Being a significant other to a soldier does not come without its challenges. Many husbands and wives face difficulties during the deployment, and even after their loved one returns home.
The readjustment of everyday living and household responsibilities without the support of your significant other can be overwhelming and stressful. To make the transition easier preparation is the key. Before deployment make lists that focus on planning, think about household needs, emergency contacts and supportive friends and family. If children are involved, it is important to discuss with them the changes that will occur and what they can expect. This will allow them time to emotionally prepare. Be sure to spend quality time together as a family before deployment.
During deployment it is helpful to connect with other military families who can understand and relate to what you are experiencing. Many communities provide or have connections to organizations that assist families of deployed soldiers. If your community does not have these resources, there are vast online communities designated to do so.
Each child will respond differently to their parents’ deployment. It is important to be emotionally supportive of your child and help them cope. Tips to make the transition easier for a child include; preparing them for their parents’ deployment, develop and stick to routines, and involvement in school and extracurricular activities.
Your loved one’s homecoming is a much anticipated and exciting time, however many families are not prepared for how difficult the transition to home can be. Your service member may have subtle and not so subtle changes. They will also be coming home to changes and new routines that developed during their deployment. It is crucial to have open discussions about these changes that occurred while apart, and how the kids and home are different. Please seek professional counseling if needed.
Refer to our links page for online communities designated to helping families of deployed soldiers.