Summary: Many obstacles arise from having a partner in the military, so here are some tips to help you through this difficult time.
Having a spouse that is in the military can bring about a lot of challenges in a relationship. If your spouse is actively in the military and away from home, for days, weeks, months, and even years on end, we’ll be discussing some ways of dealing with this.
There are multiple obstacles that come about when being in a relationship or married to someone who is actively in the military. One of the biggest is dealing with the time you’ll have to spend alone. Do you and your partner trust each other enough and communicate effectively to understand that you won’t cheat or enter into another relationship when you are separate from one another? Furthermore, how do you deal with the loneliness you’ll face when days, weeks, months, and possibly even years go by without seeing your spouse, worrying each day and night if they are going to be killed in combat?
This is not an easy thing, and for many people, it’s difficult to make the relationship work since the separation, the loneliness, and even despair one feels if something does end up happening is often so intense that most cannot be in a relationship with someone who will be away for such a long time. So if it’s not for you, you have to be the one to communicate with your partner about how you feel to find the best thing for the both of you.
If you are alone much of the time, find some activities that’ll keep you busy and your mind active. There is nothing worse than sitting down with nothing to do worrying about things you have no control over. Let the anxiety and fear go and live your life the best you can. Use your time alone to reflect on yourself and your life to improve it even more. Find other people to connect with that are also in your shoes and have a spouse that is away, and you’ll often make new friends that’ll keep you occupied during this tough time.
What if your partner does die when they are in combat? How would that make you feel? These are very real concerns many have that have partners that are away. You never know what will happen, and when it’ll happen, but it’s a concern that is very real. Be sure to communicate with your partner as to what you would both want if they do not return home and are killed during combat. Many times the answer tends to be to move on and be free, find a new relationship when you are ready. But, sometimes you may want to cherish the memories you’ve shared with this person for the rest of your life. This depends on when you are ready to move on. Go at a pace that is right for you since everyone is different.
When your partner does finally return home, new challenges may come up, often mental health issues. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an extremely common side effect of being in a war. The act of killing others, living on edge as if you’re going to die any moment, and seeing your own comrades killed before your eyes leaves a mental scar that will not dissipate overnight. While the military tries to prepare one for this by making them emotionally numb, we cannot hide our emotions forever.
So, if your spouse was in a war, they could come back with flashbacks, paranoia, depression, and intense anxiety and always seem on edge. They may seem different from what you remember, what you fell in love with. If this is the case, be there for them and comfort them and help them seek appropriate mental help. You may not understand what they are going through and the horrors they witnessed that flash before their eyes, flashbacks, nightmares, even sounds and places can trigger these feelings. So be there for them when they need you the most.
It’s not easy having a partner that is in the military and actively away from home and in a war. Your anxiety may be sky high, worrying each day and night about what will happen. But, take a step back and live your life, connect with others, and always be prepared for that ‘what if’ scenario. And when your partner does return, be there for them if they have developed mental illness and PTSD as a result of their experiences. That will show you truly love them and care.
Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!
I personally do not know anyone who is actively in the military, but some of my family members served in it in the past, and a few others want to enlist. It’s always a scary thought since when they leave, that may be the last time you ever see them. Regardless, I cannot imagine the sadness that those married to people in the military have faced. It certainly takes a lot of communication and proper emotional management to deal with it, and even to face the reality of what may happen.