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Peer Support for Military Spouses and Partners

Military spouses and partners face unique stressors such as multiple deployments, frequent moves, long separations, and concerns for the welfare of their loved ones. At times, they remain at home for extended periods to manage their households and families alone. The realities of military life can take a toll on military spouses and partners and can impact the entire family. Children often take their emotional cues from their parents. Parental anxiety may result in a stressful environment for the household, so it’s important to address parental stressors as early as possible, and for parents to build a peer support system.

Having a strong support system is one way military spouses and partners can cope with stress. Peer support groups and programs promote connection with other military spouses and partners who understand the challenges of military life, can give first-hand advice, normalize experiences, and help others feel that they are not alone.

Benefits of Peer Support

Connecting with peers can help improve your quality of life, promote wellness, and build resiliency. Your peers often know you better than anyone else and can encourage you to seek support if they notice negative changes that you may not readily see. Talking with peers who have gone through and overcome similar situations can make it easier to understand problems and find solutions. They may have valuable tips or resources to help you cope with a multitude of issues. These may include how to:

  • Talk to your children about transitions
  • Stay connected with your spouse or partner during deployment
  • Take care of yourself while supporting your service member

When looking for a support network, it is important to find people you can connect with on a personal level. Surrounding yourself with people who are dealing with similar challenges can help you combat feelings of stress and isolation. These shared experiences can make it easier to build trust and friendship.

Support Groups

Whether it is part of a formal program or a casual gathering among friends, peer support groups can help provide a sense of community for military spouses/partners. The National Resource Directory and Military OneSource can help you find support groups in your community. Each branch of the military also has Family Readiness Groups that provide a forum for developing friendships, sharing experiences, and providing useful information. Additionally, many military bases offer Key Spouse programs dedicated to welcoming and connecting with spouses to assist with military life and care.

Visit these service-specific resources to find a Family Readiness Group near you:

Online Support Networks

If you cannot find or are unable to attend an in-person support group, you can still connect with your peers online via social media channels to talk to other military spouses and partners, and form support groups. You can also join online communities, such as the Blog Brigade, where you can read tips from spouses and partners all around the world.

Reaching Out for Help is a Sign of Strength

We all need people who can help support us through life's many challenges. Reaching out to your peers is a great way to build a strong and resilient support system while fostering long-lasting friendships. The Psychological Health Resource Center can help you begin the process of connecting. You can contact this supportive service at 866-966-1020 to confidentially speak with a trained health resource consultant or you can use their 24/7 live chat.


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  • Ross, A. M., Steketee, G., Emmert-Aronson, B. O., Brown, T. A., Muroff, J., & DeVoe, E. R. (2020). Stress-buffering versus support erosion: Comparison of causal models of the relationship between social support and psychological distress in military spouses. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(3), 361–373.
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Updated February 2024

Last Updated: March 13, 2024
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