- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki, My wife is in the Navy and has been for 12 years. I was in the Navy, too, but I decided it just wasn’t for me. I only did four years, and I’d had enough. I’m a supportive husband, and I take care of the children and the house very well when my wife is away on sea duty, as she is at this time.

I’m the perfect Mr. Dad, except for one thing. My wife’s long absences have left me very lonely, tired and frustrated. I didn’t want this to happen, but I’ve fallen in love with her cousin. Her cousin has been my backup when my wife is deployed or working long hours.

I’m in love with two women. Well, let me be honest. I love my wife, but I’m not in love with her. I respect her because she is my wife and the mother of my children. I also want the best for her.

I’m trying to figure out when would be the best time to tell her the truth about me and her cousin. This could cause a big family rift - my wife’s mother and her cousin’s mother are sisters. Her cousin is my best friend and says she is willing to face whatever happens because she loves me and wants to be with me.

I’ve been reading your column for more than a year, and I think you do a great job of pointing people in the right direction and telling them the truth. I’m asking you to do the same for me. I’ll be waiting for a response. - Navy Spouse at the Crossroads

Dear Spouse,

Dude, you are asking me what? You want to know when you should tell your wife that you are sleeping with her cousin? Are you serious?

Let’s be honest. You have grown weary of your wife’s long absences, your hormones are running high, and her cousin became convenient. You are justifying your behavior by saying you are in love with your wife’s cousin. This is terrible.

You have got to stop this and start making the right decisions. You need to stop this affair for the sake of everyone, especially your wife and children. You are only thinking about yourself.

In your defense, as a military spouse, you have feelings of loneliness that are normal. Many military spouses (and civilian spouses, too, for that matter) feel the same quite often. However, you can’t start jumping into bed with everyone when your wife is deployed just because you are lonely.

Yes, I think you should talk with your wife when she returns. She needs to know her current commitment is tough on you and that you get lonely without her. I’m not sure what changes can be made in her career, but she needs to know how you are feeling and how she can be more supportive, even if it’s from abroad.

This is a tough situation because a family member definitely will tell your wife about this affair if you don’t. You need to stop sleeping with your wife’s cousin, but somehow, I don’t think you will. At any rate, let me know what happens.

Dear Ms. Vicki,

Last month, my husband told me he wants a divorce. Every day he comes home and orders me and the kids to leave because he says he does not want me anymore.

I’m just baffled by his behavior. I’ve been with this man for 13 years, and I cannot believe his betrayal. His girlfriend is calling and harassing me, too. She is calling and saying, “Get out of my house because I need to move in immediately” and, “He’s my man now.”

Can you believe this? What does she mean, he is her man - he is still my husband. Can he just kick me out of post housing and put me out on the street?

I don’t mean to get his unit involved or get him in trouble, but should I let his commander or first sergeant know what’s happening? Maybe they can talk some sense into his head.

I just want to know what’s going on with him. I keep trying to talk to him, and he refuses. I said I want to work out whatever the problem is, and I suggested counseling, but he keeps saying, “I don’t need counseling.” I’m at a loss here, and I don’t know what to do. - Stressed Out Military Wife

Dear Wife,

Your husband cannot make you leave post housing and leave you destitute. Your husband is obviously having an affair, and I think you should move expeditiously to try to stop some of his actions toward you.

You should contact his commander or first sergeant and get them involved. Don’t worry about getting him into trouble; that’s not the issue. He already is in trouble, and he doesn’t realize it. Anytime you are having an affair and the other woman is calling your home, harassing your wife, that’s trouble!

Marriage counseling will only help if the two parties involved will agree to counseling and put in great effort to make the marriage work. In this situation, it is very evident that your husband has left all ties to this marriage, including emotionally.

As a result, you must make wise decisions that are not based on your emotions and ties to your husband. Making rash decisions could have many repercussions, including financial ones.

Contact the legal office on base and ask about walk-in hours or make an appointment to speak to someone. You also can contact Military OneSource (800/342-9647) to speak with a professional counselor or therapist. The offices are staffed 24/7 and can connect you to a provider in your community for free sessions. Take care of yourself and keep in touch.

Vicki Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker, military spouse and mother of three. Her column runs in The Washington Times on Thursdays and Sundays. Contact her at dearms [email protected]

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