Adjusting to Life as a Military Spouse
Being a military spouse can often be difficult, especially when your husband or wife is being deployed to another country for months at a time or you have to relocate on short notice. Many military spouses have to deal the strains that come along with being away from their partners for long periods of time, including taking over all of the responsibilities at home. Others have to move to another location with their spouses. If you remain at home, you may have to take care of your children, pay bills and keep up with household cleaning and maintenance tasks without assistance from your spouse. If you have to move to another city, state or country, you and your family have to adjust to your new lives. To be able to deal with the deployment of a spouse, you need to have a support system, find ways to get everything accomplished and maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse.
If you find yourself at home without your spouse or in a new location, make sure that you have a support system of friends, family members or acquaintances with whom you can talk about your thoughts or feelings or get advice. If you have recently moved because your spouse has been deployed to another city, state or country, talk to other military spouses about how they have dealt with the process of adjusting to living in a new place. If your spouse has been sent over to another country, talk to friends and family members about the emotions you are experiencing as a result of the deployment. If you are looking for someone who understands what you are going through, search online for chat rooms or message boards or join local groups where you can chat with other military spouses. Let others help you to adjust to the changes that go along with deployment because you could start to become stressed, overwhelmed or depressed as a result of your spouses’ absence or your separation from your friends and family members.
Find a way to get everything you need to get done in a manageable timeframe, either if you have to move or are left without your spouse due to deployment. Ask others, such as your children, friends or family members, to help you if you cannot get certain tasks, such as picking up your children, moving to a new location or fixing something, finished without help. Plan out your time so that you get tasks accomplished more efficiently but don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much. Keep up work and household chores but also take time to relax, work out, do volunteer work or do other tasks that are important to you. Take classes or workshops or learn from others so that you can better accomplish certain tasks, such as budgeting. Use resources available through the military, such as Family Readiness programs. Also find ways, such as meditation or therapy, to deal with feelings that go along with moving or running a household alone.
Regularly communicate with your spouse and encourage your children to do so in order to keep a strong connection with your spouse. Write letters or emails and talk on the phone to your spouse and see him when he is able to get leave. Talk to your partner about what you are feeling, what is going on at home and what he is experiencing so that you both know what is occurring in each other’s lives. Don’t expect your spouse to give you all of the details of his job, as he may not want to talk about everything he has experienced, but make sure that you talk about the most important aspects of your lives. If you are stationed on a military base, don’t listen to gossip, especially related to your spouse. Trust in your spouse and your relationship unless he gives you a reason to believe he is lying to you about something important. Make sure that you and your spouse maintain a healthy relationship while being apart from each other so that you don’t have problems, especially communication issues, when he comes home from deployment or when you start to spend more time together after adjusting to relocation.
As a military spouse, you have an important role of providing support to a member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard. You may have to deal with deployment more than once, so you need to learn how to deal with the demands and emotions that go along with deployment. You shouldn’t feel as if you have to deal with the change on your own because others , such as your family, friends or other military spouses, likely will be there to help you if you reach out to them. If you learn how to best manage a household and deal with feelings that go along with moving or living without your spouse for a certain period of time, you have the best chance of being able to live the lifestyle that goes along with being a husband or wife of military personnel.