Getting Help for Relationship Sexual Abuse

Several women holding hands.

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If you have ever had an intimate experience with your partner that made you feel uncomfortable or afraid, or one that took place without your consent, you are not alone.

The Department of Defense cares about the safety and well-being of everyone in the military community. Read on to learn more about how the department addresses sexual assault and abuse and some of the options available to anyone seeking support.

What constitutes sexual abuse in an intimate partner relationship?

Sexual abuse is one of many harmful behaviors that involve sexual violence. These include sexual harassment, unwanted sexual contact and sexual abuse by an intimate partner. In both the military and civilian communities, it is likely more common than most people realize, with victims often experiencing physical, mental and emotional health issues as a result.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these issues can include drug misuse, heart disease and depression. Victims may also suffer economic losses related to an inability to work.

In a relationship, sexual abuse can include a range of harmful behaviors. These may take the form of pressure being put on one partner to engage in sexual acts that make that partner feel afraid, unsafe or uncomfortable.

If you have experienced sexual abuse or any other form of physical violence, or a threat of violence from your spouse or partner, this can be a red flag for ongoing serious harm and risk to you and your family.

Because physical intimacy is a part of most romantic relationships, some individuals may not realize that feeling unsafe or becoming upset following a sexual encounter with a spouse or partner can be a warning sign of abuse.

Getting help for sexual abuse

Everyone deserves trust and mutual respect in their relationships. If something doesn’t feel right, know that help is available.

A first step can be calling your installation’s Family Advocacy Program office to speak with a victim advocate. They will listen to your concerns, and help you determine whether to make a report of the abuse and how to access medical care. This may include referring you to counseling services or a sexual assault forensic exam ─ and how to create a plan for your emotional and physical well-being.

A FAP victim advocate can also help you identify community-based, civilian assistance as opposed to relying on military-based resources.

The Family Advocacy Program works in coordination with civilian and military helping agencies to ensure victims receive support through a network of care as well as the protections to which they are entitled.

This network includes the DOD’s Domestic Abuse Victim Assistance Directory, which helps you locate on- and off-installation victim support services in your area – whether you’re in the U.S. or overseas. The directory can provide you with the direct contact number for a military Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate, as well as state and local 24/7 hotline information.

The DOD is committed to supporting everyone in the military community — service members and their families and civilian personnel — to maintain safe, stable and supportive relationships free from sexual violence.

The national emergency created by coronavirus disease 2019 is no exception. FAP has compiled additional safety tips and resources for navigating relationships safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling unsafe or unsure as a result of a sexual experience with an intimate partner or spouse, or is seeking help for a sexual assault, call your installation’s FAP office to speak with a victim advocate, or contact an advocate through the DOD Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247. Civilian options for support through the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the National Sexual Assault Hotline are also available.

Relationship Tips: Four Common Pitfalls and How to Tackle Them

Couple talking at home

It’s rare a relationship is completely free from conflict. Military couples in particular face unique stressors. Helpful relationship support equips you with healthy ways to handle the disagreements that are bound to happen.

In a five-part Relationship Real Talk video series, psychologist Dr. Kelly Blasko with the Defense Health Agency, and Kelly Smith, LCSW, from Military Community Support Programs, discuss four conflict styles that can hinder healthy communication in a relationship. These behaviors can cause lasting harm and drive couples apart. Dr. Blasko, a counseling psychologist who has Level 1 and 2 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, uses this highly regarded model in her clinical work. In this series, she offers relationship support to help you recognize and manage your reactions, improve your communication skills and bring you closer as a couple.

Four conflict styles to look out for

Four common behaviors that get in the way of healthy communication are:

  • Criticism – Berating your partner’s personality or character verbally
  • Contempt – Attacking your partner’s sense of self with the intent to insult or abuse
  • Defensiveness – Victimizing yourself to ward off a perceived attack and reversing the blame
  • Stonewalling – Withdrawing to avoid conflict and convey disapproval, distance and separation

These conflict styles close off healthy debate rather than guide you and your partner toward a solution. Over time, they can erode trust in each other and damage your relationship.

Hear more about how to spot these behaviors and learn some tips for handling yourself in the heat of the moment.


Streaming YouTube is currently blocked from DOD networks. To visit the video directly, go to https://youtu.be/Dc8CLMntpr0.

Defensiveness

Being accused of wrongdoing can bring up many different emotions, including hurt, anger and shame. These naturally lead to defensiveness. You may shift the blame or act as though you didn’t do anything wrong. But becoming defensive tells your partner their feelings don’t matter.

Instead of becoming defensive, do the following:

  • Notice how you feel. Acknowledge any negative emotions without acting on them. Instead, focus on your partner’s concern.
  • Delve into the issue. Ask your partner to tell you more about why they’re upset. There may be other concerns that you’re unaware of. For example, if your partner is upset that you bought concert tickets, they may be worried about an upcoming car repair.
  • Take responsibility for your actions. Accept your partner’s perspective and apologize when you’re in the wrong.

Get expert tips for admitting to mistakes, taking responsibility and offering an apology — all essential parts of relationship maintenance and growth.


Streaming YouTube is currently blocked from DOD networks. To visit the video directly, go to https://youtu.be/z5j4RJV6zHM.

Contempt

One of the most destructive behaviors in a relationship is treating your partner with disrespect. The Gottman Institute’s research shows that contempt in a relationship is the biggest predictor of divorce or separation. Examples of contempt include:

  • Mocking in a sarcastic or condescending manner
  • Calling names meant to demean or belittle
  • Rolling your eyes or sneering
  • Giving the silent treatment

To banish contempt from your relationship, find ways to reconnect.

  • Remember what you like – and love – about your partner. Focus on the qualities that attracted you to your partner.
  • State your needs. Do this without blaming or accusing your partner, so you can have a constructive dialogue.
  • Rebuild appreciation for one another. Acknowledge and thank your partner for their big and small contributions to the relationship, whether that’s supporting the family financially, taking care of the children or bringing the trash out each week.
  • Create rituals. Take a walk together after work, text each other at a certain time of the day, eat a meal together every day. Rituals reinforce bonds and bring couples closer.

Get relationship support on how to curb contempt and build a more appreciative, open and respectful dynamic in your relationship.


Streaming YouTube is currently blocked from DOD networks. To visit the video directly, go to https://youtu.be/43W2qw_y704.

Criticism

Criticism can damage a relationship when it’s directed at the person rather than on how their actions made the other one feel. It can lead to defensiveness, pitting you and your partner against one another in a cycle of blame and defense.

You can break that negative cycle in the following ways:

  • Take a step back when you feel critical of your partner. Think about how their actions make you feel and ask yourself what you need from your partner.
  • Express your feelings using “I” statements and frame your need in a positive way. For example, “I feel frustrated and worried when you don’t answer my text messages. Is there a better time of day to text you?”
  • Ask for your partner’s input. There may be a reason behind your partner’s actions that you’re not aware of. Talking about the issue can lead to a solution.

Learn techniques to pull back on criticism and phrase requests in a positive way. Communicating your wants and needs without negativity is an important way to protect your bond and make love last.


Streaming YouTube is currently blocked from DOD networks. To visit the video directly, go to https://youtu.be/Mkff1ipNjDs.

Stonewalling

Stonewalling is the most common of the four conflict styles. It’s when one partner feels overwhelmed by negative emotions during a conflict, so shuts down. They may leave the room or go silent.

Stonewalling closes off the connection between couples, making it harder to work through a disagreement. Some ways to break the pattern of stonewalling include:

  • Recognize what’s happening. Check in with your feelings before you shut down.
  • Manage your stress. Take deep breaths. Ask for a moment to collect yourself. Reset with a walk or other activity that you find calming. Be sure to return to the conversation.
  • Ask your partner how you can help them return to the conversation, if you notice your partner is stonewalling you.

Learn about stonewalling and how to close the distance that can creep in during a disagreement. Get expert tips you can use to self-calm and re-center while staying close to your partner.


Streaming YouTube is currently blocked from DOD networks. To visit the video directly, go to https://youtu.be/4ekuAVWs_bI.

Additional resources for couples

For more resources, tools and support for military couples like you, visit Re the We on Military OneSource. You’ll find helpful resources for every stage of your relationship.

If you feel you and your partner need additional support, non-medical counseling can help. Free, confidential non-medical counseling is available through your installation’s Military and Family Life Counseling program and through Military OneSource. Call 800-342-9647 or live chat to schedule an appointment with a non-medical counselor or to learn more. OCONUS? View international calling options.

Special Needs Considerations When You Separate or Retire From the Military

Mother with special needs child

As a military family with a family member with special needs, you probably have faced transition challenges like PCS moves, deployments and separations. The transition to civilian life will bring more change, but preparing ahead of time can help ease your family’s  shift to new support systems, resources and services.

Begin your separation journey by learning about transition assistance programs and resources. You can also schedule appointments with a Military OneSource consultant for transitioning veterans. Start early and contact your resources as often as needed to increase your post-transition success.

Build your plan.

Take these steps as part of your transition from the military to make sure you cover all the bases for your family member with special needs.

Capture and store necessary information.

Check out these tips to help you gather and keep information to have available when you need it.

  • Use EFMP & Me. Create customized checklists to guide you through planning for separation and retirement, transitioning your medical care, moving and so much more.
  • Contact the appropriate community agencies in your current or future location that provide services to support the disabled so you will have an understanding of available resources.
  • Keep a list of all important contacts you make as you prepare for transition. Take time to update the appropriate Special Care Organizational Record, and have copies of all necessary medical and education records ready to hand-carry to your new location.
  • Review the Transitioning From the Military With a Child With Special Needs fact sheet for an overview of support and resources available as you transition from the military.
  • Use the Plan My Move tool and the Transitioning/Moving checklist from your SCOR for ideas on transitioning with a special needs family member.

Ease the transition.

You and your family members may feel the stress of military transition to civilian life due to the unknown and to fears you don’t recognize. Some suggestions for easing transition stress when you separate or retire from the military include:

As you prepare for military separation, you may feel anxious about the new and unknown hurdles ahead. Every transition is different so the better prepared you are, the smoother your transition can be.

Use the wealth of available tools and resources to find the answers you need to create and execute your plan for a smooth, successful transition from military to civilian life. And remember, you have access to Military OneSource for 12 months after your military separation.

Common Military Acronyms

A male Air Force captain listens to a radio during an outdoor training exercise.

Sometimes it feels like the military has a language all its own made entirely of acronyms and abbreviations. And while your service member is probably fluent in this strange tongue, you may need a little help to keep up.

Military OneSource Connects Service Members to Their Best MilLife

Active duty, National Guard and reserve service members have access to expert support, non-medical counseling, specialty consultations and more. It’s free and available 24/7.

Military acronyms: The basics for new recruits

AAFES: Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The retailer that operates post exchanges on Army and Air Force installations.

AIT or “A School”: Advanced individual training. The hands-on career training and field instruction each service member receives before being qualified to do a specific military job. This specialized schooling varies by military branch.

ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. A multiple-choice test a prospective recruit takes before enlisting to see if they are qualified to join and which military jobs they qualify for.

DOD: Department of Defense. The department of the U.S. government responsible for military operations.

MEPS: Military Entrance Processing Station. Where service members take the ASVAB, get a physical, choose their military job and swear in.

MOS: Military occupational specialty. This is a service member’s specific job in the military, from artillery and aviation to engineering and intelligence.

OPSEC: Operational Security. The process of identifying and protecting information about military operations.

PT: Physical training. Key to military readiness, service members will be expected to meet fitness standards throughout their enlistment.

PX: Post Exchange. A store at a military installation that sells merchandise and services to military personnel and authorized civilians.

Military acronyms: Chain of command

CO: Commanding officer. The officer in charge of a military unit, such as captain for a company (Army) and squadron commander for a squadron of aircraft (Air Force).

JSC: Joint Chiefs of Staff. A group of senior military leaders who advise the president, the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council on military matters.

NCO: Noncommissioned officer. A military officer who has not received a commission, such as sergeant (Army) and warrant officer (Navy).

XO: Executive officer. The second-in-command to a commanding officer.

Military acronyms: MilLife paperwork

BRS: Blended Retirement System. The military’s new retirement system, which extends benefits to about 85% of service members, even if they don’t serve a full 20 years. This system uses the Thrift Savings Plan described below.

DEERS: Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. A database of military families and others entitled to receive TRICARE and other benefits.

LES: Leave and Earning Statement. This bimonthly statement reports what you’ve earned, how much has been withheld for taxes, your leave balance and what allotments you have. Service members in the Air Force or Army may choose to receive their pay monthly, in which case the LES would be reported only once a month instead of twice.

POC: Point of contact. The person you contact about a specific program or assignment.

TRICARE: Military health care program. TRICARE provides health benefits to service members, retirees and their families.

TSP: Thrift Savings Plan. Similar to a 401(k), the TSP is a government-sponsored retirement savings and investment plan. The TSP is a fundamental part of the military’s new Blended Retirement System, described above.

Military acronyms: Finance and housing

BAH: Basic Allowance for Housing. Compensation service members receive to cover the cost of housing when government quarters are not provided.

COLA: Cost of Living Allowance. Compensation service members receive to offset the cost of living in more expensive areas of the U.S.

OHA: Overseas Housing Allowance. Compensation service members receive for housing outside the U.S. when government quarters aren’t available.

POC: Privately Owned Conveyance. A service member’s personal vehicle that is not owned by the government.

Military acronyms: Locations

CONUS/OCONUS: The continental U.S., or CONUS, is the 48 connected states and District of Columbia. OCONUS is outside the continental U.S.

DITY: Do-It-Yourself, or a personally procured move, which can save a service member a lot of money moving. This is often associated with moving during a permanent change of station.

FOB: Forward operating base. A temporary, secured operational position that supports strategic goals and tactical objectives.

PCS: Permanent change of station. The relocation of an active-duty service member to a different duty location. Service members may PCS every few years.

PPM: Personally Procured Move. A move a service member plans and conducts on their own, instead of having the military do it. PPM expenses may be reimbursed by the military.

TDY: Temporary duty station. A temporary assignment at a location other than a service member’s permanent duty station.

Military acronyms: Service branch evaluations

EER: Enlisted Evaluation Report. The evaluation form used to record the performance of enlisted members of the Army.

EPR: Enlisted Performance Report. The evaluation form used to record the performance of enlisted members of the Air Force.

FITREP: Fitness Report. The evaluation form the Marine Corps and Navy used to record the performance of officers and enlisted members. Evaluations are called Chief EVALS or EVALS, depending on rank.

OER: Officer Evaluation Report. The evaluation form used to record the performance of officers in the Army.

OPR: Officer Performance Report. The evaluation form used to record the performance of officers in the Air Force.

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Understanding and Supporting the Military Spouse in Your Life

Couple reunited after deployment

Military spouses hold a unique, but important role in upholding our nation’s strength. Although they don’t serve the country directly, their support to those who do is vital to force morale and readiness.

May is Military Spouse Appreciation Month – a time when military spouses are recognized and honored for their contributions. If you aren’t or have never been a military spouse, it can be tough to figure out how to show your support. A good place to start is by learning more about life as a military spouse.

Life as a military spouse

The life of a military spouse may be filled with exciting new adventures along with periods of separation and loneliness. Spouses are generally flexible and strong, and often required to be independent while their partner is working towards their mission. Many have children and jobs to balance along with the demanding aspects of their partner’s military career.

While individual experiences may differ, life as a military spouse generally involves:

  • Frequent moves. On average, military families move to a new duty station every two to three years. It can be difficult to leave jobs, say goodbye to friends and start over in a new and unfamiliar community. The upside of moving every few years is the opportunity to live in different parts of the country and in some cases, the world, but there are also challenges adapting to a new environment and culture.
  • Separations from extended family. Moves are bound to take the military spouse in your life far from close friends and family. This can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness, but it also can enrich their lives as they meet new people and engage with their community.
  • Separations from their partner. A service member’s deployment can be hard on a spouse. They may worry about their partner’s safety and miss their companionship. They may feel overwhelmed by the burden of doing everything on their own. The service member may miss important events – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, even the birth of a child. This can lead to sadness and even resentment. However, military families tend to find creative ways to include the deployed member in these events. And while deployments can take their toll, they can also show spouses just how much they are capable of handling on their own.
  • Finding ways to reconnect when their partner returns home from deployment. There is often a readjustment period when a service member returns from deployment. The spouse at home may have established a new routine while the returning spouse may wonder where they fit into the household. This can be a rocky period in a relationship that requires patience and lots of communication. Couples learn valuable skills during this period that ultimately strengthen their partnership.

Showing your support for the military spouse in your life

Military spouses tend to be resilient. Over time, they develop new skills, create new support systems and learn to adapt to changing circumstances. Any extra support or recognition that you show the military spouse in your life can go a long way toward making them feel strong and understood.

  • Call and check in. It’s nice to do this any time, but particularly meaningful during deployments, after a recent move or during other times you know the spouse may be under strain.
  • Send a card. A handwritten note is always a welcome surprise.
  • Offer to take the kids for a night, if you live close enough. A night off from parenting responsibilities to reconnect with a partner or just enjoy some solitude is a huge gift.
  • Make a meal or send a gift card to a local restaurant. Whether it’s eat-in or takeout, everyone enjoys a night off from cooking.
  • Offer to be a listening ear. Let the military spouse in your life know that you want to be a supportive person in their life. Often that means just being available to listen.

Resources for military spouses

There are a number of resources to support military spouses. See if the spouse in your life is familiar with them.

  • The Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program. Frequent moves and other challenges of military life can get in the way of a spouse’s career. SECO supports military spouses with education and career guidance, scholarships and partnerships with employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses.
  • Non-medical counseling. Free and confidential non-medical counseling is available on the installation through the Military and Family Life Counseling program and through Military OneSource.
  • Building Healthy Relationships specialty consultation. Free and confidential, this specialty consultation from Military OneSource features a number of tracks, including Strengthening the Couple Connection, Staying Connected While Away, Reconnecting After Deployment and MilSpouse Toolkit.
  • Re the We on Military OneSource features links to services, resources and expert guidance to rekindle, repair or reset a relationship.
  • The Blog Brigade features posts from military spouses about a range of topics, including military life, deployment, parenting, relationships, career and education, health and wellness and moving.

While May is Military Spouse Appreciation Month, it’s important to recognize the feats and challenges your military spouse conquers throughout the year. Asking about their experiences can make them feel supported and understood, while opening the conversation can deepen your relationship and show your loved one that you care.

Military OneSource Virtual Resources Offer Personalized Support and Tools for Overall Well-Being

Military male jogging outside

Current as of April 12, 2021


Military life has great rewards – and some challenges. Deployments, moves and the uncertainty of current travel restrictions are among some of these stressful demands. In times of change, it’s reassuring to have a trusted source of information, resources and support. For the military community, that’s Military OneSource – a free resource available 24/7 to help service members and their families thrive.

Financial counseling, career guidance and tax help

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has caused global financial worries. Military OneSource offers free financial and career resources including:

Resources for physical, mental and emotional well-being

Military OneSource has tools for service members and families to care for body and mind. A few of the available resources include:

  • Health and wellness coaching can help teens and adults get on track. Start with healthy eating, physical fitness and managing stress.
  • Online tutoring and homework help from Tutor.com. This free service has temporarily expanded. It now covers any adult or child member of a Department of Defense civilian, the National Guard or reserves. It also applies to families of wounded, ill and/or injured service members. Even adults enrolled in a college or professional development course may be eligible. As always, the service is available to military children in grades K-12. Access Tutor.com through the MWR Digital Library.
  • Chill Drills are audio tracks developed to help service members and their families relax and manage stress. By doing these drills regularly, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce the level of stress hormones in your body. Download the free app today and take Chill Drills with you on the go.
  • Wellness apps can help you and your service member regroup and reboot. Learn deep-breathing techniques to relax and unwind. Find personalized tools to handle stress and anxiety during self-care breaks. All apps were developed by the DOD, Veterans Affairs and other partners.
  • Military OneSource non-medical counseling can help with stress management. Counselors work with you to resolve everyday life stressors, marital and communication issues, parenting challenges, grief and more. Military OneSource counselors know military life. They understand your challenges. Sessions are confidential.
  • Video non-medical counseling for children and youth offer children and teenagers tools to develop healthy coping skills to manage life’s stressors.

Personalized support to strengthen relationships

Even the strongest relationship can bend under the pressure of life changes. Learn to tackle  deployments, permanent changes of station and living through a pandemic. Military OneSource services can strengthen important connections:

  • Building Healthy Relationships specialty consultations offer coaching, resources and problem-solving ideas to help you set goals and strengthen your relationships. Boost your communication skills with a series of personalized coaching sessions available by phone or video.
  • New MilParent specialty consultations can help you and your service member prepare for a new baby. You can also focus on parenting challenges. These are great for expectant parents and parents with children under 5. Get expert help by video or phone.

Determining eligibility and getting started with Military OneSource virtual support

Military OneSource support is available to active duty, National Guard and reserve members, their partners and their children. For eligibility, see Military OneSource Confidential Help Eligibility.

Service members and their families can access services by creating a free account on Military OneSource. They can live chat or call 800-342-9647. If outside of the country, use international calling options.

Stay up to date on information to help you and your service member navigate the coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

In times of change, it’s reassuring to have a trusted source of information, resources and support. For  the military community, that’s Military OneSource – a free resource available 24/7 to help service members and their families thrive.

Staying Resilient While Your Partner is Deployed

Woman at yoga class

A big part of staying strong while your partner is deployed is being positive. Staying positive can help make things a little easier on you and family members. Making the time for new and old friends can help relieve stress. The more connected you are, the better you’ll feel.

Find things to look forward to

Setting goals and getting involved in new activities are great ways to manage stress, as well as build a new sense of self-confidence and independence. Here are tips to help you stay positive:

  • Stick to a routine: Consistency is important for everyone, especially children. While your partner is away, create family rituals such as Friday make-your-own pizza night to keep the family involved and excited.
  • Set a money-saving goal: While your spouse is deployed, you can expect to receive extra money. Set up a system for saving some of that extra cash with your installation’s Personal Financial Management Program or call Military OneSource for financial counseling.
  • Plan a post-deployment vacation: This can be something to look forward to and talk about with your family while your partner is deployed.
  • Try something new: You can find yoga, cooking and other classes and activities at your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. Consider volunteering. If you don’t work, volunteering provides an opportunity to serve the community, learn new skills and create lasting friendships. Your installation Military and Family Support Center can help you find opportunities on the installation and in the community.
  • Treat yourself: Take time out for a relaxing bath, get a massage or find a babysitter and go out with friends.

Stay socially connected

Your comfort zone might be at home, but getting out of the house creates opportunities to see old friends and make new ones. Here are ways to stay connected:

  • Visit your family: Deployments can be an ideal time to visit good friends or family members you haven’t seen in a long time.
  • Connect with an online community: Consider joining an online community like the Blog Brigade. This blog is a place where you can get tips from other military spouses on how they stay positive throughout the deployment cycle.
  • Network with other parents: If you have children, you can set up play dates with neighbors and kids from school. This gives you a chance to hang out with other parents, and potentially find friends you trust to watch your kids while you do something for yourself.

Find support services

Download the Chill Drills by Military OneSource app.

Keep calmness close by with simple audio drills designed for the military community to help manage stress.

Reaching out to others who are in the same situation can help. Talking with others can reduce stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. The following services support military spouses:

  • Military OneSource’s health and wellness coaching: A Military OneSource health and wellness coach can help you manage your weight, stress and life transitions. Call 800-342-9647 and a Military OneSource consultant will register you and schedule your first session right away.
  • Confidential non-medical counseling: Both Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program offer services for coping with deployments.
  • Family readiness groups: These groups help connect you with other military families and give helpful information about staying positive while your partner is deployed.
  • Support centers: Call or visit your installation’s Military and Family Support Center for a host of free programs and resources that can help with managing stress.
  • Chill Drills: Tune into this collection of audio mindfulness exercises whenever you need to relax and reset. Developed by a therapist for the military community, this free app can help you manage stress anywhere, anytime.

Building Healthy Relationships

Service member hugging spouse.

Make your most important relationships even stronger. This new specialty consultation from Military OneSource helps you deepen relationships with family, friends and others through an education-based consultation.

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

Overseas? See OCONUS calling options.

Prefer to live chat? Start now.

Building Healthy Relationships offers coaching sessions, practical tools, resources and problem-solving techniques. This consultation is designed to be flexible and personable, and is available to you by phone or video.

Identify your goals and boost your relationships

Everyone can benefit from boosting a relationship or improving communication. Perhaps you’re a parent who wants to create a stronger bond with your child. Or maybe you’re looking for ways to develop your communication skills.

This consultation offers a variety of tracks that are customized to different relationship dynamics. Your consultant will help you identify the track or tracks that are right for you. The personalized coaching sessions, educational tools, resources and empowering skills will help you be at your best. Building Healthy Relationships consultation tracks are designed so that you can do them from the comfort of your home.

  • Strengthening the Couple Connection. This track focuses on providing educational resources, guidance on common issues couples can face being a part of the military culture and tools to support strong relationships. Consultations can include both or one partner.
  • Healthy Parent-Child Connections. This track allows the parent to work with a consultant to identify relationship goals, with parents receiving education and resources to enhance these vital relationships. It is also possible for children to attend sessions with their parent as appropriate.
  • Communication Refreshers. Communication can be one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship. This track offers individuals or couples educational webinars, inventories and services to improve the way they communicate with one another. This is an excellent path for those seeking to enhance communication with a spouse, colleague or family member.
  • Staying Connected While Away. Part of military life can come with deployment and separations due to military duty. With this track, a consultant can assist service members or adult loved ones with identifying goals and resources to assist with emotional coping and keeping connected with that family member during these times.
  • Reconnecting After Deployment. When service members return from deployment, a major shift can occur for the entire family. This track is tailored to the unique period of reintegration by assisting service members and/or family members with identifying goals and providing materials that can ease stress and shape resiliency.
  • Blended Family. Couples may encounter new family dynamics when partners have children from previous relationships. This track focuses on co-parenting as a way to build a solid leadership unit for the military family, accounting for unique experiences and dynamics. This is an excellent path for those couples who are trying to introduce civilian children to military life.
  • MilSpouse Toolkit. From education on military culture to navigating resources, this track is beneficial for new spouses who may feel disconnected from their family and want to identify a support system in their new community. This track focuses resources to assist new and current military spouses with adjustment to the military lifestyle, developing coping skills and resources for resiliency.

If one or more individuals do not speak English, your consultant can facilitate a three-way call for simultaneous language interpretation.

Start building healthy relationships

Since this consultation is available by both phone and video, you can get started anytime. Call 800-342-9647 or start a live chat to schedule an appointment with a Building Healthy Relationships consultant. OCONUS/International? View calling options.