As soldiers return from deployments, sometimes gone for a year or more, they realize just how much has changed since they have been gone. The family has grown accustomed to making decisions without the soldier in the household and relationships may be strained after months apart.
Many active duty men and women are vulnerable to depression when they come home as they try to re-assimilate back to into their domestic lives.
Leanne Knobloch a professor of communication at Rutgers University says families need to talk to one another about any issues that come up.
“Our findings are important because returning service members and their partners sometime think that the transition home is going to be a honeymoon period where everything is just romance and roses,” Knobloch said. “They can be disillusioned if they run into obstacles.”
Details of the study
The findings were compiled through an online survey that about 220 active duty soldiers voluntarily responded to.
The authors found that distress in the relationship was no more or less likely for couples who had been through multiple deployments versus those who had been through just one.
“Military couples often say that every deployment is different,” Knobloch said.
They did find, however, that distress was more likely among those in the latter part of their six months after return, which fits with research by others.
While there are many tests that help soldiers when they go overseas, there are few that help them when they arrive home. Knobloch suggests every family member should be up front with his or her feelings. Parnters should be aware of the possibility of depression so it is something they can watch for, and know that it is normal and treatable.