Asking for help is never easy and for some reason we military spouses have trouble with doing so. Especially when we really need the help. We try to do everything ourselves and don’t think we should stop and ask anyone for anything.
Here are 10 reasons why military spouses might not ask for help (even when they need it):
- We don’t want to bother anyone. As military spouses, we don’t want to have to bother anyone with our troubles. We might assume that we don’t have a right to do so. We might think that if we do the person we ask for help will think less of us.
- We think we got this. Military spouses try to stay strong. We think we can do everything ourselves. We don’t want to have to admit that we need extra help.
- We don’t know where to go for help. We might want help but we are unsure of where to go to get the help that we need. We are not sure who to call or who to contact in order to find that help.
- We think we have to pay for help. If you are not sure about what your options are, some military spouses might assume that you have to pay to go see a counselor. If you have Tricare, they will pay for some if not all of your counseling. You should check and see what is available and what you have access to. There are other free programs out there as well.
- We think our need is temporary so we just want to get through it. When military spouses are going through a difficult situation, it can be easy to think that the situation will go away soon. That they really don’t need to ask for help. The problem with this is that sometimes the issues don’t just go away and we really should be looking for someone to help us through them.
- We worry about others finding out. Military spouses worry that others will find out if they had to get help for what they are going through. They might fear that others will make fun of them or look down on them.
- We don’t want to come across as weak. We don’t want to come across as weak to our spouses as well as others in our community. We worry that if they find out we needed help, they would no longer think we are strong. We have this idea in our heads about how military spouses are supposed to act and we feel like seeking help would mean we have failed to live up to that.
- We don’t think we have time. Life is busy and scheduling a counseling appointment might not be easy to do. Some military spouses might want to go and get help but feel like they just have too much going on to add that appointment to their schedules.
- We are not sure it will help. Deep down we might be worried that asking for help won’t even do what we need it to do. That we will be wasting our time.
- We think we will look bad to our spouse’s command. This is a fear that some military spouses might have. That they will look bad to their spouse’s command. That they will be known as that wife or that husband and that seeking help will cause harm to their service member’s career.
The truth is, there are a lot of ways for military spouses to find the help that they need. Programs like FOCUS which stands for Families OverComing Under Stress can help spouses find the help that they need to get through their difficult situations. FOCUS offers resiliency training to help children and adults process and grow from their stressful situations.
There are also options to meet with a chaplin, Military & Family Life Counseling (MFLC) Program or be seen by a professional counselor through Tricare or MilitaryOneSource.
During my last deployment, I ended up seeing a counselor because I couldn’t handle what I was having to deal with. Taking the steps to make this happen was difficult but I was able to get the help I needed and learn more about how to handle my feelings as I got through the deployment. I was very glad that I did seek the help even though it was hard to do so.
If you feel like you need extra help, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. You will be glad that you did as you will be able to learn and grow as well as figuring out the tools you need to get through military life challenges.