Life In A Military Family

Life-In-A-Military-FamilyBeing a member of a military family comes with a unique sense of honor and pride.  Unfortunately, it also comes with a great deal of stress.  There are a number of reasons it can be a challenging, but two in particular often weigh heavy on the hearts of military families.
1.  Deployment – Fear of deployment may be a constant for some military members, their spouses, and children.  Not knowing when, if, or for how long can be stressful.  Though you may have signed up for this by joining the military or marrying a member of the military the reality of it may be harder than you imagined.  Once deployment orders have been given couples may experience tension in the relationship due to anxiety about what’s to come.  Children may begin acting out for the same reason.  Once the family member is deployed spouses may have difficulty adjusting to new duties around the home and may feel overwhelmed by handling the homefront alone.  Many find it helpful to include the deployed spouse in parenting decision making whenever possible.  The separation can also make it difficult to maintain a level of intimacy both partners desire.  Additionally, families may experience financial strains during deployment.  This may come in part as a result of having to work out new child care arrangements.  Spouses and children alike may fear heavily for the safety of their loved one.  Limiting exposure to constant news sources may be helpful.  Unfortunately, the challenges may not end with the deployment. The returning soldier may have difficulty adjusting to the changes that have taken place in the family while gone.  It may take some time getting used to the new independence his or her spouse has acquired while they were gone.  Of course if the soldier returns wounded, physically or emotionally, it may also be a challenging time of transition.
2.  Frequently Relocating – This can also place tremendous stress on military families.  Spouses and children may feel their lives are constantly being interrupted.  Having to change jobs, neighborhoods, and schools means having to make new friends.  This can be tough for everyone involved.  Also, because the military issues the orders it may feel like a loss of control of your own life.  It’s important for family members to discuss their feelings with one another which can ultimately help make the transition smoother.
The good news is there are a number of great resources available to help military families handle the unique stress they experience.  Support groups are available online and throughout communities all over the country.  Also, many find it helpful to quickly connect with other military families in their neighborhood, schools, and churches as soon as they move so that they have people around them who understand their experiences.  If a support system of family and friends is not enough, professional help is always available.



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