Skip navigation

Meanwhile, back at home…

MeanwhileDuring the first few weeks after Christine’s arrival in the mission, Paul has regular contact with his wife at least every few days. However, as their contact becomes less frequent, his concerns and apprehensions about Christine’s safety grow. On one occasion, he is unable to reach her for several days. He is increasingly worried, especially as he reads about instability in the region in the news. When Christine finally returns his calls, she tells him she was simply on a routine visit to the countryside, during which she had no mobile phone reception. Paul is relieved that Christine is safe, but he finds it difficult to live with the uncertainty.

While he is happy that Christine has finally settled in, Paul is also jealous of her new friends and experiences. He even gets the feeling that she doesn’t tell him everything that is going on in her life.

Additional information

A mission abroad is not only a challenge for the person traveling abroad, but also for the relatives who stay behind. The mission means a great readjustment for all those involved and can lead to various reactions.

Possible normal reactions from relatives who stay behind

  • Mood swings and changes in motivation
  • Tension
  • Daydreams
  • Feelings of rejection
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Fear or restlessness

Tips for dealing with this situation

Deal openly with these reactions, showing that you understand your partner‘s worries.

Empathetic listening is very important in this context. Despite all the preparations you are involved in, make sure that you take the time to speak openly with your partner and your relatives about feelings and possible worries that they may have about the potential dangers of your deployment, about how to stay in contact with your family and your friends, and about how to communicate with each other during your deployment. This discussion should not only include how you will talk about emotions like fear and loneliness, as well as possible threats in the country of your deployment, but also how you will communicate about difficult situations at home.
When skyping or talking with family and/or friends at home, you may find yourself in a situation where you think about what to tell and what not to tell. Be aware of the fact that people at home might get a lot of information through different media channels and remember that it might cause an avoidable distance to your friends and family if you do not tell them much about your personal situation and your emotions.