Picking up and moving to a foreign country can not only be stressful, it can be scary. With a variety of supportive resources, especially if living on base, Heather Sweeney says it can be far too easy to hide in the fishbowl in hopes of replicating life in America. A Navy wife and mother of two, Sweeney experienced her own hesitation while stationed with her husband in Japan.
“The language was too hard to learn, I’d be way too far away from family, and there was no way a 5′ 7″ blonde female could possibly blend in. I would stand out like, well, an American in Japan,” she writes in SpouseBUZZ.
Fortunately, Sweeney overcame the culture shock to make the best of the overseas tour. Here’s how you can too.
Moving houses can be intimidating in the first place, but having to move by yourself can be downright frightening. If you’re a military spouse, that might be the reality at some point in your life when your spouse is deployed.
“I am an active duty military spouse with two children and six ‘on my own’ moves under my belt,” said Roxanne Reed, Executive Director of the Military Spouse Foundation and Marine Corps spouse. “I’ll be honest — moving stressed me out to no end in the beginning, but now I see it as a time to clean out, reorganize and start fresh.”
One of the most anxiety-ridden times for a military family is right before homecoming. There is often a high level of uncertainty about how the service member responded to the difficulties of deployment.
We asked readers about the stress of homecoming and collected some great ideas for how to ease it and make sure things go off without a hitch for you and your family. See More
For some spouses, the holiday season brings a reunion with their loved one. As military members come home to spend the joyous season with their families, they’ll be ready to rest and soak up the holiday spirit. At-home spouses may be eager to jump right into thick of the holidays, but returning service members often need to ease into the civilian life.
Try some of these easy activities to welcome your spouse home for the holidays: See More
Homecoming is one of the most important events for a military family. Months of anxiety and loneliness all build up to the day you can finally reunite as a family.
Because so much pressure is put on this one moment, it is easy for military spouses left at home to dream of the perfect reunion. There’s a push to get in shape, spotlessly clean the house, cook a fantastic meal, get a haircut, go shopping for new clothes and show up at the airport looking like a movie star.
Deciding how extended family, parents and friends can be involved in homecoming can be an additional stressor on both the military spouse at home and deployed service members.
If you’re concerned about integrating your extended family and parent-in-laws into the homecoming festivities, use these tips to build a personal plan of action. See More
A military member’s homecoming is almost always an exciting, jubilant event that restores stability and peace of mind. But spouses with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can return home a changed person.
About one in five military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan report PTSD symptoms, but only half typically seek treatment, according to a 2008 study by the Rand Corporation.
Spouses can face an array of challenges when a loved one begins to exhibit symptoms of the disorder. But there are paths to treatment and help for spouses and service members alike. See More