Statistics from the Department of Defense show the divorce rate for military couples continues to increase. In 2001, the divorce rate for military couples across Texas and the rest of the nation was 2.6 percent. In 2011, after ongoing military conflicts abroad, the rate jumped to 3.7 percent. One woman’s story shows the difficulties of a military marriage and subsequent divorce, especially when one spouse is participating in combat operations during divorce proceedings.
The woman was a Navy wife and does not believe that their lifestyle in the service had anything to do with their divorce. Instead, she thinks that miscommunication between them related to the military lifestyle threw them into a tailspin they could never fully pull out of. While many military spouses don’t work due to the demands of the armed forces, she continued to work outside the home, and that reportedly caused difficulty between them.
As the years went by, the woman and her husband could not seem to mesh their lives together, ultimately causing the woman to develop an autoimmune disorder brought on by stress. When she told her husband, they both agreed the best thing would be to divorce. Soon after, her husband received orders to go to Afghanistan. For them, it seemed like the best thing that could have happened. There were no surprise visits or arguments between each other because he was gone, and she was able to process her emotions of grief, anger and disappointment in a healthy way instead of lashing out at him.
Military divorce rates across Texas and the nation continue to rise, and although the increase can be somewhat linked to deployments, for many couples, differences in expectations about their military marriage can ultimately lead to divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, “Military Divorce: What It’s Like To Split From Your Military Spouse,” Natasha Burton, May 28, 2012