DIVORCE ISN’T GOOD FOR FAMILIES. Period. I know that some of you may not agree with me and think that I am being sanctimonious. I’m not. I’m being pragmatic. Not only do the parents suffer but the kids do as well. Not to mention the cost of divorce, there are also several different factors that one must analyze before they take this route as well. In the military family, things are quite different in cases of divorce. More often than not, the Combat Veteran is a huge loser – in more ways than the fact that he (or she) can’t keep it in their pants.
An article on the website veteranstoday.com titled “Your Military Service will be used against you in a Divorce” states: “One particular group of individuals is more vulnerable to civil court abuse than most others. Sadly, our military personnel and disabled veterans (men and women) have been singled out as very likely to be discredited and disqualified as parents for several different reasons. These men and women routinely have their military service used against them in divorce court. From their mandatory extended deployments, to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to the inclusion of VA disability compensation as ‘income’ when calculating alimony, it often seems that everything possible is used against the veteran. Divorce attorneys have a wide range of tactics and strategies they use to portray our veterans as irresponsible, unpredictable, mentally and emotionally unstable, and many as capable of domestic violence.”
If you’re leaning towards getting a divorce, you’re probably thinking GREAT NEWS! I get the house, the kids and the dog! Woo-hoo! Not so fast! The problem is that you are taking a person who is also EXTREMELY WOUNDED and making their emotional trauma even greater! Sure, we all don’t want to sit around doing “Captain Cheater’s” laundry for the rest of our lives – especially if we’re finding lipstick on the collar. However, we do need to keep in mind that the cheating is a SYMPTOM of a bigger problem. For us to be able to make rational decisions regarding something as epic as getting a divorce, we first need to explore all of our options.
You need to ask yourselves the following questions: Have we tried to do EVERYTHING we can to make this relationship work? Have we sought professional help from a therapist? Have we gone to our clergy for advice? Have we sought alternative therapies for the PTSD such as acupuncture and massage? Have we done EVERYTHING we can to try and stay together?
More often than not, the answer is no. Remember when I said that most people today view relationships as disposable? It’s true! We are not in the habit of making good decisions regarding our families as a society. We often feel that we can “find the better deal” somewhere else. What we fail to realize is that “the better deal” is part of the reason that we are in this mess. Remember, if you’re not doing EVERYTHING you can to try to make this relationship work, then you are also part of the problem. For some reason, the PTSD makes our partner unable to realize that WE ARE THE BETTER DEAL. Do you want to be just like him (or her) and not realize that we can make things work, if we try harder?
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