Colonel's Wife Wants a Divorce

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I am married to a colonel in the Army and have been for 13 years since he was a captain. For  more than 10 years, my husband has cheated on me. He has had multiple affairs, and some of them have even overlapped. I stayed with him because I believed him when he apologized.

In 2013, I came home to find my husband had packed up and left. He said he needed "space." But I learned that just two weeks later, he had flown an old mistress into town to visit him for the weekend.

When he was promoted to colonel in 2014, he moved to another state and moved the mistress and her two teen-aged kids in with him.

Throughout this time, he has continually contacted me, sometimes to say that he wanted a divorce and other times to say he hated where he was, regretted the choices he had made and wanted to come home. 

He left me with all the bills associated with our home and back taxes from the federal government. He provides no financial support, spends his money on lavish gifts and expensive trips, and somehow managed to take thousands of dollars out of his TSP account without me knowing. (He is required to notify me AND get a notarized signature).

This marriage has clearly run its course. Who do I contact to report him? Should I call his commander, the inspector general or someone else?

-- Quitting the Colonel

Dear Quitting,

Incredible! However, I'm sad to report that I'm not really surprised. I hear this all too often, and rank doesn't matter. This happens at every rank.

It sounds like it's been a nightmare for you. Well, I agree with you -- this marriage has run its course. It's been over for a long time. Your husband is very callous and reckless.

How can he leave you, PCS and move his other woman and her children in with him, but then call you periodically to complain about her? He has some nerve! Honestly, I hope he's having a terrible time!

It's probably good that you and I aren't able to ride around in a car together in the town where he's living. We would definitely pick up a few assault charges.

Here's the deal: He has financial obligations to you and he knows that. He cannot leave you without providing support. He will be pissed, but who cares?

Contact his brigade commander or higher. As an O6, it's possible that your husband is the brigade commander. If so, contact his superior officer, the inspector general and a victim's advocate.

Whatever you do, get solid legal advice, as well. He has abandoned his marriage and he really shouldn't be allowed to get away with that.

I would also suggest a legal separation while you wait. This way, the judge can order spousal support and order him to pay other debts in the interim.

I hope you have close family and friends who will be supportive for you. I really regret this happened to you. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

-- Ms. Vicki

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