What Is Army Marriage Counseling?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 13 May 2020
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Army marriage counseling is marriage counseling focused on the needs of service members, whether they are married to civilians or other members of the armed services. Some militaries provide army marriage counseling among the many services they offer to enlisted and commissioned personnel. In other cases, it may not be a covered benefit, but resources could be available through nonprofit organizations and companies associated with the military.

A number of challenges can arise in military marriages. For members of the service who plan long-term careers, the job can require numerous relocations, which can be hard on family members. Spousal obligations can also increase as service members climb in the ranks; officers' partners, for example, are often expected to entertain, host events, organize charitable endeavors, and so forth. This can add stress to a marriage, especially if young children are also involved.

Members of the military may also be sent on deployment, which can be difficult for deployed service members and their families. While one partner is on deployment, the other may need to manage a household. If the family has recently relocated, the spouse at home may have minimal support from friends and family during this period. When service members on deployment have difficulty contacting family at home, it can increase the sensation of isolation.

Tension can also occur when people return from deployment and attempt to readjust to life at home. Military marriage counseling can help both partners adjust and may reduce the risk of domestic violence and other forms of abuse. It can also help help partners in a marriage work on maintaining the marriage even while on deployment, separated because of moves, and in other stressful situations.

Members of the military have a number of options for army marriage counseling. At some bases, marriage and family counselors may be available, or couples can get a referral. On others, chaplains and other personnel like senior officers may be able to offer army marriage counseling to members of the service who are struggling with marital issues. Military service organizations also provide counseling, including by phone and video conference, options that may appeal to people on deployment who would have difficulty getting into an office.

The military may cover army marriage counseling on the grounds that strong families can promote health and welfare for soldiers. Counseling can also be important for veterans who may need help preparing for the return to civilian life. These services may preempt or identify mental health problems that could require additional interventions, in addition to keeping families together.

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