Ms. Vicki --
I know you get a lot of letters like this, but I am at a loss on what to do. I was sent a message with a picture of my husband on a "hook-up" site and so of course I did my own investigation.
I eventually found him on four or five other sites. In his profiles, he said that he doesn't get sex as often as he would like (every day) or that he just likes sex and wants to try something new.
When I first found out, I asked him if he was happy in our relationship but didn't tell him I knew about the sites. He basically shoved what I was feeling on the back burner.
I started having sex with him every day, but I found out he is still making new profiles.
I do not want to end our marriage, but I've read conflicting things about whether I should tell him what I know. I would like to see a counselor or something, but I'm afraid that it may get back to his command. I don't want that. Any advice?
Dear Betrayed --
I can see why you would be very hurt and confused by your husband's actions. He is not acting like a married man. Instead, he is acting like he needs to be free to come and go as he pleases and randomly hook up with other women.
This is not good for many reasons. His hooking up places your health and emotional wellness at risk. As you know, there are many diseases that you could get.
Another big issue is that your husband is being unfaithful in your marriage. Many spouses -- both men and women -- will say "it's not cheating if I'm only chatting online with someone." It's still cheating.
Military spouses also struggle with whether to involve the unit command when their spouse is having an affair. Of the many people who write to me, some say they reported the affair to the unit commander or someone in leadership and nothing happened; their concerns were ignored. Some spouses report the command said, "This is a personal issue and not a command issue." On the other hand, many spouses (male and female) report they wish they never involved the command because actions were taken that affected the entire family and not just the service member. For example, they were denied promotion or court-martialed, which impacted the family finances.
I don't know which option you will choose to take. However, my quick advice is for every military spouse to always have their own resources so they can stand on their own two feet if needed.
Lastly, if you decide to stay, I think you should consider marriage therapy. If your husband declines, you should attend individual therapy for the insight and support. I hope this helps. Let me know what you decide to do.
-- Ms. Vicki