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High Divorce Rates in the Military

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1644 words Published: 8th May 2017

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The research paper will briefly introduce the topic of research paper work specifically defining the key words. In the discussion part, the research paper will examine the reasons for high divorce rates in the military. The research will set out reasons for high divorce rate in the military especially those of marriage age, and the previous existence marriages. It will focus also on the race impacts upon marriage, which are the largest influences behind high divorce rate in the military. The paper will explain the sociological research findings, and sociological theoretical perspectives of high divorce rates in the military. The conclusion will finally summarize the causes of high divorce rates in the military basing them on sociological theoretical perspectives.


Military people are those brave individuals employed by a government in the armed forces in order to take care of national security. Divorce is a final marital union termination, and cancelling a legal marriage duties and responsibilities, and dissolving matrimonial bonds between two partners. Research indicates that military men and women have high divorce rates in the military.


There are wide ranges of cases in the last few decades that have risen within the marriage institution among the military populace. Early marriages leads to a short lasting period of familial stability than those enacted later on, in adulthood. An estimate of divorce rates shows that 48 percent of all initiated first marriages ends before a wife attains the age of 18 years. The first marriages of about 25 percent begin when female spouses attains at least 25 years old. Amongst divorce predictors, establishment of age at marriage is the most consistently indicative regardless of starting period of marriage (Hack, 2008). The issue of high divorce rates is a big question for the sociologists. Sociologists have studied vigorously in order to find direction and solid reasons that lead to high divorce rates in the military. There are more informed reasons and sociological theories attempting to explain the high divorce rates in the military (Crown and Karney, 2007).

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The highest rate of divorce in the military branches continues to be a worsening statistic compared to other careers. Many causes contribute to it. Inadequate time spent with the family is the leading cause. This is because most military personnel spend little time with their families. Military men and women also undergo divorce problem because of a lot time spent out in a war thus lack adequate time for their loved ones. This makes their partners to move away from such marriage in search of the partners who are ready to stay with them every moment.

This contributes to another cause; poor communication. Families with poor or lack of communication, and those spending many hours in the work place have high chances of divorce. The spouses of military men and women have a tendency to become unfaithful when the former are far away from their families. When their partners discover this, they end up separating. More often than not, they finally end up filing divorce cases in the courts. With vital communication, military people can build solid block or lay well foundation basing on trust, loyalty, and love (Chall, 2001).

The work involved in military is hard and needs full dedication as well as devotion. Because of this, most military people get to deal with the stress in fighting, and defending their countries. They encounter problems in handling divorces especially when the spouses are not even within the same country they are serving. Most military people try to handle divorce related stress through counseling available from couples who have encountered problems of separation for long periods (Hack, 2008). Another thing that can help them to reduce divorces rate is by ensuring that before they engage and marry, they should be ready for commitment.

Strenuous jobs contribute to the increased rate of divorce. It is not only in the military divorce that the rates are rising up, but also in 50% of the couples doing strenuous jobs end up divorcing. The statistical research shows that the bigger percentages of married people working in the military have high divorce rates than other ordinary couples (Crown and Karney, 2007). In military, there is little time to rest and almost no time to socialize with family and friends. Therefore, military people should try to talk about their feelings with their families if they want to secure their marriages, and avoid chances of separation and divorce.

Place of women in the society theory attempt to define and explain the role of the female gender in the society. It details how they have violated their roles. The place of women in the society is nowadays changing and is leading to high divorce rates. The military is neither spared. The role of woman has undergone modification and has become manly. Women are no longer watchers of the house, cooks, or cleaners, but they do the same roles that men play. Men dominance is now fading because they compete with women in places of work, and in almost all fields in the economies (Chafetz, 2006).

The marriage question in the institution theory has it that social dynamics keeps on changing making marriage less meaningful than it was before. People no longer have respect to moral ideals. Mothers who are working nowadays are common in the military, and the marriage expectations are very different than they were, previously. It is no longer the responsibility of men to use their own income to support an entire family. This is because women can comfortably support them in household chores. Most communities have accepted this kind of changed arrangement. Therefore, divorce rates keeps on rising due to changes in the roles of women, especially those in the military (Sowers, 2006).

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Conflict theory better explains various phenomena that occur in the military. The conflict perspectives focus on a wide range of things for instance drug abuse, and extra-affairs. Abuse and affairs are justifiable in some extents, and is the most obvious reason for high divorce rates in the military. It is understandable that couples would not like to live with someone who causes violence in the family. Many couples consider divorce especially when they do not want to stay in a miserable marriage. This have an even bigger impact on children especially when their parents fight in front of them and it worsens when parents divorce. Children may feel unsafe, or lack parental love when of the parents walks out of marriage.

Some military men abuse substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and laudanum thinking that they will make their minds function properly. These drugs finally end up causing addiction and the result is violence, or conflict in the family. The conflict theory attempts to refute the perspective of the functionalist explaining social problems in the military. This theory considers that a society function in order to ensure each group of persons play a certain role just like body organs (Sowers, 2006).

Stress factor can be an enormous cause of marital difficulties in the military. Research indicates that money factor especially limited financial income leads to divorce. This is quite evident among junior enlisted personnel with children, and those on long-term deployment. Many marriage counselors are of the notion that money is the root cause divorce in military marriages (Crown and Karney, 2007). Some say society itself contributes to divorce cases, but more value placed on individualism, self-expression, self-realization, and choice of personnel are the main causes of increasing military divorce. In financial cases especially among enlisted junior personnel, divorces often occur because of separation of couples for a long time on multiple occasions. These problems can reduce incase there is allowance of shorter deployment periods to limit marriage issues and to better family life (Karen, 2008).

Cultural theory traces back where early marriages were discouraged in the society. Research further indicates that, each year, cases of early marriages made between the ages of 15 to 19 are on the increase. Many young married couples often do not keep their original relationship together. High divorce in the military is increasing because of changes in the law. Over the decades, marriage institution earned respect, and there were rare divorce cases because it was illegal to divorce. Nowadays this has changed, and military people keep walking in and out of marriages because of non-restriction in marriage. Anybody can file cases of divorce if there are minor disagreements in a marriage.

The sociological context in cultural theory places divorce in traditional society as something that deteriorated the society thus divorce rarely occurred. The present society has high divorce that result even from sexual problems in the family. Several couples in military are sexually frustrated. They are not having enough sex when their partners keep on spending long working time outside (Anderson and Taylor, 2007).


The high divorce rates in the military are explained well by sociological perspectives. These sociological theories have their premises on the behavior of human beings. They blame contrasting and dynamic features of social life in expounding on high divorce rates in the military. Cases of divorce in the military are increasing every time, and the research shows that the military, as an occupation, is leading in divorce. These perspectives put several reasons forth, and all seem to justify. Therefore, the causes of high divorce rates are multifaceted and are dependent on the nature of a given case.


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