Military spouses endure a lot of challenges living the military lifestyle. Some obvious ones include deployments, PCSs and constantly changing circumstances. Beyond the day-to-day, some spouses have to deal with the additional challenge of assuring their spouse they are invested and willing to hang tough in the face of uncertainty and often trying times.
It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. Here are a few ways you can express solidarity and work to ensure your military spouse knows you’ll always be there for them:
One of the best ways you can show support for your spouse’s decision to join the military is to join it yourself—in the civilian sense. Get involved with your Family Readiness Group and try to find get-togethers and activities to get excited about. Try to meet some people and make some friends to establish a social life. Once your spouse sees that you can create a life alongside the military, his or her fear may be eased.
Depending on whether your spouse is away on assignment, there are a few approaches to communicate in a way that shows your affection.
If your spouse is away, try to keep the communication consistent. Write regularly via email or post, but be sure not to promise anything you can’t deliver. Don’t promise to write every day if you know your schedule can get crazy. Falling back on a promise leaves room for doubt, so keep expectations realistic.
Also try to keep your communication open, but be sure to emphasize the good. If you two can only chat via phone, talk about some positive news such as some family fun or a new hobbyyou picked up. You can be honest about struggles you’re having, but be sure to
explain how you’re coping or trying to cope. Just expressing struggles may touch on a guilty feeling that he or she cannot be there for you. If they doubt they can meet your needs, their fear of you leaving may heighten.
One topic to ensure some investment is your future together. Perhaps you can talk about your future home, family or vacations.
You may not always be able to voice how you feel, but giving your spouse something tangible as a reminder of your affection can be helpful. It can be as simple as his or her favorite candy, movie, magazine or a picture.
The work and effort that goes into a scrapbook can be a great way to show that your relationship is worth it to you. You can show how much you appreciate old memories and it may even spark ideas to create new ones.