Relationship Therapy for Military Individuals and Couples
Frequent moves, deployments, separation from loved ones, other disruptions of daily life, and all the unique challenges of military life come with their share of stress. As a military individual or couple, you are probably experiencing one or numerous aspects of these life-altering transitions. Having to leave the comfort of your home behind and give up the familiar faces you’ve grown to love and care about can be nerve-wracking. But so is the time before and after each separation and each redeployment.
You and your partner might feel bitter, frustrated, angry, sad, and even heartbroken. You might also find yourself starting arguments, picking fights, overcompensating for the emptiness you feel, avoiding difficult conversations, or resorting to detachment and withdrawal altogether. The feelings you’re going through are completely valid and normal for military couples, especially during the harrowing process of deployment.
This is why relationship therapy and support are invaluable. Counseling can help you address these concerns before they expand into an impossible situation. Getting the help you and your partner deserve will relieve some of that pressure and improve your relationship for the better.
The life of a military individual and couple is not easy
The nature of military life often leads to a lot of fear and anxiety both for the individual who has been deployed and the people they left behind. Worrying about yourself, your partner, your family, and your children becomes second nature.
As the partner remains at home, you might feel abandoned, irritated, and even more stressed because of all the responsibilities that you have to handle by yourself. Most importantly, you might experience crushing feelings of loneliness and desolation. You might also worry about managing your household’s finances among other issues.
On the other hand, as the partner who has been deployed, when you return home, you might struggle to adapt to these different circumstances. You might feel frustrated at your inability to feel at ease in an environment that you’re supposed to call home. The strangeness of being back without the comfort a sense of familiarity brings can be terrifying. You might also have a hard time coping with symptoms of severe stress or PTSD, particularly if you were previously engaged in active combat.
Returning to the family is a challenging adjustment that often proves to be overwhelming for everyone involved, despite the relief and the joy that such a happy reunion brings. Military couples therapy can help you navigate these everyday concerns to improve your relationship, instill healthier coping mechanisms, pick up efficient stress and anger management skills, and learn how to properly adjust after deployment.
Reduce Worry and Get Help with Military Individuals and Couples Therapy
Every couple goes through low periods in their relationship where they’re confronted with conflict and tension. With that said, not every couple has to deal with these common challenges all while getting ready for a last-minute move across the country or preparing for an overseas deployment that would extend over a long period of time. Instead of trying to carry the burden of your lifestyle alone, or instead of completely giving up because the issues are unrelenting, you have to take the first step and try couples counseling if you want to get your relationship back on track.
The truth is, military marriages and relationships involve more hardships and higher levels of pressure compared to civilian ones. From frequent moves and leaving your entire support system behind to experiencing the isolation that comes with deployments to trust issues and imagined or actualized infidelity, being part of a military couple can be a solitary and unyielding journey.
A therapist will provide you with an unbiased perspective on your situation and help you find efficient solutions and strategies to work through them. While your friends and family members can lend a helping hand when you need some support, they cannot view your relationship from a neutral standpoint and so they cannot offer you professional advice. Even the act of consulting with your loved ones is subjective because of our tendencies to omit the bad and the ugly of what happened. Only a counselor can examine your situation in an objective and productive manner.
Benefits of Counseling for Military Individuals and Couples
- Cope with the adjustment difficulties after returning home
- Establish realistic expectations about the partner returning home
- Ensure a smooth and effortless reintegration with family/community
- Reconnect with your partner
- Reduce stress, fear, and anxiety upon your partner’s deployment
- Develop tools for effective communication
- Encourage healthier ways to deal with conflict
- Prevent negative situations from escalating to abusive behavior
What to Expect from Therapy for Military Individuals and Couples
- You will discuss the good and the bad aspects of your relationship to delve deep into the roots of your conflict. It’s worth mentioning that you might find it hard to talk through your problems at first and the first couple of sessions could involve several arguments with your partner, but uncovering the source of your sadness or anger is a fundamental part of the process. Realize that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to use counseling, your intentions and what you hope to achieve are what matter the most.
- You might get some homework. Developing effective communication skills requires some practice. So your therapist might suggest a few exercises to help you apply what you learned during your sessions. For instance, you might be prompted to center your relationship by letting your partner know how much you appreciate them. This could mean a simple “thank you” when your partner covers a chore or task.
- Your counselor is there to assist you and your partner in working through your as rationally as possible. While some forms of therapy are more short-term than others, there is nothing wrong with or shameful about pursuing counseling for several months. If you or your partner, for example, are dealing with substance abuse, mental illness, or other issues, getting additional support can help you identify and remedy the root problem much more efficiently.
At Deep Connections Counseling, we aim to provide military couples and individuals experiencing difficulties the help and support they need. From conflict and bad communication to withdrawal and disconnection, our counseling services will alleviate the tension and pressure that has put a strain on your relationship with your partner. The stressful nature of military service can negatively impact intimate relationships, at times resulting in serious issues like domestic violence and divorce. Therapy sessions with our counselors can help you restore a sense of safety, intimacy, and friendship between partners.
Seeking help is just one step away!
Our licensed counselors will offer you a safe and secure environment in which you and your partner can feel comfortable sharing your outlook on the impact of frequent moves, deployments, and other military lifestyle stressors. We understand the stigma of asking for help within the military and we ensure confidentiality by providing private pay sessions additionally to accepting insurance. Reach out for help today by scheduling an appointment.