Military Husband Returns Numb from Iraq

Updated on June 17, 2008
S.M. asks from Jacksonville, NC
4 answers

Not sure where to begin. I am 40 yrs old and have been married to the most gentle and kind hearted man for 6 years. We have a beautiful 5yr old son. My husband is in the Military and returned from Iraq a few years ago. I noticed changes in him when he returned but nothing that stood out completely until a few months after his return. I found several pieces of evidence that he was looking for other excitement such as chat rooms with other people indicating that he would like to meet them. I was crushed and shocked. I really thought that we had a strong enough relationship that we would be able to fight the post deployment issues. I was wrong and blind. The lies have been continuous, even on simple issues. He went to counseling and he said he was told that since what he is craving is the excitement and addiction of violence and closeness of his fellow soldiers, he should return to Iraq as soon as he can for that addictive fix. We both decided to try to work it out, basically ignore all of it and try to stand by one another. Since then, the show of love is a routine kiss goodbye or goodnight. Nothing heart felt. I didn't see his love and devotion in his eyes any longer towards me. I have stood by him and every so often asked him if he sees a future with us and he says "well yeah, I think so". Very difficult to swallow.
This year he went TDY out of state for 6 months. Immediately I noticed different numbers on his cell phone bill during all hours of the night. His calls to home were reduced to maybe a call every 2 days, instead of several times a day. His expenses have gone through the roof. So I confronted him and after several attempts, he finally admitted that he has been sleeping with a few women. That he hasn't felt the love for me for quite some time. And that I need to move on because it isn't fair for me to hang on to someone that will probably never be fixed from Iraq. I had a career until we got married, owned a house and had independence. I now live on base after selling the house, quit my career and lost my certification to raise our son and be there for my family. He said that all this is his fault and that he will continue to support me financially with benefits but he has considered us separated. Basically, he considered us separated because I found out the truth finally. He has closed himself up when I talk to him because I guess there is no reason to show the act any longer about being my husband. I have gone through so many anger spells and concern spells and scared spells. Don't think I have left out any emotion these past few weeks. I have been as discrete as possible around our son. I have begun building a personal savings account for myself. I told him that I am concerned for my son's daddy and really wished that he wouldn't make such negative choices but he pretty much does not respond to anything I say except that he is sorry but he screwed up but can't tell me that he won't keep screwing up. In other words, he is gonna keep seeing these other women until he leaves that state. What do I do? I will be starting counseling soon. I can't imagine dating anyone else like he suggested. I am not an insecure woman but I feel like I am so out of resources. I have two other older daughters from previous marriage that I have to hide this from as well. He is aware that he is jeopardizing his career but says he can't stop. What are my legal rights if he decides to change the location his salary goes to? I just feel so lost and normally I wouldn't be asking for advise. Thank you

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A.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Well, i know what you are going threw... Your husband has a sexual addiction.. I found out that my husband had for over 5 yrs..there are support groups for him... You should realy go to your base and see a chaplin.. This problem with military men is unbeliveable.. I have found out so much on it... But my husband never stopped loving me that is the hard part to deal with... I reacently went back to collage because i gave up everything to raise our small kids...but you also need to live for you now.. All you can do is bring the problem to him about a sexual addiction... And rember you have a son to support now it will be up to ur hubbi to be in ur life now!!!good luck

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L.C.

answers from Jacksonville on

First of all i have had the same thing happen to me almost word for word except now after months apart my husband wants to work it out.....thats besides the point though for the money situation i went through that as well with base legal you are entiled to a portion of bah for you and your child so if there are 3 members of your family its 1/3 for each person remaining in the house. If he moves to a different station then it is based on the bah of that location. this is only until your divorce is finalized then you must go to court for support or alimony or what ever...email if you need to talk it out im so sorry ive been through this twice!!!

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R.N.

answers from Jacksonville on

Sweetie, I am so broken-hearted for you. Go to God. He is the only one that can heal you, your children and your marriage. I am not sure that there are any words at all that you want to hear besides that this is just a huge nightmare and that you will wake up and it is going to be all over and everything will have been a big misunderstanding. I am so sorry, but you are really going to be alright, and so will your child(ren) because t(he)y has (have) you. Just focus on your father in heaven and his love for you and the cross that protects your husband(and you and your family), and believe with your whole heart, no matter how crushed it is, and you will be happier than ever before you ever even know when or how it could be possible. I promise. I do not know if you are or ever have been a Christian or exposed to any type of religion, but please make an attempt to find some exposure to a bible-based church. You WILL find rest and solace in that. There is a bible verse where God's promise for just that is given in the Old Testament, and it still rings true to today's population. God loves all of his children, no matter what any of us have done or continue to do.Hebrews 4:16 says that "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." This is one promise directly form our awesome father-our loving God-that he will NEVER leave us without grace-saving grace-and peace and love. Who needs the love of a mere mortal man when we have THAT kind of an unbreakable promise from a god like THAT?!? Also-God promises to be our EVERYTHING.So if you get lonely again-just call on him for that, too. I will be praying for you. You can also e-mail me if you want to talk. [email protected]____.com.

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B.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

You need to go to the counseling you mentioned and seek legal advise as well. I would recommend seeking legal advise in a town with military because they have dealt with the military law and know more than attorneys who are learning the ins and outs of military law as they go.
I am so sorry for you. I hate the word divorce and wish you could work things out, but it really sounds like it is over for you. I am sure you are very scared right now but just think of it like if your husband got orders to a new place and you had to start over again there. The only difference is that he is no longer around, but it sounds like he has only been around physicially for you lately as opposed to emotionally anyway.
While legal counsel will be able to tell you much more, if your husband stays in, you can receive some of his retirement. You can also get him in trouble for committing adultry. If he was having an affiar with a lower ranking military member, he can also get in trouble for that. I would decide through the help of personal counseling and legal counseling how far you want to take things or how civil you want to make things. That is a personal decision that you will have to make. Good luck.

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