Divorce among members of the U.S. military is a large scale emotionally traumatic problem. The Huffington Post has written that according to the Defense Department, the divorce rate among military couples has been steadily rising for the past 10 years. Science Daily reported on Sept. 5, 2013, Lengthy Military Deployments Increase Divorce Risk.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been really difficult on military marriages. According to a new RAND Corporation study, the risk of divorce has increased directly in relation to the length of time which enlisted service members have been deployed to combat zones in these wars. The negative effects of deployment were found to be largest among female military members, with women being confronted with a greater chance of divorce than men under all the scenarios examined by researchers.
Although researchers found that any deployment increases the risk of divorce among military members, the negative consequences were found to be higher for those deployed to the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among couples who were married before the 9/11 attacks, those that experienced deployment of 12 months to war zones were found to be 28 percent more likely to become divorced within three years of marriage in comparison to peers who experienced similar deployment before the wars began.
Divorce in military families, as in civilian families, is a very traumatic emotional experience for each spouse, and becomes even more difficult when children are involved. It is therefore advised that marriage counseling services be made readily available for U.S. military couples. Humane counseling for each spouse and their children at such a difficult time can help avoid emotional problems while also preserving the careers and academic interests of all members of military families and civilian families.