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She Married Him for His Retirement Benefits; Now He's Divorcing Her

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I married an Army officer two years before he retired. I thought I would be making out big and would establish a good future for myself by marrying a man with a great retirement income and who was still capable of working and starting a second career.

I discovered the type of man he really was about two years into the marriage, practically the moment he retired! He moved me to a rural area in Kentucky where I didn't know anyone. It was about 80 miles from Nashville, so shopping was nonexistent. This is exactly what he wanted too! He wanted me to stay at home and not have any friends and not spend any of his money. The more I tried to tell him that his money was my money, the angrier he would get and the more he cut me off from his finances.

I had no way to visit a hair stylist and no way to pamper myself. I was miserable, and he gloated about my dissatisfaction. Before we were married, he acted like he wanted to take care of me. I was honest and I let him know before he married me that I wanted his retirement and other benefits. Finally, I couldn't take him or his attitude any longer, and I decided to move back to Washington. Now I'm barely making it and sleeping on a friend's sofa until I can get back on my feet again.

So my questions for you are: How he can renege now on the deal we made for him to take care of me and treat me well? He has filed for divorce and has one of the best attorneys in Kentucky representing him. Basically, he is saying that he is not giving me anything or paying me anything. Can he do this? Is the Army on his side or mine?

-- Abandoned and Divorced

Dear Abandoned,

Honestly, I'm really confused by your letter. To be more honest, I can't say that I even feel bad for you.

You should re-read what you wrote to me. By your own admission, you were a gold digger who was looking to cash in on someone else's retirement. It sounds like it could have been anyone. You basically said you wanted the first man who walked around the corner with a pension, and it just happened to be him.

Moreover, you didn't even say anything about loving this guy. You were just a taker -- a leech. It doesn't sound like you brought anything into the marriage and now that you're crashing on a friend's sofa, you're back to having nothing again.

I don't think any of this is your husband's fault. Like you said in your letter, you're trying to get yourself together. Do you mean until you can find another man who's willing to marry you? You are very interesting, but you're not very hard to figure out. You wanted him only for his money, nothing else. You wanted your hair, nails and feet done, and you wanted to shop on demand. And then your husband said "No." So you moved out and he filed for divorce.

He can do whatever he wants to do with his retirement and he can hire the best attorney too. The Army has nothing to do with this. He is retired. You will keep crashing on sofas like a teenager until you decide to grow up and wise up.

-- 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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