According to the 2014 Military Demographics Profile published by the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense only 4.1% of the 1.3 million active duty military members are divorced. While this may seem low, especially among statistics that show nearly half of all marriages in end in divorce, it can be a bit misleading.
That 4.1% of active duty members, which amounts to 54,393 people, reporting as divorced doesn’t include Navy members, who don’t report as divorced, those who have remarried, or those who are divorced but have left the military. When you take into account the fact that estimates put the number of military divorces at over 24,000 for that same year, and the fact that that number marks a 5-year low in the number of divorces, a clearer picture begins to emerge.
“Any sort of high-stress life that takes you away from your primary partner for months at a time presents a risk and falling in love affects your judgment,” says Kayt Sukel, former Army spouse and author of Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex, and Relationships.
While infidelity frequently occurs in civilian life and perpetuating the myth that military communities are overrun with cheating spouses, military service can be demanding on both partners and sometimes the stress is too much to handle. There are many factor that lead to infidelity within a military marriage, including combat-induced issues such as PTSD, negative habits such as alcohol or drug use, or even physical or mental abusive. In many cases, however, simply being separated from a significant other for long periods of time during a deployment can lead to a breakdown in what was once a strong and vibrant relationship.
Signs of a Cheating Spouse
Uncovering signs of an unfaithful partner can be much harder in military communities. The codes of honor that are ingrained in the minds of armed forces members preventing them from leaking secrets related to national security, can spill over into the personal lives of those same members. In other words an officer could have information pertaining to a fellow serviceman’s extra-marital excursions but deem that information “classified.”
You don’t need a counselor or a private detective to tell you when something is going wrong in your relationship. The feelings of distance that arise between you and a spouse when things are on the rocks are unmistakable. If your partner spends more time immersed in their phone or social media than they do paying attention to you, research suggests an increased probability of infidelity.
Other signs scientists have discovered are indicative of deceitful, duplicitous, or outright adulterous behavior include sudden changes in behavior, increased silence, personal attacks, and the act of repeating questions before answering them, possibly indicating that the respondent is stalling for time to concoct a response.
Finding out the Truth
Getting people to open up about their knowledge of infidelity on the part of a loved one is tough, but in many cases is the easiest and most effective way to determine the truth. Those who spend the most time with the party in question will have intimate knowledge of what goes on when they are away from their spouse. While they may feel a level of loyalty to that person, many times their conscious may encourage them to come clean about their observations, especially if they see the actions of an unfaithful spouse are causing pain to members of that person’s family.
The close-knit manner of relationships within a community, however, coupled with the fact that disciplinary action can be taken against members of the military that engage in extra-marital affairs, means it isn’t always possible to get these answers on your own. In certain cases an individual is more willing to talk to a third party trained in dealing with these types of issues. In an environment where they are used to answering to an authority figure within a chain of command, an outside investigator can elicit facts that personal friend or associate may not be able to uncover.
Stepping it Up
When these types of methods fail to produce evidence one way or the other as to the habits of a partner, it sometimes requires an increased level of investigation. Surveilling the person in question at times and places they are suspected of cheating can provide definitive proof as to whether they have remained faithful or not. A night out at the bar, a weekend trip with friends, or any other time when the behavior is believed to be occurring presents the opportune time for a private investigator to conduct surveillance on the person suspected of infidelity.
The nature of a military career can complicate an inquiry into a troubled relationship, whether the party suspected of infidelity is a service member or their civilian counterpart. It’s hard to provide investigators with clues as to a loved ones habits to use as a starting point when you’re stationed 3,000 miles away, and even harder if you’re stateside and suspecting a significant other of committing adultery in a foreign country a world away.
When to Call it Quits
Regardless of the outcome of a domestic investigation, feeling the need to initiate such an operation is a red flag in any relationship. While you may be ready to throw in the towel, take a deep breath and think about things before making a life-altering decision. The person you are ready to cut ties with was once the apple of your eye; a person you would have given your all for and expected the same in return. In cases of abuse, leaving the situation as quickly as possible is imperative, but in many cases seeking marriage counseling or other forms of reconciliation before calling it quits may be able to salvage what you once had.
When it becomes clear that things have become irreparable and a divorce is imminent, the process must be handled with care. On top of the emotional stress, custodial disputes, and financial implications that come along with any separation, military disillusions come with a completely different set of obstacles to overcome. Dealing with pensions, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage, disability benefits, domicile issues, where to file, and even the 20/20/20 rule can be a nightmare for someone just trying to move on and live a normal life again. Consulting with an expert is highly recommended in this situation, but Military.com offers some guidance to get you pointed in the right direction.
At Kansas Judgment Recovery and Investigation, we understand that going through a divorce in a military community can be overwhelming. Our close proximity to Ft. Riley, Kansas allows us to serve the good men and women of that installation. Whether you are in need of our services or just need someone to talk to about what you’re going through, we’re here for you. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us using our form, email, or phone number.