In this section

Is My Relationship Over?

All this time apart is dreadful, it can be soul destroying and expect it to cause huge mood swings. It is a massive test for you both.   All relationships go through difficult times, its how you handle them that will make the difference between staying together and breaking up.

 

There are going to be many times when things feel as if all love has gone. Coldness, rows and less mail can make you feel neglected. Doubts galore set in so you might even consider ditching your soldier and even finding someone else who will treat you better.

 

Don’t jump in immediately convinced they don’t care about you. Emotions go haywire during a tour. Your partner may have doubts that traipse through his mind wondering if you have found someone else. (You might have!) Don’t be shocked by this. They can have low self-esteem as to whether you will still want him. They will have seen many people whose relationships have fallen by the wayside – they quite often have a “Dear John” board on exercises. Its natural for them to worry if they be the next on the board. It is only natural to doubt.

 

We are human so doubts and confusions are bound to happen. It doesn’t mean you are a weak person if you can’t hack it. You give it your best shot. Six months is a long time to be apart. You may have just moved to a new house and not had any time to build up a social life. It is natural to resent them for making you live this life, that lets be honest, you wouldn’t pick for yourself. You don’t marry someone to sit on your own for months on end.

 

All suggestions of a break up are best left until you have discussed it sensibly face to face. It’s not easy to judge if the feelings are fair or not during a very touchy time. It very possibly can be mended and troubles eased?  Hang on to the strength of your love as you are going to need it. 

 

Think things as a “whole” very carefully indeed. It takes two to decide. Agree to differ and wait till he's back to become the couple you were before. If you have children, then you owe it to them to take your time and not make any rash decisions.

 

If you are having real problems and think that your marriage may be breaking down, then there are people who can help.

 

Relate can offer you advice over the telephone or face to face. www.relate.org.uk

For Northern Ireland call 028 9226 6008

80% of people that use them say they have helped to strengthen their relationship.

 

If your partner flatly refuses to join you, there are lots of things counselling can help you sort out on your own. There may be changes you can make alone that will have a positive impact on your relationship. Some people also prefer to have counselling on their own at first to work out their feelings before seeing another counsellor as a couple.

 

Online websites like Save Marriage have some useful advice to help you work things out http://www.savemarriage.co.uk/

FEELING NEGLECTED?

This doesnt happen to all but it does happen to many. Often when they return ... no matter who you are they may feel very cold & uninterested in you or shun you. Remember they have been living in a mans world and may not be able to unwind into normal mode. Lots of the chaps return home still in "soldier mode". They are returning from a life they have had to endure without mixed emotions getting on top of them or they wouldnt be able to focus on their job properly and now feel out of step. They may think that surely you will no longer be interested in someone who has been living a very mucky life and was far from the normal clean state they would normally be in. 

They might probably spend all their time off to the pub with their mates. After all, in their minds, their mates will understand and have more things in common with them. They could feel more secure in their company.They cant get out of the male bonding as after all they have become one huge male family who protect each other. Six months is a very long time. So they still feel that men are the best type of trustworthy people to mix with. They can act very cold towards their ladies so much so its as if they dont want them anymore. You may feel totally as if you are no longer a part of their lives. It can take time for them to unwind back to their loving selves. Remember that the fact they are now home safe doesnt mean that they can at the snap of the fingers be the same. The deployment is racing through their minds like a tape that doesnt stop. Some are more affected by this than others. They may need space until gradually they can settle back down into their gentle & caring selves. Its hard to be patient but do take it into account that perhaps you are not their priority just yet. Often girlfriends get dumped and rows and anger happens. If you truly love him and all was good before deployment then it will be again. Try to persuade him to get more interested in taking you out in the evenings or just staying in until he gets back on track. Try to compromise as he has to work very hard too to make things change together. This mustnt be one sided or it wont work. It will happen a step at a time and it can take longer than it does others. Encourage him and boost his ego but also tell him he is being a thoughtless so and so ! Make him realise that he should start to get on track to how he was. You can't baby him and be a softy. Tell him exactly what he is doing to you and how upsetting and hard it is for you. Yes get angry at him.Tell him his caring must start to point in your direction. Eventually it will sink in. Tell him that you are doing your best to understand his deeply confused feelings. Ask to explain it to help you. Tell him you were his rock while away and you remain his rock to be one to trust and rely upon now. After all he must start to concentrate on you. Dont take it personally if all these hiccups happen. It isnt his fault or yours. Its a hellish situation that you can work out. Discuss,discuss and discuss it again. Realisation will happen.

 

I wish you the best of luck on that score. You can get through this. After all you got through the rollercoaster during his deployment and at the start you didnt think that possible. Be positive because you can get over this. With you both working to regain the right result then life will become normal once more.