How You Can Help A Struggling Military Spouse
You are finally feeling good about military life. Nothing too hard, just a few trainings and your husband will be home for a while. You feel put together, have a good friend base at your duty station and life seems pretty stable. But you have noticed something going on in your community. Not all of the spouses around you are doing okay. Some of them are struggling.
So how do you help? What can you do to help a struggling military Spouse?
Or maybe you are not a military spouse. Maybe you have friends that are and you see them hurting? Maybe you would like to help them but you don’t know the best way to do that because you have never been through a deployment or pcs yourself.
Here is what you can do to help a struggling military spouse:
Listening to a struggling military spouse is one of the best things that you can do. They might just need someone to listen. They might need to just get everything out. Being able to vent about your situation in a safe place can be very therapeutic. I know on those days when I just couldn’t see the forest through the trees of the deployment, talking it out with a good friend was very helpful. If you have a friend who is struggling, let them know you are there to listen, even if you don’t fully understand what they are going through.
If there is anything you can offer to this spouse, please do. Offer babysitting, a meal or even just an offer to be there when they need it. Send a care package if they live far away. Send a note just to say you are thinking about them. These little things can really help a struggling military spouse who is not having the best of days.
The worst thing you could do is make a comment on how their situation could be worse or how they need to just get over it. Everyone handles deployments in their own way. Depending on the situation, some spouses might be going through something you simply will never have to deal with. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to feel the way they do about what is going on. During a deployment, you want to be surrounded by people who are going to support you and if you dismiss your friend’s feelings, they might push you away.
Give them space
Some spouses deal with a deployment by spending time by themselves. They might need some space in order to accept that the deployment has started. Make sure to give them space if they needed. Don’t assume that they want you there, because not everyone does. Let them know that you are there when they are ready to talk or just hang out and keep busy.
It’s so important that those of us that feel like we have it together don’t make those that don’t feel like they are less than. I have been on both sides of this. I have been the one struggling and I have been the strong one. I have been the one pouring out my heart and I have been the one who sat by listening as a friend poured out her own struggles.
The thing to remember about military life is it is up and down, it is good and bad, it is happy and sad. When you are feeling good about what is going on, never forget that others are not and never think that things will continue that way for you. You never know what the next day will bring. An unexpected PCS? I have known people who have only been given a few weeks notice. A deployment that gets cancelled only to have it become uncancelled a week before they are supposed to go. A best friend having to leave when you are just about ready to start a new deployment.
Be there for your friends and the struggling military spouse. This will help out the whole military community and make life a little easier for those that need that little bit of extra love and care.