husband returned from deployment, it was pure joy. But we’ve both had to give and get from each other to make sure that living together still goes well. Things have definitely changed in our lives since before deployment, so figuring out new schedules and chores can cause some bumps in the road. Here are some things we’ve been doing to ease those bad days and make them all good:

Reevaluate the budget. Oh man, we went a bit crazy upon his return. First of all, it was Christmas, so we bought awesome presents and mailed them all off. Then we went on a vacation, which was much needed. We also made some impulse buys (well, not entirely impulsive since we’d thought of buying them for a while) like a couch for extra seating in our living room. And there was figuring out what we both needed and wanted to eat. Buying food for one is cheaper than for two, that’s for sure! So we finally sat down and looked at everything. Our bills. Our spending. Our money coming in. And we hashed out a plan. We had done this pre-deployment, so I could keep track of everything, but not after. I wish we’d done it a little sooner, but we didn’t do it super late either. Now we have a clear plan, and that is a good thing!

Chores. There are things that we both do not like doing. Mine include taking out the trash and hand washing the dishes. His include hand washing the dishes and vacuuming. Instead of just saying, “Hey I’ll do the dishes now, you do them tomorrow,” we both let them sit there instead. Or let stuff pile up. I’ll admit that I’m busy with school, work and having a social life, so sometimes things like cleaning get pushed aside. But when we would clean for a dinner party, we loved how clean it was! So we started being more straightforward about expectations. Like, I put things in the dishwasher as soon as possible and would like if he’d do the same. He’d like me to hand wash stuff more. We both need to wipe down messes while cooking more quickly. It’s a work in progress, but we’re balancing the chores well I think.

Sleeping. I got used to sleeping in the bed alone—tossing and turning as I pleased, but that’s not so great when we’re both in bed. Compound that with the fact that I get home late from class and he waits up for me, meaning he doesn’t get a ton of sleep before waking up early for physical training. So we are working on going to bed earlier when we can—the nights that I don’t have class and weekends when we can.

Time management. This is more me than him, but figuring out when I should be reading, doing homework, working from home, having girls nights and spending time with James. It’s a lot but I’m making it work.

Spending time together…and apart. After a few weeks of half days followed by block leave, I was ready for my husband to go back to work. Sound kinda mean? Well I don’t mean it that way. It’s healthy to have time together and apart, and having spent more than three weeks constantly together, I needed some space. Space provided by work, school and time with our friends. I love spending quality time together, going on dates, sitting on the couch and watching TV, but I also love that we both have our own things: he goes and sees horror movies with the guys, and I go grab a glass of wine or coffee with friends; it’s nice to have those moments in order to stay sane and not drive each other nuts.

As time goes on, we are getting better and better at this. We’re also remembering how important it is to have nights to ourselves when we just sit and laugh watching a movie at home. Or take a day trip and explore the area that we are currently calling home. All of this is really helping us reconnect and live better together.

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