LIfe With MIlitary

Family Opinion on Enlistment and the Subsequent Deployment Stress

A person’s family will likely have their own opinion regarding whether or not he or she should join the military – out of love and concern for that person. Often a person’s decision to join the military doesn’t sit well with their family. But in some cases, the family does not object and would even be proud of such a person.

Why do families object to one’s enlistment?

How does their objection influence the decision of a member who wishes to join the army?

How do military families relate to the enlisted member? All three questions will be answered in this article accordingly.

Why Families May Oppose a Military Career

The underlying reason for a parent, relative, or spouse’s disagreement with a person’s decision to join the military is often fear and anxiety. There’s a myriad of reasons for such fear and anxiety, both for the person and the family. A spouse may be worried about loneliness when their partner is away. Or the wife could be concerned about handling some family problems all by herself while the husband is on a military tour. There’s also fear for the safety of a loved family member or fear and uncertainty regarding what becomes of a relationship over long periods of a partner’s absence.

How Family Opinion Affects a Member’s Decision to Enlist

A family wields great influence on the decision by any member of the family to join the military. As mentioned above, it can be in support of or against such a decision. And because they are the closest and dearest to the one looking to enlist, it’s almost impossible to keep such matters from the family. The family, especially if the prospective soldier is still wholly reliant on them for support, deserves to know, and the family’s concerns should be taken into account. They are the people most affected when the soldier deploys to a war zone or other dangerous places around the world. Parents, guardians, and spouses are the best examples of the people who suffer deployment stress besides the soldiers.

It is essential to consider a family’s opinion before joining the army, particularly for the married, as this can have tremendous effects on the relation. For this reason, lots of people who wanted to pursue a military career gave up when their families objected. Such a decision shows that family opinion does affect the willingness of people to join the army. There are even websites dedicated to military families that you can learn more from or contribute to.

How Military Families Relate with an Enlisted Member

Even in times of peace, military families often experience stress as a result of frequent movement or absence of a parent. Wartime situations are even worse for families. Family members feel certain challenges before, during, and after a deployment. The stress usually begins at the initial news or the possibility of a future deployment. It may begin with a period of strong emotions like fear or anger. As deployment date approaches, a period of detachment or withdrawal may replace fear and anxiety in an impulsive mental preparation for the person’s absence. Then during deployment (i.e., when the soldier is leaving), the family members do experience one or more of, but not limited to:

  • Handling extra family duties, especially mothers
  • Loneliness and sadness
  • Concern and worry or even panic over the safety
  • Partners might get into new relationships
  • Financial challenges
  • Dealing with problems alone

Studies also show that military kids experience problems more often than civilian kids. These problems being more psychological is a result of the above listed possible situations a family might undergo in periods of detachment. Some family members, like partners, may even react angrily towards the departing soldier, particularly if there are some relationship issues between them.


Military families inevitably undergo stress during deployment, and this is understandable. Not only is the prolonged absence of a father difficult for the mother and kids, but also the potential danger he is susceptible to can cause long periods of worry. To help this situation, prospective soldiers can try persuading their families regarding the need to join the military. Understanding that it is necessary, though painful, the task will help families cope with accompanying emotional challenges