By Robert L. Mues   |   December 5th, 2009

mildiv.jpgThe Pentagon reported the divorce rate among military members increased again in the past year and is now a full percentage point higher than it was around the time of the September 11, 2001, attacks.  According to their figures, the divorce rate of about 3.6 percent for fiscal year 2009 increased from the reported 2001 rate of 2.6 percent.  Women in uniform continued to have a much higher divorce rate than their male counterparts – 7.7% in 2009 compared with only 3% for men.  Air Force Maj. April Cunningham, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said the latest year-to-year change was relatively small because the services have made available programs focused on strengthening and enriching family bonds among couples.  “We believe these programs are instrumental in mitigating the stresses deployment places on marriages,” said Cunningham.

The actual data for the Afghanistan study indicated that the Army is trying to increase the number of mental health providers for the 68,000 US troops having problems such as acute stress, depression, and anxiety from the current number of 43 to roughly 103.  Seemingly, a very low number of counselors in my opinion!

“Every marriage has controllable and uncontrollable factors,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  “But when you interject eight years of war, preparing for war, being at war, coming home and having to think about going back to war again – and when you have children – it just has a tremendous impact on the family unit. . . . Still at the end of the day, it’s that one mother or father who has to go home and close the door and be home alone with their children. There’s nothing you can do that will end the stress of having a loved one at war until the war ends,” said Davis.

The Pentagon acknowledges that their figures do not count veterans, who divorce after leaving the services, or reflect other possible wartime consequences on families, such as increases in alcoholism or the toll on orphaned or emotionally stressed children of troops.  Also, the figures do not speak to troubled but only intact marriages.  In an Army battlefield survey taken in Iraq in the spring, nearly 22 percent of young combat soldiers who were questioned said they planned to get a divorce or separation, compared to 12.4 percent in a survey conducted in 2003.

Regardless of how accurate the statistics are, the negative impact for military families and children by the two ongoing wars and repeated deployments continues to fracture military families.  Or, as a military’s spokesperson spins it, “In both theaters of operation, soldiers continued to face stress resulting from multiple deployments, but report feeling more prepared for the stress.”  Despite being “more prepared for the stress,” even the military acknowledges that troops in their third or fourth deployment reported significantly more acute stress and other psychological problems, and married soldiers among them reported significantly more marital problems compared to soldiers on their first or second deployment.

As a divorce lawyer, I can tell you how important it is for individuals living in their hometown in a relatively “stable” situation to have access to mental health counselors, therapists and support groups.  I can’t fathom the pain and burden of trying to fight a war abroad while being separated from a spouse and children and all the accompanying anxiety and stress. We certainly owe a huge debt of gratitude to each and every one of them!


© 2009 – 2018, Ohio Family Law Blog. All rights reserved. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright.

Robert L. MuesAbout The Author: Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.

Stress of War Shatters More Marriages

2 thoughts on “Stress of War Shatters More Marriages

  • December 6, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    A Helpful BOOK for Divorced Military Personnel

    I’ve read about the higher rate of divorces in the Armed Forces and thought you may want to buy and route some copies of my book to your personnel who are divorced.
    My book, “Yes, There Is an Upside of Divorce – It Can Be Your Second Chance at Life!,” has received a recommendation from Self-Help-Product-Reviews and two full 5-star ratings from my first Amazon reviewers.
    My book is based on my own personal experiences with divorce – both the negative issues and the many more POSITIVE sides that can exist AFTER divorce too. I believe it can help many of the millions of us who suffer through a divorce and separation each year in our country.
    I can show them how to handle the most difficult issues of divorce more easily and quickly than I did myself. I can then help them to move on to their real second chance at life, where you will see the many more positive sides and opportunities that are there for them after divorce. The many new things-to-do that I did to make it a happier and more enjoyable rest-of-life for myself, may also help them do the same.
    My book is sold on at
    (or search “upside of divorce” in Books.)
    I have self published my book at Book Surge (division of Amazon) and can sell it to you directly via my own website if you want to save some $2 to $5 on more copies at
    Buy your book copies on my Books page, by pushing the Books tab or button on the left side of any page of my website. For orders of 2, 4 and 6 copies or more, I can offer a 10%, 20% and 30% discount respectively, including reduced shipping cost per book too.
    Use Pay Pal to enter your desired copies of the book. Then enter your US zip code for your discounted S&H charge and pay your total cost. will prepare and ship your order to your address the next business day after receipt of funds through Pay Pal.
    I believe you will find some good help here in my book.

    Thanks for your consideration here, Brian Daniel

  • Pingback:Kentucky Family Law Blog | Divorce and Family Law » Blog Archive » Stress of War Shatters More Marriages

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
enerator" content="CuteHTML">