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Wife Doesn't Understand Why Military Husband Wants a Divorce

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki, 

I am currently going through a separation with my military husband. This is not my choice. 

My husband came home from work and said he wanted a divorce. We have been married for almost 12 years. We have two children. 

He says this is because I am not happy within myself and that I keep looking for it in him and he cannot be his happiness and mine. He says he has been emotionally shut down for years and that he fell out of love with me. He handed me separation papers that he wrote himself.

I think we can work on our marriage but he says that he does not need help that I do. He set up a counseling session for just me. He says that he does not need any help that he can work it out himself. 

This is not my husband. He is acting so different. He says he has not cheated, and I honestly don’t think he has because he always came home after work and never did anything. I also have been checking the phone records but cannot get texts without a court order. 

I really want to work on this but he is so set in his decision. I don’t know what to do. Please help me. 

Sincerely,

Ricci

Dear Ricci, 

To come home from work and announce that you want a divorce and that you have never been happy and emotionally shut down for years is very interesting on many levels. 

Think about it.  Your husband said that he has been emotionally removed from his relationship with you for years.  My question for you is: you didn’t notice this before now? Is he flipping the script when he basically said that that you expect too much from him?

Ricci, honestly, I see this situation very frequently when a man comes home and says he wants a divorce and the wife waits and prays hoping her husband will come to his good senses and decide that he wants to make the marriage work.

These wives also blame their decisions on PTSD a lot when, in fact, the service member continues with divorce proceeding without the input from the spouse. 

I find that when a husband or wife says they want a divorce they will get one, leaving the other spouse totally off guard and baffled by what to do next.

Bottom line, if your husband isn’t taking any responsibility for working on his marriage and he said he wants a divorce, he will get one. 

I know this is tough because you have invested many years in this relationship and now you are separated. You must be experiencing a range of emotions right now.  That’s why, I think therapy is important for you. 

Your husband is saying everything is your problem, but you could use the insight and support of a therapist. For this reason, I think you should check on the availability of therapy services on base or with Military OneSource and they will connect you with a therapist in your local community. Please write to me again 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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