military marriage in serious trouble - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-27-2008, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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military marriage in serious trouble

we have been married for 4 1/2 years and now i am considering strongly calling it quits ... but i really do not want to, or do i???? i honestly don't know.

i spent the last year away from wife due to being at an isolated duty area (active duty navy ... and can't wait to get out btw). four months into the tour, i could feel my wife starting to drift away and she eventually stopped communicating with me, despite my efforts to stay in touch. needless to say we became disconnected. upon my return, my wife told me, among other things, that she no longer wants to be intimate with me, and does not want any affection with me at all (holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc.). she also does not want me sleeping in the same bed ... i have been relegated to the guest bedroom and using the guest bathroom. before i left last year, our sex life was non-existent, and when we did have sex it was short lived.

i have expressed to her several times that i am not happy with this living situation and i cannot and will not continue to be in a marriage like this. i am not happy with the current situation and i do not know what i should do. i have already packed up my things and set them aside in the garage, and i am ready to move out.

my dilemma is that i am not the type person to just quit something, especially relationships, never have, and i take my wedding vows very seriously, but when does a person call it quits? i know marital problems come in different scenarios, but honestly, at what point does a person move on? how do i know this behavior is not the normal behavior for military deployments?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 08:23 AM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

I am a Navy wife (if you couldn't tell) and I have seen my share of deployments. Relationships can end at the end of a deployment; but it is not normal. I have seen two deployments and seen two divorces from them. How long have you been home? If not long it could be she needs to get to know you again. I would talk to your wife and see what's going on. I know you don't want to quit, but a marriage can not be saved unless both parties want it. Goodluck!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 12:34 PM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

I was in the British Army for nearly 11 years, I joined at 16 as a girl soldier. To be honest I suppose my experience isn't the most helpful, when hubby proposed my staying in the army simply wasn't an option.

There are just so many pressures on both of you, and basically the non military partner takes the brunt. Its hard to gear yourself up for a marraige where a huge portion of your life is going to revolve around another person and then have that partner taken out of the equation for huge time periods.

Surely the fact that you're looking to get out placates your wife at least a little, there is light at the end of the tunnel after all. You didn't go into any details about why you're living apart if theirs no provision for married accompanied personal at your base that counts as a pretty serious hardship.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

subwife: i have been home for a month now and now i am headed back out again for another deployment. i was also home for 28 days this summer and i feel that i just wasted all my leave because we are not any better, we have made absolutely no forward progress. i did talk to my wife and i told her that i love her but i do not know how long i can wait on her to come around to wanting to show affection; it has been over 8 months now and nothing has changed. but she kept saying, "well my feelings may change."

sarah: i was away from her for a year b/c the duty station i was at did not allow spouses. we both made the decision for me to come into the navy, and she was even more excited than i was when we were talking about it. now that it is harder than she thought it would be, she is shutting me out of her life and does not want to deal with separation. so now, i have to deal with being in the military alone without any support from her.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 08:38 PM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

socal: So I take it her feelings haven't changed at all in the past 8 months? Looks to me like she is no longer invested into the marriage. I hate to say it because I see marriage as a life long deal. I really hope she is willing to work with you on the marriage. I suggest that you two try couseling before giving up. Do you think she could be depressed? Just something that popped into my head.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 06:24 PM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

I'm very sorry that you and your wife are going through these hard times. Since you are leaving again. Have you suggested her to go to counseling by her self. Maybe she has a few things built up that she needs to get out. Talking to someone else may make it easier for her to open up to you. When you talk to her, try to go with another approach. Instead of saying your not happy, ask her what she feels is missing in the marriage (considering the situation), ask questions on how she feels. I'm a military wife and my husband left for a year. It was very hard!! When he got back it was like there were so many new things to learn about him. But I stuck by him. That is how she should be to you.
I have seen so many marriages fail due to the spouse always being deployed. I feel like it takes a very strong person to stick by their husband/wife during deployment. It is definately not a life for everyone.. but she knew that's what military life is like. Good luck!! I hope it works out for you two!!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2009, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

i decided to stay in there. i would not be able to be happy with myself if i decided to leave. i believe a marriage for life (the only thing that breaks the vow is infidelity though, i really dont think i can get past that).

subwife, thanks for the support and kind words. i do not believe she is going through depression, i'm not sure what she is going through but she also said she wants to stay in the marriage b/c she is committed to her vows.

april, thank you for your support and advice. i did ask her if she should try counseling and she said does not want to do that now. one of her feelings is that since i am gone again for 6 months, there really wasn't a point in trying to work on our marriage now and go through the same scenario when i come back. she said the navy is harder than she imagined it to be and did say she does not want us to split.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:12 PM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

Encourage her to go anyway if she will even when you are gone. I say this because she needs help in dealing with the separation and talking to someone who can and will be unbiased can in fact help.

This will also pave the way for when you return because then you can start joining in on the counseling. If she wants to keep her counselor to herself due to the things that your wife may or may not discuss with him/her then that's alright. She can have her own counselor, you can have yours so you can deal with your own individual issues and then you can have another for the two of you together.

Most couples have issues with each other because of one real problem. They do not know how to cope and deal with themselves or their own issues if you prefer. If you can't learn ways to deal with something that's bothering you as a person then how can you hope to be able to work on it with someone else?

Think of yours life and marriage as something like a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone looks at a jigsaw puzzle differently. What you might see in one piece, your wife is sure to see something else. You will need to come to terms with that as well as her. Each piece of the puzzle fits where it needs to be and is only one aspect of the whole puzzle/picture. If you are both concentrating on only the pieces that are affecting yourselves then you miss out on the other pieces that surround you. The counselors can help give you the tools and advice you need and then help you both to see the bigger picture, because a person only really wants to see the pieces they want to see.

I hope you understand the analogy and when you start looking at life like that it kind of changes your perspective on things because you then actually start looking for and watching those other pieces.

I hope I've helped out even a little.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 10:59 PM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

You asked [quote] but when does a person call it quits? i know marital problems come in different scenarios, but honestly, at what point does a person move on? [\quote]

that is a very good question. and i have been pondering it myself. i believe it is different for everyone, just as everyones marital problems differ.

i have found out in my case, i can take alot more then most. Everyday that goes by, i find that i can handle that much more. Friends, family and coworkers all agree that i should divorce and move on. And i have no idea what i am holding on to, however, with each new situation or scenario, i am amazed that it was not the last straw. I havent reached that point yet, and i believe it is because i still have hope. hope that our marriage can be saved, hope that he will regonize and put into actions his responsiblities. I hold on to each good thing and try to down play the bad things, which is very hard to do when the cons outwiegh the pros. But if you want your marriage to really work, then you will hold on and find every possible way to make it work. if not, then you have already taken the first step by asking when does a person call it quits? , at what point does a person move on?

if all you look for is the bad, then that is all you see. and nothing she does will be good enough. on the other hand, if you refuse to see the bad and focus on the good, even the little things will make a big difference. ie. she smiles and kisses you the next time she sees you and so forth.

i think you really need to figure out if you want it to work or if you have given up. Look long and hard, and make a choice. then you will know what to do. separations are very hard on a marriage, even more so when you dont have the option to stay. she might just need some time to get use to being second and your job first. she needs constant reassurance that your love for her is still as strong as it was when you first got married. it is harder for you since you are not there to show it every day. find out what she is really worried about or what her real issue is, which sounds like you found out some if not all of it. has she tried the wifes club at your base, not really counselling if i understand right, but kind of counselling in a way as there are other wives there going thru the same thing she is going thru with you gone.

i know that my words are easier said then done, and i wish you luck with your marriage, and blessings on your deployment.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 05:35 AM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

the trouble is how long you do really want to go on feeling lonely in this situation when she is so detached from you.
i think your staying for the wrong reasons. for her company, holding on to something that doesnt sound like it not there.
but you need someone to love and hold and hug you and be in the same bed as eachother.
i know your not a quitter. but the fact remains - your potentially keeping her and for what purpose.
personally i have tried distance relationships - but i always struggled with the lack of company and i pushed myself to move on because i like being around my partner.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 08:30 PM
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Re: military marriage in serious trouble

Speaking as a wife who went through a rough deployment, it is NOT normal behavior for her to be doing this. This is what we used to call "WestPac Widows". For some reason, some military wives forget they're married when their hubbies are overseas, and they look elsewhere for their needs. It sickens me.
I commend your attitude, not wanting to give up on this marriage, that is very admirable. However, it sounds as though your wife may have found someone else. I hate to be too up front but she may only be staying with you for the income, BAH, insurance, and/or other military bene's.
You want to work this out, but you cannot change her. If she's not willing to put the effort into it, there isn't much you can do. Don't allow her to disrespect you this way. You do so much for our country, give up so much, the last thing she should be doing is pushing you away.
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