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How deployment can ruin even the strongest marriages

Members of the U.S. military sacrifice a tremendous amount to serve and protect their country and its citizens. Months or years spent away from home in foreign and often hostile environments takes a toll on an individual's physical and mental state. In many cases, returning service members are profoundly impacted by their experiences in the armed services and experience changes in how they perceive situations and relate to others.

For military spouses, being married to a man or woman who is in the U.S. military frequently requires one to put their own needs aside. Military members are often forced to move numerous times which can be difficult for a non-military spouse as well as a couple's children and may result in a spouse feeling lonely, detached and ultimately resentful of a spouse.

In cases where a military couple is thousands of miles apart due to a deployment, physical distance along with emotional detachment may challenge a couple's ability to maintain a marriage. For the non-military spouse, he or she is forced to be strong and assume responsibilities formerly performed by a spouse. Additionally, communication with a deployed spouse may be infrequent and conversations strained as a spouse may consider his or her concerns to be trivial compared to those of a deployed spouse.

For a married service member, the realities of active service and living in a foreign and potentially hostile land can be extremely difficult. Forced to cope with their new situation and reality, a military member may feel detached and alienated from a spouse back home. These feelings often become even more pronounced when an individual returns home only to realize life also changed back home as a spouse was forced to take over responsibilities.

In cases where the chasm between a couple grows too wide to cross, divorce may be the best option. Individuals facing this situation would be wise to choose an attorney who has experience dealing with military divorce matters. 

Source: K State Collegian, "Alumni couple lives with transitions married military life brings," Erin Poppe, April 17, 2014