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Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 199–214 | Cite as

Military Marriages: The Aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Deployments

  • Joyce A. Baptist
  • Yvonne Amanor-Boadu
  • Kevin Garrett
  • Briana S. Nelson Goff
  • Jonathan Collum
  • Paulicia Gamble
  • Holly Gurss
  • Erin Sanders-Hahs
  • Lizette Strader
  • Stephanie Wick
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Operation Iraqi freedom Operation Enduring Freedom Qualitative study Deployment stress Military marriages 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce A. Baptist
    • 1
  • Yvonne Amanor-Boadu
    • 1
  • Kevin Garrett
    • 1
  • Briana S. Nelson Goff
    • 1
  • Jonathan Collum
    • 1
  • Paulicia Gamble
    • 1
  • Holly Gurss
    • 1
  • Erin Sanders-Hahs
    • 1
  • Lizette Strader
    • 1
  • Stephanie Wick
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Family Studies and Human ServicesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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