This week, I’m going to touch on a subject that everyone, military and non military, knows in some personal way: Divorce. I’m going to talk military here, because it’s what I know, but know that it’s really meant for all people. Since becoming an Army wife in 2004, I’ve seen several of our close friends end their marriages due to the stresses and pressures of this lifestyle. I have my own opinions on these reasons, but I’ll set those aside for some facts for a minute. Here are a few Military divorce statistics:
In 2001, there were 2.5 divorces for every 100 marriages.
In 2011, that number jumped to 3.9
Currently, the divorce rate military-wide is the highest it’s been since 1999.
30,000 marriages ended in divorce, by the end of the fiscal year in 2011.
Roughly, one in every 27 married troops got a divorce in 2011.
Researchers say that about 32 percent of service members surveyed admitted to having extramarital affairs. This is almost double the rate among the general population, which has a rate of just 16.8 percent.
Now, back to personal experience and opinions here…Of all of our friends that divorced, every single one had to do with infidelity. Every. Single. One. I know this from seeing it with my own eyes, and there’s a reason they make TV shows and movies about it. It really does happen. And it happens a lot too. It’s almost as common as filling up your tank with gas. There are the obvious reasons for this though:
– The constant separation takes a toll. Most military couples spend more time apart than physically with their spouse the first half of their marriages.
– The service member deals with a completely different type of stress than the spouse who stays at home or works in the civilian world.
– The service member gets sucked into their black and white world during a deployment or extended training time or the spouse loses sight of who they were before they entered into the military lifestyle as a quasi-insider.
Then there are your not-so-obvious reasons:
– The rank system in the military carries over into the home.
-The hours that the service member works are just not the same as the spouse
-The service member is required to maintain a certain level of physical fitness, but the spouse is not.
-Military pay totally does not match up with the cost of living. ever. And this is especially difficult when there are children involved, and one spouse has to stay home because of the effects of deployment and random FTX’s.
It’s so difficult to say exactly why the straying happens or where it starts, but I think all military couples should be on guard for their marriages. Every single military couple is going to face temptation from an outsider. And by outsider, I mean any person who is neither the husband nor the wife. This can be friends, buddies, ladies from the FRG giving you cruddy advice, or the upper ranking soldier across the street who jumped your car when your husband couldn’t come home because he had a 1300 formation, the guy at the airport who gave you his seat, the doctor at the children’s clinic who knows your child’s favorite things, because he sees them more often than your husband gets to. These are just outside forces that are wonderful blessings, but can turn into terrible diseases if given more than a single thought for what they’re worth. Infidelity doesn’t just happen in a blink. It’s a cut that turns into a scab, which becomes infected and breeds disease. It festers, blisters, and oozes disgust, regret, lies, and can never been seen as beautiful. That tiny cut, that started out as just a deployment needs to be cared for, cleaned, bandaged, aired out, and properly maintained. There will be a scar when it’s done, but scars can be cool. Trust me, I’m the queen of scars. My entire abdomen tells a story on its own. Every mark is a surgery, and every surgery is a memory of the pain. But, it’s also a memory of the people that cared for my children during my recovery and brought meals to my family. I have incredible, lifelong memories of friends laughing hysterically at my ridiculous comments after coming out of anesthesia. My surgery scars are cool things to have and to flaunt. Military and Marriage scars are no different. I get to say, “That right there is from a night when my husband and I almost called it quits,” “This one is from an 18 hour road trip where we talked through every single fault, flaw, and problem,” “Oh, that one? I can’t tell you about that one. It’s way too special. Something only for my husband and me,” “That one a ways back…Iraq, 2006. We’ll have to sit if we’re gonna talk about that one,” and “This cut right here? Yeah, it’s not quite healed yet, but at least it’s not oozing. So, that’s gotta be a good sign, right? It’s Afghanistan, 2012.”
Activity #34: Become a Pin on Pinterest!
So, as I was scrolling through pinterest one night, and I saw pin after pin after pin of delicious recipes. I thought to myself, “Self, you can be a pinterest recipe too!” So I gathered my ingredients and put together 2 delicious mouth-watering Fall recipes. I basically have one huge rule that I’ve made in my kitchen, and I might as well cross-stitch it onto a pillow:
Butter and Lemon can travel alone, but Garlic always takes them along for a stroll.