Anyone who has served in the military comes to terms with how hard the lifestyle is on families. Fathers and mothers are deployed for significant chunks of time, often missing important events in the lives of daughters and sons. It can be challenging for spouses of service personnel, too, even for those who serve or once did.
There is not a lot of hard data on the exact rate of infidelity in the military, but marital infidelity is a commonly cited reason for divorce. With this in mind, it is worth looking at the reasons why military service personnel or their civilian husband or wife were unfaithful.
Common reasons for infidelity
The circumstances of marriage and divorce are unique, but there are recurring themes heard time and again:
- Absence does not make the heart grow fonder: Extended time away from a spouse (either deployed or working long hours advancing your career) can find you or a spouse seeking the support and comfort of someone else, especially if the relationship is already on shaky ground.
- Distance is relative: Spouses living thousands of miles apart may be more connected than those under the same roof. Reasons include such issues as post-traumatic stress disorder by those who serve or spouses who feel bitterness, loneliness or betrayal.
- Maturity level: Military personnel often marry younger than their civilian counterparts, which means they still have some personal growth ahead.
- An element of danger: Training for and then successfully achieving objectives with a high element of danger or life-altering purpose can be addictive. That feeling of living on the edge and comfort with risk can be hard to give up or drive other choices. It can also lead to hard transitions back to civilian life.
Divorce can pose certain risks for those who serve
Service personnel may have every part of their lives scrutinized when they have certain levels of responsibility and clearance. Whereas an insurance salesperson may lose his father-in-law’s business, an Army colonel or Navy SEAL may find themselves scrutinized during a security clearance if they are getting divorced. In cases such as these, using an attorney with military divorce experience may be the best option.