Thursday, February 9, 2017

Five Ways to Help a Miliary Friend

I have discovered over the years that a good friend can make all the difference in life. When your husband spends a lot of time deployed, a good friend can make an even bigger difference. I've encountered several friends who aren't sure how to help me when he's away so I thought I'd share a few tips today for those who might be interested. Helping a military friend is easier than  you think...


Below you'll find five tips that can help you when you're wondering how to help a military friend who's dealing with a difficult time.

Treat her just like any other friend.
When a friend is dealing with something you don't understand, you often ask them to explain it. There may be things a military friend can't talk about but there's plenty of things that they can tell you. Don't look at her as being any different from you. She may be dealing with different obstacles but that's where the difference stops. She's still a friend in need.

Offer a listening ear.
Sometimes we simply need someone to listen without judgement.  If she's talking about deployment or other struggles a lot, it's because they are taking her focus right now. Listen and ask how you can help her. She'll let you know.

Arrange a girls night.
Take her mind off things for a little while and arrange a fun girls outing.  As military spouses, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves so the extra push can be the relief we need.

Don't judge.
I think the worst that I have encountered from anyone is judgement for how I handle things. "How can you be so calm with him gone?" "How do you do it?" "You're stronger than I would be." I've noticed that others judging me is the hardest part sometimes - even when the judgements are somewhat positive like that last one. Keep in mind that military spouses are often doing what they have to in difficult situations.

Ask questions and respect boundaries.
Don't shy away from asking questions - there are many things that we can talk about! There are also many things that we can't talk about. For those things that we can't talk about, a simple "I understand" and moving on can go a long way. It's not that we don't want to share - it's simply that we're protecting ourselves and our husband's by not sharing certain details.

I hope these tips help for anyone that might be struggling with how to help a military friend. Just remember the most important thing - be a true friend and she'll love you for it. (In fact, your friendship might make a bigger difference than you'll ever know.)

Linking up with #LoveBlog! (P.S. If you haven't checked out this challenge yet, you should! Brita has come up with some awesome prompts for February!)

3 comments:

  1. These are great. My best friend and heart-sister is a military spouse, and though we haven't lived anywhere near each other for eight or nine years, there have been so many times I've wished I could come over and have a cup of tea, help fold laundry, or watch the kids so she could have a shower. :)

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  2. Great suggestions. Military spouses definitely need a good support system.

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