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Ms. Vicki: She Threatened to Alert His Commander

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki --

My name is Leslie and I am married to a Major. We have a a beautiful son who is seven years old. After 12 years of being together and seven married, he filed for divorce.

Here is what happened. He got deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2016. Things were good. He called, we talked and everything was just going fine -- until something changed. He called less and less, and was cold every time we spoke. His excuse was "too much work to do." I knew that they had some Philippine nurses on base, and they were hanging around on the weekends.

Long story short, after he came back he wanted to fly to Japan and visit a friend, which was OK, because I was in Germany visiting my family. After I was back, I had that gut feeling that something was not right. There was no charge from Japan or any other country on the joint bank account. His passport was nowhere to be found.

So, I started my investigation. After calling USAA 1,000 times, I finally got someone who did gave me information on his separate bank account, and I was just in shock. Turns out that he never went to Japan. He went to the Philippines.

When he got home that day, I confronted him, but he denied it, telling me that all of that is my imagination -- until I told him that I called the bank. He finally admitted going there, but said it was with a friend, and swore up and down that there is no other woman. He said he lied because he didn't want me to be angry at him.

I told him I will go to his Colonel and will open an investigation if he lied to me. One week later he comes home and tells me that he wants to get a divorce, because he will never allow anyone to have so much power over him to destroy his career. He said we can stay together, but he doesn't want to be married any longer.

What is that? Why is he doing that? I mean, why stay together if you don't want to be married? Is he lying about not having an affair?

-- Leslie

Dear Leslie,

Of course he is lying about the affair. What man goes to the Philippines with a friend? (I'm assuming he meant he went with a male friend.) It doesn't make any sense. Besides, if he went with a friend, why couldn't be honest with you and tell you the truth that he was going there with a friend?

Now his back is against the wall. He doesn't want you to bring this to his commander and he doesn't want to lose his career, either. To avoid all of the drama, he will divorce you so he can have his freedom.

This is what I have learned from working with so many military families: if he is telling you he wants a divorce, he will get one.

With that in mind, you should get you some legal advice. Don't believe anything your husband says and don't sign anything, either. Just get some legal advice.

On the other hand, I have observed many military marriages survive ugly affairs. Their marriages have survived and emerged stronger. The couple has to agree to work like hell to save their marriage and put everything on the table. It's the only way a marriage can be saved. I don't know if your husband is ready to do that.

Sad to say, but people cheat, both men and women. Romances often start in the workplace with a flirt or a word or two of concern. The next thing you know, it's a full blown affair with one spouse saying they want a divorce.

I can't say this won't happen in your case. You should start now trying to get all of the information and resources that you can get so that you will be prepared.

Finally, you can take this issue to his senior officer if you wish, just don't be dismayed if nothing happens. Sometimes commanders will do nothing. Let me know how you are doing and what you decide to do.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki, 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. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Military.com. Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on Military.com, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.