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He Deploys So He Won't Be Home With Me

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I can’t believe what I discovered. My husband volunteered for his fourth and fifth deployments, unbeknownst to me. He will return from his fifth deployment in late November.

You don’t know how hurt and disappointed I am about this. I have been through pure hell for the past 10 years with this man. All of the nights alone, giving birth to my two children alone and all of the responsibility I have had to accept alone without him. Does he really think this is fair?

Ms. Vicki, I never wanted to be an Army wife, but because I loved my husband, I became committed to the responsibility. I also respected that he was serving his country. Now, I find out from one of my best friends that he has been lying to me and that he really places the Army on a higher pedestal than his wife and children.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding things. He could be happy with me, but he’s just a workaholic. But my friend doesn’t have a reason to lie to me. How can I stay married to a man who thinks only of himself and his career, instead of his wife and children?

I’m so sorry, but I cannot believe he would do me like this. My friend has felt compelled to tell me this for the longest time, but never had the heart to do so until recently.

My husband and her husband are best friends. Her husband said my husband is not happy with me and he is not happy being married. However, he realizes he must be committed to our marriage for the sake of our children.

He wants more out of life, more excitement that I am obviously not giving him. To deal with an unhappy marriage, he deploys so he won’t be home with me.

Yes, I’m angry with my husband, but I am angrier with myself. I should have realized all of the signs were there that he isn’t happy, but I thought maybe he was just tired from work and several deployments. But now I understand that he is not happy with me.

This is why I need your help, Ms. Vicki. I’m wondering if I should take the children and simply not be here when he returns. I honestly don’t want to speak with him again. It takes a coward to sit around and tell the guys about how unhappy he is at home so he volunteers for combat just to be away from his wife.

I haven’t spoken to him in over a month, and I don’t plan to any time soon. Since we have been married, I completed an associate degree in nursing and I recently passed my RN license, so I won’t be destitute without him. Am I wrong for leaving a man who is unhappy with me?

Sincerely,
Wife of an Unhappy or Workaholic Husband

Dear Wife,

First of all, I totally understand how you must feel after your friend told you that your husband volunteered for deployment at least twice. You probably felt an array of emotions: shock, sadness and even anger. These feelings would be normal, in my opinion.

However, you can’t refuse to talk to your husband or pack up and leave before he returns. No matter what your friend told you, you have to make a mature decision for you and your children.

Let’s say that what your husband reportedly told his friend is true. Well, I would have to tell you that I have observed many, many marriages survive difficult situations like being married to a workaholic spouse or a spouse who tells a good friend that he deploys because he is unhappy at home.

Now, let’s say your husband said something that was misunderstood or taken out of context. In this case, you have catastrophized a conversation unnecessarily.

Listen, good friends can give good information, but you have to admit that this is “he says, she says.” Your husband is deployed and you haven’t discussed this with him nor heard his side of the conversation.

You have every right to discuss this with your husband and let him know how you feel about you heard. You can do this now or after he returns. However, you shouldn’t pack up and leave at this time because it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. Just my two cents! Let me know what you decide to do.

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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