My wife doesn’t understand how the military works. We’ve been married for four months and she constantly complains about me working late or having to pull staff duty at weird hours of the night. I’m also preparing to deploy and I’m worried she’s going to fall into a depression or worse while I’m gone. How do I calm her nerves and get her to realize that the military is the best thing that could have happened to me?
With that being said, the Army really is a Family and it’s geared towards supporting its Families as well. Your unit’s Family readiness group is a great place to get started. Next time you have a meeting, bring her. Let her meet the other spouses, let her ask questions during the meeting or in private with the leader. Let her talk to your first sergeant and commander; let her build a rapport with them. She needs to know that there is a support network available for her. And if your FRG is a good one, its leader will explain all the organizations available to your wife.
If she wants a familiar face to explore post with, take her. She needs to know that you’re there to support her too … even when you’re not. Explain to her about the technological advances in deployments now — satellite radios, Skype, Internet, etc. Even though you’ll be away from her, you’ll still be able to talk to one another and might even be able to see each other over video tele-conferences if your unit or another organization supports it.
Basically what I’m telling you is, help her become comfortable with being an Army wife. Talk to her, include her in your unit Family functions and most importantly, don’t worry. She’s got a great support network here on Fort Bragg and she’ll be just fine. You just worry about being safe and coming home to her. Good luck.
(Editor’s note: Sharilyn Wells really doesn’t know much about anything, but she’ll definitely share her opinion with you whenever needed. To get a ‘straight up’ opinion to your countless issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)