Now working in Texas for an organization that supports female military veterans, one female veteran has had to work hard to get accustomed to her post-military life. Part of that new life was divorce. She had been married to a fellow service member, but they divorced when he reportedly had an extramarital affair.
According to sources, this female veteran is not alone. Not only is infidelity or rumors of infidelity a common problem within military marriages, but female veterans are especially prone to divorce. The Associated Press reports that enlisted women are three times for likely to get divorced than military men.
Suggested explanations behind the disparity are the following:
- Versus men, less "traditional" women join the military. They could be less dependent on a marriage, or their spouses could decide to find a more "traditional" partner.
- Husbands don't know how to treat or what to expect from their military wives when they return from service. They expect them to quickly adjust to the nurturing role as wife and/or mother. Just like male service members, female veterans have to deal with the lasting psychological effects of serving.
- There are not enough support services for military families regarding military wives and mothers specifically. With more counseling options, husbands could learn about the struggles of returning from the military and the unique pressures females face upon their return.
Military life is hard on all families, but the statistic regarding female veterans and divorce suggests that more work needs to be done for families with a female service member. That could mean more support and counseling for such families. But based on the notable trend, it also could mean that it would be wise for couples involving military wives to prepare for a potential divorce, perhaps through prenuptial or postnuptial contracts.
Associated Press: "Female GIs struggle with higher rate of divorce," 8 Mar. 2011