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Her Service Member Is Cheating and the Military Won't Take Action

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband has been in contact with other women -- at least six that I know of -- over the past two years. I have found numerous texts, Facebook messages, "sexts" and emails. He was once involved with another military service member's wife, as well, and even had a command investigation and received a protection order from her spouse.

When that investigation happened, I thought about leaving him, but I kept believing his promises that he would change. When he moved to Japan, I quit my job and followed him here. About two weeks ago, I found out the he is involved with a Filipino girl who is our daughter's age and also with two Japanese women. He was lying to all of them about being married to me. I reported all of this to his command, but his boss, who is a civilian, would not do anything.

I went to the base legal office, Family Advocacy, the Inspector General (IG) and the military police, but nothing has happened. According to Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery is a criminal act when certain legal criteria have all been met. My husband is a commander and his military boss is a major general.

Yes, I am leaving him this time, but I want my husband to suffer the consequences of his actions as a military officer.

-- AKA

Dear AKA,

I'm very sorry about all of this. Your letter is very important because I often hear from spouses, both male and female, who say they report adultery to commanders, civilian bosses, IG, legal, etc. and nothing is done.

It sounds like your husband is a serial cheater. I can't blame you for leaving him. Nothing may happen to your husband for his adultery, but eventually he will get caught up in something that will cause his senior commander to get involved. As I have said before, some commanders will get involved and some won't. Spouses report that, when informed, many commanders say that adultery is a private, marital matter.

I know you are hurting. You could be in shock and second-guessing yourself and your ability to make good decisions. Cheating can really do damage to a spouse's self-esteem. For example, some spouses ask questions like: Why did he/she cheat? Wasn't I good enough?

Don't let his behavior take you down that winding road of self-doubt and low self-esteem. You should talk to a therapist for support, insight and advice on how to move forward.

In the meantime, you can keep complaining to all of the different people and places you named in your letter. All of them have to let you know about their investigations. For example, the IG can't just drop your complaint and do nothing. They have to let you know the outcome of their investigation. Stay in touch and I hope you are doing OK, under the circumstances.

-- 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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