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Should Command Know He Is a Sex Addict?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have a serious problem with my husband (as all other wives who reach out to you inevitably do). My husband and I have been married for 6 1/2 years.

For the past three years, I have been catching my husband looking intermittently on Craigslist for horny women. I'd catch him, we'd fight and it would go away. For a while. ...

Recently, we were stationed in Washington, where they have topless baristas and he frequented those shacks. I tried to be OK with it, tried to coax myself into believing he was just looking.

He wasn't. He was friending them on Facebook and chatting with them behind my back. When I confronted him with how devastated I was, he immediately ceased contact with the ones I knew about. He swore he loved me and this wouldn't happen again.

Then I discovered another trip to Craigslist in his browsing history. He denied ever going to the site, said a friend must have done it when borrowing his laptop.

I was so incredibly hurt. I told him we need to get into marriage counseling immediately or I am not moving to our next duty station. He complied.

I found a counselor and made our first appointment. We went and it seemed OK. He never did any of the homework she assigned us as far as journaling. We seemed to be OK though. I felt confident we could work this out.

Recently, I found more emails from social sex sites in his inbox. I looked in the outbox, and there were several emails going out to people on Craigslist for sexual favors and domination.

I was shocked -- though I know I shouldn't have been. I decided right then and there I couldn't take it anymore. Too much damage had been done.

I left him. He remained in denial of that until he showed up at my sisters two weeks later and found all his stuff in his car.

Ever since then, he's a different guy entirely. He's mean. He's unapologetic. He had the audacity to show up at my house with hickies all over his neck and claimed that when he was drunk some girl had latched onto him and he had pushed her off. He claimed he still loved me and thought about me naked and wanted to call me baby.

I'm currently a nonresident of California and cannot file legal separation or divorce for two more months.

He has yet to say it, but I feel he's leaning toward divorce because he's asked me about dating (hurtful and cruel). I am currently lucky enough to be getting some money from him as I am unemployed thanks to leaving my job to come be with him.

I want to tell his command that he's cheating on me (I have 21 screenshots from the day I found those emails), but I don't know what will happen if I do.

The bottom line is that I am hurt and I feel if I have to start my life over, he should have some sort of reprimand for his behavior as well, instead of running off to Hawaii (his orders send him there in December) to have a fresh start.

I know this is bitter and angry, but I need some advice. My choices are to let him continue to make me feel worthless and take what little alimony I can get (and lose my insurance and any military benefits upon divorce) or to report his lying cheating ways to his command and hope they do something about it.

If they discharge him (which from what I read is unlikely), I will lose everything I am using right now to survive until I get a job, but I will feel justified.

Help! Which is the best decision? How would I go about reporting his deceitful ways? What are the possible outcomes? I am at a complete loss here, Ms. Vicki. Please help.

Sincerely,
Unsure of What to Do

Dear Unsure,

I’m very sorry to hear about all of this. If I can be honest, this sounds like a big mess, like a train wreck waiting to happen.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but it sounds like your marriage is over. If you stay married to him, you would have a “long row to hoe.” It can be done, but like I said, it won’t be easy.

It sounds like you will need some intensive marriage counseling. Both of you (especially your husband) will need some intensive individual counseling.

Your husband is either a cold-blooded playa or he’s a sex addict. Either one puts your health in jeopardy if you are still sleeping with him. He is being callous and cavalier with his behavior, and he shows that something is wrong because he has ruined his marriage and could be facing problems in his career: not good.

My suggestion is that you seek a legal separation before filing for divorce. This way, you have a legal court order that specifies an amount for spousal support. Without this, all you have is his word that he will pay you a certain amount at certain times of the month. As you know, you can’t trust what comes out of his mouth. 

You are right in thinking that if you divorce him you won’t keep any military benefits because of his time in service and the length of your marriage. The only thing you will be filing for is a divorce settlement of your assets with your husband and spousal support that is temporary.

Maybe he will agree to be fair or maybe not. For this reason, you need to get legal advice. You are still a military family member, so you can seek legal advice on post or you can also call Military OneSource for advice and resources.

You could definitely call his command and discuss your husband’s indiscretions. They may or may not do anything about it. They could choose to punish him or even court-martial him. That would mean he will have no income and no financial support to give you. Either way, you may have to fight him legally for a financial settlement. Again, I’m not blaming you. I hope you will be OK. I’m glad you have a supportive sister you can live with. Please let me know how you are doing.

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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