There are 2 kinds of military husbands: married men who are serving in the military and men who are married to a woman who is serving in the military. I’ll address these in 2 separate posts.
Married Men Serving in the Military
First of all: thank you! Thank you for the service you provide to our country and for your willingness to fight to keep freedom free. It is not without sacrifice, and that sacrifice does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Our family prays for you daily.
Its not always easy to be married to a military man. My father was in the Air Force and retired when I was a young boy. My mom would tell stories of times when he was gone and what she had to deal with hard times on her own, or times when she went to family in another state for the duration of his absence. One particular time, there was a tornado which caused significant damage to the area in which they lived.
With such trials, it’s important that the deployed military husband keep up to date on the affairs at home, as well as provide emotional support across the distance. For an example, I turn to America’s first general, George Washington. America’s founding father was known for his deep love of his wife. In one of the only love letters preserved from George to Martha Washington, written on June 23, 1775 expressed his love as follows:
“I retain an unalterable affection for you, which neither time or distance can change.”
What a great lesson for us. When a husband is away from home, the message his wife should receive is that no matter what, where, or when he loves her unconditionally.
After the homecoming, men have to reassert themselves as a father figure to their children who may or may not know him, retrain the dog not to growl at the strange man walking around the house, and most importantly resume the role of husband and lover to his wife.
When my father came home from a temporary duty in Egypt, my brother was still a baby, and Wichita Falls had been torn up by a tornado. Mom had been running things and he knew that her feelings were more important than his ego. My dad was careful to not try to take over his old responsibilities immediately.
Here’s the practical advice:
- Write home often – its not always possible, but when it is you should keep your wife and family up to date on your status. You should offer emotional support, acknowledge the difficulty of the situation, and express your faith in her to make it through.
- Mentally prepare – when you get home, your wife will have been in charge for the duration of your absence. Be mentally prepared to not be in charge all at once. You are re-inserting into an active flow of life. You are welcome, but there is a period of adjustment you both need to be prepared for. Don’t rush it. Be gentle, she’s not one of your soldiers or platoon-mates: she’s your wife and companion.
- Have no expectations – though emotions and hormones may be high, don’t push any changes, and don’t push into the bedroom. In all likelihood, it will happen the first night you’re home, but if it doesn’t, don’t get angry or frustrated. Its all part of the readjustment. Reassure each other of your love and start with a hug and kiss.
Above all else: Love Your Wife