Elizabeth Harper


The aim of this study was to investigate what submariner’s partners experienced while their significant other was out on deployment with the intention of highlighting where the Royal Navy can develop the support they provide for military families. Three female participants were recruited through advertisement on a military families social media page. Participants were interviewed and transcripts were analysed case by case through Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis based on research conducted by Riggs and Coyle (2002). Literature suggested that analysing case by case allowed for participants to discuss circumstances that might have altered their experiences. The analysis produced nine themes- three for each woman who were identified under the following pseudonyms: Julie, Lucy and Daisy. All participants experienced inconsistencies in communication from the Royal Navy and they all turned to their partner to seek emotional closeness or support. Differences in how each relationship dynamic was affected by the deployment experience was also displayed through analysis. Recommendations on how the Royal Navy could develop their support services were made based on the findings yielded from the study.