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Why the Home Front Strays: Ten Reasons Military Wives Give for Marital Unfaithfulness


By Marshéle Carter Waddell

There are many reasons why those on the home front stray from marital faithfulness.  Military wives are entrenched at home in the battle for their marriages, their children, their faith and their sanity, which are caught in the crossfire.  Here are the top ten reasons why military wives walk away from their marriage vows:

1.He is too passionate about his career. She feels she has to compete with his job for his loyalty and attention.  She must let him go to "her", the "other love of his life."  She wants all of him and can't have it.  She doesn't want to play second fiddle to anyone or anything, no matter how honorable and noble it is.  

2.The secrecy of his job, his assignments, whereabouts, comings and goings, means she cannot know everything about him. She is shut out of certain areas of his life.  She desires oneness with him on every level, but he can only share certain aspects of his life with her.  She struggles with the need to know.

3.Life is relentlessly bombarded by disappointments, interruptions, and changes to romantic and family plans.  She tries so hard to remain flexible and to keep a positive outlook.  She grows weary and discouraged.

4.He is away so often and so long. Training and deployments mean he is absent too much of the time.  Even when he is briefly home, he's not really home.  His mind and soul are still underway and making way.  His body is either exhausted or injured.  This leaves her alone either physically or at the deeper levels of her soul.  She aches for company, companionship and affection.  Deployment rotations mean some men, like King David, are home while others are deployed.  Eyes meet, sparks fly, conversations start and we're off to the races.

5.The children do not have a father figure in their lives.  They lack male mentoring and examples.  She wants the influence that a good man can bring to the lives of her children.

6.She fights exhaustion and burnout.  Military life is physically exhausting, mentally draining and spiritually challenging.  She is tired.  She looks around and considers how others outside the military have predictable, easier, more rhythmic lives.  

7.Communication is a challenge. The most important key to a strong marriage, good communication, is expensive, sporadic and sparse for the military couple.  At best, phone and Internet connections are tentative, even handicapped by the gaping distance.  She is uncomfortable sharing her heart like this.  She feels rushed, not relaxed, awkward, not intimate.  She longs for meaningful, unhurried conversation and the exchange of ideas, hopes and dreams at the deepest levels.  

8.Finances are tight.  Every military marriage is stressed not only by the country's politics, but also by counting pennies.  The service member is locked in a government grid of carefully timed promotions in rank and salary increases.  There is no room for entrepreneurship.  The defense budget is always on the chopping block.  She desires a level of financial security and a future with promise and potential.  

9.Life seems unfair. The distribution of household and child care responsibilities feels unbalanced, weighing too heavily in her court.  She longs for relief, for laughter, for a day or even an hour of carefree, lighthearted fun.  She aches to be the creative, visionary woman she was before life shackled her with 24/7 duty.  A sense of entitlement creeps into her thoughts.  She wrestles with her "right" to feel alive and appreciated.

10. The future is uncertain.  The morning headlines and evening news constantly give her a body count of the war front fallen.  She is always faced with the possibility of early widowhood and single-parenthood.  She seek safes harbor.  The quieter cove of a stateside, civilian relationship can be tempting.

For wives serving on the home front, burdens of fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, temptation, single-parenting, and separation from loved ones may easily rob them of the joy of following God's calling for their families.  Although the odds seem stacked against them, military wives are finding hope in God's promises and His constant presence.


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