Being married, or in a long term relationship with a Service person can be a challenge, with long term separations and family mobility taking its toll on service families. However, these difficulties need to be taken in context: in the UK today a divorce takes place every 3 ½ minutes, and one in four marriages ends in divorce within the first 10 years.
Relationships do face numerous and repeated difficulties, but this doesn't mean that life is all doom and gloom. Most relationships are happy in the main, and although we all experience the ups and downs of life, there are plenty of things you can do to maintain a long term relationship in the service.
How can we keep our relationship healthy?
Remember life is about choices…you choose what kind of partner you like (tall, dark, handsome…), you choose whether to move in together or get married, you choose to stay together or to separate. Therefore the things you do to keep things together are based on choice. You can choose whether or not to act lovingly, or to listen or shout, but whatever route you choose, there are consequences.
More Information: Keeping Your Relationship Healthy
Where to live...
If you choose to live in your home town… Long distance relationships can be tough, especially when the level of separation is unpredictable. However they are manageable if approached properly, and staying in your home town can offer specific benefits that moving to the port area may not have. Where you choose to live has a major impact on how you maintain your relationship. You can choose to remain in your home town, near all the familiar sights and amenities, or move nearer your partner, nearer more Naval orientated support. The choice is yours.
More Information: Where to Live
Absent and Anxious? Coping with being apart
Separation can raise a whole range of emotions. From anger, to frustration to fear. It is not uncommon for loved ones to fear the serving person will meet someone else whilst they are away … or vice versa the serving person often worries about their family at home. Maintaining good communication can help relieve anxiety, as can developing good support networks.
More Information: Being Apart - Being Apart From Your Partner
Dealing with Difficulties
The changes we can experience whilst being away from each other can be difficult to understand. We learn new skills, meet new people, and see new things. Some of these things can have major impact on our relationships, and we sometimes need help understanding these changes and how to deal with them.
More Information: Dealing with Relationship Difficulties
Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?
Relationships aren't always healthy. Sometimes they hurt, and sometimes they hurt you. There is growing recognition of the impact violence in the home has on children, and the extreme danger many people face at the hands of those they love.
More Information: Domestic Violence
When Relationships End
Sometimes relationships deteriorate beyond reconciliation. At this point you may wish to seek practical, legal or emotional advice and support about what happens next.
More Information: Separation and Divorce
One major aspect of Service Life is being away for long periods of time. This is not easy for you or your family. Being at home whilst your other half is away can be very upsetting and stressful. Equally, although you may find yourself in an interesting foreign place or on a nice sunny beach, the experience of being away from home and the ones you love can be tough. The Navy recognises this and endeavours to reduce the effects of separation by encouraging people to communicate.
How do we keep in touch?
There are many ways you can communicate with your loved ones, including telephone, e-mail, and mail. RNcom contains valuable information about how you can stay in contact with each other.
More Information: Communication
Little Billy really misses his dad, what can I do?
Children miss their parents when they are away - FACT. This doesn't mean their world has to fall apart, or that they will be damaged by the experience. What it does mean is that they need support and love.
More Information: Supporting Children Whilst a Loved Ones Away
I haven't heard from my daughter in 4 weeks, is she ok?
Having a child in the Forces can be a difficult experience. Although we are proud of our children we cannot help but worry. This is particularly true when they are away, or if they do not call home very often. There are numerous ways in which you can keep in touch with loved ones whilst they are away, but rest assured, if there were a problem you are likely to be the first to know.
More Information: Being Apart from Parents
Understanding Service Separation
The one you love is away, and you naturally miss him/her. This can be especially true if you have moved away from your family to live closer to the port area. However if you do live in a port area you may be able to link in with others in the same situation. This site offers online Forums and Chat Rooms for you to talk to other Service partners if you wish. Alternatively, we offer a range of information and advice on separation issues.
More Information: Understanding Service Separation
They're due home soon, how will I cope?
Living apart for any length of time means we fall into our own patterns and routines. This is particularly the case during deployments, where we have to carry on with normal life. This doesn't mean adjusting to their return is easy.
More Information: Making that Homecoming Happy
It's just not the same since they've been away, what can we do?
The changes we can experience whilst being away from each other can be difficult to understand. We learn new skills, meet new people, and see new things. Sometimes these changes seem insurmountable. Don't just ignore them, they may appear to go away, but problems needs sorting, not ignoring.
More Information: Stages Of Service Separation