Reintegration is a recurring theme here on SpouseBUZZ for a reason -- it’s a really hard process that never completely ends. I think my husband and I will be reintegrating until I die.
And if the government’s plans for us are as advertised, reintegration will continue to be a hot topic for a long time to come -- not because of our ongoing heavy deployment rates, but because our spouses will be spending more and more time at home with us. Does that scare anyone else?
When I read She of the Sea’s post “I Love You -- Go Away,” Sunday I realized I feel about my husband the same as she does about her children; there’s such a thing as TOO much together time. I wonder if my civilian friends ever feel this way -- or is this strictly a milspouse malady? While a civilian friend is sad because her husband is away for his once-a-year weekend business trip, I find myself wondering if an overnight break once every two or so months would too much to ask.
Don’t get me wrong -- I love my husband. He really, truly is my best friend. But like a good military spouse I have been trained to be OK with absences, and focus on what good things in them I can find, like the privilege of only ever watching movies that only I enjoy. It's an easy thing to get used to, and to miss when it's gone.
What in the world are we going to do when the separations provided by the military aren’t so frequent anymore? Those tough relationship problems that we quietly push under the rug will no longer be so easy to avoid, and sharing the remote will truly be the least of my concerns.
Our military leadership says they know this is going to be a problem.
“The question we’re wrestling with is -- OK, I’m going to be home for two years. What do I do now?,” Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff said at the AUSA conference last year. “There’s things we just haven’t had to do over the last [several] years. The most important thing we’re focusing on doing is building resiliency for the long haul.”
I’ll be spending the next several months taking a hard look at what preparations are being done to mitigate this coming challenge. No, we can’t rely on the government to make everything better. But if they say the programs are out there and the money is being spent, we should at least take a look to see if they are working.