Long story short. Been married for almost 22 years. We had so many things against us when we were younger and managed to get through them. Skip forward to 5 years ago. My husband started an emotional affair with a coworker. I suspected something but didn't have anything to go on. I basically found out about it when it was over. And only then because of some phone calls I received. So, we didn't do counseling because he didn't want to. So I prayed about it, cried about it, hurt and got angry. You name it I felt it, and to some extent still do. Now he comes up to me 2 months ago stating he wants to join the Air Force Reserves, which I am not happy about. He didn't discuss with me anything, just says he is going up the next day to talk to a recruiter. And that he has been talking with him for over 6 months. I let him know that I don't feel it is a good idea and that is saddens me. He goes anyway. A month goes by and then he announces he is going for a physical to get into the reserves. I again express my sadness and ask him to reconsider. He wants me to go with him. I explain that I can't because he will take it as I have accepted and support his decision. Then last weekend he says he is going to take the day off and enlist. I cry, beg, and plead for him to consider my feelings. He goes ahead. Now for the last month we have been in counseling and it has been up and down the whole time. He opened a private bank account and told me it was so I didn't have to worry about him taking money out when he goes for his reserve training. We have been in the military before, I survived a long deployment with a sick newborn and a two year old. I don't want to have to go it alone again. Here we are at a point in our live where we should be spending weekends together and having fun and he wants to take off and do his own thing. I work during the week and he has a 12 hours shift schedule so it isn't like we have that much time together. Once he starts his reserve weekends many months he will really only be home one weekend a month. The counselor has stated that he needs to be up front with me, but his motto is do what he wants and ask forgiveness later. That motto is really hurting our marriage. And once again, I have to just "get over it". I have asked him if I will ever come first. He has never answered me. I guess I am venting but also would like some advice. Maybe I am just asking for too much and do need to get over it. But I don't want to leave him, I just want him to want to be with me.
It behooves me to understand why some men love being in the military. I have a nephew who is like that. He also is in the reserves, and no matter how much his wife and children and we, his family, beg him not to go, he always volunteers to be deployed to the Middle East. He did a tour in Iraq, one tour in Afghanistan, and left again last month for Afghanistan. He was also at Guantanamo Bay. Men like my nephew and your husband really love it. I can't explain why. And perhaps it isn't men only. His younger daughter, my niece, also loves the military. They were both in the Middle East at the same time once though not in the same country. She was very excited to go and were it not for the fact that she got married and had baby, she would have stayed in the military. Even now, some 5 years later and a second baby, she says she misses it.
There are a lot of threads on the board from wives complaining about their husband disregarding and disrespecting their wishes. They are mainly concerning another woman. I'm afraid I think this is a different kind of situation. I can't say he is being disrespectful of your wishes or inconsiderate of your feelings. It seems a matter of him doing something he really wants and you not wanting him to do it. At such an impasse, how can it be decided who gives in? When it appears you both want entirely different things out of life and your marriage, I cannot see my way to make him wrong. I understand you want him to sacrifice for you, you want to mean more to him, and you want that you both share the same desires, and you want to come first in his life. But there is no right or wrong in this situation. You cannot make him desire anything. If meaning more and coming first is what you need, then you are with the wrong man. You want/expect more than this man can give you. Unfortunately, that comes as a hard lesson to follow after spending 22 years and thinking you were both working toward the same goal. It appears then that the two of you did not communicate very well over the years.
Since he has made his decision and insists the military is what he wants, then you also have to make a decision to either accept it or leave to find love elsewhere with someone who values you more. I realize you love THIS man. You want to be with THIS man. And you probably don't want to end up feeling the past 22 years were for naught. Still, the decision is yours. If you want to be with THIS man, then you must accept his choice in this matter. It will only continue to hurt your feelings to want and expect more from him. Or you can go to find more.
I must say I find the new bank account very suspicious.
Can you confirm that he did enlist and that this isn't all some sort of an act? I wonder about the new bank account. Interesting....
Anyways, it sucks the way he's treating you. I understand because my husband is the same way. I guess it all comes down to what you want - to stay with him or not? If you stay with him, you need to decide to love him no matter what he does or how he treats you (and that is not to say what he does is right).
How does one get the strength to move on, or how can you even tell when you have done all you can to save a marriage?
But you haven't done anything to save the marriage, unless attributing your acceptance of all the things he does that you dislike is what you call saving the marriage. Well, you take what he dishes out, refrains from talking about his offenses because he doesn't want to, get over them because he told you to get over them, and you're still there.....so I guess those can be looked at as saving the marriage.
Efforts to save a marriage, however, are very specific. It could be any number of things - from seeking counseling, to reading books that can help, or other things that require steps for you both to take and work on building a better marriage - but you do have to make those specific efforts.
Please re read the post. I did state what our counselor has advised. We have been in counseling for over a month. I didn't list the books I have read, but if you would like to know I have read the following. The Power of the Praying Wife, The Power of the Praying Women, The Love Dare, The Five Love Languages.