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Should She Delay Divorce Until Their Daughter Graduates High School?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

Once again I found nude pictures and texts on my husband's phone between him another woman, a "BBW," whatever that is. [Editor's Note: BBW usually means Big Beautiful Woman.]

I haven't confronted him this time because I've made up my mind that it doesn't matter. I don't want to hear anything he has to say. I've heard it all before. 

Each time I confront him, he apologizes and we get through or past it, and then it happens all over again. He's not happy with me, obviously, and his cheating is really starting to piss me off. I'm planning my exit strategy.

This July made 18 years of marriage. Our daughter has two years left in high school, and I don't want to leave him until she graduates. I'm preparing for the future and working to pay off my credit cards and the debt he and I have together.

He is retired military, he has his retirement, disability and he has a good job, so he will be in a position to help me with the mortgage and car payments. I work too, but I'm looking to find something with a better salary so I can still live comfortably. 

I confess that I'm not an easy person to get along with at times. I can't give him what he wants and desires, so he seeks it somewhere else. I have very little passion for him and really don't like having sex with him. So, as far as the affairs go, I don't fully blame him. I don't see us ever being truly happy together, although he says he's very happy and wants us to be together forever. 

We have already been in marriage counseling, and it didn't work for us. I'm ready to move on ... Maybe. My question to you is this: When is a good time to leave?

Sincerely,
Leaving

Dear Leaving,

It sounds like you have already made up your mind that the time to get a divorce is now. I really try not to give my opinion about when someone should end a marriage; however, you definitely have many warning signs that your marriage is over.

One big sign is that, by your own account, you don't like your husband. Infidelity is another huge factor that has adversely affected your marriage, and rightfully so. However, you have become accustomed to your husband's affairs and you don't seem to care anymore that he is seeing other women.

I don't know how long you were in marriage counseling, but according to you, it didn't work and so you probably won't be trying counseling together again.

You said that maybe you are ready to move on without him. Maybe. My question for you is, why would you stay?

You appear to be doing everything alone and making it on your own. I totally understand that you don't want any disruptions for your daughter during her last two years at home. Completing high school and preparing for college is a critical time for a student.

But if you stay in the marriage until she finishes school, you risk having her in a stressful environment where she is concerned about her parents' marriage. That's not fair to her because she would be living with parents who are not happy. You say you are ready to leave now, and I have to agree that it sounds like your marriage is over.

Please keep in touch with updates.

Sincerely,
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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