Friends & Neighbors…How Long Before They Come Over on R&R…Should They Come Over?

A reader asked today “how long should it be before she allows friends and neighbors to visit , while her hubby is on R&R”?

Frankly I guess my husband and I are pretty corny because we don’t have friends (by choice) who would want to come by like that LOL! Seriously though the truth is when hubby was deployed most of his friends were deployed too, so we definitely got our *ahem* alone time!

I shared this question with the spouses on the AW101 FB fan page and boy were their varying opinions.

Below are some of the responses:

1. Sarah B. says: My opinion is not to go over at all. No wife wants to spend her husband’s R&R with a bunch of people. It should be the soldier and his family. The rest of friends and neighbors can wait.

2. Stephanie P. says: I dont think u should intrude….unless youre invited stay away out of respect let the couple enjoy their little time together.

3.  Vanessa A. says:  I would wait for an invite … if I’m good enough friends with the family, we’ve already discussed a get together … if we haven’t already discussed a get together or I haven’t been invited, then I’m probably not close enough to the family to need to be a part of r&r . Just my thoughts!

4.  Megan H. says: Only if you’re invited. Two weeks isn’t long at all so it’s up to the soldier and couple how they want to spend it. Some choose to spend it completely alone, while when my hubby came home we had an “open house” day where anyone could come by who wanted to see him. The couple will make it known when you can see them, especially if you’ve expressed beforehand that you want to see the soldier! :-)

5. Alma G says:  My family and friends are very understanding when my husband is home for a quick visit. I usually give them a day when we’ll have some sort of barbecue/get together and they know they can come then. Otherwise we are pretty mellow about visitors as long as they come bearing good food! Honesty works too: “We are just going to hang out and enjoy our time as a family but do you want to come later?”

Should friends comes come over on R&R or should it be total alone time…Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

See what other spouses are saying about this topic!

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9 comments

  1. Lisa H

    Well, my husband is currently on his way home for R and R and I know, from what he’s told me, he’d like to spend some quality alone time; just him and I. We really don’t have any friends (by our own choice) and our family is pretty small so I don’t foresee it being a big issue. The most important thing is that they have downtime to just relax and unwind without being forced into social situations that they may be uncomfortable with. Just my thoughts though :)

  2. Well, my husband recently came home for R and R and for the first few days we kind of hybernated in our house. Although, we have a good group of friends and family that have not spoken to him in a very long time they were respectful and didn’t disturb. I think it wasn’t until after a week before one of my husband’s friends came over and said hello. I think the most important thing is to allow the soldier to do what he feels comfortable doing. if he is ok with having gues then so be it, if he/she wants to be alone with just his wife/husband and kids then everyone else needs to respect their wishes. After all, you are the king/queen of your household. I suggest waiting a week before anyone disturbs but thats just my opinion or atleast until the Soldier reaches out!

  3. A.E. D'Adda Jr.

    I agree with Mrs. Allison, take time out for yourself and allow the soldier to do what he woudl like to do as well.

    What I would to do like offer is somw advice that has helped me out in my 23 years as a soldier, and still counting.

    Deployments are different for the soldier, spouse, and children. Each has thier own idea of what the reunion willbe like and so on. There should be a realistic plan here.

    For me and my family it worked out best that we emailed and talked on the phone about solid times for activities once I got home. This is very helpful when you have yonger children as well. Even if you have no children plannning out some time for activities is a healthy way to reunite.

    As mentioned above letting everyone onow your location and having them come over is really good. This eliminates the parade of trips to different locations and maximizes the R&R time.

    Some of the best advice I got was form our chaplain when I was on my first deployemnt to Bosnia. He said to the group that we (soldiers) should look at going home as if we are visiting. I know it sounds wierd but it makes sense,after all you have been gone for 12 to 15 months and things do change. So it is okay for the soldier to ask how you do something now.

    Finally I didn’t wnat to discipline my son I felt bad becuase I had been gone for 12 months so I didn’t want to be the bad guy. So make sure you tlak about parenting as well and what each others ideas of your orles once you get back or whiel you are on R&R. There is nothing wrong with letting the soldier have a pass during the two weeks of R&R.

    Hope this helps, I know it did for me when I came home on R&R.

    v/r
    SFC D’Adda

  4. We solved the problem by deciding to go away for R&R. We’ll be meeting in Germany for the 2 weeks which I am very much looking forward to. I know it’s not the solution for everyone (we don’t have kids yet) but we’re looking forward to taking a vacation that we wouldn’t be able to take otherswise.

  5. We had a big dinner party two days before Q went back to Afghanistan. We invited everyone right when he got home so everyone knew they would see him, but weren’t rushing to come by. It was the perfect solution!

  6. Naomi

    My hubby is headed home for R&R as I write this…..glad I found this topic. I’m so torn. We were married in Feb of 2011,he recd orders in April & deployed in Aug. This is his 3rd tour,my 1st. He has over 20 yrs in & is an officer. I did not experience alot of the emotions some go thru when he left,but am on an emotional roller coaster now. Between us,we have 5 children. We waited for “Santa” until he could be home,but now,as the time approaches,I see no time alone for us whatsoever.What started as a Saturday afternoon family meal with his parents has turned into his mom planning a 40 person get together. And old school friends are constantly msg’ing wanting to know when he’ll be home,they want to see him,etc. Our miitary friends that are not deployed only send well wishes & staying away. He says he wants time for us and doesn’t want his R&R planned,but his mom won’t hear of it.
    How do I handle this?????

    • Army Wife 101
      Author

      Hi Naomi and thanks for stopping by!

      Well to be quite honest (and this is just me being my normal blunt self so don’t take it personal) but your hubby needs to just tell his mom what the deal is in a tactful way. He can tell her that he doesn’t have much time at home and that he would prefer to have a gathering once he has his homecoming. She needs to understand that this deployment is different because he now is married so how he would normally spend his R&R is not how he will now. Simply just tell people you are going to be using this time to spend alone or family time or schedule a small getaway. I believe people will understand but you or him have to be willing to speak up.
      I wish you the best and enjoy your homecoming.

  7. Carrie Blanton

    We have a 5 day rule. First day is for he and I. We have 3 children, so there is a day for each of them to have one on one time with them and then a day for all of us as a family. After 5 days is when we let family and friends come and visit. It has worked for us. For family that comes in from out of town or state, we have a 3 day max they can stay. That gives us the last few days together with no outside interruption.

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