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Can Corps Take Action Against Retiree for Cheating on Active Duty?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband and I were childhood sweethearts. He joined the Marine Corps at 20 years old and I went off to college -- life happened.

Twenty-plus years later, we reconnected. By then, he was divorced and I was widowed. We have been married for seven years now. We are both 48 years old. He retired from the Marine Corps as a major, one year after we were married.

He confessed to me that he had cheated on me before we were married and hired a prostitute in Thailand shortly after we were married. He has lied to me about so many things. I know he is retired now, but are there any repercussions for him, military-wise, since those things happened while he was active duty?

He says he is sorry and that he loves me, but common sense says he will probably do it again.

-- So Confused

Dear Confused,

I can understand that you are upset to find out your husband cheated during your marriage, but I don't think there are any repercussions he can face from the military regarding his past indiscretions.

First thing, I assume the prostitute is still in Thailand, right? Now, if she were living in your house or in your town, or your husband was taking care of her financially in exchange for sexual favors, that would be something different. Or if he is a bigamist and married to you and the Thai prostitute, then he would have a legal problem. From what you've told me, I think this is a case for marriage therapy.

I would like to know what made your husband confess to something that happened years ago. Is it really over or is there more beneath the tip of this iceberg that he needs to tell you? I can't say that he will or won't cheat again. Perhaps this is a case of the old adage that "confession is good for the soul." Maybe he just needed to get it off his chest, and he feels better now having confessed.

In your case, you have two people -- you and your husband -- who found their way back to each other after a divorce and the death of a spouse. You have been married now for seven years and you just learned that the man you married has a past and has made some mistakes. Let's try marriage therapy before you throw in the towel.

Thanks for writing,

-- 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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