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She Wants Him to Break Out the Credit Cards for Holiday Spending

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm sleeping the enemy! My husband is really acting like the devil!

Here is my dilemma: I left everything I had to follow him and his Army path.

Remember, Ms. Vicki, I said his path, not my path.

I married him and left a great banking job in Nebraska to follow him to Georgia because he said he wanted to serve his country. What woman wouldn't want to follow a man who wants to serve his country?

I was making $50,000 a year plus bonuses, but then I found out that he's not even making $30,000 a year! Now he's telling me Christmas presents are off the table because he can't afford anything because of his pay. That's bull!

I don't care what he has to do to provide, but he will provide because I gave up a great career and the good life to follow him!

He refuses to even use his credit card to let me buy a plane ticket so I can go visit family for Christmas. Now he is threatening to take my debit card if I don't do as he says.

I can't live like this, Ms. Vicki! Don't you think he is being controlling and unreasonable? I don't have an income and now he can control my spending habits and my life. What should I do?

-- No Christmas in Georgia

Dear Georgia,

There is so much I can say about your letter. First of all, calm down. The world has not exploded.

I gave a presentation on holiday stress management to a group of Marines recently. One tip I gave was to avoid impulsive spending. I told them to avoid spending money to make people temporarily happy because it will cause stress in mid-January when the credit card bills come in the mail.

I hear your concerns loud and clear, and I know many military spouses, both male and female, will understand how you feel. However, you still have to make your marriage work. A lot of military spouses think they have to "give up everything" -- but that's just not true.

The truth is, no one should "give up everything" for anyone. You had a great career that you enjoyed, but you don't have to give that up at all. I think, with careful networking, you can still have a career. There are a lot of resources available on post, and I always encourage military spouses to network in the civilian community, too.

It also sounds like you recently relocated. That's a big factor in how you feel because it's still early in your transition from Nebraska.

Another big factor is that you miss your family and friends, and you miss your home. I totally understand. This may be a good time to try and work through the stress of not being home for the holidays. Try to use the many ways we have available these days to communicate and be close to family and friends, instead of amassing credit card debt that you won't be able to repay.

Maybe your family could come and visit you? Or, if they are financially able, maybe they could pay for you to travel to visit them?

This is not a time to throw in the towel on your marriage. Visit Military.com for valuable career and educational information for spouses that will help you move forward in a positive way both personally and professionally. Let me know what you decide to do, and I hope this helps.

-- 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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