Military Divorce Rate Rises as Stress Takes Its Toll

By December 29, 2010Divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, more and more American soldiers are being called into action. In fact, the number of Army National Guard members on active duty is higher than it has been since World War II. Approximately 787,000 Guard members and reservists have been called to active duty and are either training stateside or serving overseas. So often we hear about how they put their physical lives on the line, but what is left unsaid is how they put their emotional and family lives on the line as well.

The military divorce rate is at the highest it has ever been, even higher than the civilian divorce rate. Those rates do not include the number of relationships that end immediately after a spouse returns from active duty. The long months of separation can cause immense strain on a relationship. A spouse may be gone for several months at a time, and while technology has made communication faster and more convenient, according to military families, it does not necessarily make it any easier.

Having a relationship vocally over the phone or even visually over the internet can be very stressful. Even though couples are communicating, it is not at a level of frequency that many relationships require. It is not just the lack of frequency that is difficult; it is also the lack of physical contact that can come between spouses.

The military has not left the families out in the cold as the funding for family support programs has been increased to $9 billion, the highest it has ever been. The programs help families learn ways in which they can cope with the stress of separation, but some say that the programs are focused at women and fail to include the stay-at-home dads.

Source: The Dallas Morning News “Stress of separation takes its toll on military families” David Tarrant 12/19/10