I’m regularly immersed in literature focused on the experiences of military spouses, couples, and families. I love reading the qualitative narratives of other spouses, like myself. Other than inspiration, I receive a direct heart-to-heart link to their deployment experiences, the challenges they face, the resiliency that helps them survive the arduous times. Military spouses know the impact that wartime deployments can have on couples and family members. I remember those days well…some of you might be able to relate to my deployment experiences, while others are bearing down for your first.
Deployment Experiences: Sound Familiar?
Some of you are nodding your head. You’ve been there. You remember the tears, the frustration, the hyperarousal when seeing an unknown car pull into your driveway. You may have had a one-day-at-a-time motto to get you through that season.
These stressors are unique to the military spouse experience. If you’re a spouse visiting this post and are barely surviving the transitional phases of deployments or this military lifestyle, you are NOT alone. There are so many spouses with shared experiences. We just don’t talk about them much. After all, society expects us to be “strong” … strong for our spouses, so they can serve our country and accomplish the mission.
I want to encourage you to consider the following however: Do you want to survive during deployment times and other seasons of change, or do you want to thrive?
To thrive=to bloom. Spouses, I was not flourishing like a beautiful flower during my husband’s third deployment. No. I felt more like a dead, stepped on flower, especially after having my first child. I was depleted and hungry for community. I lived about two hours from the nearest military base, and supportive FB spouse groups in my area weren’t even a thing. I now understand the difference between being in military spouse “survival-mode” vs. thriving in this role, and in life.
If you’re merely surviving, don’t beat yourself up. Feel encouraged and take a positive small step towards thriving. The list below has helped me grow and adapt during the dryer seasons of this military life.
5 Thrive over Survive Strategies:
Hang in there spouses–we’re in this together! Please let me know what’s helped YOU thrive in the comments section.