Stages of Service Separation
Stage Five - Anticipation of Homecoming
From day one you anticipate the coming home. You think about it, dream about it and dread it.
This stage is slightly different however…this is talking about the psychological preparation your mind does, often without you realising it.
Like the anticipation of loss in Stage 1, many of the aspects of this stage are experienced without you being fully aware.
One common experience is the apparent speeding up of time. Service partners often describe how they feel time has run away and all the things they wanted, or promised, to do are still undone. Don't panic, life continues and you will get things done when they get done. There are often feelings of joy, feelings of dread, feelings of nervousness and apprehension for you both.
This period offers an opportunity to re-evaluate where you are and what you want when they return. This is likely to include a degree of adjustment, where you prepare to live with one another again, with all the pros and cons this brings.
The partner at home is naturally going to wonder how their loved ones return will affect their and their children's lives. You may experience second thoughts about major decisions you may have made whilst separated. You may also experience feelings of loss as you may feel you are about to lose your independence.
Returning partners will also experience feelings of doubt, questioning how they will fit back into family life and how the children will react to their return.
Many keep themselves busy and try to avoid these thoughts and feelings, feeling guilty, restless or confused. You may find making decisions difficult again, or may wish to put off making major ones until you are back together. Don't panic, again these are natural experiences. It is natural to anticipate change and to consider how you feel. Even if these internal discussions are subconscious.