Gender role reversal: Civilian husbands of U.S. military servicewomen as tied‐migrant workers. By: Dowling, L. Emily; Jackson, Jeffrey B. and Landers, Ashley L. 2024. Family Relations. Vol. 73 Issue 1, p441-465.

Objective: This qualitative study examined the experiences of male spouses of female service members in the U.S. military (civilian husbands of servicewomen) in their positions as tied‐migrant workers. Background: Employment of civilian husbands of servicewomen is frequently affected when they geographically relocate due to their wives’ military service. Because societal norms for  husbands as primary breadwinners in marriages persist and the majority of military couples consist of male service members married to female civilian spouses, civilian husbands of servicewomen may experience a gender role reversal in their identities as a spouse and as a provider within their relationships and military culture. Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 civilian husbands who experienced at least one geographic relocation due to their wife’s military service. Descriptive phenomenological analysis was used to discover the essence of participants’ experiences. Results: Themes around defining masculinity, minority experiences in the military, and nontraditional gender provider roles as tied‐migrant workers emerged. Participants experienced a gender role reversal as tied‐migrant workers and as military spouses, and they had some difficulties integrating into military communities. Participants expanded their masculine identities to include performing traditionally feminine tasks and valuing egalitarianism in their spousal relationships when they experienced barriers to breadwinning. Conclusion: Findings indicated the importance of emotional support as civilian husbands navigate their masculine identities and relationships both with spouses and as gender minorities in their communities. Implication s : Clinical recommendations for psychotherapists are provided with an emphasis on using emotionally focused therapy with couples consisting of civilian husbands and servicewomen.