experienced military wives needed — The Bump
Military Families

experienced military wives needed

my husband is returning from iraq soon. unfortunately i have lived away frm post so i have not been able to attend any of the classes that prepare the family for re-polyment. i have been reading about ptsd and i am concerned that i am not prepared for his return the way he needs me to be. he was infantry and i know he has prob been thru a lot. any experienced army wives that can shed some light on homecoming?

Re: experienced military wives needed

  • My husband is a combat medic so I understand how you are worried about what he's probably been through.

    First, you need to accept that he is probably going to be different. Being in Iraq or Afghanistan will change a soldier. They see things that we can't understand. Second, he may or may not want to talk about what he's been through. If he's quiet don't push him for information. Just let him talk to you about it in his own time. Third, let him adjust to a sense of "normalcy". He may want to be quiet and just reflect on being home. For some it is not an easy adjustment. Fourth, he may need to talk to a counselor. And that's fine. If he needs to, don't think of him as being "weak" just support him.

    For a lot of soldiers coming home things like fireworks will really set them off. They can't take the loud "boom" that they make. They sound too much like explosions. He's been through a lot over there. And what he needs when he gets back is your support. Don't get mad at him if he doesn't do something the way that you have been doing it. Don't get mad if he needs some time to himself. It's all understandable.

    It's probably not going to be an easy adjustment for you either. You are used to doing things your way. But, like I said previously, don't get mad if he does something a different way than you.

    My DH's first night back he was asleep and I was playing with his face, and he woke up and looked at me and said "who are you?" I just had to laugh. He thought one of the guys was playing with his face while he slept.

    Your DH will be glad to be back home and with you. He's just going to need a little time. Make him feel comfortable. And don't push him too hard about things Smile

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/ra5maf.jpg[/IMG]


    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Getting Pregnant"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt12b7b8.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>
  • I second the boom thing.  Also DH was a lot more observant and wary of people.  He would literally sheild me with his body anytime we went somehwere with lots of people untill he made sure no one was going to do anything.
  • Loading the player...
  • Ditto PP! 

    The two biggest things I can say is don't touch him if he wakes up from a nightmare (if he has them) or push him for info when he's awake or if he's been dreaming. He doesn't need to be bombarded with questions about what he saw, did, felt, etc. If he wants to talk about something he will and as much as you might want to comfort him by hugging, kissing, etc., depending on how his PTSD is it probably won't be the right thing to do.

    Accept that he probably is going to be different but that many of the differences are only temporary. My DH has been back since January (3rd deployment) and there are still things that aren't the same. Many things have gone back to "normal" over the past few months but there are little things that I've noticed he still does differently. It's little things like cuddle me as much at night or listen to the radio as much when we're in the car. There are good days and bad ones. His first few weeks home were rough on us. He would be perfectly fine and then you could actually see his face and posture change and suddenly it would be like he was a completely different person which might be there for 5 minutes or 5 hours. He just seemed harder, jaw set, monotone or easily aggravated.

    Don't push him into what might be a stressful situation too soon. He may or may not be able to deal with a large crowd of people at a party or even to the movies. A busy store (like Wal-mart) might take several weeks for him to go into and when going out to eat at a restaurant you might need to be more aware of his needs like needing an "escape route" to the door.

    I'd also suggest talking to your DH before he comes home (if you can) so that he can tell you what to expect or what he's concerned you need to watch for. My DH told me before he came back that if there were things he did repeatedly that I saw might be issues he wanted to know so we always made sure to talk about them and usually that helped whatever the issue was.

    Be as patient and understanding as you can with him. If you continue to see major issues after he's been home for a few weeks or things are good and after 2-3 months all the sudden there's a big change then ask him to talk to a counselor or chaplain.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image Roundrockgal79:

    Don't push him into what might be a stressful situation too soon. He may or may not be able to deal with a large crowd of people at a party or even to the movies. A busy store (like Wal-mart) might take several weeks for him to go into and when going out to eat at a restaurant you might need to be more aware of his needs like needing an "escape route" to the door.

    This is still a big one for us.  DH has been home since May, but he always has to sit facing the door at restaurants and sometimes he just can't handle big crowds. 

    It also took a while for DH to feel comfortable driving again.  He would go 30 down the highway and slow down at bridges and whatnot.  I had to drive almost everywhere and that got old, especially with DH trying to "direct" me as to how to drive (but that's what he did when deployed).  But eventually most things go back to "normal" and the adjustment period will be over.  It's not as bad as people make it out to be.  I guess, expect the worse, know there will be some stressful things going on for both of you, and if something PTSD related does come up, he can talk to someone.  Just listen to him and do what he needs for now.  For a while, his needs will have to come before yours.  It'll get back to normal soon.  Good luck and congrats on the homecoming!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Pregnancy Ticker Graphics
  • My DH is Infantry as well. My advice is simple. Don't worry about it until it happens, and then deal with it one thing at a time. I don't mean be niave and pretend like he won't be different, but don't stress about it. A lot simply depends on the person. You have people with PTSD that are what the Infantry called POGS, that saw next to nothing, and you have Infantrymen who saw lots and only have a few little quirks (like being more observant, or wanting to sit facing the door). I think it has less to do with what they saw, but more of how them as an individual can mentally handle what they saw.

    Don't stress because you might just work yourself up over nothing. My DH came home from Iraq with only minor quirks, and one episode of a 'flashback' after getting extremely drunk. That is it.

    I anticipate more from his return home from Afghanistan because this deployment has been much worse than last, and I got a little vibe over R&R that something might be up, but I'm still not going to worry about it until he is home and I can assess him with my own two eyes for longer than 2 blissful weeks. I am excited about his homecoming and plan to just be cautious and mindful of his feelings and observant of his body language. However, I won't worry so much I forget to be excited and jump up and down when I see him! lol

    You know your husband best. You should be able to tell if something it bothering him, and go from there. 

    I'm not saying any of this to make light of PTSD, but I think it is crucial to understand that there are varying severities of it and only a small portion of people end up with it so sever that they are trying to choke their spouses in the middle of the night, or throw themselves on the ground at the slightest sound. Its also important to remember that in many cases, it will be 'worse' at the beginning, but as they adjust to being home and remember/learn what it normal here some of the quirks disappear or weaken in severity.

    Don't let your worry over this over shadow the very exciting event that is about to happen. You are allowed to be overjoyed and excited, and you should be. Don't worry about this so much that you forget how happy you are!  Should a problem arise you can deal with it then, and we will all be here to help you! 

  • image Mlatch:

    My DH is Infantry as well. My advice is simple. Don't worry about it until it happens, and then deal with it one thing at a time. I don't mean be niave and pretend like he won't be different, but don't stress about it. A lot simply depends on the person. You have people with PTSD that are what the Infantry called POGS, that saw next to nothing, and you have Infantrymen who saw lots and only have a few little quirks (like being more observant, or wanting to sit facing the door). I think it has less to do with what they saw, but more of how them as an individual can mentally handle what they saw.

    Don't stress because you might just work yourself up over nothing. My DH came home from Iraq with only minor quirks, and one episode of a 'flashback' after getting extremely drunk. That is it.

    I anticipate more from his return home from Afghanistan because this deployment has been much worse than last, and I got a little vibe over R&R that something might be up, but I'm still not going to worry about it until he is home and I can assess him with my own two eyes for longer than 2 blissful weeks. I am excited about his homecoming and plan to just be cautious and mindful of his feelings and observant of his body language. However, I won't worry so much I forget to be excited and jump up and down when I see him! lol

    You know your husband best. You should be able to tell if something it bothering him, and go from there. 

    I'm not saying any of this to make light of PTSD, but I think it is crucial to understand that there are varying severities of it and only a small portion of people end up with it so sever that they are trying to choke their spouses in the middle of the night, or throw themselves on the ground at the slightest sound. Its also important to remember that in many cases, it will be 'worse' at the beginning, but as they adjust to being home and remember/learn what it normal here some of the quirks disappear or weaken in severity.

    Don't let your worry over this over shadow the very exciting event that is about to happen. You are allowed to be overjoyed and excited, and you should be. Don't worry about this so much that you forget how happy you are!  Should a problem arise you can deal with it then, and we will all be here to help you! 

    I agree with this.  Not everyone comes back with PTSD.  Not everyone comes back a completely different person.  Just be aware that bad dreams may happen.  My H only has them if he has been drinking.  Loud noises may freak him out for a second, but most people get over it fairly quickly.   If things seem to linger with him, suggest he seek out help.  If he won't, don't push him.  Invite a few of the boys over for a guys night and take off for a few hours.  Talking about it with some of his boys may help him get things off his chest.  He will know that he isn't alone in his feelings.  It may also help him see that asking for help is ok. 

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/160yf86.jpg[/IMG]

    <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/milnestfaq/" target="_blank" title="Military Newlyweds FAQ"><img src="http://tinyurl.com/ya7ofn4" alt="Military Newlyweds FAQ Button" height=86 width=108></a>
  • image Brit242:
    It also took a while for DH to feel comfortable driving again.  He would go 30 down the highway and slow down at bridges and whatnot.  I had to drive almost everywhere and that got old, especially with DH trying to "direct" me as to how to drive (but that's what he did when deployed). 

    This.  DH was petrified to drive when he came home...there was only 2 lanes over there, 30 mph max, and no stop lights...Get used to alot of "CLEAR RIGHT" when you drive

    {\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252 {\fonttbl\f0\fswiss\fcharset0 Helvetica;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;\red51\green51\blue51;\red255\green255\blue255;} \deftab720 \pard\pardeftab720\sl280\partightenfactor0 \f0\fs22 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0 \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 IAmPregnant Ticker}
  • image Abbney:

    image Brit242:
    It also took a while for DH to feel comfortable driving again.  He would go 30 down the highway and slow down at bridges and whatnot.  I had to drive almost everywhere and that got old, especially with DH trying to "direct" me as to how to drive (but that's what he did when deployed). 

    This.  DH was petrified to drive when he came home...there was only 2 lanes over there, 30 mph max, and no stop lights...Get used to alot of "CLEAR RIGHT" when you drive

    LoL DH does that all the time. 

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/ra5maf.jpg[/IMG]


    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Getting Pregnant"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt12b7b8.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>
  • image Abbney:

    image Brit242:
    It also took a while for DH to feel comfortable driving again.  He would go 30 down the highway and slow down at bridges and whatnot.  I had to drive almost everywhere and that got old, especially with DH trying to "direct" me as to how to drive (but that's what he did when deployed). 

    This.  DH was petrified to drive when he came home...there was only 2 lanes over there, 30 mph max, and no stop lights...Get used to alot of "CLEAR RIGHT" when you drive

    That's not a deployment thing.  That's a general military thing.  I've been in for 6 yrs, never deployed and I do it all the time.  It's a habit. 

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/160yf86.jpg[/IMG]

    <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/milnestfaq/" target="_blank" title="Military Newlyweds FAQ"><img src="http://tinyurl.com/ya7ofn4" alt="Military Newlyweds FAQ Button" height=86 width=108></a>
  • FIrst off, I am praying that your husband comes home safe and sound and with no PTSD. My husband did come home with severe PTSD and a TBI. I was not ready for it but I learned quick how to be there for him. The most important thing to do is be his rock. And make sure he seeks help professionally. My DH spent 3 years on the no deployment list and they finally medically retired him for PTSD 100%. GOod luck!
    image Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image Mlatch:

    My DH is Infantry as well. My advice is simple. Don't worry about it until it happens, and then deal with it one thing at a time. I don't mean be niave and pretend like he won't be different, but don't stress about it. A lot simply depends on the person. You have people with PTSD that are what the Infantry called POGS, that saw next to nothing, and you have Infantrymen who saw lots and only have a few little quirks (like being more observant, or wanting to sit facing the door). I think it has less to do with what they saw, but more of how them as an individual can mentally handle what they saw.

    What she said.  DH is Special Ops and has seen/done some sh!t I can't even imagine but PTSD has never been a problem.

    Big Sisters 2/10 & 12/11
    Little Brother 3/1/18
  • seriously thank you very much, all these posts are very very helpful

  • DH spent a lot of time driving over there so when he came back I had to keep reminding him remember to not drive in the middle of the highway.  He would also "scan" all over the area while driving. 

    I was very worried about PTSD and him being a different person when he got home, but we didn't run into many problems, luckily.  It took a little bit to get back into a routine and him used to being back in the states.  But thankfully, he didn't have any big problems with it.  He is about to go on deployment number two and I pray the outcome is the same this time as well. 


  • DH spent a lot of time driving over there so when he came back I had to keep reminding him remember to not drive in the middle of the highway.  He would also "scan" all over the area while driving. 

    I was very worried about PTSD and him being a different person when he got home, but we didn't run into many problems, luckily.  It took a little bit to get back into a routine and him used to being back in the states.  But thankfully, he didn't have any big problems with it.  He is about to go on deployment number two and I pray the outcome is the same this time as well. 

    good luck! 

This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards