Military Marriages: The Aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Deployments
An examination of how members of military marriages were affected by and adapted to OIF/OEF deployment found three themes: communicating to stay connected, emotional and marital intimacy, and managing change. The findings demonstrate the nuanced and subtle nature of deployment-related challenges. While open and frequent communication was important in the adaptation process, communication was not synonymous with transparency. Unshared stories created a void that prevented couples from confiding in and supporting their partners. Although wives maintained their marriages by restraining sexual desires and over-extending their responsibilities post-deployment, these behaviors had a negative effect on marital quality. Clinical and research implications are discussed.
KeywordsOperation Iraqi freedom Operation Enduring Freedom Qualitative study Deployment stress Military marriages
Support for this research was provided by funding from a Kansas State University Small Research Grant and the Kansas State University College of Human Ecology SRO Grant.
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