Life in the military is noble, but it’s hard. There’s no denying that it puts strains on your relationships. If you’re married, that could mean straining the marriage to the breaking point.
To better understand the issue and why this happens, here are some potential reasons why military couples split up:
1. Military families move a lot.
While a career in the military may be stable, the rest of a soldier’s life may not be. Soldiers get sent to different bases and training camps, and that’s not even counting overseas posts and deployments. The family may have to pack up and move constantly. While the person in the military accepts it as part of the job, the other spouse may find it incredibly hard not to settle down.
2. Deployments are long.
For many couples, being apart for a few days or a week is tough. In the military, one spouse may get deployed for months on end. These separations can cause the couple to drift apart, whether they like it or not.
3. One person isn’t faithful.
With this time apart comes, for some, the desire to be unfaithful to the marriage. While the stereotype is of the spouse at home being unfaithful to the solider during a deployment, one expert noted that the opposite was often true. The soldier on deployment would be in a high-stress environment with another soldier, and this shared experience could cause a relationship to start, even when one or both were already married. They may even feel they have more in common with each other than their spouses at home.
4. Couples have to keep secrets.
Communication is a key to marriage. Not keeping secrets can be critical. Unfortunately, many members of the armed forces are not allowed to tell anyone what they’re doing. Even if the other spouse understands the need for secrecy and security, it can lead to stress.
5. Duties get confusing when a spouse returns.
With all the stress of being apart, the homecoming should be fun and exciting. It can be, but household duties and family roles are often confusing. One spouse has to do it all during deployments and is essentially single. When the military spouse comes back, he or she takes roles or at least wants them. This can frustrate the other person, who gives up decision-making power and then has to take all that responsibility back at the next deployment.
6. The non-military spouse may have to abandon a career.
With all of the moving and instability, it’s hard for the other spouse to have a career. Plus, if the family has kids, that spouse has to watch them — again, much like a single parent — most of the time. This can end one person’s career entirely.
When divorce strikes, it can grow complicated, especially with military schedules and responsibilities. Couples need to know their rights.