The Military Forced Us to Get Married

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm at a troublesome part in my life. Yes, I got married at an early age -- well, really I was forced into it.

My best friend and I were dating, and we ended up having our first child. Then he enlisted and was told due to current laws in that state we either A) had to get married or B) adopt his own child for her to be covered.

At that time, we were still rocky and I never wanted to get married. I was eventually guilted into it. Now all I feel is regret.

A year ago, I reconnected with an old friend. Needless to say, I ended up developing feelings for him. I just don't know what to do in my current situation. I've gone through hell and back for this other guy. He has broken my heart and lied to me, yet I still love him.

My husband has no clue. I care for my spouse, but I don't feel for him what I do for this other guy! I don't know what to do. My husband and I are actually better when we're not around each other. He's been deployed twice and during deployments everything's fine, but when he's home we fight ALL the time!

I don't want to be like my parents and end up unhappy for the rest of my life but then I’m scared that if I leave, things will fall through with the other guy and no man will want someone who has two kids already. PLEASE HELP!!!

Sincerely,
Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

So you were forced to get married when you were younger. You already have two children. You get along better with your husband when he is deployed. You are not in love with your husband you are in love with someone else who has already taken you to hell and back. ... Whew!

And you wonder if you will be better off with the other guy? I don’t think so. From the details you gave me in your letter, you know the grass isn’t greener on the other side.

I understand you don’t want to be like your parents and be unhappy for the rest of your life, but it sounds like you are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. On a global level, you are like millions of people who regret some decisions they have made and wish they could go back and change them. Me too.

Only we can’t change the past. We have to learn from our mistakes because “life happens.”

Now I will be the first one to admit that I have been in the pits before, but I’m also the type of person who will ponder my ways so I won’t make the same mistake again.

You sound like the type of person who beats themselves up when they make mistakes. You have to know if you do this, you will continue to dig yourself deeper into the pit. As you get deeper, it affects your judgment and reasoning. You will become impulsive and make more decisions that are not good for you. It will affect your self-esteem and self-worth and soon you will wonder if you even deserve a good loving relationship.

You do deserve a good loving relationship. But it sounds like you need to work on “you” first. Don’t jump into another relationship now.

Lastly, something tells me that you may have other hurts or fears that you did not mention in your letter. I would really recommend counseling either way. Counseling will provide support for you and also help you examine your situation more clearly and strategize how to change it. I wish you the best. 

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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About

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, is married to an active-duty Soldier and has three sons. She has a Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and currently works as a therapist with military servicemembers and their families. She provides services for a wide array of concerns such as combat stress, PTSD, couples and marital problems, depression, grief and loss, stress and coping.

Ms. Vicki also writes an advice column "Dear Ms. Vicki" that appears in the Washington Times, the Fort Campbell Courier and the Heidelberg Herald Post. Ms. Vicki also hosts an internet radio show and blogs on her community site with the Washington Times. If you want to ask Ms. Vicki for advice about your military life, please email her at AskMsVicki@military-inc.com.

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