Military Relationships

How To Have a Successful Military Relationship

If you’re a veteran, grew up in a military family, or have a spouse in the military, you face many unique challenges and struggles. 

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The effects of a military relationship

Physical

While military relationships have their own set of challenges, there is no reason they can’t be strong and successful. However, as you love someone who serves in the military, you may likely experience an extra level of stress as you worry about their well-being. Stress can lead to lowered immunity and increased blood pressure. So it is important to take good care of yourself physically. Getting proper exercise and nutrition.

Emotional

Anxiety can run high if you have a relationship with someone in the military, especially if you don’t know how much danger they may be in. You may also struggle with loneliness if they are gone for long periods of time. It is important that you reach out to support from your family and from other military families who understand what you are going through. This will help your emotional stability.

Spiritual

When you are concerned for someone you love and feel powerless to protect them, it is a natural reaction for your spirit to want to call out to God or a higher power for help. Our souls are moved to pray. This is not an accident. We are created with a need for God. So do what is natural and ask God to protect your loved one and find peace.

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Military Relationships Can Stay Strong

If you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or parent in the military, your relationships can last, and they can stay strong and healthy. A military deployment does not have to signal the end of a relationship. Nevertheless, it’s good to be aware of the following unique challenges your relationship may face, and to have the support you need to face them with courage.

Isolation: Because of the distance and limited communication involved in deployment, feelings of abandonment can surface for you or your partner in the military. Keeping those feelings in perspective and developing healthy coping strategies will help make the time apart more bearable.

Mental or Emotional Illness: Due to the high-stress nature of military service and separation, military members and their loved ones can develop struggles with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Please know you are not alone. There are many organizations with mental health resources tailored to military families.

Addictive Behaviors: Addiction can develop when you or someone you love is deployed or dealing with the aftermath of military service. If you are at risk for addiction, or need help breaking free from addictive behaviors, TheHopeLine is here to help you make a plan for sobriety and find a treatment program that meets your needs.

Being aware of the risks relationships can face both during deployment and when coming home from military service will hopefully allow you to pro-actively make a plan to overcome together.
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Tips for Healthy Relationships During Deployment

Here are some suggestions for building healthy relationships while you or a loved one are deployed:

Make a Plan. 
Talk about how to handle housekeeping and financial responsibilities. Discuss family matters and how to navigate them. Make plans to communicate regularly so that you continue to make decisions together. While mail and email may be limited, it is still an option. Commit to doing the best you can using the methods that make you feel the most connected.

Share what’s happening on a day-to-day basis. 
While sadness is a part of deployment, keeping things from one another for fear of making each other sad can exacerbate feelings of disconnection. Share what’s going on in your day-to-day life. There may be some details about deployments that can’t be disclosed, but there’s still much that can be shared about the people around you and what your daily responsibilities are.

Keep a journal. 
This will help you process your feelings, and may be a good source of sharing and relationship-building when you and your loved one get to talk.
Send care packages. These are a great, tangible reminder of what you share, and remind deployed service members that they are not alone. Think of ways to make each package creative and fun.

Stay active in things you enjoy. 
Have outlets and activities to keep you busy while you are apart.

While it’s perfectly normal and understandable to acknowledge that you miss one another, return as often as you can to trust, affirmation, and gratitude. Praying for one another can also be a great encouragement to both your hearts when times get tough.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure how to cope with the challenges of deployment, TheHopeLine offers confidential support for military families, service members, and veterans. Request a mentor or live chat with us today.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Perhaps having someone you love serve in the military has left you feeling alone and anxious. The good news is that you are not alone and neither is your loved one. God is right there waiting to walk alongside both of you if you believe in him. Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20. As you invite God in to your life, you can share your concerns with him and trust him to care for you and your loved one. “Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 Don’t walk this journey alone. Ask God to help you!

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