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Research looks at rate of affairs among military personnel

There are many studies that look at how deployment and serving in the military can impact an individual's personal life, specifically marital relationships. Previous research has studied the rates of divorce among female service members as well as the affect a military divorce can have on children of military personnel.

Now a more recent study is looking at a contributing factor in divorce: infidelity. How are extramarital affairs related to military service members? Could this be affecting the rate of military divorce?

The extensive study looked at both current and former U.S. military personnel who have been married and asked whether the individuals have had an affair. The results showed that the number of military personnel members who admit to having an affair is twice the number of those not in the military.

It is important to note that these results do not mean that the military itself is what's causing the affairs. It also does not mean that the rate of divorce is directly linked to the rate of affairs. However, it raises the concern that things like long deployments and emotional trauma can create distance between married couples.

One hypothesis as to why the extramarital affairs rate is higher among military personnel is because of the nature of military service. In certain environments, service members can experience heightened stress and anxiety. This could create unique bonds between personnel and possibly result in an affair, further distancing the service member from his or her spouse who is stateside.

It is common knowledge that divorce affects many families in the U.S. and involves issues like child custody, child support, and spousal support. While these issues are a part of military divorces, there are additional considerations when one spouse is an active member of the military. Deployment and additional Army regulations surrounding child support and military benefits can complicate a divorce. It helps to speak with someone who understands the military divorce process - this can lead to results that both parties can agree to.

Source: U.S. News and World Report: "Service Members Twice as Likely to Have Affairs: Study," Randy Dotinga, Aug. 26, 2011

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