What Is the 1 Cause of Military Divorce?

by | Military Finance | 1 comment

Military life brings unique challenges that can strain even the strongest marriages. Long deployments, frequent relocations, and the emotional toll of service often create a volatile environment for relationships. While many factors contribute to marital stress, one stands out as the leading cause of military divorce: prolonged separation.

Extended periods apart can erode intimacy and trust, making it difficult for couples to maintain a strong connection. The absence of a partner during critical moments—birthdays, anniversaries, or family emergencies—exacerbates feelings of loneliness and frustration. Understanding how prolonged separation impacts military marriages is crucial for addressing and mitigating its effects.

Exploring the Primary Cause of Military Divorce

Prolonged separation due to frequent deployments stands as the primary cause of military divorce. This section delves into the contributing factors.

The Impact of Frequent Deployments

Frequent deployments disrupt family life. Long separations create emotional distance, weakening the bond between you and your partner. For instance, missing anniversaries or your child’s first steps intensifies this isolation. Service members often face combat stress, adding further strain to relationships.

Financial Stress and Uncertainty

Military life often comes with unique financial challenges. Inconsistent incomes and frequent relocations cause significant stress. Extended absences limit your ability to manage household finances effectively. Uncertainty about future deployments exacerbates this tension, leading to potential conflicts over money management.

Support Systems and Lack Thereof

Support systems play a crucial role in military marriages, impacting the overall stability and success. Lack of access to these systems intensifies the pressure on couples, leading to issues that can contribute to divorce.

Challenges in Accessing Support Services

Accessing support services becomes a common challenge for military families. Those stationed in remote or overseas areas often find supporting institutions limited. This lack of availability means that couples can’t easily access counseling or family support programs when needed.

Also, inconsistency in service quality emerges as another issue. Some bases offer exceptional programs while others lack essential resources. This disparity leads to an uneven support experience across different environments.

Military spouses often juggle multiple responsibilities, such as managing the household and parenting alone during deployments. This workload creates barriers to seeking help, even when services are available. Emotional exhaustion and time constraints further prevent spouses from pursuing support services, exacerbating the problem.

The Role of Military Spouse Networks

Military spouse networks, including support groups and informal gatherings, prove essential for creating a sense of community. Spouses rely on these networks for emotional support and practical advice, making a significant difference during challenging times.

These networks offer practical solutions to day-to-day challenges. For example, when managing household tasks or seeking childcare, spouses in the network provide first-hand advice and assistance. Sharing experiences and solutions helps alleviate stress and promotes a resilient community.

Strong, engaged networks also encourage communication. Spouses frequently discuss coping strategies during deployments and share information about available resources. Such interactions foster a collective strength, enabling individuals to navigate their unique challenges better.

But, not all families have equal access to these networks. Frequent relocations disrupt established connections, making it hard to maintain consistent, reliable support. Newly relocated spouses may struggle to integrate, delaying access to the community benefits.

It’s essential to recognize and address these support system challenges to strengthen military marriages. Encouraging consistent support service quality and facilitating accessible, strong spouse networks contribute to the overall well-being of military families.

Legal and Emotional Complications

Legal and emotional complications significantly contribute to the complexity of military divorces. Understanding these factors can help you navigate this challenging period more effectively.

Exploring Military Divorce Laws

Military divorce laws can be intricate and vary by state, creating a labyrinth for service members and their families. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) offers protections, such as postponing proceedings. This can provide some relief but often adds to the timeline.

To navigate these laws, you need to understand both civilian and military legal systems. For instance, state laws determine property division and child custody, while federal laws affect retirement benefits and health care coverage. An experienced military divorce attorney can guide you through this maze, ensuring your rights are protected.

The Psychological Impact on Families

The psychological impact of military divorce on families is profound. Service members often struggle with PTSD, depression, or anxiety as a result of their experiences, further complicating emotional dynamics. In turn, spouses may feel isolated or overwhelmed by the dual role of parent and support system.

Children, too, bear the brunt of these emotional strains. They might face challenges like frequent relocations and long deployments, which can lead to adjustment disorders or behavioral issues. It’s crucial to seek mental health support for all family members to help mitigate these effects.

Use available resources like military chaplains, family counselors, and support groups. These services can offer a lifeline during the tumultuous period of a military divorce.

Mitigation Strategies for Reducing Military Divorce Rates

Military marriages face unique challenges. To address these, effective strategies can help reduce divorce rates.

Implementing Effective Pre-deployment Counseling

Engaging in pre-deployment counseling helps military couples prepare for separations. Counseling sessions provide tools for communication, conflict resolution, and stress management. These tools become crucial during prolonged deployments, fostering emotional resilience and mutual understanding. Service members can access these sessions through military chaplains or licensed family therapists. Experienced counselors often use role-playing scenarios to simulate deployment-related stressors. This helps couples develop practical coping strategies, preparing them for real-life situations.

Enhancing On-base Family Support Programs

Family support programs on military bases act as lifelines. They offer resources like financial planning assistance, childcare services, and mental health support. By enhancing these programs, military families can access necessary support more efficiently. Comprehensive support networks assist spouses in managing daily responsibilities while their partners are deployed. Some bases provide workshops on topics such as budgeting, stress management, and parenting. Access to these resources reduces the strain on marriages, helping families adapt to the unique challenges of military life.


Understanding the primary cause of military divorce is crucial for addressing the unique challenges faced by military families. By recognizing the impact of prolonged separations and combat-related stress, you can better appreciate the importance of support systems and mitigation strategies. Focusing on effective pre-deployment counseling and enhancing on-base family support programs can significantly reduce divorce rates. These measures equip military couples with essential tools for communication and stress management, eventually fostering stronger, more resilient relationships even though the demands of military life.


post page form.


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page (https://www.gravityforms.com/the-8-best-email-plugins-for-wordpress-in-2020/). Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.