What effects can extended deployments have on military memb…

What effects can extended deployments have on military members’ romantic relationships/marriages and on their relationships with their minor children? Personal examples are acceptable if applicable, but give specific examples from the research literature to support your personal observations.

Effects of Extended Deployments on Military Members’ Romantic Relationships/Marriages and their Relationships with Minor Children

Extended deployments in the military can have significant impacts on military members’ romantic relationships/marriages and their relationships with their minor children. These effects can manifest in various ways, including increased stress, emotional distance, and the strain caused by prolonged separation. This paper will discuss the effects of extended deployments on military families, drawing on both research literature and personal observations.

One of the primary effects of extended deployments on military members’ romantic relationships/marriages is increased stress. The stressors of being separated for long periods combined with the constant worry for the deployed spouse’s safety can take a toll on the relationships. Research has shown that heightened stress levels often lead to increased conflict and decreased satisfaction in relationships (Bono, 2013).

Furthermore, prolonged separations can result in emotional distance between the deployed military member and their partner. The lack of daily communication and limited opportunities for shared experiences can cause a sense of disconnect and lead to feelings of isolation. Research has suggested that emotional distance can lead to decreased intimacy and overall relationship satisfaction (Stanley et al., 2016). Consequently, the emotional bonds within the relationship can become weakened, potentially leading to long-term consequences.

Extended deployments also affect military members’ relationships with their minor children. When a parent is absent for an extended period, children may experience feelings of abandonment, leading to emotional challenges such as anxiety and depression (Mullan et al., 2014). The absence of a parent can disrupt routine and stability, creating difficulties in the child’s life. For example, a child may struggle academically due to the emotional impact of the deployment.

The strain caused by prolonged separation can also result in changes in parenting dynamics and practices. The non-deployed parent may need to take on additional responsibilities and roles, such as acting as both mother and father, which can be challenging and overwhelming. This increased burden can lead to parental stress and can impact the parent-child relationship. Research has shown that increased levels of stress in parents can lead to less warm and responsive caregiving, which may affect the child’s emotional well-being and behavior (Deater-Deckard et al., 2009).

Research studies have provided specific examples supporting the aforementioned effects of extended deployments. For instance, a study conducted by Allen et al. (2016) examined the impact of deployment on marital satisfaction among military couples. The results showed that extended deployments were associated with decreased overall marital satisfaction and increased conflict within the relationship. The authors suggested that the stress and strain of the deployment likely contribute to these negative outcomes.

Similarly, a study by Madsen et al. (2018) explored the effects of deployment on military children’s emotional adjustment. The findings revealed that children who experienced extended deployments of their parents had higher levels of anxiety and emotional distress compared to children with non-deployed parents. The study emphasized the importance of addressing the emotional well-being of military children during extended deployments.

Personal observations in military communities also support the research findings. Many military families discuss the challenges they face during extended deployments and how these experiences impact their relationships. For example, some spouses express feelings of loneliness and frustration due to the absence of their partner. Parents often discuss the difficulty of maintaining a sense of normalcy for their children while managing the stress and emotional strain caused by the deployment.

In summary, extended deployments in the military can have significant effects on military members’ romantic relationships/marriages and their relationships with their minor children. The stress, emotional distance, and strain caused by prolonged separation can lead to increased conflict, decreased satisfaction, emotional challenges in children, and changes in parenting dynamics. Research studies and personal observations from military communities provide evidence supporting these effects and highlight the importance of addressing the well-being of military families during extended deployments. Further research and support programs are instrumental in assisting military families in navigating the challenges and mitigating the negative impact of extended deployments.