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Will try to make this clear, and concise, unfortunately not a short story! Be prepared to read deep

Background info: Married for about 7 months, only 1.5 of those months were before her basic training. I saw her graduate, she came home on leave for about a month as well. She's active duty in England, I'm in the states on the waiting list to join.

We have been totally in love in every way. Though I have let my emotions and instincts and some past baggage guide me into chipping away at her love bank. It's like that analogy of the slow drip from a bucket over a fire. Anything from her not allowed to converse with guys, have their numbers, add them on Facebook, you get the idea. The tricky part is she falsely agreed to this lifestyle even stating she prefers it bc guys are scum. Turns out she was just trying to make me happy and in turn sacrifice her own individuality. So we are going along for months like everything is A-ok while she slowly dies and perhaps resents me inside. she has had male friends in the past and totally kept it at that, I was just wrong to keep nagging about it bc my mistrust.

So anyway she gets overseas, and things slowly change. She states how hard it is to get around and accomplish normal things without a car, and doesn't want to buy a car til I get there. (Mind you it could be 6 months before I'm even there). She states how she has no friends and her female roommate is kind of a you know what and is just plain old lonely and sad. We talked about being strong and overcoming the distance and time, and still were in love, real strong as always. Well she tells me of stories of guys trying to ask her to do things like go eat or go for drives around the base area. She denied them at first and me being controlling I'm like yeah good job! Keep it up! And she's falsely going along with that ideal.

Soon enough she either gets fed up or something, and starts hanging out with these two guys, they are single and 18-19. Of course my wife is hot and I'm freaking out, like obviously there has to be an alt. motive for these young military guys to be taking a married girl out for fun, this cannot be a just friends or neighborly good deed kind of scenario. After a couple hangouts she sees my sadness and promises not to see them again bc she does not want to hurt me. Next week, she says hey I have to tell you I was leaving breakfast and I ran into the one guy, he said he was dog sitting and asked if I wanted to see the puppy, so I went. I lost my cool,bc the whole promise she made to not see them, even if the promise felt forced for her, to please me. I got over it kind of. She states that they are normal respectful and know the boundaries. I'm like yeah until they catch you in a vulnerable moment and move in. She's getting fed up with me saying these littles snotty things. I act like I'm ok and then I treat her like she can't handle herself.

Next thing you know, it went from little food trips and shopping here and there, to the promise, to the puppy, and then she says well this weekend I heard there's a good place to meet girl friends by my dorm and I'm gonna go hangout and make friends. I'm like ok sounds good! Turns out she really just hung out with those guys, and did in turn meet a girl. Which made it that double date type guy girl guy girl. I flipped out bc of that. Especially because they drank til midnight and when she got home she halfway said goodnight of our nightly routine and passed out, apologized in the morning, but said she was going on a long trip with them to a nearing city, the whole gang. Me being controlling I'm thinking damnit.. But wished her a good time. She came back saying hey we are all gonna hang out again like last night but I prob won't drink. Well... She was out til 3am and did in fact drink, she explained to me where she was the whole time. At a lounge/food area for a while, and then at a bar where they had karaoke on base. She said it was most,y co workers, those guys, and tons of people. Wasn't like she was in one room with one guy for hours. I still lost my mind and basic gave an ultimatum. I said if this is the kind of behavior you are going to defend and fight for your right for, then idk how long we are going to last. She (buzzed still) said I was coming at her totally wrong, was being insane, controlling, obsessive and manipulative and said she was so pissed she didn't want to talk to me, and I said something snotty about like yeah we will figure out how to end this all tomorrow like a hint at divorce,and she agreed. Well God must have graced me with knowledge over night...

I woke up realizing how absolutely insane I was, and that if we are truly in love, and I supported her, why not trust her to go out and have fun? Be happy for her she found friends when she expressed her lack of friends before. She would control any inappropriate situation and deal with it. My fear now is...has my previous fear of her getting around actually pushed her closer into doing so? I came clean with about 100 things I recognized I did wrong, ESP after reading about the love bank and everything. I wasn't being there for her emotional needs. She says if I had continued acting that way, we would not be together, so at least we know now, and we have each other still.

However, she has become what feels like an emotional divorce, she has withdrawn so much that any compliment or memory I bring up she says "yeah" or something very neutral no emotion. She states she will agree to try to fix it with me, but cannot guarantee it will actually work bc so much emotional distancing and damage has been done to her. She says it's not as simple as you just changing your jealous ways, it's that everything feels so different now and I am just unsure of everything at this point, I need time and space to decide what I want to do. Now we had such huge plans for a military life together and children soon, even talked about the kinds of meals we would be preparing together!

How do I get her to remember that feeling and passion she once had, just not too long ago? How do I remind her from across the ocean that we made our vows for a reason on our wedding day and that I can really change and be there for her?

I fear that since I've depleted her love bank so much that any positive deposit by these new guys is all it takes to steer her away. Say this weekend, she goes and drinks with them again, has a roaring good time with no heavy feelings, no arguing no jealously.. And then she has me all the way in the states like please love me again ill promise ill be good.. Cards are not in my favor as they say. She has unfriended me on some social networking, and changed all her infos from being "in love" to something depressing about "change is the only constant" her profile pictures went from pictures of us, to her posing alone in England. Still saying she's willing to work with me, she says I'm just letting you know im changing my Facebook password because you stalked my guy friends (I did) and that I'm going to add them, and also they now have my phone #. She didn't give it to them bc I didn't want her to before. Willing to do anything it takes to trust her and support her emotional needs I said ok no problem. I'm glad you have friends there. I am now being 100% genuine and supportive.

This whole business with the "yeah we can try but I can't guarantee i will actually be happy with you again" stuff is getting to me I guess is the bottom line.. And how can I be of emotional support while im so far away, I KNOW if I flew there tomorrow, we would embrace and cry together and be ok as we learned we can trust each other not to hurt each other anymore, but do I stand greater chances to lose if I choose to wait out here for basic training? Leaving her alone and vulnerable during this period of hurt and change. Any advice on how I can prove myself to her again? To get her to remember why we fell in love and that I would be a good life partner for her... Bc I feel that the happiness she feels from these guys can be all it takes to keep us distant, can be the deciding factor whether or not she comes back around to intimacy with me. Note she hasn't cheated. To my knowledge but I pretty much 99.9% doubt it. If anything it's an emotional cheat, or divorce, she couldn't confide in me anymore, can I get her to again?

Sorry this was so freakin long but it's been a horrible month because of all of this. And I want any advice or knowledge on how to do my best for this. Thanks so much for anyone reading or trying to help!

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Srw, welcome to MArriage Builders. Your wife has horrendous, inappropriate boundaries around members of the opposite sex and if she hasn't cheated YET, she will soon enough. Your marriage is headed right straight for an affair as it is now.

Our Surviving an Affair forum is full of thousands of affairs that began through opposite sex friendships.

How much longer will you have to live apart? One of the biggest issues is that you live apart. It is pretty hard to sustain a marriage when you do not live together. Is there a plan to rectify that?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Thanks for the welcome, and for responding. Yeah it's definitely hard to hear and try to accept that could be the case. As I want to believe I was just being jealous, and I need to respect her own judgement on what she feels is right. But totally see how my behavior pushed her into a situation to cheat when it wouldn't of happened had I met her emotional needs instead of pushing her away.

She is distant not sexually interested and is separating us on many levels, yet still saying she loves me, good mornings and good nights, and that we will keep trying to make it right. Seems she is setting up a life for us and a life she has with them, it's all completely separate and I'm afraid to even ask her now about what she does, as I said its ok to have male friends, and if she's in withdrawal from me, I need to be positive to her and not negative. She is keeping it private though. Changed all her passwords bc I am a"stalker" she says and since she is overseas, she probably talks to them via text or face to face hangouts at a ratio of about 60% them 40% me, if not worse than that.

As for moving there, I believe would fix it, it could be sex she is missing, that need, mixed with the feeling of me just being a nag to her while she is working hard in the military, to come home to texts from me trying to investigate her. This feels like a break up, like ones I've had with girlfriends in the past, and watching them reintegrate into feeling again, but not for you. We have no projected date for me to move there, it's all up in the air now. I planned on joining the military and then moving to her base with a join spouse program. As of now I proposed the idea of joining the recruiting center in England and moving in with her, perhaps looking into college instead, while I wait to ship out from there, by her side. She states she doesn't know if that would even be better or not, and she will think it over.

From reading this website, it's horrifying to read all the signs she is in an affair, endless denying and ridicule of me for even suggesting it. Distance emotionally and sexually. Changing of passwords and feelings she needs to keep parts of her life separate from me, bc if "I trusted her, I wouldn't need her password". And the fact that when I say how about I come there put this on hold and cater to your needs instead of this career, she reacts as if she would rather be apart, to have more space to "think it over". So her love bank, overflowing from the good times she has with others, does not want her to quit what is making her feel good right now, and if I'm the one making her feel bad, why or how could she possibly deny her new feelings? Of course she will head in the positive direction.

Besides moving there (with her agreement of course), I don't know how I can get her to see us as a married couple again, and not as a burden holding her back. Did I just get a bad egg? Maybe she will eternally see the virtues of being married as being confined and controlled? When that is not what she wants deep down. I don't know. I can barely function at work and I'm starting to lack in adequate nutrition. Of course, due to this great distance, I appear to her as fully changed to being positive, dedicated to meeting her needs, sorry for the mean things and outbursts I had, committed to our original goals and still bringing in an income. In reality I would like to lay in bed crying all day. I want to be strong for her and show her the guy she fell in love with originally. Smart, funny.,ambitious, caring, trustworthy.

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Originally Posted By: Srw
Thanks for the welcome, and for responding. Yeah it's definitely hard to hear and try to accept that could be the case. As I want to believe I was just being jealous, and I need to respect her own judgement on what she feels is right. But totally see how my behavior pushed her into a situation to cheat when it wouldn't of happened had I met her emotional needs instead of pushing her away.


Asking your wife to not engage in reckless behavior cannot push her into a situation to cheat. A person will obviously not cheat against her will. Your wife is engaging in marriage wrecking behavior and you have good reason to be jealous. Jealousy is a natural reaction to a threat to marriage. For example, if she ran out in the road in front of cars, wouldn't you naturally be concerned for her life? It is the same with your wife's poor boundaries around men. You can see the threat and she doesn't.

You don't have thee power to "push" your wife to cheat. If your wife uses that as an excuse, that is all it is. A committed marriage person would lose the opposite sex friendships and take steps to do anything to avoid her spouse's unhappiness.

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as I said its ok to have male friends, and if she's in withdrawal from me, I need to be positive to her and not negative. She is keeping it private though. Changed all her passwords bc I am a"stalker" she says and since she is overseas, she probably talks to them via text or face to face hangouts at a ratio of about 60% them 40% me, if not worse than that.


I am sorry to say that you probably don't have a future with this woman. First off, you can't sustain a marriage with someone you don't live with and secondly, it is clear she puts her male friends and her secret second life before you. Can you imagine having a mortgage and 3 little kids with a woman who behaved like this? It would be a nightmare.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Does it mean all instances of opposite sex friends lead to cheating? I know if I still talked to a couple of Female friends I used to have, it would never get close to affair material. And what I mean by push her into cheating, is did I close all avenues for us to communicate and support each others needs so much that she had no other choice but to seek happiness elsewhere? Our whole marriage, and dating, she has been nothing but completely open and patient with me, even while agreeing to stop talking to her past male friends, and keeping all contact strictly female, she still showed so much love for me and I was always in the most private parts of her life, always intimate.

Our last fight just blew that up, it was a time bomb ticking, and I could have defused the bomb, had I stopped disrespecting and lashing out at her, and put more trust and care into our marriage. She's only been there a month, it's been a rough transition I'm sure, losing her husband and in a foreign country!

She would keep insisting I had nothing to ever worry about, in previous weeks. I still had her Facebook password, we were expressing our love publicly on every social media site. She always was proud to wear her ring and let people know she was happily married.

I did not heed her calls and cries. So when your spouse refuses to hear you, or comfort you in any way, and instead disrespects and name calls, they have no choice bc they don't feel loved and intimate anymore. She is a good girl, going through a bad time. Partly due to me.

She's been talking a lot about babies too. Well before the detachment. Always saying she's so excited and already looking at clothes and nursery designs, I was so excited to be a father. A mortgage and 3 kids could have been amazing, had I not pushed her away. We would still be as close as ever. The biggest mistake besides being the enemy lately, is probably thinking we can survive the deployment apart. We thought we were strong enough, but she needs her husband. And we chose to stick it out apart instead, for a better future later. But she needs help now

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Originally Posted By: Srw
Does it mean all instances of opposite sex friends lead to cheating? I know if I still talked to a couple of Female friends I used to have, it would never get close to affair material.



All instances of OSF do not lead to affairs, but almost all affairs began that way. And it is usually people like you that have them. You have a belief that you are immune which makes you even more vulnerable. 50-60% of marriages experience affairs and most of them are not out looking for it. It just sort of happens like a frog in boiling water.

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And what I mean by push her into cheating, is did I close all avenues for us to communicate and support each others needs so much that she had no other choice but to seek happiness elsewhere?


Of course she had choices. She made that "choice" when she married you, didn't she? Even if you met her needs PERFECTLY, she would still be vulnerable to an affair because of her poor boundaries around men. And you can't meet her needs if you don't live together anyway.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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I see what you're saying, yes it's ultimately her choice, even if it is skewed by depression or a temporary drive for revenge or hatred.

How about the military couples that do make it though? And don't cheat? When they are deployed for a year without one another. How can they make it apart, or do they just suffer the lack of needs met, and wait to be reunited.

I have this feeling my controlling behavior was little by little turning her off to me, lets say when she first met those guys, I was excited for her, we would place boundaries that made sense, and perhaps she wouldn't of dive bombed into the drunken weekend she had? She stated she was so tired of being controlled she didn't care anymore and said "f it im going to hang out with my friends for once". All of our interactions about anything related to this have been horribly unhealthy, is there a way to manage that without being paranoid or controlling?

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As for right now she just got off work, we said two sentences to each other, peaceful and positive. And then she said she is going to get some food and go buy mouthwash at the store. I said how about a phone call when you get back? She said yes that's fine but I don't know when I'll be back. I'm thinking well you could probably estimate a time instead of being clueless as to how long eating and purchasing one item will be, idk, an hour? But I said ok, was only asking for 10-15 mins so I'll be here baby. And she said ok. Exchanged I love yous and she's gone. Nervous ... smirk

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Originally Posted By: Srw
I see what you're saying, yes it's ultimately her choice, even if it is skewed by depression or a temporary drive for revenge or hatred.


Poor boundaries around the opposite sex is what leads to affairs. Lots of people can be depressed or have a desire for revenge or hate their spouses, but the reason they avoid affairs is because they have strong boundaries around the opposite sex, avoiding tempting situations.

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How about the military couples that do make it though? And don't cheat? When they are deployed for a year without one another. How can they make it apart, or do they just suffer the lack of needs met, and wait to be reunited.


Some, like my parents, have very strong boundaries. My father was very affectionate with my mother and obviously in love with her. When he was deployed to Thailand, then a year later to Vietnam, he lived "like a monk," as he put it. Many of his fellow soldiers did not and had affairs with their house girls. My mother also lived with very strong boundaries and avoided any tempting situation. Many of her fellow "waiting wives," as they were called, had affairs while their husbands were deployed.

Adultery is VERY common in the military, and in other jobs that require travel or overnights apart. Dr. Harley found that very few military marriages were happy, in the sense of having an integrated transparent blending of two people who were meeting each other's needs and avoiding love busters. The travel and deployments severely weaken a marriage. Even in good marriages, it's very difficult to meet most of the intimate emotional needs while apart. Nights apart are an invitation to an affair.

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I have this feeling my controlling behavior was little by little turning her off to me, lets say when she first met those guys, I was excited for her, we would place boundaries that made sense, and perhaps she wouldn't of dive bombed into the drunken weekend she had? She stated she was so tired of being controlled she didn't care anymore and said "f it im going to hang out with my friends for once". All of our interactions about anything related to this have been horribly unhealthy, is there a way to manage that without being paranoid or controlling?


Your wife wants to live independently and have a secret second life. She is able to accomplish this easily due to the long separation. You are not "controlling" your wife by insisting on boundaries around men. And you are not being "paranoid." You are reacting as most of us would react to this situation - with alarm.

Last edited by LongWayFromHome; 09/17/13 11:20 AM. Reason: typos

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Thanks for your input on military marriages. Yeah honestly I would love if she could find a way to be happy and fill her time with things other than drinking or hanging out with these guys. If she would put up that wall, however that wall seems to lock her up for some reason... It almost feels like she wants a loving marriage while lacking the responsibilities of one. Could be due to this deployment, the nights alone, no more hugs, kisses goodnight and smiling looking in each others eyes. With those needs unmet, she could feel trapped and hopeless from not receiving face to face affection. And having poor knowledge herself, on how to establish safe boundaries, she is just going off believing she can control her emotions and ward off potential predators, trusting in people to respect the boundaries. She still claims she would never hang out one on one. And she would always stop a potential threat and inform me. I have not caught her, as it is impossible in this situation. But she has never been able to lie.. She has the worst poker face and can't hide what's she's done. Maybe she's detached and shutting down because she has feelings that are currently building for someone else, and is concerned and hurt that this could be the end of all we built. She does not want to get close to me to spill her guts about what's going on in her head, would rather distance herself til I gave up? And she can openly have this new relationship without guilt because we "just didn't work out"

Of course it won't work out if she doesn't want it to!

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If you and your wife want this marriage to work out, the very first order of business is to find a way to live together and be together every single night. If that much can't be accomplished, your marriage is starting out on very shaky ground.

I know a lot about military marriages. My father was career military, my husband was in the military for seven years and now works with a lot of military. We have military friends and live near a military base. I've worked with military chaplains. Military marriages have a very hard time due to the long separations.

No one here will discourage you from trying to build a future with your wife, but you must find a way to live together. And you both must follow Extraordinary Precautions for life.


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2 and a half hours later and she still hasn't returned from getting something to eat and buying mouth wash. Wow I sound crazy for timing her but. It doesn't take that long. She's done that before and couldnt take more than one hour. Also with her disclaimer of " I don't know when I'll be back" leads me to believe she's with him, and withholding that from me. Leaving me with the position of not being able to ask her who she was with because if I did, I would be insecure and going against what I just apologized for and wanted to work on, my jealousy. What the f***!!!!

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Yes thank you! And I have been discussing moving there with her, working on getting a visa, getting out on her orders, etc.she is responsive somewhat to the idea but granted we barely speak more than a few sentences to each other per day. If I can prove to her my "worthiness " she may turn around soon and fully commit to researching the work and talking to her commanders about putting me on the sponsor list to move there. That's all I'm trying to do now. And be loyal to what I said I'd do

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Update for all those following. The part where she left to get mouthwash and something to eat, well she came back 3 hours later openly telling me sorry and that she was with the guy ( that I believe the affair is with) at his dorm eating pizza watching tv. So 1. She didn't even go shopping and 2. She didn't go to the cafeteria. They ordered out and she hung out with him. I played it cool stating its ok and I was just hoping for 15 mins on the phone. She still wanted to, or agreed to.. We talked, my voice cracked from holding tears, she acted sympathetic and said don't be like that, we are trying. And I'm agreeing like yes I'm just so happy you're willing to work with me, I won't give up on us, and talking about other random things, we shared some laughs, we used some pet names, and at one point she hung up on me and refused to answer again because she was "too sad" hearing me like that.

I think it's to a point now where she knows what she is wrong and feels guilt over it, she knows she is not putting the effort needed to save us, and it's hurting me. She may not blame me as much now as she starts to feel like a terrible cheating wife.Though she can't stop, that addictive quality of the new affair, it's like a drug you can't say no to, and imagining now being without it, can bring more sadness.

I think this is good news. She is starting to feel maybe, starting to remember again? If she has the strength through my encouragement and endless unconditional love, she may be able to tell this new love it won't work between them, as I break down her barriers slowly but surely. Whaddya think?

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Are you going to move to live with her and be home every night?


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I'm working on getting her to open back up to me and trust me. She will have to willingly add me to her orders. It's going to be up to her. she says she doesn't know if she wants that right now.

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Tonight before bed she stated she really does love me still, and that this will get better.

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Originally Posted By: Srw
Tonight before bed she stated she really does love me still, and that this will get better.


Your marriage only has a chance IF you can move and be with her and spend every night together. She would need to institute Extraordinary Precautions for the rest of her life.

Your wife is free to enjoy a secret second life while being apart from you. The longer she can indulge in this, the more difficult and precarious your position is going to become as her husband.


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Originally Posted By: Srw
I'm working on getting her to open back up to me and trust me. She will have to willingly add me to her orders. It's going to be up to her. she says she doesn't know if she wants that right now.


Srw, can you get someone on the inside working as an advocate for you - a chaplain perhaps? Somebody who can help try to arrange it so that you are put on the orders?

Have you exposed her extramarital relationships to anybody in the military?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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I have no one on the inside helping. I suggested she see pastoral services and she said it offended her because I'm acting like she is the one who needs changing and not myself.


Bad news though well she expressed her increasingly opposite emotions after telling me we will make it. She became more distant and stopped with good mornings and I love yous. She finally admitted she felt uncomfortable because my affection was making her feel bad, because she can't return it. She regrets getting married as soon as we did and needs to do some growing up and thinking to determine if she can do this (marriage altogether). As she states she is happy now, not having to "answer to me" anymore.


Yesterday she made it clear she needs me to leave her alone bc I'm just pushing this affection and support onto her when she doesn't want it. I said I can do that, I can be quiet for now but I'm here waiting and ready to be there for you. Said my goodbye for now and she said goodbye.


I'm sure she is out drinking right now

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