Divorce is endemic in the military. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that benefits are assured for divorcing spouses – especially if they have children – and that the military base lifestyle is little different from a coed college frat row, where many young people live in a haze of intoxication and promiscuity.
However, one fact that I found in an article detailing the phenomenon has largely escaped attention — so far:
Although the military women are described as “suffering” from divorce, I am willing to bet that their rate of filing is at least the same as civilian women, i.e. around 70%.
Why is it that women in the service are divorcing their husbands at higher rates? The obvious explanation is that in what is still a mainly male occupation, they have plenty of opportunities to have affairs with other soldiers. Another factor is that the macho culture of the military encourages female recruits to have sex with a number of different men. They probably quickly develop contempt for their husbands, who they must see as the ultimate kitchen bitches, especially if they are not serving overseas. Additionally, they are assured custody of their children, and having custody is a good way to get them out of dusty outposts such as Afghanistan (they can claim that “nobody else can take care of the kids,” even if the father is available).
Scummy lawyers have set up camp at military bases to advise women on divorce procedures, and there is no doubt that the gossip brigade feeds a steady stream of divorce advice to military women.
It has always been common for women to leave their husbands while they are on duty overseas. In fact, in WWII the common method was known as the “Dear John Letter.” The difference back then was that attorneys didn’t have the opportunity to cash in on these sentiments as they do today, and the only incentive for common female betrayal was the fickle, womanly nature we all know so well, as opposed to the cashouts and benefits they get today.
It is a wonder that any soldier gets married at all, but evidently they are encouraged to do so through the many perks, including family housing. Perhaps they feel that temporary benefits are worth the likely dissolution. In any case, the high rate of marital dissolutions in the military cheapens not only the institution of marriage, but the vows of servicewomen and some men as well. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to institute a ban on marriage for recruits who have not completed their active service. This would probably save much heartbreak and many broken homes, and prevent opportunistic military wives from leaching off the taxpayer and their soldier ex-husbands.