Though they are not the ones in uniform, military spouses and families carry a heavy burden. The constant changes and stress of the military lifestyle can take a toll on even the strongest of families.
“Service members and their families bear 100% of the burden of war,” says Psychologist Elizabeth Stanley, author of Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife.
“It’s not just the person who is deployed who is affected. It’s the whole family.”
When a service member is deployed, their spouse or partner is left to manage everything at home. They may have to take on new responsibilities, such as independently caring for the children and the household, on top of their own full-time job. And when their loved one returns, they may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other emotional issues that take a toll on the relationship.
Military spouses have one of the most unique and challenging jobs in the world. They are responsible for keeping the home front running while their loved ones are away serving our country. This can be an extremely isolating and stressful experience.
Military Spouse Career Challenges
While military spouses are often lauded for their strength and resilience, the truth is that they often push through as a way to cope. You may feel like you have to put your own career and life on hold while your partner is away or when you aren’t somewhere long enough to gain adequate job experience. But you’re not alone.
If you’re thinking about starting or continuing your career, there are a few things you can do to make it easier. First, talk to your spouse about your career goals and how you can best support each other. There are also a number of resources available to military spouses, including the Military Spouse Employment Partnership and the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program.
Military Spouse Friendships
One of the hardest things about the military lifestyle is making friends. You’re constantly moving around, which makes it tough to stay in touch with people. And, even when you are in the same place as someone for a while, you might not have much in common with them outside of the military.
But the military also provides a unique community of support. When you’re in the military, you’re never really alone. There’s always someone who understands what you’re going through and can help you out when you need it.
The military lifestyle can be tough on marriages. The long hours, the frequent deployments, and the constant moving can make it difficult to keep a marriage strong. However, there are ways to overcome these challenges.
One of the biggest challenges for military marriages is the long hours that service members often work. This can make it difficult to find time to spend with your spouse. Additionally, service members are often deployed or on extended trainings for long periods of time, which can put a strain on the relationship.
However, there are ways to overcome these challenges. First, it is important to make time for your spouse. If you are able to schedule regular date nights or weekends away, it can help keep the spark alive in your relationship. Additionally, communicating about your thoughts and feelings can help to keep your bond strong, even when you are apart.
How Therapy Can Help Military Spouses
All of this can take a toll on even the strongest person. Military spouses and family members may find themselves feeling anxious, depressed, or even suicidal.
According to a study done by the University of Southern California, military family members that seek counseling do so for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons include: issues with readjustment, anxiety, depression, and marital/relationship problems. The study also found that military family members are more likely to seek counseling if they have a history of mental health problems, are experiencing more stressors, or have less social support.
If you are struggling to cope with the challenges of being a military spouse, please know that you are not alone. There is help available. Therapy can provide military spouses with a much-needed support system. It can help them process their feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. It can also provide them with tools to manage their stress and build a more positive outlook on life.
A military family member may benefit from:
1. Family therapy: This type of therapy can help military families to communicate better and to resolve conflict.
2. Individual therapy: This type of therapy can help individuals to deal with their own emotions and to cope with the stress of being in a military family.
3. Couples therapy: This type of therapy can help military couples to communicate better and to resolve conflict.
It is important to note that seeking counseling is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. Military families go through a lot of stress and change, and counseling can be a helpful way to deal with these challenges. If you are a military spouse or partner struggling to cope, please seek help from a mental health professional. Therapy can help military spouses deal with the stress of the lifestyle and learn to cope with the constant changes.
“It’s important for military families to have someone to talk to who understands the unique challenges they face,” Stanley says.
Our therapists, Marcy, Alyssa, and Carolyne are military spouses and understand the unique challenges brought on by the military lifestyle.
Begin Therapy for Military Lifestyle Challenges in New Bern, NC
Military Spouses and service members can experience a variety of challenges as they navigate and learn the military lifestyle. Our team can offer support as you learn and grow together. You can receive support from our New Bern, NC-based practice:
Other Therapy Services Offered With Renewed Wellness Counseling
Our team understands that you may have more than one mental health concern as a military spouse. This is why we are happy to offer multiple online mental health services. Our therapists specialize in therapy for military families, chronic illness counseling, and addiction counseling. We also offer life transition counseling and trauma therapy.