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This study s objective is to develop a research on the professional lives of
military wives. It was based on the literature that indicates that a career in the
Army presents demands that involve the whole family. The field research was
conducted with the participation of eight officer s wives of the Brazilian Army,
ages between twenty-five and forty-three, all of them having a major degree and
professional experience. Using the content analysis, we conclude that these
demands, especially the frequent geographic moving, have increased women s
difficulties in reconciling work, family, and marital life. The constant changes of
address were associated with loss, stagnation and retrogression in careers.
Unpredictability makes an impression in the interviewees lives, leaving them
insecure about their projects, in addition to feelings of uncertainty, lack of control
and limitation on their own destiny. The distance from relatives, and in many
cases also from the spouses, has influenced the relationship of these women with
their careers, making them prioritize jobs with more flexible hours or giving up
working at all, at least temporarily. Even with the encouragement of their
husbands and all the benefits that have been attributed to women s work, the
interests of the military career of their husband are always in the foreground,
guiding the most significant couple decisions. The family model devised by the
Army, the requirement of wives adherence to the values of the institution and to
their husbands military career, they all contribute to women s submission, so
wives adapt their professional lives and often abdicate of their own work projects.
We can conclude that there is an ambivalence of feelings related to being a
military wife. Women recognize that they have an important role in their
husbands careers, but they also show feelings of regret about their own
professional projects, placed in the background or abandoned.