Balancing the Battlefield and Homefront: Addressing the Dual Struggles of Veteran Families and Their Spouses | EU 1958 min read

November 13, 2023

How do you reintegrate one another back into the household after many years apart?

how to set boundaries with parents & in-laws
how to stop fighting with your husband
How to Deal with an Emotionally Unavailable Husband
Now Trending:
I'm veronica!

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


Reconnect with Your Partner

tell me more

On-demand two hour workshop and workbook to bring your stale relationship back to life!

Have you or your partner ever left for service? How do you reintegrate one another back into the household after many years apart? What can you and your partner do to make it possible to build a happy, healthy, and peaceful future marriage and household after service?

In this podcast episode, I am so excited to have Willie on the podcast. Join us in the podcast as we talk about balancing the battlefield and homefront by addressing the dual struggles of veteran families and their spouses.


  • Reintegration and readjustment
  • Handing mental health issues
  • Communication difficulties
  • Economic and career challenges
  • Physical health and injuries

Reintegration and readjustment

Any military member that has previously served and is returning home – including retirees – has to undergo reintegration into their home lives after returning from deployment or from a military career.

What are those struggles? What do those struggles look like when transitioning into civilian life? Previously you knew exactly what that would look like, it was laid out for you, even the things like what to wear. You didn’t have to figure that out because you wore a uniform. What is your role back within the family? (Willie Cisneros)

You may feel disconnected from everyday family routines and find it difficult to be a part of day-to-day life that continues, or used to continue in your absence.

Willie’s advice to reintegrating military men and women into the home: don’t try to change what has already been working for your family while you were away working.

Just try to figure out how you can support your spouse and be the partner that he or she needs you to be versus trying to change things up because you want to be that alpha male or female that runs the household, because you were the person that supported the family by bringing in the monetary value, and you feel that it’s owed and entitled to you when it’s actually not. (Willie Cisneros)

Rather, aim your focus on trying to figure out how you and your spouse can best support one another instead of becoming adversarial.

However, your partner at home also needs to give you the space to integrate, because life cannot go “back to normal” overnight.

You both need to communicate with one another and get through the discomfort as a pledge of truth and love since that is what it’s going to take to build a strong family foundation that doesn’t deny what happened.

This is where I’m at and it’s going to take me some time to get there because right now I’m not ready for where you want me to be because of what I’ve gone through. So, I need you to understand that and work with me. (Willie Cisneros)

Handing mental health issues

As a service member, I would say that many veterans deal with mental health issues the ones that come to mind for many civilians is PTSD. Not every veteran has PTSD but many of them do. (Willie Cisneros)

Including PTSD, many service members may experience depression, anxiety, and various highs and lows which can be triggered by the experiences that they had within service.

These types of mental health issues, when unresolved, can hinder them from being an active part of the family and being able to sustain emotions within the family space since they shut down or pull away from any type of emotional conflict or suffering.

Since they are dealing with their own mental health struggles, they feel that they cannot be there for others who need them too, like their spouses or children.

Take hold of the resources at your disposal so that you can recover your mental health. Care for your mind like you do for your body, because it is an investment in yourself and your overall health and happiness, as well as to help you be present with your family and community. Don’t try to self-medicate or avoid the issue, and seek help.

There are a number of resources. One that comes to mind is Psychology Today go on there and look up a provider in your area, see exactly what you’re looking for and find somebody local that’s going to be what you want. (Willie Cisneros)

Communication difficulties

Many veterans struggle with communicating their feelings, especially when it comes to discussing any trauma that they have experienced during service.

It can lead to withdrawal or avoidance when discussing their emotions, which can become a barrier in marriage and family communication as a whole.

For the spouse of the veteran, it is crucial to not personalize this experience. Do not feel like they are hiding from you because the chances are that they are hiding from the emotions that you are pushing on them to talk to you about.

I, initially, was personalizing that. I felt as if you were keeping all of these things from me and I felt alone. I’m watching my husband struggle, I’m watching my husband deal with all of these feelings and it felt as if he was pushing me away, and me personalizing that only continued to push you away. (Veronica Cisneros)

Economic and career challenges

When you do find the therapist that fits best with you and you are able to open up about your experience as a veteran, try to think about a transition in a career field.

Additionally, what a great career would be for you to go into would be that of a veteran counselor since you had the experience yourself – if you would be willing to do that.

If you still want to help others because you understand what they’re going through. And it won’t be just helping them, it’s also helping other people like them such as first responders that are also going through those transitions because of some of the trauma that they’ve also been through. (Willie Cisneros)

There are many ways that your skills as a veteran can be applied to the civilian job market, such as;

  • Your leadership skills
  • The ability that you have to get people to work in a team
  • Mentoring individuals to bring out their best qualities

All these aspects are necessary in many different jobs, so these skills can be great boosts for you to find work after you have finished the military.

In this way, you can be a chameleon in the market.

Physical health and injuries

After active service, many things can happen to a person, and many injuries could be mental or physical.

These could alter the family dynamics due to new and necessary care needs to physical limitations.

Just being in the military can expose people to different dangerous and hazardous materials like asbestos and lead from burning pits and building types. Some types of health don’t get better over time, so you need to prioritize your health after service.

You have to care about yourself, and the only person that’s going to care about you is you. So, get seen, get evaluated, it’s a process that sucks but if you don’t do it then later on you’re kicking yourself in the ass saying I wish I would’ve done it. (Willie Cisneros)

As the spouse, get the help that you need as well, because watching your partner struggle is painful as well. When they are ready, they will get the help that they need. It goes back to trust, and trust is true when it goes both ways.

Useful links:

Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic Podcast

Hello, my name is Veronica Cisneros, I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, married for 23 years, host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast, and owner of a group private practice called Outside The Norm Counseling.

A lot of couples struggle with setting aside intentional time to connect and communicate. They yearn for meaningful conversations that don’t lead to arguments.

1 month away from divorce, I realized I had to do something different. For years I had compromised myself to meet the needs of my husband and my child, I lost myself and was about to lose my marriage. After years of personal growth and self-reflection, I not only reclaimed my identity, and celebrated 23 years of marriage but also helped hundreds of couples transform their marriage from feeling like roommates to experiencing a deeper love.

I am on a mission to help couples reignite the fire by providing them with the skills to have the relationship they deserve.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook community, or do the Workshop,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcast {previously iTunes) and subscribe!

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

I've been there.

How To Deal with a Negative Husband

get it now


How To Work Through Resentment

read it

free download

 Top Resources

How To Stop Fighting with Your Husband

get it now


Setting Boundaries with Parents and In-laws

read it

free download

5 Things That Are Killing Your Marriage

In this guide, I'll share the simple strategies that help my clients go from feeling like roommates to reigniting their relationship and falling in love again.   


Free guide

5 Things Killing Your Marriage

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Marriage Coach, Course Creator, Retreat Host, Mother of 3, Married for over 20 years.

veronica cisneros

© veronica cisneros 2022




instagram >

follow along 
on Instagram: