How to Deal With Family Stress5 min read

Parenting May 11, 2024
Family Stress



How to Deal With Family Stress5 min read

Stress is a normal part of life and can come from various sources, including work, relationships, and financial issues. However, one of the biggest stressors in life can be going through a divorce, especially for military families. When your partner is deployed, or you’re constantly moving from base to base, it can add an extra layer of stress to the already difficult process. However, there are ways to deal with family stress and navigate through challenging situations effectively. Here are some tips for managing stress within military families:

Consider Seeking Professional Help

In cases of extreme stress or mental health concerns, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Many military families have access to free or low-cost counseling services through their installation’s Military and Family Life Counseling Program (MFLC). This program provides confidential counseling for a variety of issues, including divorce and family stress. Trained counselors can offer guidance and support as you navigate through the challenges of divorce.

If possible, seek legal counsel from a divorce attorney who works with military families. With the help of Oceanside Military Divorce Attorneys, you can feel confident in making the right decisions for your family and future. Experienced military divorce lawyers can guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights as a military spouse are protected.

Support is Critical

Turn to friends, family, or divorce support groups. Sharing your feelings with others who understand and can relate can help alleviate some of the stress. Joining a support group specifically for military families going through divorce can be especially beneficial, as you can connect with others who are in similar situations. 

You may also want to reach out to your military community and see if there are resources or programs available that provide support for families dealing with divorce. Most military installations have a Family Readiness Center or similar program that offers counseling, support groups, and workshops to help families cope with various challenges. Feel free to ask for help and seek support when you need it. 

Prioritize Communication

Effective communication is vital in any relationship, including co-parenting during and after a divorce. For military families, this can be challenging due to deployment or frequent moves. However, it’s essential to make an effort to communicate openly and frequently with your partner about important decisions that affect your children. This will help minimize confusion and conflict between both parties.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain open and honest communication with your children during this time. Divorce can be confusing and difficult for children, especially in military families where there may already be a sense of instability due to the nature of the career. Make sure to listen to their concerns and reassure them that they are loved and supported by both parents.

Take Care of Yourself

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and put yourself on the back burner while dealing with family stress. However, it’s important to prioritize self-care during this time. This can include taking breaks when needed, practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and provide a sense of normalcy.

Take care of your physical health by eating nutritious meals, getting enough sleep, and staying active. Your mental and emotional well-being is just as important as your physical health, so prioritize self-care to better cope with stress. This will also set a positive example for your children on how to deal with difficult situations.

Keep Children Informed and Involved

Children may feel uncertainty and anxiety during the divorce process. They may worry about how it will affect their lives and futures. It’s important to keep them informed and involved in age-appropriate ways. This can include discussing the changes that will happen, allowing them to express their feelings, and involving them in decision-making processes when appropriate.

It’s also important to maintain a sense of routine for children, as this can provide a sense of stability and normalcy during a difficult time. Try to keep consistent schedules for meals, bedtime, and other activities as much as possible. This will help children feel more secure and supported. Remember to also provide plenty of love and reassurance to your children throughout the process.

Stay Forward-Focused

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, but it’s essential to focus on the future rather than dwelling on the past. This is especially true for military families, who may have to relocate or adjust to new life changes. It may be helpful to set goals for yourself and your family and work towards them together.

Remember that your current circumstances do not define you and that you have the strength to overcome challenges. Make a conscious effort to stay positive and focus on the opportunities that lie ahead for you and your family.

Explore Conflict Resolution Strategies

Amid divorce, conflicts may arise more frequently. For military families, where stress levels can already be high due to the nature of the job, finding effective ways to manage and resolve conflicts is crucial. Consider engaging in the following conflict resolution strategies:

  • Identify the Source of the Conflict: Often, conflicts arise from misunderstandings or unmet needs. It’s essential to identify the root cause of any disagreement to address the real issue at hand.
  • Use Active Listening: Listen to the other person’s perspective without interrupting. This can help validate their feelings and promote mutual understanding.
  • Speak Using “I” Statements: Express your feelings and thoughts using “I” statements rather than “You” statements to avoid placing blame on the other person. This helps keep the conversation focused on finding a solution rather than escalating the conflict.
  • Seek Compromise: Whenever possible, look for solutions that satisfy both parties. Compromising can help in resolving the issue faster and strengthen the relationship.
  • Take a Time Out if Needed: If emotions become too heated, it’s ok to take a break from the conversation and revisit the issue later when both parties are calmer.

Stress is a natural reaction to difficult situations, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times. However, by seeking support, effectively communicating, prioritizing self-care, and using conflict resolution strategies, military families can successfully navigate through family stress during divorce. Remember that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you and your family through this challenging time.


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