Fiance coming home from the Stan

Discussion in 'The Other Half' started by infnewbie, Mar 12, 2008.

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  1. Hi all I was just after a bit of advice. My other half is coming home from the Stan in 2 weeks and I was wondering how i should treat the situation. Should i ask him questions about what he did out there or should i not mention it at all. After reading all the horror stories about PTSD i am really worried about what he is going to be like when he gets home. Any advice will be greatfully accepted.
     
  2. Could I direct you to:

    http://www.rearparty.co.uk/

    There will be plenty of people there who will have the "other halfs" perspective.

    Good luck and enjoy the time he has off together.
     
  3. But i would like the soldiers perspective as you know what you do and dont want to talk about!
     
  4. Hope that this helps:

    AFF Coming Home

    Key points from this are:

    • listen to what they mean, not just the words they are using
    • allow them to express their feelings without making them feel silly
    • avoid downplaying their experiences
    • avoid saying, ‘I know exactly how you feel’ – you don’t!
    • avoid relating your own experiences – they’re an unhelpful distraction
    • avoid offering solutions to their problems, except on essential points
    • not be afraid of long silences!
     
  5. Do you have access to Armynet? There are some really useful guides on there. :D

    I've copied some of the advice below for you. Hope it helps. :D

    Reunion and Marriage
    A few hints and tips on how to make the transition back to normal family life a little easier.

    Anticipation
    In other parts of this booklet we have looked at how you may have changed during the deployment in many subtle ways, as will have your family and friends. If you are the deployed person, you may have functioned in living and working environment that may have been very different to anything you have previously experienced, or perhaps you have taken up new hobbies and activities. You may have experienced a very different culture and environment and, as a result, you will return an enriched but also a changed person.

    Reuniting
    If you are the spouse who remained at home, you will have also grown during the deployment. You will have taken on new responsibilities and developed a new confidence in your ability to manage the household during your partner's absence. Out of necessity, you have learned to cope without your spouse. At the same time, you are probably looking forward once again to the familiar pattern of sharing family and household responsibilities with your spouse. Both you and your spouse are probably thinking a lot about what it will be like when you are reunited. Maybe you are finding it more difficult to concentrate on work as your thoughts continue to drift towards the forthcoming reunion. While you are excited about the prospect, perhaps you are also a little worried about some 'unfinished business' in your relationship. After all, whatever challenges existed in your relationship before the deployment will not have magically resolved themselves during the deployment. Maybe there are other lingering doubts and fears. Sometimes, for example, as partners prepare to reunite they both wonder about the possibility of infidelity. Nevertheless, you are probably very excited about once again spending time together as a family and sharing private moments with your spouse.

    Changes at Home
    Although you will be excited about reunion, and the whole family will probably be thrilled with the return of the deployed person, everyone may experience a range of disparate thoughts and feelings. Perhaps the deployed person will be a little concerned about how well he or she will fit back into the family. At the same time, other members of the family might also be concerned about how the deployed person will treat them; they may wonder if their accomplishments will be appreciated, ignored or even resented. They may be concerned that the deployed person will use the 'take it easy' principle and attempt to immediately 'take over' everything. These concerns are a normal part of the reunion process and typically require time, understanding and patience to resolve.

    Responsibilities
    The spouse who remained at home probably had to change some procedures while the deployed person was absent. If it was the deployed person's responsibility to cut the grass, take out the rubbish, vacuum the carpet, or pay the bills etc, someone else in the family has had to temporarily assume those responsibilities. Other changes in family procedures may have taken place in response to evolving family needs. In any event, the deployed person should remember to 'take it easy' when adjusting to reunion with their family. Integrating back into the family is a process not an event that can simply happen at the front door of your home by you announcing, in essence, 'I'm home and I'm in charge'. To take that approach is to invite arguments and hurt feelings.

    Fitting In
    One of the first changes that the newly returned person is likely to notice is that their partner has become more confident in their ability to cope with whatever problems occur. Consider how this makes you feel; are you proud of them? - hopefully you will be. Be sure to express your appreciation for their efforts to cope independently with the complexities of family life in your absence. Do you feel a little threatened? Not sure exactly where and how you fit into the family now? These are very normal and understandable concerns.

    Trust/Fidelity

    How would you characterise the trust level in your relationship when the deployment occurred? To what extent did you trust your partner to handle finances? What was your trust level in terms of your partner maintaining sexual fidelity? What do you think their trust level in you was in these and other key areas? Worries about a partner's unfaithfulness are much more common than the occurrence of infidelity. It is wise to assume you have both been faithful to one another unless you have strong evidence, not merely suspicion, to indicate otherwise. After all, accusations of infidelity are very serious and strike at the very core of any relationship.

    Marriage Guidance
    If your marital relationship was a satisfactory one before the deployment, it is unlikely that any infidelity has taken place. When infidelity does occur, deployment notwithstanding, it is almost always a sign of much deeper relationship problems. Accordingly, these underlying issues must be addressed, perhaps with the help of a professional counsellor, for the marriage to become healthier. If problems are left unresolved, acts of infidelity may become a devastating pattern in the relationship.

    Communication
    Homecoming is the time we resume communicating 'face to face' again. What will you and your partner talk about? Are you open to talking about changes that have occurred in each of your lives as positive experiences that can promote growth and enhance your relationship? Are you willing to really listen? Your partner may want to tell you many things that happened while you were away. Even though you may have been fortunate enough to have frequent telephone contact and letters, your partner needs your undivided attention, face to face.

    Decisions
    If you are the returning partner, how will you respond to the way in which your partner has handled things during your absence? What about decisions they have made that you question? Will you try and second-guess your partner, or will you recognise that they have been operating in a stressful and demanding environment and have made the best decisions possible? It is helpful to remember that you were not there and you do not know all the factors that went into the decision-making process. If you choose to criticise your spouse, what do you hope to accomplish? - anyone can criticise. If you choose to criticise your partner's judgement, you will be damaging your spouse's self-esteem and ultimately your relationship. So, it is in your best interest to accept the decisions your partner has made, acknowledge that they were made under difficult circumstances, and move on.

    Confidence
    Your partner may have developed a heightened self-confidence, especially in running the household. Hopefully you will be proud of them and will openly express your appreciation. In any event, although your partner may be anxious to return many responsibilities to you, this is the area that you will need to negotiate, and maybe transition some roles and responsibilities gradually. As an example, if you usually managed the family finances before, but your partner has been doing so in your absence, you will need to get a thorough understanding of what has transpired during your absence. As finances can be an emotionally laden area, communication will be very strained if you become critical, judgmental, or angry. In short, you and your spouse will need to negotiate a mutually satisfactory 'transition plan' for you to reassume your respective roles within the household. Also, remain open to the possibility that the previous division of responsibility may need to be re-negotiated and modified. Use the reunion as an opportunity to take a fresh look at things and make a fresh start in those areas where it makes sense.

    Expressing Appreciation
    You, as the Service person, may have received medals or awards for doing a good job for the RAF. The only appreciation your spouse receives for supporting your decision to be in the Service is the appreciation received from you. Many Service partners feel that without that acknowledgement, going through deployments and other Service-related disruptions of family life is just not worth it.

    Demands of Seperation
    Avoid getting into the 'who had it worse' game. The truth of the matter is that the separation was difficult for both of you. But it was probably more difficult for the family member who stayed at home, shouldering responsibility for the entire household and often worrying about the safety of the deployed member.

    Intimacy/Sexuality
    Intimacy and sex are not the same thing. Hopefully you and your partner have maintained a solid sense of intimacy, or 'emotional connection', during the deployment through frequent communications. What you have not been able to maintain, as you and your partner are no doubt acutely aware, is the sexual component of your relationship. Since sex tends to be prominent in the thinking of both spouses during deployment, it tends to become a key focus of reunion. Given sexuality is a highly personal aspect of your personal and marital lives, you need to deal with this area with patience. Although sexual intimacy can resume instantly, and this may well be your mutual desire, the level of overall emotional intimacy and comfort with one another that you experienced before the deployment may take a while to rekindle. Keep in mind that for over several months you have only been able to communicate with each other by letter or by telephone, so 'take things easy'.

    Conclusion

    Considering you have both probably experienced personal growth while separated, it makes sense to take some time to get to know each other again, not unlike two friends who have not seen each other for a while. Build upon the intimacy you previously shared. Recognise that you and your partner are 'out of practice' in terms of sexual contact. As a result, it is not unusual after a lengthy period of separation for temporary awkwardness to arise. Also, you may feel a bit uncomfortable together initially. If you have such experiences, do not make too much of them, as doing so only heightens anxiety, which in turn can set you up for a negative cycle of sexual problems. Simply relax, take your time, and let your sexual relationship resume in a way that is gratifying for both of
    you.
     
  6. also depends on what his role was and what he amy have been involved in.

    ie Chef at Camp Bastion = 'freshly' prepared food, EFI, Internet access, TVs, a bed, aircon accom etc....

    Soldier on the ground = a whole different experience
     
  7. He is an SF Gunner with 2 Yorks so very much a soldier on the ground.
     
  8. Get in touch with your unit welfare office and see if AWS are running briefings before the home coming.
     
  9. we arent married yet so i dont have a uwo and i thought it was only wifes that could go to briefings etc
     
  10. Thanks for the links and the advice they are much appreciated
     
  11. All the best when hes back, most of us settle back into the swing of thing pretty quickly, but it does depend on his experiences.
     
  12. I just hope he is ok when he gets back as a close friend of his got killed out there. I will make sure i have the Stella in the fridge and just let him take things at his own pace.
     
  13. wander round the house looking sexy and available but dont get upset if he isnt in the mood. make it clear that it is up to him when he is ready and that you are there when he is.
     
  14. looking at your other posts I'm sure he'll be too occupied to mull over his tour experiences.