Spouse Confessions: Post Deployment Sex

Waiting for the end of a deployment can be an exciting yet painstakingly nerve-racking time…

By the time the last month or so rolls around, the homecoming outfit has likely already been purchased, the sign made, and the photographer hired, but oftentimes, the true reality of the struggles of reintegration have not yet set in, including those surrounding post-deployment intimacy.

I have seen our sex life change since my husband joined the military due to limited time, constantly changing schedules, and the stress that comes with the job. However, I always assumed that after a deployment, the first—and only—place we would want to be for months would be the bedroom. But after talking to other military wives who have faced deployments head-on, I realized that everyone’s experience is different when it comes to post-deployment intimacy.

The first military spouse I spoke to, Jane, said her and her husband’s sex life was exciting when they first met, and eventually got more comfortable and less frequent—a trend common among many married couples. Then, right before her husband was getting ready to deploy, sex became less of a priority, as he was preparing to be gone for several months.

“Right before deployment, sex was the last thing on his mind,” Jane explained.

When Jane’s husband returned, however, she saw a revival in their sex life, reminding her of the days when they first met.

“As soon as he returned, it was like having a first kiss all over again,” Jane said. “Upon immediate return home, our sex life was fun and exciting. He couldn’t keep his hands off me, but eventually he returned to work and the fire burned out a little.”

Jane’s experience is on par with many other military spouses’. There’s a spark in intimacy following the homecoming, but then routine sets in again. And the military lifestyle, as many of us know, doesn’t necessarily provide opportunities for a thriving sex life.

“My husband is not a sexual person when he is stressed. Unfortunately for me, that means weeks can go by without sex. I try not to let it bother me, and I know that if I initiate it, I will not be turned down—I just have a hard time making the first move,” Jane said. “This used to bother me. I thought it was something I was doing wrong, but after many arguments about it, he has explained his mind is elsewhere after a long day.”

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