Should She Report Her Husband to the IG?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My husband is currently in Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for the Army. Back in November, he told me that he no longer wanted me to come to the East Coast, where I was supposed to join him for his nearly yearlong training.

He told me this in the middle of my cross-country road trip from the West Coast to East Coast. It was heartbreaking.

I later found out that he has been cheating on me with someone he's in training with. She is the same military occupational specialty as him. She is also married to another service member and has a child. He told me that he only married me so quickly (one week before he left for basic training) for the sole purpose of obtaining the basic allowance for housing.

I recorded our phone conversations. I am devastated. His command won't do anything about the cheating because there isn't substantial evidence. And I am afraid of reporting him for BAH fraud to his base's inspector general.

I feel like my marriage was a sham. We are getting a divorce.

The last time I saw my husband, he was still in AIT, but he made an intimate and personal video of us having sex. I am afraid of what he will do with the video. Will he release it in the future? Can the military make him delete those videos of us? Should I report him for BAH fraud? Is it even legal for an active-duty member to make sex tapes? Should I just move along and hope he forgets those videos and never tries to ruin my life with them?

At this point, I feel like he is capable of the worst, considering all he has done in our short seven months of marriage.

-- Devastated & Afraid

Dear Devastated,

I would definitely say that a divorce is imminent. That was very heartless for your husband to tell you not to come and join him when you were already on your road trip to join him.

He is your husband, and he cannot abandon you financially. His commanders are supposed to make sure he is supporting you financially.

In the meantime, you should get legal help. You cannot believe anything your husband tells you.

For example, he may say he will give you this or that in a divorce settlement, but don't believe him. He may try to entice you to sign paperwork, but don't sign anything until you get legal advice.

If you live near a military installation, you can visit its legal office. If not, I would contact Ex-Partners of Servicemembers for Equality (Ex-Pose). They will help you find legal help and give you other resources and advice.

In this situation, you can't be afraid because it will paralyze you. Like you said, you don't know what your husband will do. He has proven that you can't trust him. Your husband could move on with another woman, and other people will never know that you (his wife) exist. The other woman will be enjoying your BAH.

I also agree that you should be concerned about the tapes. I cannot say what your husband will do with the sex tapes. He would be in serious trouble if you find out that he is showing the tape to other people or using the tapes as a weapon against you -- for example, blackmailing you.

Keep in mind that he will be putting his own career in jeopardy if he decides to go public with them. Although I'm not a lawyer, I think he could definitely face criminal charges if he decides to make the tapes public.

Two more things about the tapes: Just like with your upcoming divorce, you should consider getting legal advice sooner than later. Second, you can always contact your husband's commander. I think that your husband could be admonished about what not to do with those tapes. Hopefully, he can be given a command order to destroy them.

Feel free to take all necessary actions, including filing an IG complaint if you'd like. I wouldn't leave any stone unturned. I hope this helps.

-- Ms. Vicki

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