2nd class, unchosen career

‘This study examines the employment decisions of heterosexual women married to military service members, and how their decisions to work or not work evolve over time within this context of uncertainty and high demands.’For some the pull that was exerted on the spouses was constant while for others the pull was amplified as the service… Continue reading 2nd class, unchosen career

Gendered, unpaid roles

‘The family and the military are both “greedy institutions” (Segal, 1986) and their competing demands can lead to conflict between work and family life for personnel.’The demands of the military can also extend to military families via experiences of relocation, separations and reunions, and deployment, resulting in poorer mental health and well-being among military spouses.’An… Continue reading Gendered, unpaid roles

Finding Fulfilment

‘Encouraging and supporting spouses to not only obtain work but also obtain fulfilling employment could result in improved well-being among this population.’ ‘It’s nice to just be you’: The influence of the employment experiences of UK military spouses during accompanied postings on well-being.Rachael Gribble, Laura Goodwin, Sian Oram, Nicola T FearApril 1, 2019

Career or Job? Self-Worth?

‘Spouses in professional careers (also typically the spouses of officers) described how they were intent on working during accompanied postings because of the meaning it provided them with in (re-)establishing an identity separate to that of military wife or mother.’Yet, they experienced difficulties planning or progressing their careers because of the frequency and duration of… Continue reading Career or Job? Self-Worth?

Developing a more holistic approach

‘Planning in the military must take account of the whole family and not simply prioritise the Serving person when decisions taken have considerable implications for spouses/partners and their children. Given the changing expectations of military spouses and partners, support for the wellbeing of non-serving partners should extend to taking measures to protect and enhance their… Continue reading Developing a more holistic approach

No career; unrealised potential

‘As well as limitations on active employment choices, some spouses described the sacrifices they were required to make regarding employment or education because of the restrictions encountered through their contact with the military.’When speaking about these concessions, some women expressed feelings of resentment, frustration and unrealised potential.’As with tensions between the roles of employee and… Continue reading No career; unrealised potential

Finding Purpose

‘Employment provides partners with a sense of purpose which is very important during long periods when their Serving partner is away from home. So while the challenges of working are greater for Service spouses and partners during periods of deployment and training, the benefits of having one’s own employment are considerable. ‘Not being defined by… Continue reading Finding Purpose

Categorized as Worth

Limited choice or control

‘A prominent view among spouses was that accompanied postings limited their ability to have choice and control over their career or employment. As a consequence, spouses were unable to plan ‘career paths’; spouses who wanted to work described this as negatively affecting job satisfaction and generating resentment.’In some cases, this had serious implications for the… Continue reading Limited choice or control


‘The loss of confidence and self-esteem and the loss in earnings reported by some partners had a negative impact on their relationship with their Serving partner, resulting in high levels of stress within the family:“The impact this has had on me, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with friends and family and the toll… Continue reading Demoralised

Categorized as Worth

Dependent? Really?

‘Many spouses described how their relationship with their husband led them to be ascribed the identity of a ‘military wife’ or dependent within the community.’By establishing connections and relationships with civilians, spouses were able to reassert their independence and resist the identities imposed on them through their relationship with their husband within their working environment:”…… Continue reading Dependent? Really?