Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Causes and Consequences of Military Divorce

Copyright By Merlene Bishop

If you are the ex-spouse of a military person you know how stressful long deployments can be. Military personnel are expected to put their obligations to their country and their unit first, so there may be a delay in learning about important family issues. Additionally, soldiers travel a lot and the frequent lengthy separations can be hard on the spouses left behind, especially women with children.

Women without children may be more prone to cheating after the long periods without companionship, affection and sex. Men in the military are at a sad disadvantage in the sense that if their wife decides to file for divorce while they are deployed, they are unable to talk out the problems because they are often in isolated places on patrol. This is especially true of military men in Afghanistan now.

Women of military spouses can feel overwhelmed with the family responsibilities and any financial problems that they have to handle alone. Anger and resentment can build up, leaving them inclined to think that life would be better if they had a man in their life who was at home every day. Men on combat duty more often than not develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after seeing their fellow soldiers killed and wounded, or having to kill others designated as the enemy.

This disorder can cause severe nightmares, depression and emotional alienation that stirs up fear for their own safety in wives. Conflict arises between the two and they can't seem to resolve it due to the weight of the other problems and divorce often results. Children of military parents after divorce are likely to suffer from feeling abandoned and unloved because they don't see their fathers often enough.PTSD can be one of the leading causes of military divorce.

After a military divorce, some men who choose not to pay child support are not required by the military to do so. In other cases, military men who pay child support may have so much taken out of their salary that they are unable to save for the time when they are back in civilian life, and they have serious financial hardships when that time comes. Some military men who rejoin civilian life after divorce can feel overwhelmed and suicidal when this happens because they are unable to support themselves due to the amount of child support they are required to pay.

There are some solutions that are being made available now to military spouses on deployment that were not available in the past. With the tech revolution, we have Skype where military people can talk to and see another on computers, and email is another option. However, many men on combat patrol are unable to take advantage of this for long periods of time.

This is a real problem for military families, but there are solutions. Women with children whose husbands are deployed can form support groups for themselves that gives them the help they need in dealing with children and finances. Having this emotional support can make the difference for them and their children. Divorced women can band together individually, or meeting regularly at friends' houses to talk about problems and brainstorm about ways to resolve them.

Divorced people in every walk of life need support, advice and help, and military ex spouses have needs that are greater than the average. Be sure and sign up for my free book here and my divorce support newsletter.

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