According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), service members’ divorce rates have hovered around 4% since 1996. This rate is similar to that for civilians.
An investigative report published by InsideSources (IS) suggests that this index seems abnormally lower than what service members’ divorce rate may actually be. IS noted that divorce tends to be highest among service members who spend extensive time deployed.
While infidelity is often to blame for the failure of service members’ marriages, IS suggests that mental health issues may be responsible as well.
How often do service members divorce after returning from deployment?
One interview IS conducted with a service member who spent extensive time deployed in Iraq between 2005 and 2010 revealed that the other 12 soldiers in his platoon ended up divorced by the time they returned from their multiple deployments. He was the only one who had remained married. He reported that what they’d been through during their time abroad didn’t make it easy for them to settle back into normal life when they finally came home.
Data published by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that service members are one of the top three professionals most apt to divorce. A study published by Brigham Young University (BYU) researchers chronicles how combat veterans who previously endured long deployments are 62% more apt to divorce or separate than ones that don’t deploy. The BYU researchers also determined that divorce rates are highest among servicemembers formerly deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq.
How mental health and other factors contribute to high divorce rates among formerly deployed servicemembers
Resentment, infidelity, insecurity, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are all mental health concerns that affect service members while on deployment and when they return stateside. These often result in them filing for divorce.
While seeking mental health treatment may aid some service members in rescuing their marriages from the brink of divorce, it’s not easy. You may want to learn more about how the military divorce process works so that you can prepare yourself for what comes next.