I was reading an article this morning on the success of reintegration, reunion, and the transition of Military families.
How does one measure "sucess in reintegration?"
I guess you need to ask a family who feels like they have successfully reintegrated, and compare them to the folks that feel as though they are still having problems.
I am not sure where our family lies on this continuim...
Some days I feel as though we are still struggling, even years later. DH has been home for over 3 years now.
But, I am not sure if we can legitimately point our fingers at one cause at a chink in or marriage armor.
Some families may be quick to point fingers at frequent deployments, and separate life experiences.
I seriously think if you take all of the events that we call "living", and you take the puzzle apart, well it is more.
Military families are more than poster children of war and deployments. We are civilians too. We have illness, death, financial issues, children, and day to day issues.
Many families like to blame the inability to remain as a cohesive unit on separations, and although I admit being separated really does make it harder on military families, I think it makes us shining stars. I know a lot of wives and husbands who feel stronger because of fighting the good fight at home. Because it does take a can do spirit.
I have used this analogy before, so forgive me if you are tired of it. I heard an interview with an astronaut that had actually been up on a space shuttle mission once. He said his experience was surreal, seeing the Earth amongst space, was something he could not put into words, there was nothing he could compare it to. That experience made him feel as though only those counterparts that were with him on this particular mission would understand. And I am not trying to make ones experience in war comparable to seeing the Earth as a blue marble floating in space, I think that moment of this is surreal, might be the only thing I can come up with to compare war to. I am unsure, if ones war experience can ever be understood by anyone unless they have been in the fight. This accounts for those bonds that are made during wartime, and would explain how the brotherhood is formed.
I will note that when I look around at those around me, one of common threads of success in reintegration are, the ability to compartmentalize, and communication.
The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English | Date: 2008com·part·men·tal·ize / k?m?pärt?mentl??z/ - v. [tr.] divide into sections or categories: he had the ability to compartmentalize his life. DERIVATIVES: com·part·men·tal·ism / -?iz?m/ n.com·part·men·tal·i·za·tion / k?m?pärt?mentl-??z?sh?n/ n.
Some folks are Masters at it,, and have the incredible ability to take the puzzle apart, and look at the pieces and identify issues as "just pieces" in a puzzle. I will admit to having trouble with this, I have to remind myself to compartmentalize daily.
There is an adage, about how some folks see forests, and others see trees. I tend to be the big picture type. I see the forest. DH has learned to compartmentalize, he sees trees. There is good and bad in this. If I have a tree on fire, I naturally assume, the forest is going to burn up. While DH spends days on one tree. It tends to balance out in the end, even if our methods are not the same, we cancel each other out.
I spoke with someone the other day, and they have just returned from war. The marriage is going through a trying time. Reintegration is not for the faint at heart. It is hard work, indeed. And I think those of us who have made it out successfully would like to tell those who are having difficulty, to "keep fighting for your family". It is worth in the end. It is not easy, to regain an intimate sense of trust, and understanding with someone who has not been emotionally there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But I dare say it is possible.
Compartmentalizing, and communication seem to be the key for us. There is no way to look at the forest, because frankly there is always a rotting tree, or a fire that needs to be put out. And that is where the hard work begins.
There are a lot of sources available to military families right now. I would urge you to exhaust every one of them, before calling it quits.
So a reminder to use those resources around you.
I would ask that our readers here at SpouseBuzz, if they would please share any reintegration success stories here, advice, or other resource information that might help others.