Women in military two to three times as likely to divorce, part 2

By March 17, 2011Divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Thursday, March 17, 2011

According to an article by the Associated Press, married women serving in the military are two to three times more likely to seek a divorce than their male coworkers. As cited in our last post, statistics from the Pentagon indicate that 7.8 percent of military women ended their marriages in divorce last year, and the rate rose to 9 percent among enlisted female members. The corresponding numbers for military divorce among male service members hovered around 3 percent for both groups.

A former Sergeant in the US Army interviewed by the Associated Press testified how common it was for her fellow service members to agonize over their struggling marriages. After spending years apart from one’s spouse, the Sergeant claimed it became increasingly difficult to ignore rumors of infidelity.

Experts such as the director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland claim that the societal pressure on women to place their role as a mother above their military career is one of the main sources of tension for military marriages. According to the director, married female service members who are not willing to leave their position with the military must often balance two very different lives: warrior and mother. The divorce rates suggest that this is not an easy balance to strike, nor are the same expectations necessarily placed upon military men.

Each branch of the military provides programs intended to help couples strengthen their marriages and work through the issues often caused by deployment. However, many advocates claim that these programs do not adequately address the rising divorce rate among female service members. These critics call for more programs which teach husbands how to support their wives after they return from war, encouraging acceptance and understanding among military couples.

Source: Associated Press, “Female GIs struggle with higher rate of divorce.” 8 March 2011