Should She Take the High Road or Report Her Husband and His Mistress?

Ms. Vicki
Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I have been married for 14 years and have two children. My husband has a girlfriend with whom he's planning a serious future.

She's a married co-worker of his, a licensed social worker who is tasked with supporting those in uniform and their families by providing resources for counseling, suicide prevention, family, work-life balance, etc.

Well, long story short, he's going to get the divorce he wants from me. Once I found out about the affair, divorce was the only option in my book!

My question for you is, do I take the lonely high road and let it go or do I contact her employment agency and/or the unit to let them know of the extreme lack of integrity and this inappropriate workplace relationship?

Thank you for your help.

-- Getting a Divorce

Dear Divorce,

Thank you so much for reaching out to me and for sharing. I have to say that I am not surprised to hear about this workplace romance. Many military couples tell me their husband or wife started an extramarital affair with someone at work.

Before I answer your question, I need to ask you one question about your marriage, and I need you to forget about the extramarital affair for a minute. Is your marriage truly over?

If your marriage is over, then I would say it is time for you to move on, try to have peace of mind and come to a resolution about everything. If you don't, you could be very angry and carry a lot of resentments for many years to follow.

Whether your marriage is over or not, what would be your motive for reporting your husband's mistress and for reporting him to his command? Do you want them both punished? For example, do you want your husband court-martialed or kicked out of the military? Do you believe his mistress should lose her job? You could report both of them, but don't be surprised if nothing happens to them.

Let me also say that your husband and his mistress are both wrong. They are very wrong. Both of them are cheating on their spouses. Not only is that wrong, it's a mess.

You are always right to take the high road. Taking the high road is something my mother and grandmother always told me to do. You shouldn't stay with someone who doesn't want to be with you. That will destroy your self-esteem and your self-worth.

On the other hand, I have observed many marriages survive ugly cheating scandals. Your marriage doesn't have to be over. That is something you and your husband will have to decide. It is never too late to try and save your marriage with intensive individual and marriage therapy.

If your marriage is over, you don't have to be lonely. You have two children you can depend on for support, as well as the support of other family and friends.

Please keep in touch with me and let me know what happens.

-- Ms. Vicki

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