Why Are People Rushing Into Military Divorce?
a military fiancé vs. a military spouse
A fiancé is not entitled to the military benefits that a spouse is if their loved one is injured or killed. As a result, many couples where one or both partners are enlisted in the armed services rush to the altar for fear of sudden deployment. There are also financial implications. In the current economic climate, enlisted soldiers of lower rank may see the increased housing allowance for married soldiers as a reason to rush towards nuptials. Whatever the reason, the rush into marriage creates a multitude of problems that are exacerbated by military life.
Unmarried military couples often do not have access to cohabitation. Single soldiers living in the barracks may find the idea of living with their significant other an incredibly appealing alternative and therefore use that in their marriage decision making. The first year of married life and cohabitation is all about adjusting to each other. The joining of lives means the joining of schedules and habits and making shifts and concessions wherever you need to. Whether rushed or not, cohabitation is not a guarantee. Once married, a military couple can be separated by deployment. In addition to missing out on a real cohabitation experience, the partner left behind is often left in a new place within an insular community on an army base where they are consistently reminded of their partner and the fact that he or she is away. The rush to the altar for cohabitation can quickly spiral into isolation and loneliness for the person staying home and a rush to the divorce court.
Marriage does not fix relationship problems
No matter what the problem is, communication, honesty, fidelity, many people believe in the power of a ceremony to invigorate their good behavior and transform their bad habits into a thing of the past. After the fun-filled “honeymoon” stage of dating, couples often find difficulty as they come to understand each other on a deeper level. In order to reinvigorate their relationship some consider marriage. Marriage will not heal the rifts between a couple. This is especially true of military couples. In addition to a career, working for the military is a lifestyle not suited for many. A woman who is consistently frustrated by her boyfriend’s propensity to spend time with his unit during off-hours will be even more frustrated to see this behavior in her husband. The same can be said of a man who wants more freedom to plan events for himself and his military girlfriend who finds that active duty takes priority over vacation planning. Marriage will not completely displace someone’s priorities or invert their behavior and the hopefulness that it might is a foolish approach which may quickly lead to a split.
Fear is another factor in the rush towards marriage and divorce for military personnel
Regardless of various social movements, there is still major societal pressure towards marriage. Whether you consider the act a sacrament, a practical legal move, or anything else, people experience immense pressure to get married, particularly women. The fear of being the only person left out or alone by a certain age is a huge contributing factor for the general population but military men and women feel an additional form of urgency in the unknown. Before deployment, soldiers, even during times of peace, may not know the length of time they will be away or what might happen to them or their significant other during that time. The fear of loss through distance and emotional disconnect, changes of personality through new experience, infidelity or personal tragedy all weigh on men and women in the military. These fears push soldiers into marriage because they are afraid of the missed opportunity. The results can be far less picturesque than imagined. Simply put, marriage complicates all of these issues. Creating a shared space and linking accounts etc. through marriage just means there is more work to be done in case of divorce.
Whatever the reason, military couples who rush into marriage often find themselves rushing to divorce-and military divorce is a battlefield of its own. If someone you know is considering a sudden wedding-or even a planned one-make sure they know everything they are signing on for in military marriage. Give us a call at 856-227-7888 or email [email protected] to set-up an appointment to discuss your legal options.