‘Deployment Sex Pacts’: More Pleasure or More Problems?

Couple in front of flagAccording to Diane Falzone, author of a recent column, the “deployment sex pact” is a long-standing military arrangement. Essentially, the pact gives permission for partners to engage in sexual relations with someone other than their spouses during long periods of deployment. There are no hard and fast rules; each couple makes guidelines that are acceptable to them. Falzone, however, believes such agreements may cause more pain than pleasure.

When Falzone first wrote about it, she had readers who were for it and others who vehemently opposed it. Some wrote that vows were vows and deployment doesn’t change that. Others stated that permission to have sex satisfies natural, biological urges without putting the relationship at risk. Falzone begs to differ, even though she believes every couple has the right to determine the limits of their own relationship. “But it’s my belief that if you cannot be faithful for the 10-18 months of a given deployment, perhaps you should reconsider the fundamentals of what makes a relationship,” she said.

Having guidelines and regulations in the military is one thing, but extending them to infidelity within the marriage is another entirely. And what about discipline? Doesn’t the military teach discipline, restraint, and sacrifice? If a soldier can adhere to those tenets in the field, can’t he or she uphold those same character traits within his or her marriage?

Relationships are founded on trust and honesty. Even if partners believe they might be OK with the idea of a sex pact initially, they may find themselves becoming secretly jealous of their spouses. A deployed partner might develop romantic feelings for someone else and not be willing to divulge that information to his or her spouse. The military marriage and potentially other relationships could be at risk, and there are additional threats such as sexually transmitted disease and unintended pregnancy. Falzone believes finding love is hard enough. She suggests that when you do find that special someone, don’t commit to conditional infidelity—commit to being faithful.

Falzone, Diane. Should military marriages include a “deployment sex pact”? (n.d.): n. pag. Fox News. 26 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/26/military-marriages-and-deployment-sex-pact/

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  • Farrah

    December 3rd, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    As a military wife I am so opposed to this yet I have friends who think that this is the best thing that has ever happened to their relationship. Yes, when you are at home there are some days when you are so lonely that you feel like you could just die and I am sure that when my husband feels alone he kind of feels the same way. But we made a committment to each other and to our families so how could I ever agree that this is an okay thing? It’s not like we weren’t aware that deployment was a possibility when we chose to get married. This is the reality of military life. If you choose to not have a faithful partner or to be faithful yourself, then why even do the whole married thing? Stay single until you decide that a one on one relationship is the right thing for you.

  • Renee

    December 3rd, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    no- I have a military man and I do not think that is correct. save yourself for your loved one because lack of trust, jealosy and a chance of losing them to another person they are being intimate with -is not worth it. Love faithfully and work on your partnership and horrible issues will not arise form “open” relationships. Take care of yourself when your loved one is away if you feel the need is that great. That is the healthy way to wait for your loved one. And when (he or she) comes home- it will be worth the wait. I do not see no good thing coming out of ‘sharing” your spouse myself.

  • leanna

    December 3rd, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    if my husband was in the military and even if I gave him a free pass while on deployment it wouldn’t change the horrible feeling I would have if I knew he was sexually involved with someone else..I think it’s true for a lot of women..it may seem harmless at first but when it does actually happen a very negative feeling takes over and it’s very very hard to get past it.

  • johnnie elaine

    December 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    WHAT? I have NEVER heard of that before and I’ve been in the military for 13 years. I have been deployed twice and have never even thought of having sex with someone else while I’m away. I can’t imagine how crazy I would feel wondering if my husband was having sex with someone back home while I’m trying to do my duty protecting the country. I think that would be so distracting. I can’t imagine someone in the line of fire trying to deal with that.

  • anonymous

    December 3rd, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Okay, well, I am going to respons to this as anonymous because I don’t want anyone to think they know who i am. anyway i was deployed 3 times and all 3 times my wife and i had a asex pact. it was really great. both of us knew it was just for sex and wasn’t a romantic relationship at all. it wasn’t hard for either of us to break off our sex partners once the deployment was over. i didn’t aske her any questions and she didn’t ask me any. no problems with jealousy or anything on either end.

  • emery cooper

    December 4th, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Hey, who am I to judge?

    If this is what works for the family, and noth husband and wife are willing to accept it them that’s their marriage and what they have to live with, not me.

    Do I think that it’s the healthiest decision or the wisest decision? No. because what if one person decides to do it and the other stays faithful. Don’t you think that at every opportunity there will be the temptation to hold it against the one who staryed?

  • P.Q

    December 4th, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    This can certainly do more harm than good.Yes,there is the immediate satisfaction to one partner but for the other to go through it just isn’t right.I understand that it is a pact but is it really a bigger pact than the one of marriage??

  • casey

    December 4th, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    while I’m personally not okay with such a pact,I don’t want to generalize. to each his own. but for everybody deciding to go in for such a pact there are a few things to think about – whether they really want to marry before they are able to settle down, and whether they can handle all the pressure and emotions that come along with such an arrangement.

    only if a person is comfortable with that should they proceed. there is no reason to enter without giving it a thought and then having a good marriage ruined.

  • anonymous

    July 12th, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    When I deployed my (smoking hot) wife and I made a sex pact. She could satisfy her urges with another guy (or girl, but she’s not bi), and I could takes the stress off being deployed. But only once a week. That kept it from getting too far out of hand, and also made it really fun to look forward to. We also said oral only, no penetration. I know it’s not for everyone, but it kept us in a committed relationship, and it was actually a lot of fun for both of us. Still married, going on 12 years now.

  • Rose

    April 28th, 2023 at 1:21 PM

    As a MFT doctoral student, I am researching military marriage and relationship status: open, closed or on a continuum. So the idea of a deployment sex pact does not appear any worse than infidelity.

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