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She Wants a Divorce But Feels Too Dependent on Her Soldier to Leave

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I've been married and miserable for three years. I want to get a divorce, but I don't have any money to pay for a divorce and I don't have anywhere to go when I leave my husband.

Of course, he knows I don't have an income and can't afford to leave him so he makes it worse by tormenting me.

He doesn't physically abuse me because he doesn't want to hurt his Army career, but the way he treats me borders on emotional and verbal abuse.

I know I would have a hard time proving it. I went to the legal office here at Fort Hood and they told me they couldn't help me with a divorce or separation because they have to advocate for the soldier first. I wish I hadn't even gone to the legal office because that made things even worse with my husband.

I swear, I think someone from the legal office told my husband I was in there asking for information about a divorce. Now my husband scowls at me and sometimes he will just look at me and laugh out loud. It's like he's taunting me because he knows I am trying to leave him and can't.

Now he gives me an allowance of about $50 a week and he expects me to buy all my own food and other necessities with that money. He says I didn't bring anything into the marriage and don't work so he doesn't have to give me anything. He says I ought to be grateful for whatever he does give me.

I definitely regret marrying him. I knew he was crazy, but I thought he had some stability and I needed that. Now I'm 31 years old and living on an allowance of $50 per week.

As you know, Ms. Vicki, the Army will be on my husband's side for everything. He can do no wrong. It's like they are already making me out to be the bad person in this relationship.

I just don't know what to do. I will take any advice you can give me.

-- Married and Miserable.

Dear Married and Miserable,

It is very interesting to me that you just won't pack up and leave if this man if he treats you so horribly. You say he gives you $200 a month for food and personal necessities and that he is borderline abusive toward you. He taunts you like he's daring you to leave. As you put it, he knows you don't have anywhere else to go.

No one deserves to be abused or mistreated. However, you are 31 years old. What have you been doing with your life? I get the feeling that you were just floundering around until your husband came along and then you grabbed ahold of him like nobody's business because, as you say, you needed stability. Now you realize that you may have been better off by yourself.

Something is definitely wrong in your marriage. The military installation cannot support your husband and not provide the same to you. I do think you should speak to a Victim's Advocate. At Fort Hood, the Victim's Advocates should be located in the Army Community Service (ACS) building. If they are not there, someone there can tell you where to find them.

Tell them just what you said in your letter, that you believe your husband's behavior is bordering on abuse. They will give you information, support and resources. Most important, they will work with your husband's command.

Again, no one deserves to be mistreate, but it's also time for you to start making a way for yourself instead of being dependent on other people. Let me know how everything goes. I will be thinking about you.

-- 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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