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Contradictions and Praxis Contextualized by Wartime Deployment: Wives' Perspectives Revealed through Relational Dialectics

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Abstract:

With the continued US military presence throughout the world, it is important to understand the struggles of family members left behind during war, because they are important to the “success” of military marriages and potentially deployments. We asked 50 Army wives to discuss their experiences before, during, and after their husbands' most recent deployment. Using relational dialectics as the theoretical framework for understanding marriage and deployment, we identified three contradictions (uncertainty-certainty during predeployment, autonomy-connection during the deployment, and openness-closedness during reunion) and several praxis patterns within them, some of which reflect potentially problematic dynamics for these military partners.

Keywords: Deployment; Marriage; Relational Dialectics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637750903300239

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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