25 June, 2009

Stages of Service Separation

Stage Six - Renegotiating of the Marriage Contract
This is the point where you both readjust to being a couple again. Consider how big companies merge, and how they negotiate who does what.

You are no different... you have both been operating independently for months and coming back together will need some adjustment. Some express they feel a loss of freedom. Routines will be disrupted as the whole family becomes one again. Sometimes, the best thing to do is just to sit down, write a list of things that need discussing, and get talking. Don't make assumptions, we all have different opinions on who does what, and if you assume you share opinions you may come undone.

Things change. Nothing stays the same. This is the same of your marriage. When you come back together you may want things to "be the same". This may be unrealistic. You have both experienced six months of life with all the effects this can have. There will be a few extra lines, grey hairs or pounds. That's life. This doesn't mean the love you had and have is any less, just that you are both slightly different, and these changes need adapting to.

One source of great anticipation, stress, conflict and pleasure is sex. Intimacy is bound to have been given a great deal of thought as your reunion approached. You may have a beautiful image of romantic intimacy. The children or the bank manager may have different ideas. Life may throw in a few spanners, and things may not go as planned. You will need to be patient and considerate - things which will complement any loving intimacy.

This stage can be difficult as well as joyful, but it does provide an opportunity offered to few civilian couples: the chance to evaluate what changes have occurred within themselves to determine what direction they want their growth to take, and to meld all this into a renewed and refreshed relationship.

As you return from sea...
The last six months may have been six of the most exciting months of your life. If this is the case, fantastic. One point to consider before you begin spinning endless funny stories and numerous sea dits. Life may not have been so rosy at home. You may have had an image of you partner coping, with a calm and stable family life, but it's quite likely that he or she will have had a tough time of things. Coping at home, even with the freedom some may encounter, is hard work, and they may have had to deal with numerous problems during your absence, and may well have dealt with them quietly, rather than worry you.

Household routines may have had to change during your absence. Your children will have grown considerably, and dictating new rules on you return is not likely to encourage them to welcome you with open arms. Your partner may well resent you changing any family routines or rules, should you do so without consultation! Remember that the house has not fallen down, the sky has not fallen in, and your partner has probably coped fine without you, so hold back on those pearls of wisdom a minute or two.

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