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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Relocation, Gender, and Emotion; A psycho-social perspective on the experiences of military wives

February, 2011
Article:

This book describes the emotional responses of British Servicemen’s wives to, often repeated, military relocation. It considers both their deeply personal experience and how that experience is influenced by their membership of the military community. The book argues that trailing ‘military wives’ sustain significant losses each time they relocate and that these distressing losses can undermine previously established identities. The book also argues that the process of adapting to the changed circumstances that wives encounter in each new location, which involves rebuilding their sense of self, is unwittingly hindered by the military institution’s expectations of wives.

Abstract

This book has two main aims: firstly, to provide a rare, detailed description of the use of a psychoanalytically informed, reflexive research method to achieve an in-depth understanding of social phenomena and, secondly, to throw some much needed light onto the complex, intrapsychic and interpersonal influences that impact upon 'military wives' who accompany members of the British Armed Forces to postings overseas. These arguments are particularity relevant at a time when the military is over-stretched, given that unhappy wives can adversely affect the retention of servicemen.