Wartime Relationships are about social relationships between soldiers, wives of soldiers, girlfriends or boyfriends of soldiers and other relationships between people that are affected because of war. During war, soldiers form close bonds to each other when they are faced with death and other traumatic events. A comparison to this would be like when you go through the haunted houses with your friends around Halloween time. You are all hanging on to each other, relying on each other to go first and lead the way through. You feel closer to them then you did when you weren’t scared.
War is the same way, when you get faced with death and you’re scared for your life, you have someone there to help you stay alive. People grow strong bonds to each other. At times, soldiers also have arguments and get in serious fights. They can be over where they should go, which trail to take or whether to fall back. War affects so many people, whether it is a wife or a husband or soldiers’ children, it affects us all. Often, fathers get shipped off to war before their child has been born. Unfortunately, some of these men get killed in action or doesn’t must stay over seas for a long period of time. That mother is forced to raise that child without a father, which is life changing and very hard. They don’t get those memories of their father teaching them how to play catch or guiding them down the right path like father figures are supposed to do. Kids who grow up without fathers are more likely to either get in to drugs, become an alcoholic, or become a parent at a young age because that person isn’t there to tell them what is right and what is wrong. Mothers are there to help guide their children also, but its shown in many statistics that kids that have grown up without a father are more likely to get into more trouble in there lives.
Soldiers that come back from war aren’t the mentally same. A lot of them have seen things that no human should ever witness. These things can change the way a person believes in something or the way the feel there life should be lived. This affects marriages that could have been going before a husband or wife got shipped off to war. Husbands can become abusive or cheat, and wives could feel that there husband isn’t the same way or isn’t the same person before they left for war. War changes people; if it doesn’t kill you physically it can kill you emotionally and mentally. It can take away your sense of what is right or wrong because what soldiers see in a war zone is so much more gruesome and terrifying than what goes on here.

Some Wartime Relationships include :

  • War buddies
  • Girlfriend in war
  • Boyfriend in war
  • Husband in war
  • Wife in war
  • Son or Daughter in war
  • Mother or Father in war
  • Friends as enemies
  • Friendships with other soldiers

Discussion Questions for Relationships in War:
-Do you currently know anyone who is fighting a war or serving in the military for our country? How are you related to them?
-Do you think that war ruins relationships such as marriages or friendships? Have you seen or had a personal experience with this?
-Do you think relationships during war are worth trying? Why or why not?
-How do you think you could fix a relationship after it has been blemished due to war?
-What are the main consequences of war on a family?
-How would it effect you home life if your family member died in a war?
-What kind of relationships are effected the most by war (marriages, friendships, brotherhood, etc)?
-In your opinion, what would be the hardest part about returning from war?
-Do you think soldiers realize that their relationships will change before they go to war? Do you think they mean to change relationships when they return home?

"Relationships built: even in war, relationships are everything." By Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times
~Early in both Iraq and Afghanistan our troops did body counts, a la Vietnam. But the big change came when the officers running these wars understood that R.B. 's ("relationships built") actually matter more than K.I.A.'s ("killed in action"). One relationship built with an Iraqi or Afghan mayor or imam or insurgent was worth so much more than one K.I.A. Relationships bring intelligence; they bring cooperation. One good relationship can save the lives of dozens of soldiers and civilians.

The Unforgiving Path

About my abusive relationship.

I stumbled
I fell
Down a road not meant for me

It stung
It burned
As it prickled my skin
Leaving scars for all to see

I was hit
I was hurt
By words of true hatred

Not by a man
Not by a woman
But a creation
Known as abusive boyfriend.
By Tara Takemoto
~In the book S. A Novel About The Balkans many women are beaten and knocked down by the men soldiers. Although they were not in a relationship they know how it feels to be abused. All the women just wish they didn't wind up where they did.

"Traumatised Rape Survivor Sent Back to Uganda" An article from Women against Rape.
~This article is about a woman who was raped in Uganda. She left Uganda but was sent back soon after. When she got there she had no money, she had no home, and she had no one to help her. She was receiving medicine for her depression but the medicine was not available to her in Uganda. She was on her own to deal with what she went through.
~That's how many Women in S. A Novel About The Balkans felt. They were on there own. They couldn't talk to anyone about rape because they would have been disowned. No one wanted to talk about what happened during the war. They just had to try to go on with there lives.

Page 64: “S. could not imagine that a mans body could so such damage to a woman, that it was so powerful, so unfairly overpowering that a woman had no defense against such force.”
Page 68: “Here women no longer have the right to say no.”
~ These quotes are from S. A Novel About The Balkans. They show that the women in the camp don’t get a long with the soldiers who are watching them and how the war has come between people.

Rape: weapon of war
The traditional human-rights image is of a male prisoner of conscience.
Yet the Serbian rape camps in Bosnia show that it’s often women
who suffer most. Written By: Angela Robson
~This article shows what many woman in S. A Novel About The Balkans went through and shows that not all relationships are good during War. War changes a lot of things. Not only men suffer during war.

Relationships during war can change due to a person's experiences. It can change their outlook on life. In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, after Oskar's father died in 9/11, he was a little more emotional towards his grandmother and mother. He wanted to be around others instead of his family. In reality, many soldier's lives change after war due to a disease called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. the severity of this disorder varies with the experiences they went through but it changes a person, nonetheless. According to HealthyPlace.com Soldiers develop this because of the trauma they have seen, guilt they have been in such as the death of others, or because events at home remind them of the war. Healthy Place explains many of the symptoms and causes of this disorder. It effects relationships most directly because it changes their emotions to being very rarely there or very drastic mood swings.

In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Oskar tries really hard to remember his father as he was when he was alive. He spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the key he found was to because it was his father's. This key meant a lot because it opened a door to his father. But no matter how hard he tried, he was never going to have the same relationship with someone else as he had with his father. Some people try to cope with the losses by spending money or getting material items. Some widows from the 9/11 attacks were rewarded money after their loss. The only thing that they got out of this money was jealousy and greed. In the end, it made their situation even worse.

If tears could build a stairway and memories were a lane,
We would walk all the way to Heaven, to bring you home again
No farewell words were spoken, no time to say good-bye
You were gone before we knew it, and only God knows why
Our hearts ache in sadness, and secret tears will flow
What is meant to lose you, no one will ever know
I think this poem would help Oskar from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close cope with the loss of his father. Oskar was confused about why his father had to go. He took it out on his relationships with his other family members such as his grandmother and mother. He also got defensive when the people with the last name of Black didn't know anything about the key he found in his dad's vase. Oskar changed his relationships with everyone he encountered because he was a different person after his father died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Picture Link
War buddies often feel that it was their fault why they died. In most cases, that isn't true. War buddies have a lot of respect for each other in the sense that they run their funerals and carry the coffin. It is a big responsibility to experience the death of someone close. In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Oskar is forced to grow up a little faster because he no longer has the father-son relationship that he cherished his whole life. He was forced to grow up on his own without the guidance of his father figure. He set out to explore NYC by himself as a 9 year old which is a little outrageous but his maturity level after the situation could handle it.

Dear John Trailer
In Dear John, John is home from oversees when he unexpectedly meets Savannah on the beach. He falls in love with her immediately. After two weeks of spending time together, they were automatically attached, but John had to go back oversees. Savannah couldn't stand being away from John and John couldn't stand being away from Savannah. They decided that while he was gone, they would constantly write letters to each other so they were never apart. Savannah decided to wait for him until his tour of duty is over. When John is unexpectedly dragged into more war, it forces John and Savannah to make decisions on whether the relationship will work. They still love each other and the war seems to bring them closer together while writing notes to each other

Wars Toll On Marriage
Article From Here

Note: Though "combat" is used in the study, it is not clear whether the individual merely served in the war zone.
It's no secret that Vietnam veterans are more likely to get divorced than their non-veteran counterparts. And it's also no secret that if you believe this to be true, you've bought into the age-old media bias against Vietnam vets.
In fact, a recent study published in. Armed Forces & Society--"Warfare and Welfare: Military Service, Combat and Marital Dissolution"--proves the divorce rate among Vietnam veterans serving during 1968 and later is equal to non-veterans. Furthermore, pre-1968 Vietnam veterans are more likely to have remained married than non-veterans.
Conducted by professors William Ruger and Sven Wilson, as well as Navy veteran Shawn Waddoups, this study also found Korean War vets to have the most unstable track record with marriage--twice the dissolution rate of WWII vets. In comparison to non-veterans of their generation, vets of Korea were 26% more likely to get divorced. To gather such information, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey of Families and Household.
Researchers attributed this to such factors as a sense of inferiority compared to WWII vets. The homecoming vets of the "forgotten war" received paled in comparison, leaving many feeling isolated. The study found it probable that such "social stresses" could lead to divorce. Of course, these are all just theories.

--This Article is basically explaining that through different wars, one being worse than the other, has a bigger affect on the soldiers serving in it. During the Vietnam war, soldiers called in artillery strikes, napalm bombs, and carpets bombs way more than they were supposed to, which resulted in more death, violence and devastation. With more experience towards all of this a man loses a sense of whats good, and if they experience this for a long period of time, the effects can last forever which can screw up marriages, friendships, and relationships with family members.

"Brothers": A wartime romance for our turbulent era

Jake Gyllenhaal shines in an undeniably grown-up movie about love and loss in the shadow of Afghanistan

By Stephanie Zacharek
~”From the Irish-born director Jim Sheridan, we have "Brothers," in which Tobey Maguire plays the dutiful and disciplined Capt. Sam Cahill, a soldier who's been given up for dead in Afghanistan. His wife, Grace , and two young daughters are left bewildered and grieving. Sam's bad-apple brother, Tommy, was released from a three-year prison term just before Sam began his tour of duty. Sam, loyal to Tommy, had wanted him to reacclimate to life in the real world, though he couldn't stick around to help; Grace, on the other hand, plainly dislikes Tommy and would rather not deal with him and his problems, among them excessive drinking and general surliness.”

“Even though Dad’s coffin was empty, his closet was full. And even after more than a year, it still smelled like shaving. I touched all of his white T-shirts. I touched his fancy watch that he never wore and all the extra laces fir his sneakers that would never run around the reservoir again. I put my hands into the pockets of all of his jackets (I found a receipt for a cab, a wrapper from a miniature Krackle, and the business card of a diamond supplier). I put my feet into his slippers. I looked at myself in his metal shoehorn. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes, but I couldn’t sleep, not after hours, and it made my boots lighter to be around his things, and to touch stuff that he had touched and to make the hangers hang a little straighter, even though I knew it didn’t matter.”
-Pages 36-37
’Grandma? Do you read me?’ ‘Oskar?’ ‘I’m OK. Over.’ ‘How did you sleep, darling? Over.’ ‘What? I couldn’t hear that. Over.’ ‘I asked how did you sleep. Over.’ ‘Fine,’ I’ll say, looking at her across the street, my chin in my palm, ‘no bad dreams. Over.’ ‘One hundred dollars. Over.’ We never have that much to say to eachother.” (Underlined parts are Oskar talking. The other parts are his grandma.)
-Pages 102 & 104
In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Oskar is deeply affected by his father’s death. Him and his father would always go on scavenger hunts and try to build things. He was also very close with his grandma. After his father dies, Oskar had a little bit of difficulty opening up to his grandmother like he used to. He doesn’t tell her the truth anymore and can’t relate to her.

How does war and conflict affect relationships?
War and Conflict are opposites to Communication and Mediation or Compromise (give and take). In every relationship, between countries, between friends, between siblings, between politicians, between co-workers, and between men and women, there are options as to how we will behave towards each other and how we will perceive each other, etc.
When we live in an environment of war and conflict between countries, it affects our perspective on every other relationship in our lives. We then see those options as more viable, more necessary, to protect what is ours and for our survival. Presidents and leaders affect the mindset of the people they preside over, just as parents and teachers and bosses affect the mindset of the children, students, and employees they guide/rule.
A president can tell its people that the economy is fine, our land is the best, we can have what we want, as Bush did, and people go out and overspend on their credit cards, deny global warming, and become further narcissistic, against their own long-term interests. Former President Bush also chose war and conflict with Iraq, using lies to convince a nation that it was the right thing to do, and the nation responded (at first) with fear and then denial.
In a family, a parent who is authoritative creates a war and conflict environment. There is a power struggle between parent and child, that the child has no chance in winning. The parent teaches the child to cope in life with oppression, conflict, and asserting power. Many times, a child just recoils, and internalizes all this exhibiting war and conflict on him or herself, through self-hatred and self-aggression.
When there is open communication, respect, and a willingness to compromise, or to take into account another perspective, as well as an ability to empathize and have compassion, this is the opposite of the war and conflict phenomenon.
President Obama is a good example of this kind of leader, raising the hopes and spirits of individuals and families all over the world with this mindset. A parent, boss, or teacher has that same power, and, thus, that same responsibility. Link to page here