What Triggers Lead Military Couples to Divorce?

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney

Divorce among military families increases every year, and has been since 9/11. With the nation's largest naval base in Norfolk and the other military installations around the Hampton Roads region, we see more military divorces than most other areas. Here are a few reasons why:

Deployments

Military couples spend a significant amount of time apart.  With some deployments lasting up to 18 months, many couples find that their reunion is really more like a reacquainting.  Too much time apart causes couples to get disconnected and subsequently grow apart.  Distance also leaves the door open for infidelity.  Studies have shown that the longer the deployment or the more hostile the deployment, the higher the likelihood of divorce.  Almost all military divorces occur right after a deployment. 

Post-Traumatic Stress

Those in the military who suffer from PTSD (especially women) have an even greater risk of divorce.  PTSD symptoms like depression, anxiety, feeling numb, parenting difficulties and isolating oneself from others can be quite debilitating on a marriage.  Those who struggle with PTSD are also more likely to exhibit physical and verbal aggression, substance abuse and sexual dysfunction.  If couples are unable to overcome these symptoms, divorce is a likely outcome.

Non-Military Spouse's Stress

Spouses may feel inferior since service members are required to put their obligation to their country first.  Spouses may feel left behind and lonely, especially if relocated somewhere unfamiliar.   They may feel resentful if unable to find work, make friends or get adjusted to a new city.  Spouses may become overwhelmed with the responsibility of maintaining a household, taking care of children and working without daily involvement from the service member. 

Many service members return home from fighting war and find they must also fight for their marriage. As a former Army Officer myself, I understand the hardships that military life can bring on a marriage, for both the service member and the spouse.  If you're ready to move forward with an uncontested divorce, I can help you.  Call me today at (757) 320-2010. 

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