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Should She Call It Quits on Her Marriage?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I used to live at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and you would do a monthly segment called "Should this couple stay together, or forever or never?" I forget the exact title, but I feel like I need that kind of input now.

I'm in this situation after 14 years of marriage, and I don't know what to do. I really don't know why I stayed for as long as I have because I have been miserable. If you ask my husband, he would say he's miserable too.

Some of the reasons I've stayed are my religion, not wanting to disappoint my parents who have been together for almost 50 years, and the fact that I don't know anyone in my family who is divorced. In my family, it really is 'til death do us part. Commitment is very important.

The same is true for my husband's family. His father is a church pastor. As a matter of fact, we were married in his church. It felt like the entire town attended our wedding.

I don't know what everyone will do if they find out that we are not together any longer. But there has been so much hurt and pain that we have both caused each other, I don't know how we can stay together.

He's cheated on me during deployments, and I've cheated on him too. We don't know if our 7-year-old son was fathered by my husband because I was having an affair at the time he was conceived. There have been many fights and arguments and, from time to time, one of us has moved out and stayed with friends, only to come back and start the cycle all over again.

Ms. Vicki, I'm just tired of being sick and tired, and I'm tired of wanting to be in the arms of another man.

Can you tell me, should my husband and I stay together?

-- Emily

Dear Emily,

Stay together for what? I think you answered your own question. This marriage is a wrap. Honestly, it was over a long time ago.

You said it yourself: It's been too much hurt and pain over the years. Moreover, it's been a total lack of respect for each other. So, how much is too much? This is too much. It's fighting, cheating, anger and escalation, isolation -- all the elements for a bigger explosion.

Emily, this is what I have learned: Life is fragile and it's short. It may sound corny, but we have to be good to people, especially people we say we love. Why do we stay in relationships when we are clearly unhappy? You are clearly not happy. Why are you staying in this relationship? Get out now!

To answer your question, no, I don't think you should stay together, not for one more day. Maybe my other readers will see things differently. If so, they can definitely chime in with a response. Your letter leaves me to say again, "I wish love would go viral!"

Let me know what you decide to do.

-- 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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