Saturday, September 18, 2010

Emotional Stages of Deployment

A workshop that my friend, who is married to a marine, works at discusses the emotional stages of deployment. I highly recommend this workshop if you are stationed on a marine base. They have classes for spouses, Navy wives, parents and kids. The list is taken straight from their textbook and is just a generalized list of emotions that may be experienced.

1. Anticipation of Loss
- Ignore or deny that deployment will actually happen.
- Fantasize that something will happen so your spouse does not have to leave.
- Difficulty accepting the reality of leaving.
- Crying at unexpected things.
- Increased tensions that could causes arguments.
- Need to get all the "projects" done.
- Difficulty with intimacy.
- Feelings of anger, frustration and emotional distance between couples.

2. Detachment and Withdrawal
- Sense of despair.
- Feeling that the marriage is out of control.
- Making decisions is difficult.
- Withdraw into yourself by not sharing emotions.

3. Emotional Disorganization
- Relief that the "goodbye" part is over, but feeling guilty for the relief.
- New routines develop, but overwhelmed by all the new responsibilities.
- Sleeping is difficult due to loss of security and the spouse.
- Anger towards your spouse for not staying and made at the military for making them go.

4. Recovery and Stabilization
- Comfortable and capable of all your new roles.
- Able to reach out for support.
- Feeling of self confidence and independence.
- Going through the "my" syndrome.

5. Anticipation of Homecoming
- Compile a list of things to do before your spouse comes home.
- Excitement and anticipation of the return.
- Questions of "Does he/she still love me?"
- Changing the house to reflect an "our" house feeling.
- Start changing patterns back to the way they were before your spouse left.

6. Renegotiation of the Marriage Contract
- May feel a loss of independence.
- Start being a "married" spouse again.
- Share roles, responsibilities, and decisions.
- A feeling of too much togetherness.
- Hesitation towards intimate relations.
- Falling in love again!!

Sounds like a roller coaster! I think I'm going through Stage 1 right now because I recognize two emotions. There are so many things I want to do and get done before he leaves. I have to remember that we will have plenty of time when he gets back. I just passed the part where I start to cry at unexpected things. Glad that's over! I was starting to think I was pregnant for a minute there. 

1 comment:

  1. Pregnant!? You didn't tell me you thought you were pregnant. hahah Sounds like there's a bit of learning left to do. Can't wait to read more.