Dear Ms. Vicki,
I met you not long ago when you and your team visited the spouses at Dover Air Force Base. You were amazing, and I used a lot of your advice.
Much to my dismay, my husband and I divorced after he retired last year. Yes, I was devastated. When your husband comes home out of the blue and says "I'm not happy and I want a divorce," the shock is overwhelming. I wanted to fight for my marriage. I cried and I prayed, I prayed and cried more. Then I realized it takes two people to stay together and fight for your marriage.
Just like you said in your talk to the spouses at Dover about social networking, my husband had been carrying on an affair with his now wife through social networking.
Now that I am over my husband, I am dating and looking for love. I see myself married again even after being married to my ex-husband for 15 years. I'm still young, and I don't want to be alone. I've been talking to an Air Force officer who is stationed in Africa. We have been talking for about three months. He is coming home to Maryland soon, and he wants to meet me. I would love to finally meet him in person and get to know him better.
Do you think I am moving to soon or is it OK for me to meet him?
Sincerely, Divorced and Searching
Dear Divorced and Searching,
I hear of stories like yours every day: A service member (both men and women) say "I'm not happy, I want a divorce." The other spouse is totally caught off guard and never expected to hear her marriage was over.
Social networking also plays a role in many relationships today. It adds to our instant culture and one where hooking up quickly is the norm.
I am very sorry to hear that your marriage is over. Many military couples who divorce shortly after retirement say the military helped to keep their marriage together; deployments, schools, trainings and long work hours give the couple a diversion.
Instead of working on the marriage, the military took precedence, and the problems moved along to the next duty station. When retirement came, the couple had to look at each other, only realizing they had grown apart.
Moving forward, you are on the dating scene again. You have every right to search for love.
However, I would like to admonish you to be very careful. Every day, we hear about women who meet up with someone they met online and are never seen again or found dead. In all fairness, people meet their online love and have a great time, but you still have to be careful.
This officer stationed in Africa sounds like a scam. Be careful and cease contact with this person if he asks you for money. Don't send it.
Instead, this may be a good time for you to discover why it's so hard for you to be by yourself for any length of time. It's very important for you to love yourself. Perhaps you can't trust anyone else, but you should always be able to trust you.
Stay in touch with me and let me know if you decide to meet up with this guy. I say go very slow.
Sincerely, Ms. Vicki