Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband and I are divorcing after seven years of marriage and two years of dating before we married. I thought I knew this man like the back of my hand.
We were never able to have children, and he blamed me for our infertility problems. Every time he would see a couple with children or a family together, he would remind me that we could not have children.
Please keep in mind that most people in the Army have children. It is so hard to hang out at the unit gatherings and family events because I know when my husband notices all of the children, he will start verbally abusing me, practically in front of everyone. And it will continue when we get home.
The funny thing is that I asked him if he wanted to adopt children, and he said knows that he wants his own children. Then I asked him if he wanted to be a foster parent because, believe it or not, Ms. Vicki, there are many military children who are in foster care.
Of course, my husband said "no." I try to make him understand that I have very bad endometriosis and I won't be able to carry children. As a matter of fact, here I am, a woman in my mid-30s and my doctors want to do a complete hysterectomy because of pain and other problems I have.
I would like to have the surgery, but my husband told me that he doesn't want to be married to half a woman. I have been crushed over and over again with this man until it is hard for me to get back up after he knocks me down with his verbal attacks.
He wants a divorce, and I'm not fighting it anymore. He has already filed.
At first, I thought that you couldn't divorce while living in Germany, but I was wrong. He has done so much to me and now he is saying he wants our two miniature Dobermans that we have had for almost three years. Can he do this? Can he take the dogs in the divorce?
I'm really at a loss, Ms. Vicki, and I need your help.
-- No Babies
I must admit, I was very sad while reading your letter. I can tell that you have endured a lot of abuse in your marriage.
You only mention verbal abuse, but the truth is that verbal abuse is just as hurtful and traumatic as physical abuse. I have watched many marriages survive enormous hardships, scandals, etc. However, I draw the line when there is abuse. You really deserve better.
It's not your fault that you have a condition that prevents you from carrying a child, so please stop referring to yourself as half a woman. You are a whole woman, every inch of you.
I don't know what to say about the dogs. I wonder why you both can't part ways and take one dog with you. That seems fair.
On the other hand, I think you should start now trying to get legal assistance. Don't sign anything and don't try to handle this divorce on your own. I get the feeling that your husband will not have your best interest at heart and he won't be fair to you.
Please contact EX-POSE: Ex-Partners of Servicemembers for Equality. They provide a wealth of information for spouses regarding separation or divorce from active-duty, reserve or retired military service members. In addition, they also provide an attorney referral service for members. Contact them at 703-941-5844 or visit their website.
Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing. I will be thinking about you.
-- Ms. Vicki