Servicemembers and their families here in Montgomery know that military life is different than civilian life in numerous ways. For example, when one spouse is on active duty and deployed, the challenges faced by the spouse remaining home are unique. In the same vain, when a military couple makes the decision to go through a military divorce, the process and considerations are also distinct, as can be the emotional impact.
Recently, a former military wife who had just finalized her divorce detailed these differences in an article about her experience. Aside from discussing how she and her ex-husband came to the decision, she noted some of the issues specific to her experience with the military.
For example, she discussed at length how, psychologically, she had come to identify herself almost wholly as a military spouse, and how the divorce forced her to that realization. She discussed how her military benefits — such as her military ID card — made life different for her. She also admits how scary the transition to civilian life is for her, particularly since she is doing it alone. However, she shared some hope by acknowledging how her life as a military spouse prepared her to deal with uncertainty, including how to do so while still appropriately caring for her children.
Of course, those going through a military divorce can likely identify with the writer’s experience. However, military divorces are not just unique on an emotional plane — they can also involve different legal issues. For example, military laws can govern aspects of the divorce, and considerations like military benefits can impact the outcome.
The writer ends with a message of hope — that she does not regret anything about her military experience. For those going through a similar decision, taking care to acknowledge and address both emotional and legal issues unique to a military divorce can help them towards the same path of acceptance.
Source: New York Times, “A Military Wife No More,” Heather Sweeney, Nov. 22, 2013