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Depressed and Feeling Stupid, She Asks How to Save Her Marriage

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have been married for 12 years to my husband, who is on active duty in the Navy. We have a beautiful 10-year-old daughter together. I love my husband a lot, and he is a good man.

My daughter and I live in Jacksonville, Florida, but my husband lives in Washington state. For a couple of years now, I've suffered from depression and thyroid problems related to Hashimoto's disease.

He sends me $1,500 every month to help with our bills. I use it to pay for our daughter's dance school and to buy food and other necessary things. He has a separate account for himself, and he says he doesn't want provide me with power of attorney.

I don't know what he does with all of his money. He is a mystery. I don't want go to his commander and have it affect his career, but I saw an account statement that showed purchases from a women's clothing store for things that cost $100 and $400, and I know he has $20,000 on a credit card.

I don't have access to any of his accounts. I don't like all these secrets.

He's an E-7 now, and we've been together since he was an E-3. I always feel sad because I know he has private social media accounts, and I've seen emails he has written to other women saying that he is single with no children.

I don't just want money. I want my husband back. I want us to go to therapy to recuperate our family. I don't want secrets. I want to grow old with him. I started this journey with him when he was an E-3. Now that he has some rank, I know that other women are more interested in him.

I love him and I want to rescue our love, but I need know the truth about this situation. I need to know why he won't give me power of attorney. If there was an emergency, I wouldn't be able access anything.

All of this makes me feel stupid and sad. How can I get answers without affecting his Navy career?

-- Navy Wife

Dear Navy Wife,

I'm very sorry to hear about your marital struggles. However, from your own account, I think you know what is going on with your husband.

He definitely has another girlfriend, perhaps even another family. I'm unclear as to why you and your daughter are not stationed with him. You could definitely be there with him, but for some reason he would rather keep you in Florida.

Here's the deal: There is no law or rule that says he has to give you a power of attorney or that you have to know everything about his finances. To be honest, your husband is actually doing something that a lot of men won't do, which is to send you money every month. Many women have trouble getting spousal or child support from their husbands even after complaining to commanders.

Now, you have three choices: One, you can pack up and move there to live with him. When you do, don't be surprised by what you find. You may find him actually living with another woman, but you can cross that hurdle when you get to it.

Two, you can contact his commander, which may affect his career. If it doesn't, you have to know that your husband will be angry with you. Either way, you'll lose the $1,500 a month he's sending you now.

Now, please know that I'm not saying your husband's actions are right. Cheating is always dead wrong. I'm just saying you have to be ready for what may happen next.

Three, you can get counseling by contacting Military OneSource and they will connect you with a therapist in your community. I think you could use the guidance and support because I believe you are all alone, and this is causing sadness and depression. Therapy can help your marriage, but it will take two people who are committed to make the marriage work. Right now, you should approach therapy as just being something for you.

Whatever you decide, you should find a way to support yourself and your daughter. You will probably be the main financial support for you both. Again, I'm really sorry. I wish I could do more.

-- 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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