Hey there! I am well aware that this title is a bit foreboding but please don’t let that color me scary. I am a milspouse and proud of it. I have actually “graduated” as my hubby has since retired from the military. Adios Uncle Sam!!! So- you may think it’s over. It’s done! No wars or deployments for this all American couple! From the practical side of things they are. From the relationship side? Not so much…
First step is knowing the signs and sometimes that isn’t all that obvious. I have a sweet tempered and relaxed attitude type hubby. If he is strangely tense or irritable- something is up.
He is never one to be hostile but it can get lonely as he withdraws into his own headspace. Kid dealing with a life struggle? Hubby can’t help. Overwhelmed with caring for home/work/kids/ect? Hubby can’t help. Having an emotionally over the top day because your hangry and Aunt Flow is banging at the door-or just had a bad day? Hubby can’t help. That’s what PTSD looks like at my house. No angry outlashes but I feel as if I have lost my friend. This is the heartbreak. These things don’t stay constant. Thankfully!
We have good and bad days. Here are my top tips to keep more good days happening:
- Pray daily for your spouse and your relationship *Daily* yes, daily! This is so important because all it takes is one harsh word and Mr. Strong and Silent is all clamped up again. He has to be able to trust you. Show it with your words.
- Get out! Do your hair! Be gorgeous! Read a book! Get some me time. Dealing with life gets hairy and you need to step away now and then. I did not follow this advice and I fell into burn out. Oh, wicked burnout- it’s ugly y’all!
- Confide in someone -ANYONE. Well, not just anyone. Someone you trust. Even someone who has no idea what you are facing will do. You just need a good ear so you can release any built up frustrations safely. *please* do not “DUMP” on your friends- use good judgement here. You want them to listen to you next time too so keep your friends happy and be an ear for them when they need it too 🙂
- Look for people who “get it”. This might be joining a FB page or making contact with another milspouse. I have only a handful of wives that I know well so I went online and listened to webinars. Whatever you need to connect and feel understood. You aren’t alone.
- Be proactive about your marriage and your home. Plan fun activities for your children. Plan date nights. Be the cruise ship recreational director! Your spouse may need the nudge to get out and do. You may be exhausted already but getting a jolt of “something new” may just unlock a door or two. You may end up with many happy surprises along the way.
- Seek wise counsel when needed. Not your favorite Auntie who hates all men or your high school girlfriend three times divorced. I am forever thankful for the mentors in my life. Their lives have inspired me to live better and kinder.
- Finally, don’t be afraid to start over. Sometimes we truly need a restart. If you are really struggling-get that restart. Get “remarried”, say those vows again – they will have an even deeper meaning now than ever before. You can’t avoid change so embrace it. Commit yourself to marry the man that came home to you- not the memory of the man you remember. Best wishes and big love, Veronica