Marriage Builders®
Posted By: MrsFaith Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 10/27/09 06:59 PM
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?
Posted By: armywifie Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 10/28/09 03:44 AM
tough... good luck! i dont know the answers. if i did, i prolly wouldnt be divorcing.
I have been deployed to Iraq for 1 year, Afghanistan for 6 months and will be deployed once more for a year in about three weeks. I am struggling with my wife having affairs. There is no doubt that she has emotional needs I cannot meet during deployments. Even though I call daily (from Iraq or Afghan) and send several SMS. She seems to be addicted to the feeling of falling in love, and has had five ongoing relationships from just the period between Feb and Nov 2009. These guys text her almost daily on her recently discovered secret cell phone. She is trying to stop, but seems truely addicted to making/maintaining these relationships. In her SMS messages, she professes her love to all five guys. I agreed to not to not looking at the cell phone again, but jealousy got the best of me and while I was reading the new SMSs, she caught me. She says we are over because I looked at her cell phone. She often pulls the "we can divorce" bluff because she has fallbacks, and she knows I don't want a divorce. She admits she is wrong and is a "bad woman", but that she cannot stop. She tells me eveything will be OK and says, "we are still togther aren't we?" I still love her, have dreams with her, a 4 year old daughter, and can forgive her, though its getting harder. Is there hope for our relationship, especially as I will be deployed another year away from my wife? I have not had any affairs myself, and I know she sees ,e as dependable, reliable, and as a "good man". I just am at a loss as to what I should do. She also refuses to see any marrage councilors. Also, was I wrong to look at her secret cell phone?
Posted By: bjs Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 11/12/09 05:42 PM
I am sorry you find yourself here. Keep reading. You would do well to contact DR Harley and set up some counseling with him. I think he can help a great deal in the short time you guys have.

The one thing I can suggest is to work on yourself while you are gone. Not saying you have done anything wrong just saying that you can only improve yourself and your reactions while he is away. YOu cannot change anything he does while he is away.

Does he like any of the gaming systems? Do you have any of the gaming systems. ONe thing you can do is find some games that you both enjoy and then challenge each other on them from far away. Tell each other your scores.

Has he sent a No contact letter??

You can do this and you guys can be successful. Keep asking question.
Posted By: bjs Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 11/12/09 05:43 PM
Find some of Mortarman's posts. He has so much awesome information and did an awesome job.
Posted By: Soolee Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 11/13/09 02:00 PM

You were not wrong to look. In fact, it's advocated and encouraged here to do that when you suspect something, otherwise you have no idea what you're up against.

I agree to work on yourself while you're gone, hold true to your morals if you can, think of your daughter's best interests, and call Dr. H.

Posted By: Aphaeresis Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 12/06/09 05:44 PM
I wonder if military families are more vulnerable to infidelity than even families that are separated frequently for business reasons for one simple reason: the deployed person could die; the spouse left behind could be widowed. Affairs are escapism from reality into fantasy. Although my husband was discharged long before I ever met him, I can see how fear of death or fear of losing someone to death could make a possible affair more appealing. Don't mean to scare anyone, but maybe talking about these things before deployment would help people?
Posted By: Aphaeresis Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 12/06/09 05:44 PM
i am a us marine curently deployed to afghanistan. ive been married for 2 years to the love of my life and have a beautyfull daughter that was born just shortly before i left. i was dating my wife for more than 4 years before we got married. during the times that we had problems both from my side and some from her. before we got married i cheated on her but denied the whole thing. well while i was in san diego me and the other girl keept in touch via text i dont know why i did it i guess i just wansnt thinking. my wife caught me but again i denied everything because i was scared and dumb. while she was pregnant i saw that i love her so much and that i am such a jerk for not telling her the truth so i told her everything. i want to be a good father to my daughter and i want to be a good husband. well not to long ago my wife told me that she had been thinking and that she doesnt want to be with me anymore. i dont know what to do i love my wife i love my family i dont want to lose it. she told me about that stuff that i lied and that she doesnt know if she trusts me anymore and that she desnt feel the buterflies in her stomach like she used to when shes around me that the spark is gone. she told me that my temper is bad and that she doesnt want to deal with it anymoere. i told her i will take anger management and that i will do anything posible to make her fall head over heals in love with me all over again but she doesnt want to talk to me she told me to just call her to ask about the baby and thats it. i need any advice please i am desperate ive been with her my whole life she is everything to me. she also told me that maybe our marrige was just a mistake. but weve been through so many problems in our past its hard to belive that.
Posted By: Aphaeresis Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 12/18/09 07:15 PM
Exactly how bad is your temper? If you have gotten at all physical: hit her, shoved her, kicked her, thrown something at her - then it's over and you should move on. Take the anger management course anyway so you can be more successful in your next relationship.

On the other hand, if your temper was restricted to yelling and abusive language (be honest!), then maybe you've got a shot. You should read His Needs, Her Needs. Take anger management. Learn how to eliminate love busters (including abusive language, raising your voice.) Also learn about Plan A, trying to meet as many emotional needs as she'll let you and as is practical, given the physical distance. Expect it to be slow. At first, you might have to just settle for being as kind to her as possible when calling about the baby. The distance will make it tough so, assuming you haven't ever been physically violent, you might want to gently suggest that she postpone any irreversible decision until you can talk in person.
no i have never been phisicaly abusive to her. but i did yell alot and use abusive language. i know its wrong but i still did it and i dont want to do it anymore. it is hard especially since i have to concentrate on not getting killed here or getting anyone else killed. this is just added stress that i dont want at all and would do anything about it. i talked to her and i told her that i was going to stop begging and crying when i called her because i dont want to annoy her. and that just because im not it doesnt mean that i gave up because i will never give up on us. and i asked her to please not make any drastic choices while im gone. what more can i do? anything will help? thank you
Posted By: Aphaeresis Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 12/19/09 02:06 PM
Oh, in addition to His Needs, Her Needs, definitely also get LoveBusters. Maybe read LoveBusters first. They are both by the Harley's so you can find them on this site somewhere. I realize you may not get much down time but when you have it, try to read as much as you can. Also, talk to whatever military counselor you have out there.

It's good that you've promised to stop the crying and begging. Just be sure you stick to it. The idea is for you to become as attractive to her as possible, and right now the only way to do that is to always be pleasant to talk to when you're on the phone. And it's okay if you only talk about the baby at first, because the main thing is that you stay pleasant.

And I want to talk about the yelling and language for a bit. Many men don't realize that because of their size and because women know how vulnerable they are to violence by men, a man who is yelling at a woman (or especially a child) is much more frightening than he thinks he is. Add to that the fact that you are a marine. So be more aware of the effect you have. You've got to get a handle on this for not only your wife's sake, but your baby's also.

Until you can get into a good anger management program, there might be another book that could help, by a different author this time. It's called "How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You" by Dr. Albert Ellis and Raymond Chip Tafrate. Amazon has it here:;s=books&qid=1261230875&sr=1-1

Although I haven't read it myself, I'm familiar with Albert Ellis' Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy which says if you want to change your behavior or your emotions, you look at the harmful thoughts that are causing the emotion, and replace them with healthier (or as he says, rational) thoughts. Or in short, you learn how to gain some perspective.

In some cases, you can prevent yourself from becoming angry at all. Suppose someone cuts you off in traffic. If you think, "what a moron...I could have gotten killed!" well then obviously you will get angry. But if instead you thought, "well it would be nice if more people used their blinkers, but maybe it was a last minute decision, maybe the person doesn't know the area, and in any case I was able to slow down in time and everyone is okay" - then at worst you will be mildly annoyed but nothing more.
Posted By: SugarCane Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 12/19/09 02:38 PM
You should look in on your thread in MB 101. I wrote to you there. I pointed out that your wife is reacting to only having found out about your unfaithfulness AFTER she married you, and she is angry at that. If the unfaithfulness is not addressed she will have no incentive to continue this marriage with you.

It is a bad idea to have more than one thread open. Click the notify button and ask the moderator to combine your threads, and decide where you want to keep the single thread. Yours is a military marriage so it could stay here, but I still think you need the specialised post-infidelity advice that you would get on the Surviving an Affair forum. Decide which is the best place for you and then keep only ONE thread going.

Also, this is actually somebody else's thread, so you should not be posting your story and receiving advice on her thread anyway.
Hello, I'm pretty new on here, but I just wanted to pipe in on my perspective on the emotional abuse, yelling, put-downs, what not.

I had a boyfriend once who was a Marine who became physically abusive. The first time he stiff armed me, I forgave him. The second time he threw me head first down a flight of cement stairs and tried to strangle me. I threw him in jail and left him.

My husband; also a Marine, or was at least, is more of the emotional abuser, he will yell, put me down, try to belittle me.

I have to say that although the physical abuse was scary and painful, the pain from the emotional abuse lasts much longer; a lifetime, at least for me. There is nothing more hurtful; in my opinion than that, and it should be avoided at all costs.

For a while, I had encouraged my husband to try healthier ways of expressing his anger, like " I am feeling angry because..." or I am feeling hurt because.." or "it hurts me when..." instead of put downs and screaming. Really more problems got solved that way.

I'm not trying to say anything bad about Marines and I could never understand how difficult and scary it must be to be over there, but I have witnessed how stressful the job can be and know the pressures trickle down to loved ones. But, it's how the pressures are handled that make the difference. For a while my husband took a MMA (mixed martial arts) class, which really gave him a venue for his stress. I know that in Iraq; or at least the base my husband was on, they offer MMA classes. It might be something to look into if possible, at least just to relieve the stress.

Posted By: smileygirl Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 04/10/10 02:35 AM
Wanted to add this - found this on Mark's musings

Originally Posted by Eagle15
You might want to add a few things for Miltary types.

Do involve the military.
Do contact the chaplain and both Commanders.
Do ensure the CCs and First Sergeants are aware of their responsibilities to the military and you! Adultry is a chargeable offense under the UCMJ.
Do Demand that the military accept responsibility for their actions in stopping or not, and monitoring the waywards.

DO NOT worry about the WSs career. (Their career & problem)
DO NOT take or accept weakness or PC crap from the CC or First Sergeant! No beating around the bush. They are bound by the UCMJ and their military oath to take appropriate action, no matter how painful it may be for everyone involved.
DO NOT let the Commander or First Sergeant sweep it under the rug. Keep up the pressure, if it appears that the cover up is institutional, contact the local newspaper and TV outlets and drop a dime on the CC.
DO NOT allow the chaplain to talk you out of pressing the issue and charges.

Always remember the military is most concerned about the military member, the spouse is not part of the equation. You must make yourself a part of the equation.

Also in my case the threat of ectreme violence to the OP worked wonders as well as calling his CC everytime there was contact.
Posted By: RIF Re: Surviving Deployment and Infidelity - 04/12/10 09:30 AM
Hi MrsFaith, OftenDeployed, and usmarineinluv!

Welcome to MB... I notice that it's been quite a while since your fist and only posts..

If you happen to stop by here again, we'd love to have an update. I've been away from the boards for a long time but will make it a point to stop by more often...

Semper Fi,

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