Dear Ms. Vicki,
I need you to help me decode the mixed messages I receive from my husband.
We have been married for two years and assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas. I wish I could say this has been a great two years, but it hasn't. I wonder if we got married too soon. This is my husband's third marriage, but it's my first.
I also wonder if my husband even knows what he wants, because he thinks about only two things day and night: his job as the executive officer and about his first wife. He tells me at least once a day about how his first wife was his soulmate and he would do anything to be with her again.
I find myself screaming and yelling at him about this because I want to know why is he telling me about it. What does he want me to do, leave him?
I'm always compared to his first wife, and he lets me know how I don't measure up. Mary is beautiful, Mary is a good cook, Mary is smart, Mary has a great career. Mary, Mary Mary.
I don't know how much more I can put up with because this is constant torture day and night. What should I do about my husband's mixed messages?
-- Mixed Up
What mixed messages? This is very clear.
I find that many of my readers email and tell me I'm way too nice in my responses, while many say I'm way too tough and harsh. Instead of wondering where to find a happy medium, I think it's important to be myself and give advice from a place of professional experience and caring, with what I think will be meaningful and helpful to you.
With that said, I regret sounding so accusatory, but I'm wondering if your husband is still in touch with his ex-wife? Secondly, how long will you stay with someone who is telling you every day that you were the wrong choice and marrying you was a bad decision?
It's very obvious that your husband doesn't love you. You have to ask yourself: Is this the life you wanted as a 40-year-old woman? I understand that you love the benefits of being a military spouse with access to health care etc. Health care is very important. However, your marriage can't be good for your self-esteem or self-worth because it's tearing you down.
Your husband could be getting ready to leave you when he moves or even sooner, and you won't have means to support yourself. You can't be so sure that he will "do right by you" if and when he decides to leave you and go back to his soulmate.
As my mother would say, "You need your own pair of roller skates" to roll in or out of a relationship if needed.
Finally, I think you are in denial about what his words mean and about his behavior. You have to believe him. Start planning now for what you will need: Support from family and friends, employment, housing, legal advice etc.
Keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing.
-- Ms. Vicki