By SARAH PEACHEY
Relationships take up a large part of the average person’s life and almost all of them require work to keep them strong. We can enter almost any bookstore and pull a relationship help book off the shelf or conduct a quick Internet search to find tips and tricks. For the average person, these can be easy fixes, but for the average military family, the struggle can persist.
Whether civilian or military, we aren’t really all that different when it comes to our relationships. Both types of families contain a variety of relationships: spouses, children, friends and in-laws. As if those relationships aren’t hard enough on their own, the military throws in frequent separations, unknown dwell times, frequent moves, changes in friendships and more to help shake things up, making it more difficult to keep and maintain relationships. Our family doesn’t live right down the road, our friends are scattered all over the country or world, our kids must readjust to a new school every few years and our spouses can get shipped out at a moment’s notice. It gives a whole new meaning to making the most of every day.
I’ve always been very surprised that few relationship books exist for military families. Some authors have tried to create a military version that, in the author’s mind, is tailored more specifically toward military families. However, many authors fail to address the problems many military families face opting to insert “service member” and “deployment” and add deployment stories within the text of the original edition. Those authors often don’t take into account deployments, training, temporary duty and other military engagements.
To counter that issue, I will be writing a series of columns for MilitaryOneClick dealing with relationships of all types — spouses, families, neighbors, friendships (both civilian and military), children, step-families, co-workers and in-laws — and a number of situations or problems associated with each type. In the past I have written articles that deal with relationships for both MilitaryOneClick (The Love Dare series and a piece on working through marital issues) and Homefront United Network.
I hope to continue some of those similar ideas here, whether personal stories, interviews or how-to’s. If you have any ideas you would be interested in reading, leave a comment here and it may be turned into an article. My hope is that I can provide you, the reader, with suggestions or tips to help with a relationship that may be troubling you and set you up for success.
* * *
Sarah Peachey is a 20-something journalist from Pennsylvania, back in the Mid-Atlantic after voyages to the Deep South and Southwest. She lives with her husband, toddler and newborn. She began a career in journalism with The Fort Polk Guardian, an installation newspaper, winning three state awards for her work, and she now freelances for military spouse support sites and consults for MilitaryOneClick. She has a passion for politics and fiery debate. She considers herself a bookworm, pianist, wine enthusiast and crossword addict.