The results are in on our poll of what stresses you out the most about deployment! About 130 of you participated (thank you!) in this little exercise, which was aimed at giving us a clear picture of which of these hot topics to hit first in our series on how the military helps us combat deployment stress.
Ready for the results?
What Stresses YOU Out Most About Deployment?
Loneliness: 26.8 percent
Fear of your spouse dying: 21.3 percent
Communication problems: 16.5 percent
Worries about how deployment will affect your kids: 12.6 percent
Fear of your spouse getting mentally injured (TBI, PTSD, etc.): 11.8 percent
Fidelity issues: 3.9 percent
Finances: 3.1 percent
Fear of your spouse getting physically injured: 3.1 percent
Sexual frustration: 0.8 percent
Guess what? We aren’t the only ones talking about this. Elizabeth Allen, a researcher for the University of Denver, recently conducted a much more scientific analysis of these same questions among a group of couples taking part in a study on martial stress in the military. Her paper, “On the Home Front: Stress for Recently Deployed Army Couples” analyzes the results of a 2007 survey of a group of 300 active duty male service members and their spouses.
That study asked husbands and wives to rate a list of 10 issues, giving one the “very stressful” (or, in our poll’s terms, “most stressful”) distinction.
So, how do SpouseBUZZ readers' anxieties stack-up to Allen’s group of 300?
Overall, more of you rated feelings of loneliness, which a lot of noted includes the feeling of being overwhelmed by the things your spouse takes care of when he or she is home, as your most stressful feeling. That worry ranked fourth in Allen’s study.
The top three concerns out of Allen’s study were fears of death and injury, which out of nine options you ranked as number two, five and seven.
Communication ranked high on your list at number three, with worries about the affects of deployment on your kids not far behind. Yet Allen’s study ranked both these things as near or dead last. At the same time your least voted on stressor was “sexual frustration” whereas that was number seven out of 10 on Allen’s.
But here is the surprising statistic, both to us and to Allen, she says -- fidelity issues rank towards the bottom in both her study and our poll. Several of you have commented on recent posts that spouses cheating while deployed is a big worry and that you hear time and again of this happening. So why does it rank so low on your list of worries?
Come back later this week for the first in a series of posts on how the military helps (or should help) you deal with your top problems.