Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Balance Your & Your Sailor's Homecoming Plans


 by Navy Wife and author Amy Bird

We all know what it's like when your Sailor comes home - you want to spend every minute with them, whether that's doing something special or just hanging out at home. And you want them to want that too. But sometimes, they may announce that they would like to go out with friends that evening, or see their wider family. The rational being in you says yes, why not - of course he needs to catch-up with people. Unfortunately, the irrational one sometimes gets there first, and you can have a negative emotional response to the fact he wants to spend time away from you, perhaps feeling hurt or angry.This doesn't make you some kind of bunny-boiling, possessive jealous type. It just makes you human.

So, how to deal with this? Here are my suggestions, but it will be different for every couple:

1. Get out the calendar and work out, in advance, what time you are going to spend together. Sometimes looking at a week and seeing you have four evenings together will be the positive boost you need. Plan something for those evenings - make them special, even if it's just cooking something nice and watching your favourite film. That way, you will both look forward to them.

2. If you have a particular vision of what the week will look like, tell him, so that he doesn't suddenly announce a different plan, which could leave you reeling.

3. If you have mutual friends, make sure you schedule a time when you can both see them, so that you spend the time together.

4. If your Sailor is going out, and it's not with mutual friends, make sure you have your own plans that evening too, so you're not just waiting in at home.

5. Compromise and negotiate. Maybe agree that you'll spend the day or early evening apart, but agree a time that you'll reconvene.

6. Talk about how you feel. You might realise you are being irrational, and you might need to explain that if you are no good at hiding an emotional response.

7. Do try to rationalise your position. How would you feel if your Sailor tried to stop you seeing your friends? Isolated, confused, and maybe even abused. He will feel the same way. And the fact he wants to catch-up with his friends doesn't mean he isn't as excited about spending time together as you are. Obviously. It's just all about balance.

8. This therefore all cuts both ways. If your Sailor is being clingy and wants to spend every evening with you, but you have other social or work plans, don't be afraid to say so. Just communicate it in advance, be firm that it's important to you, but schedule an evening together to make up for it. Remind your Sailor what a luxury it is for him to have an evening in by himself - a whole house or apartment, not just a room in a ship!

9. If there comes a point when things have gone too far, and you are your Sailor haven't spent any time together at all, you need to talk it out. While it's healthy to spend time apart, and for you both to see your other friends, if you're not making time for each other that may be a sign something is going wrong - or just that one of you is being inconsiderate without realising it.

10. Take a united front. If you've both decided a particular weekend is special, and you want to spend it together, ignore entreaties of friends to do group activities. You spend a long time apart from each other, and so you deserve the time together. Your friends will understand that.

The key to all of this is communicating with each other about aspirations for leave. That way, you are more likely to reach a sensible, adult arrangement where you are both happy, rather than one of you feel imprisoned or neglected. And remember, this is meant to be fun!


About Amy Bird
I am a Navy Wife, lawyer, and a published author of Navy-themed romance thriller Yours is Mine. Born in London, England, I moved all around the UK for 18 years before coming back to London for university. I've been here ever since, with the occasional epic holiday to join my Navy husband overseas. 

I have a MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, and I'm also an alumni of Faber Academy.  My creative focus is on novels and plays. As well as being a writer, I'm also a lawyer. I work four days a week at one of the big city firms, specializing in employment law – and I'm a trustee of a new writing theatre. 

When I'm not writing or lawyering, I'll generally be found cooking with my husband, or in a theatre somewhere. My debut novel, Yours is Mine, a psychological thriller about a Navy Wife who exchanges identities with another woman, was the first in a three-book deal with Carina UK, the new digital imprint of Harlequin. My second novel Three Steps Behind You is out now.

Visit me at www.amybirdwrites.com and purchase Three Steps Behind You on Amazon UKAmazon US, or Amazon Canada. Purchase her first novel Yours is Mine on Amazon UKAmazon US, or Amazon Canada
Find me @London_Writer on Twitter Facebook Too!

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