By elaine | May 29, 2013
I just finished being a guest of Semper Feisty Radio with the amazing hosts, Kristine and Jackie! What a great time. These are two wonderful women here to share and talk about issues facing Marine families in all phases of deployment. Among other topics, we discussed my book The Road Home which is on Mrs. Amos’s First Lady of the Marine Corps Recommended Reading list and some of the ideas in it for families looking for ways to make their homecoming more fun and meaningful. Of course all that is still based on the idea that you stay connected with each other while you are separated by that deployment. You can’t expect a relationship to pick up exactly where it left off if you’ve done nothing to keep it strong while apart. There’s a lot to think about when working on a smooth reunion and reintegration. In the book we talk about money, returning as a single Marine, and changes – even subtle ones – that occur.
On the show we had a great discussion about sex and intimacy upon return. First, you are not alone in thinking that maybe you gained a few pounds or what if we don’t “connect” like we did before. Trust me, they are universal feelings. My advice is to not be so hard on yourself…he or she is going to love you just the way you are, and for that first “connection”, whatever happens…it’s OK! If it’s your first deployment, don’t work yourself up too much about it. Sometimes all the plans in the world fall through, and the reconnection “just happens” in the way it’s supposed to. Maybe it turns out to be a stop at a motel on the way home rather than the candles and flowers ready to go in your bedroom at home. It will be fine! Here are a couple more ideas for intimacy directly from the chapter “How the heck did my butt get so big” in the book The Road Home:
1. Have a love affair – by dating again. Make a list of fun “date” things to do together during those first few weeks at home. Find things that are free or inexpensive, things that you can do “on a whim” and even places that you can save up for that will take you away for more time.
2. Chat with the kids to help them understand that “mom and dad just need some alone time together” and that it doesn’t affect your relationship with them at all. If you know THEY will be ok with it, it will take some of the stress off of you both. Consider a sitter for a couple of days away.
3. One returning husband wrote a love letter to his wife, put it in a clear plastic bottle and floated it in her bathtub when he got back! Yep, it got the fires going.
4. Finally, based on responses I heard in a session I was facilitating at t family conference, page 97 in the book lists 15 quick easy ways to “set the mood” for lovemaking. I’m sure you’ll find a few that will work for you.
Thanks to Kristine and Jackie for letting me share these and other great ideas with you. Look for the book in your exchange, on Amazon or at www.ImAlreadyHome.com. I hope you find lots of ideas to enhance your relationships with each other and those around you. Thank you for your service!