Couples communication during deployments is an important part of relationship maintenance for military families. In recent decades, enhanced access and new mechanisms for deployed communication have brought benefits but also new concerns related to communication frequency and content for couples. This blog reviews recent research findings and resulting recommendations for couples navigating communication expectations, social media, and communication blackouts during deployments.
Blog posts with the tag "Deployment"
Most Service members see deployments as short term intervals, usually interruptions, in their lives. Family, however, is usually viewed as a constant. Communicating with our families, friends, and loved ones while we are deployed is a critical concern for nearly every Service member. Many find it difficult to strike a balance between trying to manage personal and family relationships and remaining focused on the mission and the needs of fellow Service members while deployed. Below is an abbreviated look at how deployment communication has changed over my career, ways my family and I have tried to adapt, and a look at future deployment communication challenges.
As a military Veteran and a military spouse, deployments were an accepted and many times anticipated part of my life. I met and married my Marine husband in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He was assigned to a Marine Special Ops Command and deployed regularly. For years two through six of our marriage, my husband was gone 10 months out of every year. Throughout the years, he has missed every holiday at least once. For some, I don’t think he has ever been home. As I recently reflected on these missed holidays and the challenges that went along with them, I came up with a list of my 10 Holiday Survival Tips for a military family.
The other night, I was talking with a neighbor about my irritation with loved ones whom I viewed as having an extreme reaction to the current pandemic. When I talk with others and hear about how worried and anxious they are -- and what I view as over-the-top rituals they perform to sanitize their world -- I have found myself getting frustrated with them and trying to convince them that they don’t have to be so worried. At the same time, I am worried about my own reaction, or perceived lack thereof. Is there something wrong with them… or me?
As we train civilian providers around the country through our Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) program, one thing that is new to many people---is the fact that reintegration is frequently more stressful for military-connected families than the deployment itself.