As of 2021, there are over half a million military families actively serving. They make tremendous sacrifices every day to preserve our freedoms and way of life. However, many of these families struggle with their relationships and their mental health. If you are in the military or the spouse of someone serving in the military, you have probably experienced situations where you can not fully express yourself with someone who does not understand the struggle. You might find that your friends and even your family are not as supportive as you need them to be because “you knew what you were getting yourself into, “… right? What might help is seeking out Military Marriage Counseling.
The Struggles Military Marriages Face
Even in the best marriages, there are emotional highs and lows. You might be dealing with periods of separation. You might be dealing with living in different time zones where one of you is up at 2 AM if you want to talk. You might be dealing with depression, anxiety, or generally feeling overwhelmed by having to do everything with your partner’s help. These things put a strain on your marriage. An option you might consider is marriage counseling to get your relationship back on track.
How to Seeking Help
Seeking out military marriage counseling can feel insurmountable if you are rarely in the same place at the same time. First, determined what your specific problems are and write them down. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your spouse before you look into counseling:
- Do we struggle with communicating when we are able to reach one another?
- When we are together, are we fighting more than we are getting along?
- Are there other issues we need to address, such as depression or PTSD?
After you have an idea of what you want to work on as a team, seek out a therapist to help with your specific problems. You might find that no only do you need marriage counseling, but both of you could benefit from individual counseling as well. Many military families struggle with issues like:
- Child discipline
- Feelings of loneliness/isolation
- Unemployment or underemployment of the non-military spouse
- Lack of support from extended family or community
- Feelings of ‘otherness’ in a new environment or even a new country
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning home
- Addiction or alcohol abuse issues
Make the Process Easier On Yourself
Be strategic with your search for military marriage counseling by thinking ahead. Seek out a therapy office that will take your insurance. This may require you to call and inquire, but it is well worth it to find a place that takes military insurance, as out-of-pocket therapy can be as much as $200 a session. Additional things to consider are:
- Choose an office that has the option for video therapy.
- Consider if your children need therapy to have a safe place to express their concerns and frustrations.
- Talk to other military families about their experiences with therapy. You might be surprised how many people have gone through the same process as you.
Military families struggle in ways that others may not easily understand. You might be dealing with the stress of periods of separation where you are unable to see or speak to your spouse. Seeking help does not have to be impossible. Determine what kind of help you need and any other underlying issues to address, such as depression or anxiety. Make the process easier on yourself by choosing an office that takes military insurance and offers video therapy. Reach out to others that have gone through the same struggle you have. Getting help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is a therapy office serving the Chicagoland Area. We offer couples counseling and mental health services. Our therapists are skilled at working with those who are struggling to process traumatic events. Give our office a call at (708) 798-5433 or email us a info@Family-Strategy.com for appointment details.