Relationships can be messy is an understatement when it comes to military relationships. It takes a good amount of strength to make a long-distance relationship work, and that too with someone who’s literally fighting enemies day in and day out. If you throw someone with anxiety into the mix, you have the recipe for heartbreak, right?
Any relationship is as strong as you make it, and if you keep the dynamics of your relationship in mind you can actually find a way to power through anxiety as well.
The best way to get empathy from your partner – military relationship or not – is to tell them exactly how you feel. Trust us, your partner knows that their life being at risk will keep you up at night. They think about stuff like that too. Talking to them won’t just help put your feelings in perspective, it will help you understand their feelings about deployment too.
Ask for connections
Prepare a game plan before they are deployed. Ask for letters, schedule virtual dates, and more. Think of what makes sense to practically and then move forward. You could find ways to do things together while you are apart. Pick books the two of you can read and connect over, for example.
Keep things easy
The most important thing about not letting your anxiety get ahead of you is managing expectations. For instance, if they aren’t into writing, don’t ask them for letters. Their love for you may help them write you the first few, but after that the weight of the field will come down heavy. A missing letter could simply mean they are tired or have no idea what to even put into the letter – but anxiety can paint that with a negative brush. You must think of things that are easy for your partner to do and make sense for your relationship.
Understand that bad days will come
Recognise your triggers. No matter how prepared you are for their deployment there will come a day – or a few days – where the world feels like it’s coming down on you. When you aren’t able to speak with them or an important day goes by in their absence, your anxiety can get the best of you. The thing to do is to remember that all the things you’re feeling are temporary, every single one of them. Remind yourself of better days and keep looking ahead. It seems impossible to do in the moment, but the more you keep your mind attuned to this, the smaller the hold of bad days will be.
These are just a few tips on how you can manage your stress and anxiety. Each couple is different and your recipe for contentment needs to come from your own heart.
Let us know in the comments if you have any tips or tricks for managing anxiety.