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She's Pregnant by Another Man. Can She Still Use Tricare?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm sure you receive emails every day about infidelity in the military. Well, here's another one:

I'm stuck. My husband and I have been together for almost five years and married for almost two. He deployed on Jan. 19. About a week later, I started having really weird symptoms. I went to the hospital thinking I might be pregnant, but it turned out that I had a sexually transmitted disease.

It's not the first time he's cheated on me. So after I found out about the disease, I was embarrassed and felt betrayed. I also I felt vindictive and so I (foolishly) decided to engage in relations with another man. I am now pregnant, and I've decided to keep the baby and call it quits with my husband.

Other military wives have tried to tell me about spousal support and have said that babies aren't cheap. However, I feel like my actions were worse than my husband's and so I don't want anything from him. My husband doesn't even know that I'm pregnant.

I am scared to be seen under Tricare insurance because I wouldn't even have Tricare it if it wasn't for my husband. I don't want to owe the military anything. I don't know what to do. I'm currently unemployed, but when I went to try and get on Medicaid, the caseworker told me that I do not qualify for Medicaid because we filed our taxes jointly and his income disqualifies me. I even told the caseworker that it isn't his child, but she made it seem like it was impossible for me to qualify under the circumstances.

I have not seen any doctors aside from the initial appointment to confirm that I was pregnant. I am certain that it's not his child. Would I get in trouble with the military for using Tricare if the baby isn't his? I don't know what else to do. I haven't been using any of his money. I moved back in with my parents, and I still haven't been able to ensure my child is OK. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Pregnant and Scared

Dear Pregnant,

Girlfriend! Lord have mercy! Let me start by saying congratulations on your pregnancy.

I know many people will wonder why I'm congratulating you, a woman who cheated on her husband and became pregnant with another man's child. However, this is still your baby. The baby did nothing wrong and deserves and needs as much support as possible.

As you have now learned, two wrongs don't make a right. Your husband cheated and gave you an STD, so you cheated only to become pregnant.

I would like to emphasize that a marriage can survive ugly cheating scandals. I've known many couples who became stronger after infidelity and even after conceiving babies with people outside of their marriage. It's not too late for your marriage -- your marriage could become stronger too. For this to happen, the two of you would have to come together with honesty, while being resolved to make the marriage work. It really is possible, even with you conceiving a child with another man.

Now, regarding Tricare: You should use it because you are still a military spouse and the insurance is yours. Start receiving your obstetric care ASAP. No one is going to ask you who fathered your child. I also think you should be honest with your husband. If your marriage is over, perhaps it won't be final until after the child is born.

Lastly, and excuse me for asking this question but I know many readers (especially service members) will want to know: Where is the guy who fathered this child? Why won't he step up to the plate and help you by providing the necessary resources like health care? I'm guessing he's not in the picture, right?

Honestly, I really regret all of this, but I truly do wish you and your child the best and I'm glad you have a supportive family who is willing to help you. I also want you to keep a glimmer of hope that this doesn't have to be the end of your marriage. Please keep in touch with me.

-- 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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