in a military marriage your relationship revolves around two major things... departures and homecomings.
Departures are weird. Ours aren't too bad... when The Hubster is getting ready to leave he "gets busy". he works long hours anyway, but he will come home from work and do more work... usually til he is exhausted... in an attempt to make sure there are no projects etc that need to be done when he is gone. He will sometimes give me a list of instructions, particular things he wants done and/or the way he wants them done. Sometimes we have little pop quizzes on what I will do if this or that happens. I don't laugh... it just wouldn't be fair. He is very serious about it and I find it quite endearing.
Homecomings are different. I try to keep things at home pretty much the same when he is gone. No major purchases, no rearranging the furniture. Returning to life at home can be a shock to the system, why make it worse.
I always ask my honey what he wants for dinner that first day - he always picks a comfort food dinner.... bleu cheese burgers and tater tots, London Broil and potato casserole, spaghetti... it depends on the weather and his mood but I fix basic home cooking. I know lots of spouses that make a big production out of it - one gal always had a full Thanksgiving type dinner on Homecoming day with all the family. She was exhausted and had no time to enjoy her sailor. He had no one on one time with his wife and kids, and they usually had a fight within a day or two. Not my idea of a good time.
The first day home is for us.... sometimes a parent but usually just us. We get to the house, he walks around, greets pets, kids... touches all his stuff. He makes some calls to family - siblings and parents if they aren't there and we just relax. He get some time to adjust being off the ship. That can be hard... the motion, the smell, the noise, the constant flow of people for 6 or more months - just being off the ship can cause some stress. Sleeping in a comfortable bed takes some adjusting as well. I tell young spouses (wives particularly) that all the sailor wants to do is come home, touch his stuff, eat food that isn't ship food, have sex and go to bed. Not necessarily in that order either. They are so tired, no matter how much sleep they got the night before, that sleep often happens right after food.
I got a bad case of the giggles once when a fairly new wife (I call them Baby Navy Wives) told me she had homecoming all figured out. She would see him on the deck of the ship - we're talking air craft carrier here so they all look alike from the pier - and their eyes would meet. She would walk to the foot of the brow as he walked to the top of it and he would descend to her open arms... the breeze would be gently blowing her hair and he would sweep her into a passionate embrace. They would then walk arm in arm to the car, talking "love nonsense" (her words) and go home where they would make passionate love for hours.
Okay - what is wrong with this picture? Everything.... First, the pier is packed on an aircraft carrier Homecoming day - usually around 25,000 people including kids, grandparents.... and that is before the 5,000 or so sailors get off the ship. Second, the brow attaches to the elevators on the hangar deck.... not from the flight deck. Third.... is is either hot as hades on the pier or freezing cold, just a fact. Most passionate embrace do not occur on the pier - lots of hugging, maybe some of the really young ones kiss deeply, but most of the sailors are in a hurry to get out of there... No romantic walk to the car, did you miss the part about 25,000 people? It is a madhouse... people screaming and crying happy tears, sailors saying good bye to each other, people bringing their spouses/parents over to meet you or your spouse.... craziness. last - those hours of passionate lovemaking? Well, sometimes it happens for the young people but more often than not the sailor is so exhausted that if you even have sex it is quick and the sailor then drops immediately to sleep... That is all normal and okay.
People get their expectations up so high and are focussed on their needs that they sometimes forget about the sailor's needs. The sailor needs calm, comforting behavior. The sailor needs to relax... he or she shouldn't come home to a crazy frenetic atmosphere - they just left that.
So, Homecoming is what you make it. I do my best to make home a place he wants to be... comfort food, comforting behavior, and comfortable conversation.
Let's face it - he has been working pretty much 24/7 for the last 6 months.... he deserves a break.