The Emotional Cycle of Post Deployment

Section Three: Reintegration and Stabilization

Reintegration and Stabilization is the final post deployment stage and brings you back to normal.

Reintegration and stabilization is the last stage in the emotional cycle and is the process of creating a new normal. Everyone is adjusting to having the Service Member around and the family is sharing their roles and responsibilities. The family will feel more stable, and spouses will have worked out the details of feeling married again. Keep in mind that this stage can last for months, because it may take a while for everyone to feel secure and relaxed together again. If readjustment challenges resurface, look for support. It is okay to ask for help if you need it.

Reintegration and Stabilization is the homecoming stretch, but it is important to go slow and be patient.

Remember that reintegration can last for months and sometimes renegotiation must take place more than once, so it is important to practice patience. Coping strategies during this stage include going slow, communicating openly, taking time to get to know each other again, and lowering expectations. These strategies should be remembered if you or your family members begin to feel frustrated or lost. Combat stress may also have an effect on this stage, but the sooner it is addressed, the less disruptive it will be in the long term. It is important to be appreciative and supportive throughout this stage so that everyone can begin to feel comfortable again. You may have trouble reaching stabilization if you have not fully completed the renegotiation stage. It is completely normal to revisit the previous stage to readjust and better work out your family’s roles and responsibilities.