New to being a military spouse?
In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews Ashlee, a previous military spouse, on things she wished she had known before marrying into the military.
IN THIS PODCAST
Introduction to Ashlee:
Ashlee is 23 at the time of this recording and is a former military spouse. In this interview, she discusses what she and her ex-husband could have done differently while he was going through a vigorous program in the Navy.
Ashlee felt that having a support system is really important--even it is virtual people from your home town. For Ashlee, she experienced depression and anxiety especially with changes related to moving and military life.
In making new friends after a move, she found that not everyone was supportive. She discusses the importance of being thoughtful about who you talk to and confide in.
Having a support system outside of your partner and outside of military spouses can be helpful. To do this, think about what hobbies you can do in the places where you move. That can help you with adjusting to new places, and provide an avenue for social support outside of your spouse and the military.
Top struggles she faced:
Moving away from home was a culture shock. She was pregnant at the time and didn’t know the new area she had moved to. She had to go through her first pregnancy alone without her spouse once she moved to the new place. She relied on relationships as a way to cope, but she didn’t know who would be good people to confide in. She had depression during pregnancy and after pregnancy. There were so many firsts happening at one time for her that she didn’t know how to do them, or know anyone in the area to help her navigate the new situation.
The most challenging period in time for couples is right after the birth of a first child.” -- Elizabeth Polinsky
It was also challenging meeting people and having them move away, so starting a new social support system was difficult. There can still be drama in military spouse friendships. You want to be aware that what you say may be transferred over to your spouse's coworker when a friend talks about your discussions to their spouses. On top of that, some people are mandated reporters and are required to tell higher ups about certain things going on in your relationship if they know about it.
You have to give people time to earn your trust...test them out first and let the trust build over time” -- Elizabeth Polinsky
She joined a mothers group and that ended up being a great source of support for her. In addition she found that going to a spouse 101 class was helpful. It was also important to know who the ombudsman was.
You can have friends that you do social stuff with...you don’t have to confide in them.” -- Paraphrased from Ashlee
Things that would have helped:
Elizabeth Polinsky's tips if you are having difficulty in a marriage:
If you are in a relationship, you will step on each others toes--it’s unavoidable” -- Elizabeth Polinsky
Words of Wisdom from Ashlee:
Liz's Useful Links:
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Thanks for Listening!
Elizabeth Polinsky, MSW, LCSW, is a marriage and couple therapist specializing in working with military members, veterans, and their families. Liz is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides online counseling services throughout Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia (#0904011022), South Carolina (#11302), and Arkansas (#7735-C). She is also licensed as a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in Virginia (#0730000567) under the supervision of Marianne Coad, LPC, LMFT.
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The Communicate & Connect Podcast
In Communicate & Connect For Military Relationships, I provide educational tips for relationships, communication, and navigating military family life.