Those who are in the military or who are married to a soldier know all too well how hard marriage can be. The rate of divorce for women in the service is twice as high as that for men. During deployment, it's not unusual for both partners to cheat on each other. Isolation, stress, and trouble communicating are often to blame.
So, what causes cheating in relationships when one person is away? There are many factors, but here are two of the most common ones:
Communication is very hard when people are deployed in different parts of the world. Tools like Skype make it easier for military couples to stay in touch, but it also makes their relationships more complicated. In some cases, they use shared satellite phones or write letters to each other. People often use a variety of social media sites. The advice is to try to talk to each other every day.
Rhonda Milrad is an expert on relationships, and she says that strategic dialogue that fits with the partner's values is very important. This can make it less likely for the civilian partner to be jealous of the people their soldier confides in when things are tough.
On the other hand, citizen partners shouldn't try to hide how they feel about things happening back home. It's important to connect with the serviceman or servicewoman by sharing feelings and experiences freely. If this isn't done, the military partner might think that the person's life isn't important to them, which could make them want to look for support somewhere else.
It wasn't the actual distance or the long time we were apart. It was the way that he changed who I was. He made me into "His Wife," which took away my own identity. Even though my husband is great, I couldn't give up who I am just to fill a job. No one should have to give up so much of themselves and be happy with it.
Lack of Emotional Support
Both civilian partners and people who are deployed need strong networks of mental support. When problems come up, it can be tempting to look for comfort somewhere else:
"Deaths, blasts from IEDs, rocket attacks, and more. I wasn't married yet; I was just engaged. I thought I was going to die after a transport. I tried calling my family and my fiance, but no one picked up. So I went to my fight partner. It was about being weak. We both went through something terrible. Even though it wasn't right, it did happen. We kept in touch." — Marine Corps Corporal Maria, 27
Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, which put people in new places where they don't know anyone, make it especially hard to keep up a strong network.
Friends, family, and unit family readiness groups are, without a question, important sources of support. There are also a lot of online tools that can be used, such as:
- Operation We Are Here
- Military SOS
- Facebook's Blue Star Families
- Beyond the conventional, platforms like Meetup.com offer a chance for milsos to unite for mutual support.
Dealing with a Deep Loss
"Death and mortality often lurk in the shadow of an affair," says famous relationship expert Esther Perel in her TED Talk, "Rethinking Infidelity." She thinks that relationships are like a cure for death.
Iraq, July 2009. My fellow expert and I had a moment together just three days after an explosively formed projectile killed a truck team. She made it happen. We woke up together as my roommate came back from a trip. I don't remember much else. This event didn't change anything about the mission, and it was never talked about. We were both sad about the deaths of friends. — Robert, Army, age 28
But, like alcohol or drugs, affairs are a destructive way to deal with deep loss, whether it's from internal stagnation or a real death. Even worse, there could be civil consequences for adultery in some situations. A better way to deal with sadness is to use a support network and talk to the unit chaplain. The number of tools for mental health has grown by a lot. RealWarriors.net has tips and options that are very helpful. What can be worse than a situation where husband catches wife cheating?
How to Catch Your Spouse Cheating
Some people, like David French of the National Review, say that the military has a problem with cheating, but not everyone agrees with this point of view. Sergeant First Class Kent Phyfe says, "The military is a reflection of our culture. Both men and women are promiscuous, just like in the general population. Because of the way soldiers work, they tend to be people who put duty, respect, and commitment first.
Keeping a military marriage strong is hard work, but the benefits are much greater than the problems. This trip is good for both the friendship and the country as a whole. With iFindCheaters, the best way to catch a cheater, you can stay in touch and protect your trust. We give you a way to find out if your civilian partner is on social media or dating sites without going against their privacy. Our algorithms look across multiple platforms to give you the information you need to make an informed decision about the relationship.
Don't let the challenges of being in the service pull you apart. Try us for free and see for yourself how iFindCheaters can help you keep your military relationship strong and make sure that distance doesn't weaken the bonds that mean the most. This is the first step on your way to a strong and long-lasting relationship.