Dear Ms. Vicki,
I usually enjoy reading your advice articles and you usually give good advice. However, I was immediately rubbed the wrong way in regards to your response to “She’s 47, I’m 22.”
I met my husband when he was 19 and I was 34. He was not in the military at the time, but he enlisted later. Every person, every couple, and every situation is different. I was divorced for about two years when I met the man who would save my life.
I had two teenage children. I was overweight. I felt like I'd be alone for the rest of my life. Then, I met Mike. We hit it off so well; it felt like we'd known each other forever. Our age difference never really entered into our decision process. Mike was (and still is) so much more mature and intelligent than my ex-husband, who is, incidentally, seven years older than I am.
This November, Mike and I will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary, and it scares me that there might have been a time when he'd have asked for advice from someone, and without knowing us, that person might have steered him away from me.
Don't automatically assume that she's just hooking him for his military benefits. Maybe she is. But maybe she isn't. I would have told that young man to be careful, and be aware of all the things that could go wrong, and then wish him all the happiness in the world with his lady.
It's not up to you, or me, or his parents to tell him how to live his life ... or make his mistakes, if that's what he's doing. His parents should support him, and be there for him if it all falls apart. However, I completely agree with offering her some resources on abuse and other mental health issues, because regardless of who she's with, she will still need that. Thanks for listening,
Fort Bliss, Texas
Dear Ms. Vicki,
Your letter to Truth or Dare (who cheated on her soldier husband and suspected that her baby was fathered by her lover) was amazing! Thank you so much for standing up for honest marriage. I am a 25-year-old wife married two and a half years to an infantry sergeant. We work very hard at it, every day, and have a wonderful marriage to show for it. We see so many people that cheat before counseling and lie before self-inspection. Again, thank you.
Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am writing today because of a recent letter about a woman who was on her third military husband. She was confused that her husband wanted her to take care of the household and himself. She refused to do it because she is not a "slave who works for free.”
I have to say that I was both outraged and saddened by her letter. As an Army wife and a former Air Force brat, I would have to say that this lifestyle is not for everyone. It takes a very special woman/man to be married not only to your spouse but to the military as well.
Not everyone can live and function through multiple deployments, TDYs and constant moving. Leaving family and friends behind every few years and still remaining strong for their own family. It's a very hard life and so rewarding at the same time, if you can get past the deployments, TDYs and constant change of scenery.
So ... .to Miss "I'm on husband #3," I would have to tell her to not give up on love but to maybe look for affection elsewhere. To the military spouses who are loyal and committed to their families, I commend you. We are a very special breed and we receive very little credit for what we do.
Most times we are the "generals" of our home, but not everyone can see that and very, very few people understand it. So for every military spouse out there, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You deserve it!
Fan in Germany
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.