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Boyfriend Is in the Sandbox, But He Forgot Her Birthday

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm trying to be a good girlfriend while my boyfriend is overseas per "How to Be a Good Military Girlfriend," but I'm pretty sure he isn't holding up his end.

My guy is 46, ex-military, and deployed as civilian support to the sandbox. He has nearly constant internet access, but he is allowed to use only email to communicate. I know he can do things like watch Hulu or a book a hotel for a trip, though.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I know he is busy over there, but I don't think a card or some flowers would be out of line. I've been patiently waiting for a year and sending cards and care packages, and saving my vacation days and sick time for when he gets home.

I reminded him about my birthday a month ago, and then again last week, but I got nothing from him. I feel a little childish that this even bugs me. I don't even really make a big deal over my birthday. Still, it is really, really, really getting to me that I didn't even get an e-card.

Am I being unreasonable?

-- Birthday Blues

Dear Birthday Blues,

Girl, no, you are not being unreasonable! He should remember your birthday! Besides, you have given him a lot of reminders, too. He has constant access to the internet so he could have ordered flowers, sent candy or sent other gifts.

As a matter of fact, he could have preordered and paid for the gifts. I mean, you can be a good girlfriend, but that doesn't mean you have to keep silent about things that are important to you. The reminders you gave him were a great hint that you wanted him to remember your birthday.

I'm thinking about everything you did for him in the past and everything you are looking forward to doing when he returns. A good girlfriend is hard to find, so a guy should show that he appreciates her.

What you have to remember is that a girlfriend doesn't get any benefits, so speak up. I would regret hearing that you spent all of this time supporting him and he returns and moves on to someone else. I'm just saying, it happens.

Thanks for writing me and for reading the column.

Ms. Vicki

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