My husband and I dated for four years and have been married for five and a half more. We had our first child a month before our 4 year anniversary and three months before his first deployment.
I thought we had a very solid relationship despite some recurring issues and thought we could handle the strain a child puts on a relationship, especially considering he would be leaving anyway.
During his deployment he was not meeting my emotional needs but he was that way during our long distance college relationship and in this situation I attributed it to stress and depression. I trusted him.
Shortly after his return from deployment I noticed a shift in the tone of our relationship and tried to address it head-on but faced the normal resistance because he is very emotionally reserved (whether because he won't be honest with himself or is just incapable of sharing/processing emotions). I became depressed without really realizing it, usually being hit hardest when we were apart (his increased work schedule and required work trips made that too often).
Two days ago I discovered that he began an affair during deployment and that he continued it over the internet and intermittently in person. It lasted approximately 6 mths and has seemingly been dropped cold turkey since I confronted him. When I asked him what he wanted he told me that he did not want either of us to leave and so far seems absolutely willing to undergo counseling for the underlying issues that left us vulnerable.
I have read through several articles on this website and truly think it is God answering my prayers. So much of what is said speaks directly to our issues.
I have been from desolation to almost giddy hope within the last two days and I don't know where I will be tomorrow. Knowing the truth has already given me an emotional freedom I would never have expected to arise from such pain, but the truth is better than the silence.
I plan to order the His Needs/Her Needs and LoveBusters series if my husband also feels comfortable with the structure of the programs.
However, I have read several things that emphasize not being absent from one another overnight and spending recreational time together. While that is possible when he is home, his career will continue to make harsh demands of us and his strongest emotional needs are definitely the ones hardest hit during an extended absence (sex and recreation).
I haven't read everything on the site, but so far I haven't seen anything that addresses the way military service uniquely compromises marriage.
I don't think my husband would have committed the affair except under the circumstances of deployment. What should have been a rainstorm was a flash flood.
As we go forward in repairing our marriage, one of my biggest worries is the effect of future detachments and deployments. Perhaps if we successfully complete the programs, absence won't have the same impact but I think that the pain from this scar will ache more when it is exposed to such trying conditions. Though I understand now that lack of trust is healthy and not ungenerous, how vigilant can I be when he is at sea? How do I trust our relationship again when trust IS my only safegaurd? What are the tips and guidelines for protecting my heart's interests then?