The sad number? About 27,312 divorces among the active duty Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps in a 12 month period. Marriage failure among reservists also went up one percent.
As in previous years, women in uniform suffered much higher divorce rates than men in uniform: 7.7 percent compared to 3 percent.
The military does know it‘s a problem and they are doing something. Retreats, couples’ counseling and workshops aimed at easing the strains of separation are offered. thinkmarriage.org has brought programming to military in our area.
But not everyone chooses to participate.
These statistics do not take into account veterans who divorce after leaving the service, or other war time consequences such alcoholism, and mental illness related to stress. It does also does not account for troubled marriages.
Day to day life can be very stressful without war, what about life with your loved ones placed in harms way daily?
Even though much is being done, it may not be enough. Even more skill building programs may have to be interwoven with other trainings for those deployed and the families left behind. Perhaps life skills need to become as high a priority as weapon skills.
As President Obama readies to speak the nation about more troops to Afghanistan, hopefully the powers that be are also counting the cost of what war does to marriage.
How about you? Are you in a military marriage? What tips do you have to survive the service with a marriage intact and thriving?