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5 Kids, 4 Dads in Uniform: What Am I Doing Wrong?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I just completed medical assistant school and I hope to be married one day -- only my relationships don’t work out for the long term.

I’ve been a girlfriend and a fiancée, but not a wife. I wonder what am I doing wrong that I can’t seal the deal with a man in uniform -- a man of my dreams.

Just a little background: I’m 30 years old and I have five beautiful children. My oldest son’s father is a firefighter. My next son’s father is a police officer. My daughter’s father is a Marine and my last two children’s father is currently in the Army.

He just said we are going too fast and we should slow down. We have two children together. How in the world can we be going too fast?

Everything is great when I first meet a man. We have a great time together, and I think we have a great connection too. But soon after something happens, and they leave me.

I’m raising my children alone with child support from only one man. The others refuse to have anything to do with me or their children. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, Ms. Vicki. I want to be married. My youngest child is six months old and her father is being moved to Germany soon. Please tell me what should I do now? I want more!

Sincerely,
Wanting Marriage

Dear Wanting Marriage,

Aaawww ... Jeesh! You see, this is what frustrates me when I get a letter like yours. Either there is an entitled military spouse who is asking for money or it’s a girlfriend of a servicemember who is asking for money. Everyone wants more!

Sometimes, I wonder why in the heck am I a professional working woman. Why don’t I just sit back and wait for someone else to send me money in the mail?

Here’s my problem: You have one child with a guy who proves that he is a deadbeat dad and what do you do? Well, you make a wise decision to hook up with another Mr. Deadbeat, get pregnant and have another child!

Get my point? What are you thinking and what do you mean when you ask me, "Ms. Vicki, what should I do now?"

 I know my readers will hate me for what I’m about to say to you but here goes ... remember you made me say this to you ... What do you do now? Stop hooking up with men in uniform, that’s for starters!

No. 2, stop having unprotected sex with men that you don’t even know, who don’t care one cent about you and who have no intention of doing right by you or the children they bring into this world.

In my opinion, this is your fault. You seek out men in uniform (e.g. firemen, police officers and military men). Somehow you think the uniform they wear equals great character. It doesn’t, and you should know that by now.

I think the question is what are you searching for? Is it love, belonging, acceptance or what?

You are 30 years old and you have 5 children with 4 different men (all in uniform), but none of the men are in a relationship with you nor do they have a relationship with their children. You must ponder your ways because you are doomed to repeat them.

Here is my quick analogy that I give to both men and women who find themselves in one bad relationship after another: I put you in a room with 500 men and 499 of them are emotionally healthy. They are single, ready to commit, they bring a lot to the table -- e.g. good credit, a savings and checking account -- you know, all of those things that make a woman’s eyes sparkle.

Now, there is one guy there who is crazier than cat butter (cat butter is crazy!). This guy has nothing going for himself. He has no job, no money, no aspiration. He is abusive to women and he doesn’t take responsibility for anything or anyone. He doesn’t know what the word commitment means.

Guess what? After a few hours in the room, you have hooked up with the crazy cat butter guy and left the room with him.

Wow! You have to ask yourself how that happens. If not, you will keep repeating the same thing.

As an experienced therapist, I find myself focusing on the reason my clients are stuck. Many are stuck because of what they think of themselves. In your situation, I think you believe you are crap. As a result, you choose men who will validate this belief.

They hook up with you, they impregnate you and they dump you. After all, that’s what we do with crap -- we dump it, right? You have to get to a professional counselor or therapist and start working with these issues.

If my experience is correct, you have probably experienced abuse and trauma from childhood, adolescence or early adult years that you haven’t dealt with. With all of this said, my apology if I spoke to you harshly earlier. If you would write me again and tell me your location, I will research counseling options for you.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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