Editor’s Note: This post covers the sensitive topic of adultery. It contains the personal thoughts of one military spouse going through the experience and should not be taken as advice as to what you should do in this situation. Please reach out for help if you are dealing with adultery or marriage issues. Military One Source has free help here.
We receive many essays from milspouses who want to share their stories – this was one of them. Our intent is to share some their very personal situations so someone else who reads them knows they are not alone. These are first person pieces. In order for their own voice to shine through, we don’t heavily edit them. Instead of us hiding this problem, we want to ask: What solid advice would you offer to this spouse? That’s why we’re all here. To uplift one another and get through our trials in community.
“You were a perfect military wife,” my husband stated, “but I need more of you now.”
My husband had a year long affair, and it has emotionally destroyed me. Together we are working on the repair of me and our relationship. It is my ideology that with the exception of sex addictions, affairs are due to a breakdown in the marriage relationship – something is lacking.
Back to that first sentence, I was a really good military wife, but our lives had evolved. My husband is no longer in the military, so he no longer deploys, no longer goes on extended training missions, no longer has anyone that reports directly to him. In part, my husband lost some of his identity. But today I want to focus on my role in the dissolution of our marriage.
As a good military spouse, I never told my husband that I missed him; I didn’t want him to be upset when he was gone on whatever training or mission.
I didn’t call or text my husband throughout the day, I didn’t want to bother him with mundane things that could be going on at home.
When he came home from work I only shared the happy parts of my day and the kids day, I didn’t want to burden him.
He didn’t discipline the kids, since things were just easier if I did because he would eventually leave for another thing military-related and I would be doing it all again anyway.
I spent all my time with the kids, or friends, we never really had personal time together; it was easier not to miss him if I never took the time to spend with him.
I had completely removed my husband from our family, and my life. I excused it as being better for him, or better for the kids and myself if I took on all the things and left my husband with no component that showed his value within my life.
But all of this continued after his retirement. The saddest part is that he had consistently told me he needed more of me and I wasn’t smart enough to listen.