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Military couples need to work at their marriages

In Fort Worth, Texas, and Tarrant, Texas, there are many married military couples. The hope is that most of them will stay married, and raise their children together in the most natural way possible, with both parents and the children sharing a home. Unfortunately, military divorce does happen, splitting families apart and ensuring that children don't get to live with both of their parents.

According to data from the Pentagon, as published on Military.com, about 21,290 married troops got divorced in fiscal year 2017. There are over 667,000 troops who are still married. The divorce rate for female military service members is higher than the divorce rate for male service members. This may be due to society's expectations about roles that men and women respectively are allegedly supposed to fit into. However, it may also be due to insufficiently family-friendly policies in the military.

Of course, many other factors affect military divorce as well, such as frequency, duration and location of deployments. Absence doesn't really make the heart grow fonder, shopworn cliché notwithstanding, and instead in many cases, damages the connection between a husband and wife by depriving them of the time together that they need to renew their bond. Additionally, when the couple is together, each may have gotten used to how they lived life apart and not be able to reconcile their differences.

With all of those things in mind, military couples should carefully go over the things specific to military service that can break them apart and talk together about ways to address each of those things. Doing that can give them, and their children, the best chance of staying together as a family. If they struggle to address those issues on their own, qualified counselors and mutual friends can help to bridge differences and come up with ways to keep the couple together.

Source: Military.com, "Troop Divorce Rate Unchanged; Marriage Rate Continues Fall," Amy Bushatz, March 21, 2018

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