17 answers

My Friend's Husband Is Leaving

My new friend's husband announced last night that he doesn't want to be married anymore. He moved into a friend's house after his announcement. This is sudden and unexpected. They have 2 girls (almost 3 and almost 1). She is devestated and has no idea what to think or do right now. We live overseas and she will have to leave the country if he decides to get a divorce. She has no support here but me and another new friend. I am willing to do whatever I can to help her...but I don't know what to do to help! He apparently is not willing to talk about their problems and try to work things out. Please help me help my friend.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Well did he say why he didn't want to be married anymore. You could get them to sit down and talk about it.They could make a schudle like on Monday threw Thusday the mom or dad could have the kids and Friday threw the weekends mom or dad could have the kids.

More Answers

Patricia B. is correct no one can make her leave the country. If she is a dependendant then she will already have an ID card and her husband cannot take anything away from her until they are legally divorced. She is command sponsored here and he and whichever branch of service he is with have a legal obligation under the sofa agreement to make sure this family is provided for.

But he has to be made to talk. Hopefully by now she has been to see family support and they will steer her in the right directions. But just a little bit of information to anyone based here in Germany. If you have been living in Germany for 6 months you are entitled to free legal representation if you don't have any income or limited income of your own (this does not include the spouses income). The german legal system is still archaeic when it comes to custody for mothers and wives rights but if you have been wronged by your partner it works perfectly in your favour. They are mother orientated and if the husband insists on not moving back in he will have to support her and the children under german law and it will be ALOT more money than he would ever have to give her in the states. (Had a friend go through all of this herself recently).

Hope she gets the husband to talk, once they start talking hopefully they can work things out.

I just wanted to add that someone had mentioned you can't get divorced while overseas. That is just not true. You can use the local courts if you have been in Germany for example for 6 months. Or you can use your home state, if you can find a lawyer to represent you in that way. I know this how? Becuase I know people that have done it both ways. Legally, and sucessfully.

I have a friend who is going through the same thing. Her husband came back from deployment though so it may be a different situation. Listening is a great thing a friend can do. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do. My friend told me that inorder for the military to change the deros date for her and her children and to leave houseing(i believe) they had to go to counciling. That may be an oppurtunity for your friends husband to air what is going on in his mind. Hope this helps. J.


I went through this exact same thing with a friend about 3 years ago. Just one day out of the blue he sat his wife down and said I don't want to be married to you anymore. They had no problems before this as we were really good friends with them. He sat down with her at 6:30pm and then told the kids (5 between the ages of 2 - 14)at 6:45pm! Talk about no time to prepare yourself! For her I was just a ear to lean on as well as for her kids, since my kids were good friends with hers. Like others in this good said, try not to take sides and do not talk about anything in front of your kids or hers! But that was a civilian family in the states so the laws are different here.

Overseas, you can not get divorce. You have to go back to the states for that if they were married over there. She needs to go to JAG and see what she can do. I had friends over here that wanted a divorce but in Germany they told they could not and had to wait until they moved back. The Air Force moved him into the dorms and she stayed in the military issued housing. Luckily the time apart did them good over a year as they went to counseling and worked things out!

I wish her all the best!

Have her contact his first shirt because he will soon need to talk to her if she wants to leave and go back to the states he will need to do paperwork so that she can return early as his dependents. I would not leave before getting some sort of support and arrangement for what goes back with her as far as funiture, she should not under any circumstance leave the base housing or off base house at this point even to go visit family for a short while. All you can do is just be there for her try not to advise her as far as her marriage but just be there as a friend listening next week they can be back together again sometimes people lose sight of things act rash and then come to their senses so you don't want to give her any advise as far as her marriage even if what he did was hurtful and selfish, she will probably forgive him so you have to stay on the fence and support any decision she makes and not be critical...

Hi W.
So sorry about your friend. It's especially hard when she is overseas and doesn't know many people. She needs to go see the JAG immediately, she should tell them it's an emergency.She needs to find out what her rights are. Bare minimum the military has to relocate her. Also, the military will automatically put half of his pay in her name (or whatever she is entitled to; but the kids will get child support and it will come directly from his pay into her bank account. Bottom line the lawyers will take care of it for her. She is also entitled to some portion of his retirement pay (depending on how long they have been married) Also, the JAG may require them to go through mediation which would definitely entail some sort of mandatory counseling so maybe she can get to the bottom of things. She should also make sure her name is on all bank and financial accounts. If there is any money in the bank anywhere, she needs to have that frozen or remove half of it immediately and put it in a US account in her name only. This is sad but she needs to put the needs of her children first.

Hello W.,
First of all, I would stay neutral because there are always 2 sides to every situation to include this one. Even though he wont talk to you or her about it, well that probably means that he needs a cooling down time or just time to sort his thoughts. For instance; since they recently got here from the States, & he's in a new unit, & there are so many soldiers going over to the war, did he just find out that he's maybe one of them going? If he did, that could have a very very big impact on his decision of why he's done what he's done. I've seen it happen to many times.
Some more advice is: Get her to Family Advocacy / Family Support. Not the Chaplain really cause all they're really going to do is tell her to go to one of the ones I've mentioned above.
One of the more important reasons he maybe doing this is: (& I really don't like to mention it, but it's the facts of life) depending on how long they've been here, has he been going out much with "the guys at work"? If he has he could have met someone else, someone local as it were. That happens all the time here as well.
But as everyone else that gave advice to you said, I agree with: They should get counceling no matter the outcome, it will give them closure.
I hope this helps you & your friend

First of all, I say pray!! Does she belong to a church in the area?? I know that sounds like that's not a lot of help but I promise you it helps. It is really hard to give any advise since the husband won't communicate. She can also contact the local family advocacy so she can have someone to talk to and seek advice from.

This happened to my friend, who happened to be pregnant at the time with her second child. The man left her for another woman. My friend was allowed to stay in quarters, and he had to pay her a certain amount each month,the military has a formula they apply for how much the service member has to pay, and with her living in quarters, it wasn't much. The husband actually deployed during this time, and my friend's goal was to stay in quarters until the baby was born and could get a passport and and then she was going to return to the States, and that's what she did. It really seemed like she didn't have very many rights during any of this, and since her husband had already talked to the JAG office in our community, that meant she couldn't go there, they told her she could hire a private attorney or go to a JAG office in a different community. Since she didn't have very many resrouces she ended up just letting him decide everything,including how much he would pay for child support. I think the biggest thing you could do for your friend, besides just being there for her, would be to help her find good legal representation that can help her make sure she gets what she's entitled to and then some.

Sometimes there is nothing we can do but listen. Just being there for a new friend is nice. But, as you say she is a new friend, you do not know all the details and there are 2 sides to a story. After being married for 21 years myself, I have seen several marriages fall apart. I do try to get couples to remember why they married in the first place and to try to use that as a starting point. If they are christians, I try to get them to seek godly council. My best advice to you is to not let it come between you and your husband.

I would have your friend go talk to the chaplain. They are there for reasons like this. Also have her go talk to family advocacy. When she goes and talks to them they can actually get her husband in there to talk about things and see if they can work everything out. Good luck and just be with her to help her out.

What a tough situation. We are DoD civilians so I am not too familiar with the military system, but I always hear on AFN to "Contact Family Advocacy" for counseling resources and support. The chaplain is another good resource. Even if her husband doesn't want to talk right now, she needs advice about her rights and the procedures. There is also the legal office, but tell her to start with Family Advocacy.

Maybe you can offer to either go with her to Family Advocacy or the chaplain or watch her kids so that she can go by herself. Her 3 year old especially should not be present when she talks about her problems with her husband, so helping her find someone to watch them or volunteering yourself would be very helpful.

I would advise against making any rash decisions like flying home back to the States.

Remember that as a friend, and new friend, at that, there isn't a lot you can do to remedy this situation. The best you can do is to provide support and help guide her to the appropriate resources.

Well did he say why he didn't want to be married anymore. You could get them to sit down and talk about it.They could make a schudle like on Monday threw Thusday the mom or dad could have the kids and Friday threw the weekends mom or dad could have the kids.

The first thing that you have to realize is that there are two sides to every story. You are her friend and obviously she is only going to give you her side of the story. You do not really know the real problem, but rather what she wants you to know.

I would just say, be her firend, but do not be so quick to judge her husband until you know why he has made this decision.

If she can find a job on her own that will provide her with an ID card, no one will make her leave the country.

That is just awful. Let me know if I can help. Where are you stationed? I'm not sure what you can do, or what I could do, but I really hope it turns out ok. I hope that he will at least continue to share the parenting duties and support them financially, but we know you can't always count on the fathers to do that. Let's hope they can get some marriage counseling and parenting classes. Having two young children can tear you apart.

I am not sure what to tell you if he is not willing to talk. However if he is....I think she should try to find out what is the problem and let him express himself. Sometimes Men can be such butts and just leave for the simplest things that can be fix. But if he does not want to be married anymore don't force him because nine times out of ten he will leave again. i know love hurts but sometimes it is for the best and for the better. Tell her to love herself enough to go on and if not for her for the kids!!!! Seek some legal advice and try counseling....if it is worth saving please try!

Try to get her to talk to you tell her that if you will not talk to me go to Family soport and talk to them it will help. If she doesn't have a second car offer to take her and watch the kids and take the kids to the playground so she doesn't have to feel rushed. My husband and I have had problems to he made me move out (we was in the states I went to mom and dad) the only way he would let me come back is if I went to couneling and it helpped. We now have been married 11 years.

W., I somewhat know what your friend is going through. My husband just came back from being deployed and told me he didn't think he wanted to be married anymore, however we are working on ours. Like her, we live overseas (Japan). The best advice I can give you is to just be there for her. She doesn't need all the answers from you, just someone to listen and be supportive. If she needs someone to talk to who can relate please feel to let me know and I can give you a way to contact me. Just make sure she knows she is not alone, because I can tell you, right now she is feeling very alone, scared, mad and as if no one knows what she is going through.

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