The Stress Continuum Model
Many life stressors stem from relationships. Relationship and marital problems leading to distress and other issues may result from difficulties in communication, parenting, sexual intimacy, or finances.
There is a tendency among some supervisors and commands not to interfere in a Sailor's personal life. Experience suggests however, that relationship problems can quickly interfere with duty performance. Relationship problems have been identified as a significant risk factor associated with suicide in the Navy and Marine Corps.
One of the most challenging life difficulties is divorce. Divorce is not a single event but a series of transitions and individual and family reorganizations. A divorce inevitably brings about a number of changes that range from emotional to economic. Changes occur in family relationships, standards of living, residences, and friends. The process of adjusting to these changes is stressful for families. In addition, most children experience considerable distress in the early stages of a divorce.
Individuals can experience a wide range of reactions to divorce. Some see divorce as a failure and may experience depression. Others may have to cope with a loss of security. For others, divorce is a release from the burdens and frustrations of constant tension. The legal process itself can be long and frustrating and contribute to feelings of stress. Coupled with this is the potential loss of property and financial stability. People experiencing a divorce may also face the following:
From a leadership perspective there are a number of actions to take:
For struggling couples who would like to give their relationship a second chance, identifying the root of the problem is crucial. Community resources are often helpful, including seeing a marriage counselor, chaplain, or financial counselor.
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