- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

It seems that motherhood and being a wife are really taking a toll on me. Raising my children alone and trying to find my place of belonging at each assignment just doesn’t seem worth it. The long separations, deployments, moving from one place to another just don’t do it for me anymore. I’ve finally been able to start a lucrative career, or one that soon will be lucrative, and I would like to remain where I am and pursue it.

My husband and friend through 18 years of marriage does not understand. He thinks I should just pack up and move again this summer. He may be a high-ranking person, but I’m making more money than he is and enjoy what I’m doing.

Why can’t he get out of the Army and follow me for a change? Would this be such a bad idea? Why am I feeling that it’s time to call it quits? Should I? I need answers. — Struggling

Dear Struggling,

I truly can’t be the one to answer this question for you. Let your faith, family and friends help you get through this tough time and guide your decision. This is one of those times when you should give careful thought to what you are considering.

Your husband should know exactly how you feel — this is no time to shut him out. You are talking about 18 years of marriage, children and many memories. I hope many of them have been positive.

Many spouses, both male and female, report concerns such as yours. The consensus remains that it’s not easy, but it’s endurable. Having a career and achieving personal goals are important to everyone and very understandable as these things can be paramount to our self-esteem and self-worth.

So, while I understand what you are currently experiencing and feeling, I won’t be the one to tell you to not move this summer, or pursue a separation and possible divorce from your husband. I would be totally out of my lane. I will encourage you, however, to try and save your marriage instead of saying it’s over.

Lastly, I would advise you to consider marital counseling or even individual counseling for you. It could only help. Take care and keep in touch.

Reader responses:

• Regarding the column from May 10, “Forgiveness takes time with sobriety”: Ms. Vicki, today is Mother’s Day. I had not spoken to my son in almost three years because of the same reason the writer mentions in this letter. Because of his letter and the advice you gave about parents and forgiveness I called my son for the first time in almost three years. He also used drugs, went in and out of rehabs, lied constantly and stole money from his family. I was angry and could not forgive him. After reading this letter I am going to try and mend fences and come to grips with my feelings for my son. You are right — he is my son no matter what. Thank you for making me think.

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 [email protected]

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