The Emotional Cycle of Post Deployment

Section Two: Return Adjustment and Renegotiation

The return adjustment and renegotiation stage can be full of confusion.

Everyone and everything changes during the deployment, and the return adjustment and renegotiation stage is about just that. It usually begins with a “honeymoon” period, when no one wants to rock the boat, but eventually the issues start to surface. The family may feel physically together, but not yet emotionally together. Some may feel a loss of freedom or independence, while others may be happy to be more dependent again. Routines are disrupted, and new ones may feel disorganized and out of control. Service Members may even feel like strangers in their own homes. Everyone has grown and has had varied experiences which will affect the renegotiation of life now. Roll your mouse over the image to the right to learn more about return adjustment and renegotiation.

Once you understand what is happening, find a strategy to help you cope.

Although you may start out feeling relief and happiness, other feelings such as irritability and frustration will arise. Remember that everyone has gone through many changes, and it will take some time to readjust. Some coping strategies include communicating openly, being patient, negotiating and comprising, being willing to give up or take on different responsibilities, being aware of signs of combat stress, and keeping emotions under control.