3 ways military service puts pressure on marital relationships

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Divorce

Military servicemembers frequently rely on their careers to provide for spouses and children. Everything from housing to health insurance could be tied to their work. Therefore, military divorces are often very complicated legal matters that require unique custody arrangements and unusual agreements regarding support and benefits.

Many servicemembers may find that their careers help cause the end of their marriages. What is it about military service that puts so much pressure on marital relationships?

Lengthy absences

Obviously, deployment can mean going months without seeing loved ones face to face. Even training sessions can mean a disruption to family relationships. Despite efforts by the military to allow for family communication and to allow loved ones to travel with service members when it is safe and reasonable to do so, extended absences a lot of pressure on military marriages.

The need for secrecy

Marriage is supposed to be a relationship that involves sharing just about everything. However, especially once someone starts achieving success and moving up the chain of command in the military, they may not be in a position to share everything about their daily life with their spouse anymore. The lack of transparency can be a source of frustration for the non-military spouse, and the challenges that the lack of transparency may pose for long-term planning for the family unit can also lead to conflict and stress if the entire household must eventually relocate.

Youthful marriages

Military servicemembers have somewhat of a financial incentive to marry young and start having children, which might mean that the parents have multiple shared children before they realize that there are issues in their relationship. They tend to marry at younger ages than civilians overall. Being younger also makes people more susceptible to the adverse psychological effects of trauma that they may experience during their service. Marrying at a younger age could also mean that they do not have appropriate coping skills for when there are issues in their relationships, which may lead to more volatile disagreements.

Some couples are able to stave off the damaging impact of the military lifestyle on their relationships, while others eventually file for divorce because they cannot work through these challenges. Understanding what makes military marriages and military divorces different can benefit those who are worried about the future of their families and may need to seek legal guidance in order to make truly informed decisions about their circumstances.

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