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Multiple Deployments = More Marriage Problems

Emotional Cycle of Deployment is Normal

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Now that the war in Iraq has lasted longer than America's involvement in World War II, military service members' multiple deployments are having a profound impact on their marriages and families.

Part of the normal emotional cycle of deployment includes couples having doubts about their marriage and fighting a lot just before a deployment. There can be anger at the military spouse who is leaving again, and anger at the military in general.

Difficult Decisions

Additionally, these service members and military spouses are having to make difficult decisions in the midst of stress, uncertainty, worry, depression, and fear.

  • To get married or not.

  • To have more children or not.

  • To be home during your wife's pregnancy or to be home during your child's first year.

  • To divorce or to try and save your marriage when you return home.

  • To reenlist or not.

Stress Continues Even When Home

Just because a military service member has returned home from Iraq doesn't mean that quality time can be spent with spouse and family.

Retraining and getting ready for the next deployment often requires many hours away from home including nights and weekends.

In the midst of getting reaquainted and fitting in with one another and family again, worry and fear continue as service members and their families face an uncertain future.

Early Intervention

A key to surviving multiple deployments is to recognize troubling issues and to get help right away. "We realize that for many people, these issues are not in isolation. They're often layered challenges that overlap. The trick is to address them as early as possible before they become bigger challenges."
Source: DefenseLINK News

Help for military spouses and service members is available at Military OneSource. This free support service is provided by the Department of Defense to service members and their families including National Guardsmen and reservists. The web site has loads of information. A 24 hour/365 days a year toll free number is also available -- 1-800-342-9647.

Successful Military Marriages

Julia Pfaff, former Executive Director of the National Military Family Association writes in an article Military Marriages Can - And Do - Work, "Successful marriages don't just happen - they require constant commitment. Military marriages include difficult challenges and unusual pressures, but happiness and fulfillment certainly are possible. The evidence is all around you."

She lists the following common traits of successful military marriages:

  • Understanding that their lifestyle is a voluntary choice.

  • Having a team approach to their life in the military.

  • Appreciating and respecting one another.

  • Engaging in frequent, honest communication.

  • Having a realistic perspective of military life.

  • Being prepared for both marriage and the military life.

  • Developing a support group.

  • Trusting one another.

Read the full article by Julia Pfaff

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