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Dear Chump Lady, He told me not to tell

Dear Chump Lady,

I’m a 36-year-old military wife who found out my husband was cheating early last month (February). It began as an emotional affair with his assistant flight chief that later turned sexual. My husband as never cheated before. I was actually in total shock to find out he had.

We are in our 14th year of marriage with two children ages 9 and 11. I noticed that my husband became more angry, short and distant after taking on his flight chief position. It is a stressful job. He started to pull away more and became neglectful towards me. I tried asking him to spend more time with me and go on date nights but there was no outcome. I eventually let it go because I didn’t want to nag him. I figured once we move from this duty station, and he doesn’t have to do this job anymore, things will be better.

The OW (assistant flight chief) is also married and has two children under the age of 5 with her husband. My husband told me that OW’s husband is suicidal and has been neglectful of OW and their children. Basically, she wanted out of her marriage before she met my husband a year ago.

My husband told me that he began losing the intimacy for me a little before he started his affair. Once he had sex with the OW (twice, by the way, last month), his intimacy for me has really plummeted. She has sparked excitement in him because she is new. He told me he is conflicted between us. He told me that I’m the perfect wife and mother, but he needs intimacy. I have been neglected by him and he hasn’t even tried to work on intimacy. I’m the one who was constantly initiating sex and intimacy.

We are now in counseling. The therapist has not seen us both at the same time yet. I went this week by myself and my husband will attend counseling next week alone. The third week we’ll go together. I’m heartbroken and cry everyday. I feel our marriage has been good up until his new position. He even told OW that our marriage has been solid all these years when she asked.

I’m afraid to divorce and break up my family. My husband may actually do it before me because he is “alive” again from OW’s intimacy. He told me not to tell his commander and have them separated. If I do, he will lose rank, go under investigation and receive an Article 15. Basically, his military career would be ruined. Unfortunately, that would affect me if I decide to divorce him or not. He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.

I’m angry, depressed and every other negative emotion you can think of in a situation like this. He ask me not to tell anyone, not even my mother. Our marriage has been good up until this point. I’m scared and don’t know what to do. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 11 years and have nothing. Any advice would be well appreciated. Thank you kindly Chump Lady.

Sincerely,

Gee

Dear Gee,

He is threatening you. And it’s abuse. The whole shit show is abuse, but we’re going to start with the threats. And before I get into all the other advice, liberally sugared with eff bombs, I want you to understand — you’re responding to abuse. Because when you see it correctly for what it is, PROTECTING yourself makes sense.

Should we try to win abusers back? Go to counseling to ask ourselves how to improve to make an abuser love us? Share our feelings? Open our wallets and our hearts? NO. But sadly, that’s all the crappy advice out there when you’ve been chumped.

He is very invested in mindfucking you, so that you don’t wake up and realize the considerable power you have over him now. He’s also scared shitless that he’s lost control — over you and the narrative.

He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.

BULLSHIT.

He chose to fuck the OW and continue. He’s acted with full agency. You don’t MAKE him cheat — either with your fictitious inadequacies or by talking. He’s blameshifting.

But worse, he’s weaponizing your very real fear of being abandoned as a vulnerable military wife. This outcome you dread? It’s all your fault. You brought it upon yourself for getting uppity.

He’s written himself out of the equation. See the mindfuck? The only accountable person is you. All Bad Things you do to yourself. He fucks another woman? You drove him to it. He loses his job? It’s all your fault for telling.

He’s trying to colonize your mind. If he manages that, he won’t have to work so hard at controlling you, because you’ll stay in place quite nicely on your own.

The fears and the threats are real, however. He may well abandon and he’s absolutely continuing to fuck around. But you don’t control it. He just wants you to think you do.

My husband told me that OW’s husband is suicidal and has been neglectful of OW and their children.

Your husband also doesn’t want you to have allies. Boy, it would be a real shame if you told the other chump. Gosh, he might even KILL HIMSELF. And that would all be on your conscience, wouldn’t it? Oh, and while we’re spreading the bullshit around, I think you should feel sorry for the woman who is fucking your husband. The poor boo.

Take all of this with a small boulder of salt. It’s very common for cheaters to tell chumps that everyone in their complicated love rhombuses is unhinged and scary — and the only thing that sets them off, apparently, is you talking to them. They’re like little improvised explosive devices littered on the roadway to WTF Is Going On. So, ask at your peril!

More threats.

Gee, you have power. I want you to USE it. Protect yourself and your kids, and in time to tell the other chump. Get a lawyer, someone experienced in military law. You have a whole host of considerations when extracting yourself from this nightmare that require specialized help. But I bet many at CN have lived this and divorced military cheaters. I’ll let them weigh in.

I’ll speak to the universality of your chump experience. First, the thing that is wonderful about you — your dedication to your family, and your sacrifice to our country, being a military wife — he’s used against you. He fucks around with impunity knowing that your loyalty and your very real insecurity at having to move to new station postings keeps you vulnerable. Keeps him in cake. That’s despicable. Your values are beautiful. Don’t internalize his rejection. He shat on your gifts.

Second, you own your story. NOT HIM. If it’s not too terrible to do, it’s not too terrible to talk about. You control who you’re going to tell (begin with a lawyer, you already told CN). Don’t let him isolate you. That keeps you listening to one mindfuck channel, and it turns off all the voices of love and support who would guide you out of this.

This is not your shame. You may need to be strategic in the beginning about disclosure (again, talk to a legal professional), but once you’re past that? Sing like a bird.

Third, your husband will cycle through the mindfuck channels — rage, self-pity, and charm. Those threats he’s making are rage. Then he’s going to tell you how hard this all is on HIM. He’ll get in trouble with his CO. The OW has a sadz. Woe! And then he’ll try his creepy-ass charm and deign to go to counseling with you, to see if maybe, just maybe, he can love poor imperfect you. (Dance! Dance!) He’ll remind you that gosh, you had those good years and those beautiful kids, maybe you can make it work?

And you’ll be so racked with grief and fear, that you might reach out for that unicorn mirage…

Remember:

He’s the man who threatened you. Who weaponized your decency. Who gets off on your vulnerability and blames you for it.

Fuck him.

Talk to a lawyer.

TELL.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Military wife here. The military doesn’t do squat about infidelity. It’s rampant. He might get demoted at best. Article 15? I highly doubt it. He’ll also be assigned away from Schmoopie… if she’s actually working with him. I wouldn’t count on it.

    My daughter is divorcing her flight engineer husband. He’s not getting punished for a damn thing.

    See a lawyer and call his bullshit. He’s full of it… and he’s dangerous.

    • I’m also mid divorcing a military cheater. It is very hard to prove infidelity in the military to bring about him actually getting demoted read: you have to have proof of his dick going into her pussy which means you would have to have a PI in the bedroom taking pics. Not gunna happen. They’re innocent until PROVEN guilty. I wouldn’t worry about him actually losing his job, but maybe he would get demoted a rank and they would get split up. I sure wish my cheater would have gotten demoted and shamed, the 100 bucks less child support would have been WELL WORTH IT to get that grin wiped off his smug-ass face.

      Gee, I loved my military cheater and everything was wonderful! We had a sex life, two kids, a house with a pool and all the other stuff a “good marriage” lolololol has. It all went to shit in a matter of a few weeks. The worst weeks of my life.

      But listen to me—– Chump lady is right. He is threatening you and abusing you. Mine did the same thing with the threats that are thinly veiled under the guise of being repercussions of your own behavior to protect yourself……

      “He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.” Look at you Gee, based on your own behaviors you’ll be the one pushing him into the arms of another woman, it won’t be his choice, it will be you, protecting yourself will be putting the nail in your own marriage coffin. You see that? You see how he flipped this on you? NO. He put the nail in the coffin. Your actions at this point are in REACTION to his behavior! Whatever happens from here is NOT because of you, your actions are the consequences of his CHEATING, not the consequences of your attempt to protect yourself.

      It took me a long time to call bullshit because I couldn’t see how he was manipulating me. I started reading books about narcissism, personality disorders and manipulation and I read CL everyday and I started to finally see it- I can see through the bullshit a mile away and no one will ever play me like that again.

      Get a divorce lawyer that is experienced with military divorces (don’t forget your portion of his pension)
      Read books by George Simon
      Read Chump Lady every day- no fail
      Read the CL archives when you can’t sleep
      Tell her chumpy husband and refer him here.
      Find a new, fun, career.
      Reach meh
      Leave a cheater, gain a life.

      You’ve got a shitshow ahead of you but you will come through the other side. Huge hugs to you and your kids.

    • Gee, another military wife here. Collect evidence, no matter whether you reconcile or divorce. My ex kept me dancing while he “tried to decide” and ultimately chose OW (gotta love unemployed, non-American women in other countries who look out for easily duped, narcissistic military men. OW/new wife is from an Asian country). The ONLY leverage I had in the divorce–after 11 years of following him and the Army, he wanted me to walk away with nothing–was to threaten to show his commander his sex pictures with OW. Gee, that is the ONLY reason I was able to get a smooth, uncontested divorce from him. He was scared of what the military would do (real or not).

      Also, this SUCKS to keep in mind, but if he loses his retirement, you lose your piece of it. When I divorced, my lawyer told me that though there is no concrete law, 10 years of marriage is the general threshold judges use to give the spouses a piece of the retirement. You were a trailing spouse to that man for 14 years, you DESERVE your piece of that. It’s not the end of the world if you walk away with nothing–my ex fucked with my mind so hard, I ended up telling him that I would spend our entire savings taking him to court, and I meant it. It didn’t come to that, thank goodness. See sex pictures referenced above.

      Finally, my ex also asked that I not tell ANYONE about what was going on, the implication being that he would leave immediately if I told anyone, even my mother. And of course we were at an Army base far from where my family lives, so there was some isolation at play already. The result? I struggled to make sense of things in AGONY for several months. And guess what–when I finally broke down and told my mother, he was “mad” but did nothing (what’s he really going to do?). And my mother was an AMAZING help and support to me, and my absolute saving grace through the horror of divorce, abandonment, and infidelity. Talk to your mom, sister, best friend–as soon as you can.

      Sending you so much love from an ex-military wife on the other side.

      • I am long winded, so bear with me! I wanted to add that protecting your part of that military retirement should not be your priority. If he’s been in that long, he’s gonna try to retire, whether you get to take a piece or not.

        Use the fact that an affair could majorly damage his promotion potential/reputation/etc. as leverage if you need to. That was what I was trying to say above.

        Hang in there, Gee. My ex is a pilot too. I got the huge sob story about OW and her family too. There is a good life for you and your kids on the other side of this.

      • Thanks Liz C for the advice. Hubby retires in 4 years once we move to our next duty base in a few months. So, our next base will be his last assignment. I am strongly considering filing because I’m afraid of getting duped at our next base. He said if we don’t reconcile, he’ll be with OW in 5 years. I feel like they maybe planning behind my back. It’s hard for me to know if it is really true. Because he is so “matter of fact” about it, makes me believe they are planning to be together. My husband has never been of this character before. This is really sudden. I will definitely contact a lawyer this week. Thank you.

        • My ex seemed to change overnight, too. It really is blind-siding. Mine and OW had lots of plans–even to have kids together!

          Meanwhile, he was telling me they were “just friends” that certainly had never had sex. But, her horrible home life did bring out the “rescuer” in him.

          Unbeknownst to me, he and she were in contact and making plans the entire time…long before I even knew my marriage was in trouble. Straight on through the marriage counseling, and then more openly after I found the evidence. Protect yourself and those kiddos. And read here religiously…it is amazing how much these cheaters all use the same playbook.

        • Please, please leave and file. The thing with the disordered is most of the time you don’t see it until they are done with you. He is done with you and you deserve so much better! It seems your husband is setting you up for the fall. He can tell you that he never promised to end things with OW, blah, blah and he gave reconciliation a shot just didn’t work for him. He has no intention of reconciling but for some reason it is in his best interests at the moment to make you think he wants to reconcile. His mouth is saying one thing, actions show otherwise. You are only 36 years old. Don’t waste another second on this piece of garbage.

          • Yep, Gee…when they are DONE they are DONE. My cheater XH recovered from a horrific illness, insisted we renew our wedding vows…I thought we had a very happy marriage and five months later I catch him at the Econ Lodge fucking the ugliest thang on earth. He went from my bed to hers within 24 hours and never looked back once. They are truly disordered pod people.

            I’m happy to see other military wives weighing in here for you.

            • Yes Chimptopia! The OW could pass for a man in my opinion if she had a short hair cut. I saw a picture of her. I told husband that I was offended that he cheated with an ugly woman. Every time I go out, men hit on me. My husband mows this. I remained faithful and always looked forward to us growing old together. It really is shattering.

              • One thing we Chumps do is try to find a reason to blame ourselves for the cheating: too fat, not curvy enough; too bald, hair in all the wrong places–it doesn’t matter. Cheaters cheat because they can. Look at the celebrities who’ve been cheated on!

                And even if the AP is the most gorgeous/handsome thing on the planet, well, it’s still a downgrade.

        • Ex-military wife here formerly married to a Lt Col. He is mindfucking you. You MUST absolutely listen to CL. Don’t worry if you “push” him into the arms of OW. My ex married his skank. I absolutely assure you, life is so, so wonderful without the POS that I was married to for 30 years. The military won’t represent you. So you’ll have to get a civilian lawyer, one who knows military law, but take marriage assets out of savings RIGHT NOW to pay the retainer. I pulled $10K out of our assets to pay my lawyer. Whatever it’s going to cost, take it out immediately to pay your lawyer, and do NOT tell him till the lawyer has been paid. Let him worry later about getting that money back out of joint assets. That is NOT your problem. Additionally, do NOT move out. Let him move into temporary quarters. Do NOT talk to him about what your lawyer is going to do or not do. You MUST refer him to your lawyer and say that you’ve been instructed to let your lawyer handle everything. You WILL survive this and YOU will be glad someday when he’s gone and you are not dealing with mindfuckery anymore. It will take time. It took me 4 years to realize that I was so much better without him in my life, but honey, I’d MUCH rather be alone the rest of my life than to ever have that dick in my life again. And when you’re divorced, you MUST go no contact as much as possible else you’ll take much longer than necessary to heal. Good luck!

    • Retired military wife here. After 28 yrs of marriage my stbxh cheated with a Howorker in the civilian world. Long story short…..you have to be married 15 yrs plus of active duty service in order to retain some benefits……the biggest one is part of his military retirement for the rest of your life. If you are close to that mark look at legal separation versus divorce until you reach that milestone.
      You have been a stay at home mom and moved frequently…..me too so guess what….alimony!! Look and if the state you are in is a fault state. That gave me LOTS of bargaining power with a permanent separation agreement. He did not want divorce under adultery due to his security clearance.
      I also heard the OW’s husband beats her and if I told he would hurt her….well I told and he is the nicest guy ever.

      You have ALL the power, find a lawyer and use it. You did nothing wrong.

      • I was also told that the OW husband had been controlling and abusive. My response was that an abused wife would be too afraid to ever risk an affair, and a controlling husband would be too difficult to get an affair by in the first place.

        When I later learned that she had a cheated on her husband before with a different man, my husband responded that she explained that she was already separated from her husband at that time, but still living in the same house in separate bedrooms. He even knew that she was dating someone else. I called bull on that too. An abusive, controlling husband would never tolerate living separated but under the same roof with an open marriage. That’s ridiculous.

        Gee: Always beware of the sob stories told by cheaters about how hard done they are by their spouses.

        Get ready to hear some really bizarre accusations from your husband about how horrible a person you are, even though he is now smoothing you over by all his talk about what a great wife and mother you have been. Once you show him that you’re not falling for his bullshit, you are going to see the Jekyll and Hyde performance of your life. It’s almost comical if you weren’t so traumatized by it all. The sooner you put a lid on this, the less the trauma. Dragging it out in hopium will take a huge toll on your mental and emotional well-being.

      • 28yr chump, I’m also a veteran. Got out when my 11 year old was born. We decided it would be too difficult for both of us to stay in the military. I’ve been a stay at home mom since. I did get a degree in the medical field. I’m going to work on my certification right now so I can have something to fall back on.

        My husband told me about the OW’s husband being suicidal before I found out about the affair. He apparently checked himself into the mental hospital on base. He’s out now. I don’t know the OW or her husband. In this state, I can sue the OW for alienation of affection. She would have to pay me alimony as well. Thank you for the kind words and advice.

        • It’s hard to verify anything that’s part of protected health information, so it’s ripe ground for lies and half-truths. This is how cheaters get away with lies – if you can’t “prove” it, then the lying cheater retains power.

          The cheating OW’s husband may have been heavily gaslighted into feeling unsure about reality. He may have been having a crisis that required help but may not have actually been suicidal. It could have happened but been totally unrelated to her, or your husband, or you. Impossible to know for sure what went on there for him.

          The main points are things like how your husband’s cheating OW’s husband isn’t within your zone of influence and how you aren’t the one lying to him and betraying him. Nothing you do can result in you being responsible for any choice he might make about his marriage or his life, etc.

          (I realize your choices will likely result in actions on their part that will impact him, but that’s true for lots of people.)

          One of many ways cheaters try to immobilize chumps is to keep knocking them off center with odd tangential stuff to keep them too distracted to get their ducks lined up. Don’t be derailed. Review the advice you get here, choose the path that feels right, and start taking action.

          Also, know that you can re-evaluate and choose a new path at any time, so you don’t have to wait for perfection to start.

          Just my two cents.

          • Cheater and I were also both on active duty. I stayed in the marriage for several years longer than I wanted to because of the military rules (federal law!) about spousal support and retirement benefits.

            Gee, please listen to the military and formerly military folks, and give their advice more weight than someone who doesn’t know how the military works. The rules really are different.

            The elderly nun who ran the Catholic school did NOT understand when I tried to explain. She saw the short term: mommy can be home with the kids. (It didn’t occur to her that we’d be living on canned beans in my car, while trying to find a job, housing, and affordable day care.) I saw the long term: make nice until the golden parachute opens, THEN walk away.

            Yeah, I got to eat shit sandwiches instead of canned beans until the day I could walk away with decent benefits. But for me and the kids it was the right decision. Cheater knows how to live so that he is always penniless. I had to go after the assets I knew he couldn’t deny me and the kids: the retirement check and benefits.

            Plus, because I qualified, he was forced to pay for the Survivor Benefit Plan for me. It comes right off the top of his retirement check. Make SURE that’s in your divorce decree, even though he won’t retire for several years.

            The upside of all those shit sandwiches is this: When it came time to walk away from the marriage I had already almost reached Meh. I had survived disbelief, dancing, guilt, heartache, anger and numbness. I was well prepared to get on with my life.

            Best wishes to you. You’re a survivor too.

          • If I was OW’s husband, I’d be suicidal too. I believe my cheater tried to drive me to suicide when he left me. I was pregnant, alone and caring for our not quite 2 year old. He would come home under the guise of seeing our son when in fact he would ignore our son, and spend all of his time verbally and emotionally abusing me. I sprained my ankle once carrying our son in our yard. He happened to have stayed the night out of convenience as he went to a party near by. I was 8 months pregnant and couldn’t get up. I screamed for help. He did help me, kind of. He literally “mosied” over at an extremely slow pace toward me, stopping to investigate something on the ground while I was screaming in agony. He helped me to the deck then dropped me, forcing me to crawl up the stairs and on to the sofa. I was crying in pain and all the while, he decided to make an omelette.
            That is just one example of the cruelty I endured BEFORE I found out about the affair. (He told me I was nuts and that’s why he left me). These people are out for themselves and I have no doubt that he tried to drive me to suicide to make his life easier. I was in the way, and killing me outright wasn’t an option. If the husband is suicidal, she’s probably the reason behind it. THIS is the type of person he’s threatening to leave you for. Leave them to be with each other’s disordered selves. Or else you may find yourself in the same mental situation as the OW woman’s husband.

            • IslandChump, FUCK THAT NOISE! Your ex didn’t deserve a place at your table, much less in your whole life. Please look forward and put that shit in your rearview mirror. Hugs to you, and please do believe you are Mighty!

        • Veteran who’s also a healthcare professional here:

          A few things to consider:

          1. Those who talk to you, talk about you. Wonder what your husband is telling OW about you.

          2. Perhaps her husband is suicidal, so she handles this by fucking around?? With her boss??! As a mother with young kids??! Who is taking care of them while she fucks your husband? ‘Suicidal’ husband???!

          I smell a rat.

          • Yeah. I think ow is making it up or embellishing her husband’s sanity to have ‘reason’ to cheat. She’s probably pretty manipulative herself. And she knows that these lines will prompt your husband to ‘feel sorry’ for her and ‘protect her.’ Her husband may be ‘crazy’ because she’s a cheating, manipulative skank. Sounds like the OW and your husband are perfect for each other.

            Get away from these fuckwits. They aren’t living in reality, but in a web of lies. Don’t cover up for them and become codependent yourself

            • What is saddening is that she is even using a husband’s suicidal thoughts against him in this manner. Even if I hated a person, if I thought they were suicidal and that my actions would hurt them further, I would never act. Yet, this woman is carrying on an affair Absolutely shameful.

      • Wrong – unless he’s retired and elected survivors benefits plan when he dies so does his pension! You’re only entitled to (up to 50%) of his pension if he’s collecting it! Better off listening to career military on this – you can’t talk to a military lawyer – they don’t ever work for civilians!

        • It’s not that one-sided. If the retiree has a qualifying spouse or ex-spouse, the retiree must enroll in the Survivor Benefit Plan and pay the premium. The only way out is for the qualifying spouse/ex to give written permission, in front of witnesses.

          Beyond that the rules get complicated, because they address a wide variety of situations. The military personnel office or retiree affairs office is where you should go to get more information.

          • My ex retired many years ago. He was very controlling and got a paper regarding SBP from an office on base and brought it home and demanded I sign it so he could retire. I never went into an office before witnesses , but I agree that I should have had to. He cheated me out of this. It’s the spouses right to this plan and only they can sign it away. I don’t know how they accepted this paperwork from him, but they did.

      • Pretty sure that you only have to be married for 10 years to get half of military retirement. Another former military spouse here. I’m so sorry, Gee. The mindfuck is real. Listen to chumplady. Hire an attorney. Tell anyone and EVERYONE that you desire. I’m a fairly private person, so didn’t want to tell anyone. Three years later, if you ask what happened to end my marriage, I don’t even care if I know you, I’m just going to say my husband got a girlfriend.

    • I could’ve busted my ex’s rank for trading his family for a subordinate. They didn’t even have the decency to ship the storage unit full of our stuff to us across the nation. I had been a housewife, having to start all over again with not much of an education. My kids were 4,6& 8. I had to live with my parents for a bit. I had to deal with low paying jobs that snatched up my weekends and nights. Throw the fecking book at the man whore and his shmoopie. Make noise but do try not to be slanderous about him to the kids. Be truthful but try not to be emotional about it to them. Their father is half of what they are made of. Make it so they love themselves the best you can. Love yourself enough to stand up and walk away. Cultivate your new life. Let his conscience deal with the suicidal chump. Not yours to be burdened with. Be well and take care of yourself. ❤️

    • You’re all leaving out the most important thing- if he’s fucking a subordinate he’s jeopardizing the mission big time – (this must be the AF) and the other team members are going to feel he can’t be trusted and act accordingly! With 20+ years Army I know what I’m talking about. This shit can get people killed!
      Unit cohesion has been destroyed – if his commander knows about this than his career could be over too! You tell him to end this affair NOW! If that aircraft crashes and this could be the cause then they’res going to be he’ll to pay – if he won’t report himself ( the military is always easier of you seek help) than you’re going to have to do it – you have to think of your kids and the kids of the other crew members! I’m not kidding here – this shit is flat out dangerous! THINK! You must act if he won’t!!

      • She can tell him to end the affair, but he won’t. She needs to leave and file for divorce. I think other team members of the AF should report the affair as I do not believe for one minute no one else is aware of this relationship.

    • Hello, I’m a former Army JAG Officer (Army Lawyer) and former military wife.

      1) If your husband is not an officer, he’s NOT going to be kicked out of the military. Period.

      (And most officers would not be kicked out either, depending on rank and other factors, but that’s not relevant at this point).

      Still, there’s no point in reporting him because the more promotions he gets, the higher his pay AND YOUR pay is.

      2) You are entitled to a portion of his military pension once you have 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of service, as well as support before then. That’s federal law. Even if you don’t have that much overlap time, you still will get support. That’s military law. Period. (I get half of my wasbands because we were married the whole time he was in the military.)

      3) See a JAG officer ASAP and take their advice. If you are not impressed with the JAG (whom you’ll see for FREE) then see a different one before paying for a civilian.

      4) Your husband – if there’s any chance he’s a unicorn, will NOT resolve this in your favor by your pick me dancing. Show him how “great” life is without a good wife and kids following him around the world and giving him a family.

      Good luck and keep posting and see a STRONG pro chump therapist.

      • PS

        Yes I joined the Army for the DOCTOR and then got out after 5 years, for the DOCTOR and family.

        If I had a time machine, I would do things very differently. All we can do now is take it “From this day forward” and in the words of a Holocaust survivor whom I heard speak:

        “vow that you will do everything humanly possible to be happy”. I used to think that meant save my marriage but it was not salvageable.

        IF the marriage were salvageable, it sure wasn’t by my pick me dancing. The more I forgave, the more I enabled. I should have cut him loose years ago. Who knows? Maybe there would have been a different outcome.

        But I cannot unknown or unsee what I have come to know and see now.

        So I’m keeping my vow to be happy, and I accept that my happiness WILL happen and my ex will not be a part of it.

        Lesson learned.

        • Couldn’t have said it any better! I’m an Air Force chump. My civilian wife had an affair with her civilian supervisor. Wish I had had CL’s book at the time! That’s the only thing I will add. Read the book and follow CL nation.

  • Contact a lawyer ASAP. Find out your rights. Tell the OWs husband. He has a right to know that his wife is cheating on him. Who gives a rats ass if the Military finds out about his affair. Your husband choose to cheat and so did the OW. Why should you care about their wellbeeing? Did they care about you when they screwed each other???? Your husband is scared shittless right now. He doesn’t want his years in the Military to be affected because he choose to screw his partner. The ball is in your court now run with it. It is not your job to protect your husbands reputation or his job. He chose to cheat let him deal with the consequences.

  • Never believe then tales of work that they tell about OW and her difficult marriage. Never allow that nonsense to stop you from doing what is best for you.
    I lived teo decades with an abusive, unloving cheater (who lived to rescue women in bad relationships). He was horrible, yet I never once cheated on him. The OW rescuing the OW from her troubles is the cheater’s kibble. He probably fancies himself Captian America in his imagination.

    • It’s really unbelievable that cheaters attempt to get you to feel sorry for the OW/OM. Maybe if we pity them, we won’t break them up?
      Poor Pookie had a thyroid problem and only the Worm could rescue her…
      Don’t for a second feel pity for your husband’s AP. It may be hard to believe now and it may take a while for you to get to a place where you are grateful, but you will feel gratitude towards her eventually.
      She took a Worm off your hands!

      • @WormFree, gratitude toward the OW? How long did that take you? I am far happier without my X and soooo glad I’m not with him, but I cannot imagine ever feeling anything but disgust and disdain toward that Skank. How does it happen?

        • Fwitfree. The two are not incompatible. I know the 2nd OW, who galvanized me to kick Cheater Narc out, is a terrible person. I know very litte about her, except that she cheated on her own husband, breaking up her 3 kids’ family, then hit on my obviously married-with-kids now-Ex. She later left him, too, for another man. Twice.

          But I’m still grateful! She did me a huge favour. I put up w/WAY too much crap from him, for way too long. My kids also benefited from having him out of the house, although his abandonment was awful for them.

          Even terrible, disgusting people occasionally, accidentally, do some good!

        • Hi FWitfree. It took a while after I left the marriage. Actually not terribly long…..I had freedom, I was stress free, I started dating again. Then I met and married the man I had always hoped to meet. He treates me like a princess and still walks me to my car every morning, opens the door for me and kisses me goodbye. It’s been two years!
          Had it not been for the Worm’s behavior and the OW, I might still be stuck in Wormville. The whole clusterfuck was a blessing in disguise!
          I’m sure you will get there too. Actually, I know you will get there!

  • There’s a legal office on the military base, call them and explain your situation.
    Your husband is afraid you will contact his commanding officer and making up reasons
    why you shouldn’t. Talk to him anyway, they take pride in their squadron. The squadron commander will appreciate your call and will give you advice on the options you have available.
    The military frowns upon affairs between members, they don’t want sordid affairs that distract from job performance which would reflect on the commanding officer.
    I say call the base legal office then the commanding officer.

    • Get the lawyer with military divorce experience first – make the other calls when you’re sure it’s in your best interest to do so.

        • A lawyer with military divorce experience is still a civilian lawyer. They just have experience negotiating military benefits, child sharing issues, etc.

        • As a former military lawyer I DISAGREE. I represented several spouses and service members. Never once did I put the soldier involved ahead of my client. My client comes first.

          Period. The only reason she may not want to tell the commander is b/c it MIGHT NOT be in HER interest.

          If she divorces him and he gets kicked out – which is only possible if there are a lot of factors such as fraternization (the OW is active duty, yes?) then she loses health insurance, housing and at least temporarily she loses access to income.

          Divorcing him and NOT telling about the affair may be the best option. Like a win win and let him have his “newness” fixation.

          That’ll wear off. But no one should cut their nose off to spite their face.

          It’s all about what’s best for HER. That may mean not telling.

          There are times when it’s best to cut a cheater loose, and get the most for your kids and self.

      • Traffic_Spiral I’ll seek out a JAG attorney this week. They will tell me what rights and benefits I have. I’ll also have to get a civilian attorney as well. They both will work together for the best outcome. The military part of a divorce has to be sorted out properly. Thanks for the advice.

        • As FLchump said, a military attorney can’t represent you, but a civilian attorney who is very familiar with military divorces is your best bet.

    • I’m not sure about this ….military legal office really meant to help military members, staffed by junior officers to work on wills and taxes. Again my experience is that military promotes this shit up, and the commander is trying to protect his own ass.

      • Another post-divorce military ex-wife. I’d step carefully, get to the 15 years; a pension later is WORTH it. As to the repercussions, it really depends on the commanding officer/commander; they do protect their own, but some of these career concerns are real, or could be. No way to know ahead of time, though I’d lean on the “Pfft, won’t care side,” myself. JS

        The other thing, sweet, scared wife, is that your marriage is already over. Any SAHM/W is terrified at this point, as you are. You have to get your mind wrapped around the new future-it takes a while, but I’ve found that you get acclimated quickly. Getting mad helps, & you aren’t po’d enough yet.

        You need a good lawyer. One that practices in a town near a military base might be your best bet. Research, shop. Talk to some. They are expensive & are too expensive to counsel you, but they can protect you. Write grocery checks cash over the bill & stash every cent. Hide money. Whatever.

        Actually, the full force of the military & his fears for his career might be your best bet, no matter what. Blow it up, burn it down. Document, document. Your life as you knew it is already gone. Let’er rip…as soon as you hit 15 years.
        Spend from now til then getting ready.

        PS The “one” that was the focus (among many, bless the OW’s heart-she had no idea she was in a crowd) disappeared during the divorce. They often do, & new gf’s don’t hurt as much-you didn’t “lose” your stbx to them. It really gets easier, even the scary bits.

        • Phi Slama Jama Mama in a few months we would be celebrating 14 years of marriage. I do know the military has something called 20/20. It’s when the non military spouse has been married to the military member for 20 years. They receive healthcare, half of the pension, access to other military benefits and base amenities.

          If we can’t reconcile, I would not waste anymore time with him to make it to 20 years. Once we leave our current duty station in a few months, he’ll retire in 4 years.

          Right now he is talking somewhat. My goal is to find out more in counseling then go from there. In the meantime, I’ll seek legal advice. Thank you for the advice.

          • My goal is to find out more in counseling then go from there.

            Respectfully, what else do you need to know that can’t be resolved with a lawyer or your own private therapist? What do you still need from your husband at this point?

            Again, I’m very sorry you’re going through this. I know it’s very hard.

          • It is always best to seek legal advice before you tell your cheater what you plan to do.

            Once you know your rights and benefits, then you can form your plan. Make sure you have a best/worst case scenario in mind.

            You alone can decide whether it’s beneficial to wait 18 months or so until you hit the magic 15, if that’s a factor. Heck, I waited longer while I lined up my financial ducks.

            But waiting was a huge strain. I couldn’t let my Cheater know that I was planning to file. I wanted him to remain lost in his affair fog so that he (or Schmoopie, who was very much interested in his bank account) would start thinking about divorce.

            I wanted the divorce on my terms, which meant having a strategy for the financial settlement. I lived in terror that they’d break up only AFTER he’d emptied his accounts for her. After all, there was nothing to stop him from liquidating all of his retirement if he truly wanted to do so.

            Anyway, go see your lawyers and go from there.

            Best of luck!

          • Gee find out if it’s 10 or 15 years before you’re able to collect 1/2 of his retirement. I thought it was 10 years.

            • This. In my state, it’s 10 years. I, too, waited and silently lined up my ducks. As a military spouse, there is a lot to gain/lose. See several lawyers, covertly. Make a plan. Do not tell him what you are up to. Do not talk to his coworkers. You have rights, even if he thinks you don’t. Find out what they are in your state. Find out if you can file in your state of legal residence if the state you are stationed in has laws that are not favorable to you.

          • Gee….10/10/10….. benefits for a few years….. not sure how many. Good luck! You will find support in unexpected places, and be disappointed in others.we’re here.

            • Ok….WTF….I can’t find it at the tricare site. I was sure when getting my 20/20/20 paperwork in ( which took Months,) that there was also 10/10/10…..it’s only been 6 months since I did this. Either it has changed, or stress has fried my brain. Anyone?…. also, I’ve been thinking….with all this talk of military retirement…..it’s a factor in a lot of civilian divorces also….IRA’s 401(k)S, TSP’s….. bottom line is divorce is expensive, but you will rebuild your life. You are way younger than some of us, and you deserve better than this. Whether alone, or cherished by someone new someday……show your kids you and they are worth it.

            • I believe you receive benefits and 1/2 of his retirement until you die. A friend o mine who divorced her cheating, Air Force Pilot received.

              Friend of my Cheater, both “nice guys.”

          • Former JAG (and chump) and military wife here.

            The 10/10 “rule” is a STATE issue, and not all of them mandate that it’s shared. In some states, they will look at other assets, community property and equitable distribution rules vary. In other words, some states -like CA – say that once you hit 10 years, you are in a “long term: marriage” and thus, more rights and for longer – accrue. Some states then look at all possible retirement pensions as divisible assets, including the military.

            **Remember how Tom Cruise filed for divorce weeks before his 10th anniversary with Nicole Kidman? She was planning a party for them…

            The 15 years (of overlapping time married and serving in the military) is federal and you get SOME temporary medical benefits (Tri Care) whereas the

            the 20/20 year rule, which is also FEDERAL (does not matter what state you live in)

            and with that, you get medical care for life as long as you are unmarried . You also get half the retirement as long as you remain unmarried UNLESS you are 55 or over.

            If you divorce and your husband retires later on, you will get the proportion of his time in, versus your marriage (so if for example, he somehow got to 24 years of service, and you had 12 years of marriage, you’d get half of the half of overlapping time – ie 1/4 of his pension but only WHEN he starts getting it.)

            My sister was married to a pilot for 13 years and he retired at 20. So for the 3 years in which he was active duty after their divorce, (and he was not retired). she got temporary alimony for 3 years – and then got nothing until he retired. Then she started getting 1/3 of his retirement, which she gets for life. She lost the medical coverage, but she’s okay with that. IN HER DIVORCE DECREE she was able to get 1/3 of his pension for life REGARDLESS of whether she remarried so it is possible to get that under some state laws.

            But if you only rely on the federal guidelines, you’ll only get part of his retirement until if and when you remarry. (Try to get it for life since you earned it.)

            In my case, since the DOCTOR bailed on our family after I had turned 55, the single good thing about that is I do not lose the pension even if I remarry, (in any state).

            It offends the shit out of me that I’d have lost it at any age, after 35 years of marriage, because of remarriage. He loses nothing by remarrying but I lose income?? WTF??

            I earned the fucking pension! I do not see it as a generous helping hand from Big Brother meant to last until if and when I find another man to “take care of me”.

            But I digress.

            1) Yes see a JAG as it is free, and they will NOT “save the soldier” and mistreat you. That’s a myth – you’d have to get a real jerk JAG Officer for that to occur and I never met one like that. I was Army so…

            (The only wife I ever did not feel like helping much, was one who went batshit crazy on me within minutes of us meeting. So I referred her to my boss.)

            2) the Civilian lawyer – in most states you will eventually need to hire a civilian lawyer to actually represent you in state court. (The local lawyers want the business so they lobby in most states to keep military lawyers out of their backyard. AND OR the JAG may have been transferred and is not licensed in every state he/she gets sent to.)

            However, MANY/MOST civilian lawyers know nothing about the military and retirement. If you hire one near a base, it helps but look up their ads in the yellow pages (online) and ASK THEM if they have represented military spouses.

            My ex screwed me out of a few thousand because he was too busy to sign a form to keep me on Tricare (which I’m legally entitled to be on) when he replaced me with schmoopie as his wife. I got mediocre legal representation and I’m aghast at how subpar most of the civilian lawyers I’ve interacted with have been. Compared to military lawyers, I’ve had pretty disappointing experiences.

            See the JAG, ignore the threats from your husband, and please tell your mom and close friends what is going on.

            So your husband acts matter of fact about his “possible” future plans with Schmoopie?

            Then he has those plans. I’m sorry. Do I think he’ll regret it? More likely than not.

            Hey I deeply loved my husband. I was faithful and really excited about our retirement.

            I would NEVER have predicted the behavior I saw in him during our divorce. We have had no contact since, and he is clearly fine with that as he has done a total discard.

            No contact with 2/3 of our kids (rare calls and 4 hours with the youngest) in 3 years…. and that’s so fucked up I STILL cannot believe what I just wrote.

            But here is one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned. Even if my ex became a unicorn and showed “remorse” and promised transparency and WHATEVER ELSE, (especially a pre-nup b/c I’d never risk my financial security again)

            I cannot unlearn what I learned about him, and I don’t want to be a marriage policewoman. The idea that I’d completely trust him again seems crazy but for ME, the crazier thing would be to remarry and then have to check on him. Gross.

            I fell in love with him when I was 19 and for all of my adult life, I loved him.

            Realizing that it was truly over and that the future I planned AND worked my ass off for, was not to be, brought me to my knees.

            But I got up, dusted myself off, and eventually began to move forward. You are decades younger than me.

            That’s a gift. If I could go back in time I’d toss that man out and dramatically increase my chances of finding another good guy out there, and NOT have wasted another 12 years of my life trying to help ease ex’s constant restlessness. In a way, I was pick me dancing for half the marriage.

            Ugh…

            I’m sorry for what you are going through and I know it’s a nightmare.

            My advice is to get your ducks in order and do NOT drag this out.

            Life is so much shorter than you may realize.

            • Doctor’s1stWife & Kids: I’m not military but am going through a hellish scenario that has brought me to my knees time and again for 8 months. Am 57 with a 12 year old who has special needs. I really*really*really appreciate what you wrote here – my own personal fog rolls in regularly and I stumble around in it only to realize I’m actually stepping in his shit. So, thank you. And all the CN Survivors. Just today – I was so proud of myself (thanks to the REALITY CHECKS I read here daily); I rewrote my custody agreement; took it from an “enabling-accommodating-I’m-the-Supportive-One-in-this-Affair-Nightmare” document, to a Carry Your Weight with YOUR child, you POS. Chump Nation helps keep me sane. Every. Single. Day.

    • Military spouse here. I went to the base legal office. They can give advice, to the service member or the spouse, but they won’t represent either party. I didn’t feel that they were looking out for him. The lawyers I talked to seemed impartial and, frankly, like they’d heard all of this many times. I got good advice about dividing his retirement accounts and some ideas for civilian lawyers with experience in military divorces. The base legal office is a good place to start, IME.

    • I would get a civilian lawyer first before (maybe) going to the military. Military protects its own. They might kick his ass, they might protect him, you don’t know. Bottom line, the military’s gonna put their interests first, so make sure you prioritize your own.

      Get a lawyer who’s 100% on YOUR team and do what they say.

    • Only call the base legal office as a LAST RESORT! Try to keep this local – if the base commander gets involved theirs going to be a shit storm – and your husbands career will definitely be over! If anything get the base Chaplin’s office involved – just take action – carefully. Always remember military wives are the rock that is the foundation of our military – and you’re one of the rocks! Don’t ever ever think you’re worthless – you’re the opposite – priceless! Your nation is proud of you!

    • I went to JAG. They reviewed my situation and assets, told me that they couldn’t represent me, but absolutely insisted that I get a civilian lawyer ASAP. Gee, while you still have dependent status, get counseling. It’s free to you now. And believe me, you need counseling.

  • He’s trying to emotionally blackmail you, his job, your mother, even expecting you to feel sorry for ow’s husband.
    He seems quite callous.
    He threatening you, he says he ‘ll leave and be with the ow.
    Their careers are there problem not yours.
    It’s a pick me dance.
    Its your choice, counselling only works, if he’s truly repentance, I don’t think he is.
    You deserve better.
    Affairs are common place in the military.
    They fucked up, it’s their problem not yours.

  • I just want to give you a big hug and say I’m so sorry. You have a long road ahead of you and it ain’t going to be pretty but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your story is similar to mine in some ways. We tried counseling for 7 months but it turned out about 3 months into it he was already back with the OW. (Took me the other 4 months to discover it.) I am glad I tried though because then I was really sure that I was done. I was relieved, actually, because the trying had been so hard. Stay diligent and don’t let him make you feel guilty for checking up on him. Best wishes to you and your kids. Be true to yourself, be mighty, and listen to your body. It tells you a lot about what your mind is afraid to tell you.

    • ANewWoman he told me last night that he is conflicted between us. He is not sure if we can work because 1)he regrets hurting me and is pained by hurting our family. 2)has strong feelings for the other woman and loves her. He doesn’t know if we can recover from this.

      Yesterday he told me he was going to the store and was gone almost 2 hours. When he got back he said he needed to drive and clear his mind. That’s why it took so long. He may be talking to the OW or still seeing her. I feel I just can’t trust him anymore. Thank you for the support. I take your advice.

      • At this point, until I got legal advice, I’d probably stop asking after him and instead focus on the other aspects of your life.

        I will say that the whole business of being conflicted is a bunch of bullshit, if you think it through. If he truly loved you, he would not be fucking his subordinate. If he truly loved his subordinate, then he would come to you, tell you that he is no longer in love with you, and offer you an honorable and generous divorce package.

        The fact is that he actually doesn’t love either of you, but he does love himself. He’s worried about his image over all. If you divorce him, he’ll look bad because he will be known as a cheater who broke up his marriage sleeping with a subordinate. That will also give him a temporary black mark. Remember, if OW is truly worried her husband is suicidal, she won’t pressure your Cheater to divorce you. She won’t rock the boat.

        He’s hoping that you won’t rock the boat either. That’s why he’s telling you that the affair is your fault, that if OW’s husband commits suicide, it’s your fault, etc. Remember, you control only you. He controls his own actions and he’s made his own choices.

      • Why do you still want to be with this man? He is playing you….HARD. He shows you his loyalty and the loyalty he has to his family each and everyday by still being with the OW. Trust your intuition. If you think he is with HER, then HE IS. TRUST YOUR GUT. Protect yourself and your family.

        Also, get an STD test now. She is probably trying to sleep her way to a promotion…so this probably isn’t the first married man she has slept with.

      • Believe me…when he takes ‘two hours to clear his head’ that’s code talk for he is seeing the OW. He’s conflicted?! Of course he is, that’s what happens when you fuck strange. I don’t think you have anything to work with here. My cheaterpants XH would tell me that he was ‘confused’ but swore he hadn’t had sex with schmoopie yet. Bwahahaha. After I caught him red handed I also found the emails between them and they had been slagging for a long time. Confused my ass. Liars and cheats and thieves !! Be sure and tell schmoopie’s husband too. He has every right to know just like you do.

        • “Conflicted” is code for biding his time to get HIS ducks in a row. You need to get YOURS in a row first, And take care of yourself in the meantime. It’s brutal but you can do it.

      • he told me last night that he is conflicted between us.

        I’m infuriated he even said this to you. It’s so disrespectful. Conflicted? WTF? He clearly doesn’t care.

        If he really regretted hurting you, he wouldn’t have done it in the first place, let alone keep doing it. Unfortunately, his word means nothing. This guy is a liar.

        I saw you mentioned up-thread that you still wanted answers from your husband in therapy. I understand the feeling, but I would refrain from doing this. You can’t trust anything he says. Everything he says is a manipulation meant to keep you isolated and under his control.

        Plus, you don’t want to tip your hand at anything. His bullshit remorse act (which he can’t even act very well) will turn to rage as soon as you don’t fall for it anymore.

        I would focus on gathering your support team around you. You won’t get it from him.

      • This just triggered a memory for me how mine would take SUCH A LONG time doing things during Wreconciliation. I since realize he would be seeing her, but even if not— What the hell. Not a good sign unfortunately.

      • The 2 reasons he gave you are BS.
        If he cared about how much he hurt you he would be willing to take responsibility & do the hard to change his ways & devote himself to helping you recover from his abuse & not hurt all children involved!
        Its all about image control & getting what he wants!
        It sounds like he read the same Cheater Manuel as other cheater to get those reasons!!

      • What is conflicting him right now is weighting the pros and cons of leaving you to be with the OW. He knows it’s going to cost him dearly to leave (financially and image – this isn’t about actual love anymore). He’s used to you and the life you’ve built. There is predictability. That’s what he still derives from you and your home.

        But, what he really wants is the fantasy of the OW, and believe me that what they have going on is completely out of la-la land. He’s afraid to take a chance on that in case it doesn’t work out and he’s left alone with neither cake nor icing. That’s what he’s really afraid of…ending up with none of it in the end.

        You see it’s all about him, not you or even her. It’s his entitlement, his happiness, his ego that is at the centre of all of this.

        Marriage counselling at this point is going to be nothing but a mindfuck. I wish I realized back then how over five months of marriage counselling turned out to be all one big lie on his part – that was really soul-destroying.

  • How selfish! He does all that for “excitement?!” Sick. Wrong.

    Please listen to CL! The problem isn’t you. It is his lack of character and abuse.

    (Also, don’t let those counselors pin this on you. You are not ever responsible for his sinful choices. They are 100% his.)

  • Tell your mom and tell your friends. You will need them.
    Beware of counseling – my marriage counselor tried to normalize exhole’s behavior.
    He’s “scared” that you’ll tell? People. Already. Know. His coworkers know. Don’t let him put that on you.
    You need to protect yourself and your kids. You need a lawyer and an individual therapist and a support network of friends and family.

  • Don’t you just love how the people who have no consideration for you always demand that you have consideration for them? Oh, no, I wasn’t willing to give up my chance to pork my ho-worker just because it would hurt you, but I do expect you to give up your chance to hold my feet to the fire for it.

    Different cheater, same story. I’m not going to protect you from the hurt and pain it’s going to cause when I cheat, but you better protect me from the consequences of it when I get caught.

    And as already suggested, tell the ho-worker’s husband. He absolutely deserves to know and she deserves to get caught, too.

    • And as to that depression, you don’t know how true it is, most likely not. You only know his/ (her) story and they are both skillful liars and deceivers. Secondly, even if true, it’s still not your responsibility because you didn’t cheat on anybody and if he’s so depressed, his Good Wife should get him help, including emergency psychiatric help if he’s suicidal.

      Your husband is really something and I agree he’s seriously scared of consequences judging how he threatens you with left, right and centre. So, you’ll break up your family, get him fired, push him into OW embrace, break up her family (two children under five) and kill her husband. Disgusting blame shifting. Even more disgusting is his demand that you carry your pain alone, without support and compassion of those who love you and care about you. No understanding,empathy and compassion for you, it’s all about him and his concubine. Revolting.
      Hugs …

    • is it not incredible that they lie and keep secrets that once discovered, you are also expected to keep the lies and secrets, secret?

  • Yes! Please take Kintsugi’s advice. I’ve witnessed the same with military.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if OW husband is “suicidal” because of his wife’s cheating history and emotional abuse.
    Cheaters are Liars and always play the victim.

    • Drop her, use the money on a lawyer, and get individual counseling to recover after the divorce is filed.

    • It could depend on the base or squadron on how serious they take affairs within the squadron between married members. As someone posted earlier if a plane crashes and there’s an investigation and they find out these two lovebirds were working on the plane it could result in serious trouble for the commanding officer for not being aware of their affair and not taking action to reprimand.
      It wouldn’t hurt to notify the base commander especially if the commanding officer doesn’t take action.

      I was married to an Air Force pilot and there were high ranking officers having an affair with a female pilot. It was well known within the Air Force not only the base where my ex was stationed. High ranking officers were leaving their wives for this female pilot. Not sure what her talent was other than flying but she was quite popular.

  • Another military wife here. I agree with the previous poster that the military usually does nothing. One of my biggest regrets was not telling the OW’s husband that his wife was cheating. I had been told that he was abusive and suicidal, and that if I told him he would probably kill her and then himself. I didn’t want that on me, so did and said nothing. I was lied to, and from the sounds of it, you were, too. Get a lawyer, protect you kids, and let him have his cake. He will choke on it. Promise.

    • Yup, I got that BS too. The OW’s husband was abusive and unstable and if I contacted him, he was going to go off the deep end and kill all of us. The picture he painted was very scary and I bought it. When the husband finally got in contact with me, he turned out not to be a monster. How shocking!

  • Same story, us as a Chumps we must stay strong to continue living without the cheaters and abusers, no need to explain what is obvious they just do gaslighting to is to shift their blame.
    Stand up, stay focus, center a positive mind for you and your family before things get more messy, your kids are and will be 1st priority for their well being.
    0 contact, let lawyer do the job for you and your kids best interests.
    Tracie’s book is so far the best to read and to follow!!!

  • Gee, so sorry you have to be here. I second the seeing a lawyer but remember to keep it quiet at first. If you can move 1/2 money into a separate account BEFORE he knows you know, and make sure you have some cash stashed before he knows as well. Hide all important documents just in case as well and copy or have access to bank statements etc.

    Its tough but you will be glad you did. It’s hard in moments of anger or overwhelming sadness when you may want to vent to him but remember you are talking to a wall, it’s better to put you energy into protecting yourself. One thing for sure from what I’ve seen, you are not alone. BTW, BS on him loosing intimacy “just BEFORE” OW. Right. Take care of yourself. Lots of water and get some healthy food down even if you don’t feel much like eating.

  • CL’s advice is spot on as usual! However, I would recommend a civilian lawyer with experience in military divorce to start. There may be valid reasons to hold off on filing in order to gain benefits or other advantages – be sure you understand all the impacts before disclosing it to the military. Once you let that cat out of the bag, you can’t go back. Please do not get me wrong – I am not suggesting that you keep quiet. Just that you are fully informed about your rights and are protected.

    His blameshifting and attempted power plays are reprehensible. What a dishonor to to the others who are sacrificing time away from their families to serve our country. Shame on him and his wandering dick!

    Protect yourself first – then sing like a bird.

    • Wish I had found CL sooner than I did, would have save me so much heartache from getting lost in the spackling, and pick me dancing.., believing he was just going through a phase, he’d snap out of it…,
      Glad I eventually found CL or I might still be waiting for him to snap out of his phase.

  • Before you do anything, get a lawyer. Talk to them first and make sure you have a solid plan and stick to it. They will know how the military works and what are your best moves.

  • “Basically, she wanted out of her marriage before she met my husband a year ago.”

    Oldest story in the book. No cheater wanted out of his/her marriage enough to actually leave. Instead, they pathetically claim this after-the-fact to try to justify cheating. Because, you know, cheating fixes marital unhappiness.

    Bullshit.

  • I highly doubt the OW’s husband is such a fragile bunny that you need to keep your husband’s secrets. My ex told me his schmoopie was mentally unstable and he himself threatened suicide multiple times as well, these threats are a really great way of manipulating decent people who care about others. That kind of manipulation is abusive.

    Take a breath, call a lawyer, even if just for a consult. Your house is on fire, your husband is sloshing gasoline and tossing matches. You need to protect yourself and your kids, financially and emotionally.

    This is going to suck and hurt, but you are so strong and you can get through this.

  • Clearly his fourth mindfuck channel (chaos) is on…

    He’s getting off on all the centrality. Time to turn his T.V. off, unplug him from your wall and remove his T.V. brand and model from your home.

  • Your life and and your children’s lives will be hurt and even ruined if your husband loses his career. You can’t collect child support and alimony from a man who doesn’t have a job. No-fault divorce is legal in every state. Just file for it, find a job, get a good settlement, and get on on with your life. There’s no point involving yourself in his mess anymore. He will be forced to give you a good settlement because you might expose his secret otherwise. There’s nothing to save here. Betrayal kills a marriage. I’m very sorry because I know it is so painful, but the sooner you remove yourself from a dysfunctional situation, the sooner you can start having a sane life again with your children. If you have family who will take you, move back in with them until you get on your feet. He will have to pay alimony, child support, and give you half of everything. In a year or two, you and your children will be okay. More than okay. You won’t be okay if you stay with a cheater. You will feel shame, anger, and resentment for the rest of your life.

    • Gee,
      I have not read all the responses on your post topic today, but I read your story, twice. Twice because it hit home to me in so many areas.
      The “NOT” telling anyone part, it grabs me in the heart.And the blameshifting!
      I am an older Chump and I did NOT tell anyone.
      I won’t go into my ordeal, this is your story.
      Please please dear sweet lady, do what CL, what experienced CN members, tell you to do.
      Thank God, there is a CL, CN here for you in your desperate time of need.
      Also, go to the forums. Love, acceptance, understanding, kindness, as well as expert advice dwell there.
      It was never your fault.
      CL is so right about all the channels cheater/narcs live every day of their life and blameshifting screams out in your letter.
      Do NOT live the rest of the days of your life dominated by BLAMESHIFTING!
      You and your precious children deserve much better.
      You must escape. Do NOT listen to him.
      Keep strong, above all, hold your head high. YOU.DID.NOTHING.WRONG!
      💯per cent STOP The Blameshifting.
      I come here to reach out to new Chumps, to tell them I know the pain first hand.
      It can get better for you.
      Please believe in yourself as you read what other experienced Chumps tell you, preach to you, from their world of experience and knowledge.
      I feel so passionate about this, and send you many many hugs. ((((((((((((Gee)))))))))))

      • Oh and Gee, tell your Mom, your closet friend, like ten minutes ago…ASAP,
        It will be painful for them because they truly love you, but oh the feeling of relief, of letting go, will be tremendous for you.
        Hearts that truly love are open 24/7 and want only what is best for you.
        Let them embrace you.
        ❤️You go girl!

    • I agree with Tuna. I’m a (soon to be former!) Military wife as well. I could have destroyed his career but then I knew he would get nastier and I would lose insurance and alimony. The insurance was incredibly important to me since I was barely pregnant with our second child. It’s been little over a year now and Im glad I didn’t tell his command. I’m guilt free, did not have to deal with the huge hassle of trying to prove his affair and dealing with his vindictiveness.

  • He is a bullying you. I am year out from some of what you’ve gone through although reconciliation was never on the cards (wreckonciliation I mean). When we spilt it was Mr nice guy. I found out his affair. Then things changed. Can I just warn you that just last week and more the fool me for being part of this group and letting this happen, totally out of the blue he took £10K out of a joint account which we were supposedly closing (long story) telling me the settlement from last June was too generous (we’re not married hence why not legally binding). I have had a year of petty bullying and apparently all the issues are around my reaction. How I will react is the problem. I was the cause of the affair and I need therapy and need to take good look at myself. It’s not what he does it’s how he reacts. So now he’s cheated on me and stolen from me but if I react (and boy did I react I was hysterical last week and my daughter saw) then it’s on me.

    Everyone on here will tell you wants cake and eat it. The minute you deny him anything he will become vile so get clued up by reading here so you know what you get is not you and boy will you have it coming to you through the 3 mindfuck channels and what he will say to you will be more hurtful than anything he has done now but you can minimise that by getting out and not listening as it’s all bullshit designed to lower your defences and make you feel bad.

    The one thing I can tell you, is somehow it will get worse. Lawyer up, move any money you can. Then move. Don’t believe one word that comes out of his mouth. I hate to say this but I am living proof. And mine was a ‘really good guy’. Listen up friend because these people are horrible xx

    • I was married to one of those “nice guys” too – but wow did the mask slip once I found out the truth.

      A word of caution to the OP & Others: I found that people in my support circle who also bought into the “nice guy” image actually gave me pretty bad advice, and made me feel worse, not better. I was told that he was just in “a fog,” that he “really” loved me, that he seemed like he wanted to stay in the marriage/family, etc., and had people suggest that things couldn’t have been as “bad” as I was describing (actually, things were much much worse……). As a result, I wound up in “wreckonciliation” and wasted months trying to make a selfish, entitled jackass “come to his senses.” I have (mostly) forgiven myself for the shame & embarrassment I carry about that, but I don’t think I will ever forgive him for the cruelty and abuse I endured.

      The friends who were truly helpful told me he was an ass and that I deserved much, much better. Surround yourself with those kind of people not the ones who are fooled by the “nice guy.”

      • ^^this^^ I too was married to a nice guy. I heard the same advice, and the “you must have done something,” “it takes two,” that doesn’t sound like him…, they had me questioning myself and the reality of who he was at home and it wasn’t a nice guy.

  • Stay the fuck away from anyone who tries to manipulate you into keeping it secret that THEY are hurting YOU.

    I wish I’d spilled the beans about my skanky cheater, but I “protected” our relationship by keeping her deeds hidden. Boy was that ever stupid. Had I told the story in real time, I’d have come out way ahead; instead, only after I’d given up did I break my silence, at which point she was already spreading lies about what had happened.

    Do like Chumplady says, and en-mighty-fy yourself.

  • I was never a military wife so I can’t give you advice on that front but I can tell you this: They all lie about what will happen if you “tell the other betrayed spouse.” While I was in wreckconciliation and doing the pick me polka like crazy I was told not to tell the OW’s husband because he “had access to unsavory characters whom he could pay to hurt/kill my ex.” I guess her husband worked with prisoners or something like that.

    Anytime he felt like I was getting too vocal about what he did he would levy thinly veiled threats about leaving. It was all an effort to keep me dancing in perpetuity. Sound familiar? This sort of stuff keeps you off balance and not telling anyone keeps you isolated. It’s all part of an abusive cycle that doesn’t leave physical proof like bruises.

    After we divorced, I sent the OW’s husband three printed emails that showed the timeline of their affair. No “unsavory characters” visited my ex. The end result was that her husband decided to cut the his soon to be ex wife out of his life for good.

    Like CL said. Visit a lawyer who specializes in military divorces pronto; file as soon as possible and get what you can while his head is still in the clouds with visions of schmoopieville dancing in his head. Don’t tell him about your intentions. Just do what you need to do. When you get your ducks in a row, then by all means sing as loud as you want. And that includes the OW’s husband. He deserves to know but you need to take care of yourself first.

    For right now, tell your family. You will need their support. It doesn’t have to be your whole family but maybe a sister or a brother. Feeling like you’re alone in all this is one of the things that sucks the most.

    Check in here too. Chump Nation has your back!

  • You may be wishfully thinking that if you comply with his request you will be able to save your image of the marriage and happy little family … but I am afraid they are already gone. Reality is that your children need a parent to model courage and character, and to show them how commitment works, and their dad is already derelict in that duty. The advice you are being given is good: see an attorney and speak truth to power. It’s all on him to act like an honorable man, and so far he is demonstrating that he is no longer fit for that duty.

  • Military wife here going through divorce. I, too, tried to date night thing and let it go (definition of insanity). A few years later, he deemed me “mean” and “unappreciative” so he felt entitled to find greener pastures (ok, technically more orange pastures at a certain breastaurant).

    Depending on the branch of the military, there should be a regulation that entitles you to “family support” once you separate residences. In the Army, for example, it is AR 608-99. It serves as interim family support until a divorce decree replaces it with an order for child/spousal support. I didn’t wait for my (civilian family law) lawyer to ask for that – I just told STBX and invoked the regulation number (you can go to his CO if he doesn’t pay).

    Don’t let him silence you! You will need support. You will need to be able to share your story with your inner circle of support. His self-absorbed choices made it your story.

  • This does NOT get better. It gets worse.
    Once you cave in the first time, he knows that he’s got you right where he wants you.
    He’s controlling you with his lies.
    And remember everytime his lips move, he is lying.
    Get a good lawyer & tell anyone & everyone that will support & carry you through this bullshit storm.
    It’s definitely one of the hardest things you will ever go through. But you can get through this with the support that is out there if you ask for it. But you have to ask for it. Speak up, seek advice from those who can assist you & live an honest life. Read CL daily. It will be your lifeline to a healthy state of mind.
    Lies & secrets will crush your soul.
    (((Hugs)))

  • This just made my blood boil. You have nothing to work with here, your husband is a piece of shit. I’d be very worried about keeping his secrets as you have no idea what he is planning. Divorce the creep, tell everyone!!!! Protect yourself and your kids. Whether it works out with the OW or not should not make any difference to you. He has checked out and will just find another woman to replace her….you are yesterday’s garbage to him. He hasn’t left you yet as he still needs a place to hang his hat until he & OW have sorted out their game plan. Yes they have a game plan, please do not make it easy on them by going along with their agenda. The OW’s husband is not suicidal….totally made up so you won’t tell.

    • Adding to this- I agree it is probably a lie. However if the OW’s hubby is truly suicidal it is probably because his wife is a lying POS who is, no doubt, gaslighting and blaming him for her cheating. Gee might help set him free with the truth.

    • Agree — things always get worse if you don’t tell. I didn’t know about CN five years ago (my first D day).
      I kept quiet because he had breached an ethics code and I was worried about my children because it could be published. I thought he had made a mistake yada yada yada. He became much smarter and stealthier. This is what I regret because I wasted those five years by staying. Thought I was doing the right thing but I just kicked the mess five years down the road. When I finally told, my parents said we would have encouraged you to leave if we had known. The isolation and stress I felt really impacted my health and happiness. Follow all this amazing advice here and tell a friend or family member and then get a lawyer pronto. I am now a big believer of one and done. Hugs and best of luck to you!

  • Former Air Force wife here. My ex husband left me while he was deployed in Saudi Arabia. He showed up once to move his stuff out and I never saw him again. The first counselor I tried out wanted me to try to be friends with him. But who wants me to be friends with somebody who lies to me and cheats on me? So I dumped that counselor immediately. I told my close Circle of Friends and my mom.

    I Held off on telling his Commander because I wanted to wait until the right moment. That right moment appeared after I had evidence of the affair and my ex would not negotiate on the things I wanted in the divorce and tried to get full custody of the dog. That’s when I use the threat and that’s when he finally gave in. It’s all about the timing. Some commanders won’t do anyting some will. My ex-husband’s would have dealt him the full brunt of what they could because they abhored cheaters

    First go get yourself a lawyer and then start rebuilding your life on your own without your husband. Get a resume together and get a job. It’s a lengthy process and it’s a brutal one but you will eventually be okay. We have all been there and done it. You will be okay.

  • “He told me not to tell” is one of the many ways the cheater makes the problem *your* reaction to what he did, rather than his *actions*.

    He devalued and disrespected his loyal wife and blew up his family for “excitement.” No matter what BS he tries to throw out at you to keep you in chaos and blaming yourself, this is who he is.

    I am so sorry you are dealing with this, but hope that you take comfort in the support and advice you will receive here.

  • Dont believe the story that the husband is suicidal. My ex wife lover told his wife that I was abusive and had multiple restraining orders. I just laughed in disbelief. I couldn’t believe my ex said such a horrible thing. I was almost more crushed by that lie then the actual affair.

    Even if he is suicidal it might be the wake up call he needs. I know the constant gaslighting destroyed my self esteem and I went into deep depression. When I finally learned the truth I was able to restart building my life

    None of this is easy. But adultery is a crime, whether the law says so or not. Exposure and shame is the proper punishment for having these two raping your soul.

    • Oh yes, they lie and they will say anything to make themselves look better. The reunification counselor my kids see talked with fuckwit first and then with me. He has since told me that if he hadn’t talked to me, he would have thought I was an unfit mother based on fuckwit’s descriptions. Fuckwit told him that I was mentally ill, crazy and whatever. I think he described me as someone who would just start screaming profanities at people without provocation. R.C. now says he thinks I am a wonderful mother and my kids are the picture of excellent mental health. Fuckwit on the other hand…

      • It is so true that you cannot believe anything that a cheater would say. Remember when you thought your cheater would be faithful? And then you discovered the affair? The cheater kept it secret by lying to you the entire time. You cannot trust their word about anything, and especially not about the Affair Partner.

        Here’s an aftermath of my own story.

        CheaterX and Schmoopie married a few months after I moved out of the marital home. Schmoopie apparently started threatening divorce within 6 months, and started laying out her groundwork to her friends and colleagues by telling everyone that CheaterX was cheating on her–with me!!!

        When I heard that, I just laughed. The gossip who told me asked me if I’d been in contact with CheaterX. I told her that I had better things to do than talk to someone who was so stupid that they’d cheated with Schmoopie over me.

        Anyway, the moral of the story is that Cheaters always tell lies to justify their cheating. After all, if they told the truth, they’d have to face up to the fact that they’re not Poor Sad Sausages but really crappy people.

        Gee, your husband is lying to you and you know it. You’re both in counseling and he’s absolutely unrepentant. He’s told you that you’re losing the Pick Me Dance.

        You have nothing to work with here.

      • Agreed. They lie. About nearly everything.
        My cheater also told everyone that I mistreated everyone: him, kids, his family, his friends, and his employees. He did this to justify his actions. He claimed I was the abusive one.
        He went so over the top that he claimed abusiveness against his employees. I saw them only once at a Christmas party. There was not one incident that would warrant this description. Just a year ago, we threw a major summer party for his employees and I chatted with everyone, showed them around the house, opened up my bedroom for two nursing moms… yes, totally abusive.

        They lie.
        I tried for 6 months to reconcile.
        He used the time to set himself up nicely in a new house.

        • I found out through my hairdresser that the Twat was telling everyone in the Whore-Bar that I used to beat him up when he came home from work! Thankfully I just burst out laughing I was so stunned!

  • He wanted excitement? He is about to get more than he knew.

    And of course these asshats tell the sad sausage tale of the OW’s dysfunctional marriage and how they see themselves as the rescuer. All OW’s who “want out of their marriage” must be fucked, dontcha see.

    But what does Gee’s story read like? Her high flying dickhead husband is a walking stereotype, taking up with flight crew. Ignoring her. Treating her like an appliance. Putting his kids’ family on the chopping block. Telling her that SHE is the one with the problems here. Threatening her if she dare take action.

    In his ideal world the boring wife would simply move to the spare bedroom so she can take care of those pesky kids and keep hearth and home while he moves the OW right in. I know that sounds ridiculous, but he has offered no actual solution on how HE is going to make this right but has put it all on Gee. He is alive! you see. And Gee can shut right the fuck up about the course of her own life.

    Yes, tell. Tell everyone. Let them have each other. I guarantee if Gee does the hard shove he will suddenly change his mind and start hoovering. Don’t ever let him back in.

    • I totally agree with you and that spare room. Yeah, walking stereotype, just one of many little, petty cheaters. The only thing that kind of stands out is his demand not to tell anybody so he and his concubine won’t get separated. So now she’s responsible for him continuing to fuck schmoopie as well. Really!

      • I disagree about the spare room. They want you to sleep in the broom cupboard, since we no longer have big fireplaces to sleep in the ashes like Cinderella.
        ((Gee)) I have no better advice to give than what the military ex wives have given you. Just heaps of hugs.

  • He lost intimacy just before he fucked OW? Bullshit. He lost intimacy as soon as he even considered fucking another woman and who knows when the first time that might have been.

    He’ll have no choice but to be with OW if you tell? He’s already with OW so there really is no difference there.

    I don’t know what the ramifications to you might be for telling his commander. I agree with others and look for a lawyer with experience in military family law to help you navigate that side of things. You might be able to use the threat of disclosure to get a better settlement.

    Mine also made me feel like he was doing me a favor for deigning to go to counseling to see if it might be possible for him to suck it up and stick with me instead of running of with the women “who means the world” to him. I gave him the gift of an opportunity to reconcile and he threw it back in my face. What an idiot. Let him have his OW. It is the best revenge you could get on both of them.

    Mine also didn’t want me telling other people and made me feel like the one betraying him when I told my Dad when I went to him in a fit of despair and in need of comfort after DDay. I didn’t call a lawyer right away because I didn’t want to be the one betraying him. It’s humiliating to think back on that now. Don’t let that happen to you. You owe him nothing. He is the one who broke trust. At this point you are just protecting yourself. If he complains about telling anyone, the proper response is “Life sure is simpler when you don’t go around doing things you don’t want others to find out about”

    • I like that statement “Life sure is simpler when you don’t go around doing things you don’t want others to find out about.” I am going to need that when I start to tell my family about his OW and lies. Thank you.

  • Gee,
    In this world there is room for only so many unicorn chasers. Don’t waste your life fighting for this kind of space. In the end it is just a waste of your future, dignity, money, sweat of your brow, good examples for your children … and the list goes on. Ask me how I know.

    My own sparkledick used to get angry with me and I was always so confused. Adultery never crossed my mind, only job stress.

    If only I had come across Chump Nation and Chump Lady’s wisdom and insights after sparkledick’s very first “anger season”.

    Read the mighty stories here (there was a wonderful session last week), listen to Chump Lady and in no time you will be so thankful for your children that you got rid of this pile of shit. Believe us: he WILL NOT change. He is dangerous. Your dignity and a good divorce lawyer go a LONG way. Freedom is precious.

    Like the chump in the movie Roma says to her children: “we will live an adventure!

    • Job stress. Yes that’s what I thought too or rather, in our case, I thought it was the stress of changing careers and moving across the country. It just never occurs to us that when our partners were being jerks it might be because they were angry about being kept from shiny new kibbles. That thought never occurred to me. After DDay I thought his begin a jerk preceded the affair and actually believe that he must have been really unhappy with me and that is why he cheated. Later I found out about Schmoopie 1.0 which coincided almost exactly with the point at which my marriage really started to go downhill in ways I could not ignore. Before that he was just a minor jerk but I believe now that even then he was embroiled in at least one emotional affair with yet another woman. Now I associate spouse begin a jerk with spouse cheating and when others describe that behavior I immediately think cheating. It isn’t stress, it isn’t a rough patch in the marriage, it is someone being a cheating douche.

      • Chumpinrecovery, I now firmly believe that EVERY SINGLE TIME a spouse is getting angry over something the other spouse just can’t relate to (e.g., money spent on groceries being treated as though we had just come back from buying a $5K handbag) they are blameshifting and smoke-screening their fucking around deeds.

        I remember sparkledick making me feel bad and guilty about buying good olive oil (with my family’s health in mind).

        Gee’s letter today and her feeling threatened by that jerk made me so damn angry. I hope she leaves him in the gutter.

        • Spot on. Their rage goes hand in hand with their shame.

          Gee, I know you think all this is new, but the chances he’s messed around on you before are about 99%. Cheaters cheat. This is just the first time you’ve found out (probably because he’s with one who has the same (lack of) ethics and values, i. e. she’s happy to ruin her marriage too.

          Please do tell family, but only the ones who will 100% support you leaving him. You do not need anyone in your life who is part of the RIC. This will only delay leaving and cause many more problems you can’t even begin to imagine. Now that he’s outed the game part of this has begun. He’ll relish in the circus he’s created.

          You’ve got to get this idea of him being a good guy out of your head. It’s going to prevent you from moving on, and it could really cause issues with wreckoncilliation. You don’t want any part of that.

          You say y’all are about to move. No, he’s about to move one place and you’re moving to another. Don’t go to the next location with your abuser. I’m sure you’ve heard of psychopaths taking their victim to the next location and offing them. Yours won’t physically kill you, but he’ll kill your spirit and that’s enough.

          • There is something about cheaters (maybe it is a narc thing) that has them uprooting significant others/spouses/family to another state and then they dump them…..that always puzzled me.

            • Isolation. Move the abused away from any family, friends, contacts they’ve made and now the cheater is the only person to turn to (especially when the abused refuses to tell). Cheaters (or narcs, they’re one in the same) (Gee’s sounds covert, but that’s neither here nor there, the only difference is the covert take longer to recognize) can have their cake so much easier when the abused chumps are isolated.

              • Could be right. Easier to dump someone away from home base where the partner may have family & friends support. Plus the narc may feel they can manipulate the narrative in their favor to mutual friends/relatives if they are not in the same vicinity.

  • As a former military wife, she may have to bite the bullet on this one. The military protects its own, and proving that he committed adultery will get swept under the rug. You will have to provide a ridiculous amount of proof, and the “proof” will get lost if you reports it to the command. I saw this happen all too often, and that’s one battle that you will fight alone, and his command will back him to a fault. They’ve invested a too much time, training and money into him. They will protect their investment. And, if you’re not careful? Will make your life hell in the process.

    If a civilian court finds him guilty, he will be demoted and will have to take a loss in pay. His pension could be at stake as well. If you’re a SAHM, then you need to weigh this carefully. If you need the money, it’s better to get a no fault divorce. Get the book “Married to the Military”, by Meredith Leyva. I was married to a marine for 17 of the 21 year he was in. I got half his pension, ONLY because I hired a former JAG lawyer,

  • Not military but I had the same scenario. I was never afraid of my husband until he met that OW. Then he got distant, I wasn’t exciting enough, lied and hid money and just glowed with his sexual ego in full play. She also played her victim card and her threatening husband (because she was cheating on him! ). Anyway, the hub I loved disappeared forever. She didn’t make him a better person, that’s for sure. My biggest mistake was not accepting what happened right then. I kept thinking he’d snap out of it. And he didn’t. So don’t delay protecting yourself. Get the papers. Know where the money is. Decide where you want to live. Definitely tell his mother. Stop protecting him. Telling the commander or other husband only if it serves your purpose. I’m so sorry, sweetie. Big hugs to you. But take action and stay moving in a forward direction. I was not working either when it happened but I’m doing great now. In fact, once I let him go my life right sided itself pretty quick. Go. Be free.

  • I was told mine was just having an emotional affair and so we were going to counciling and “trying” to work it out. It was a mess, and while I was being quiet and keeping his secret he was using this time to really get his story out there about my affair and how crazy and unhinged I had become. People seen me I was jittery and losing weight. Yep I was the one ruining the marriage. He was pushing my children (15 & 16) to leave me and move in with him behind my back. The damage he managed in 7 months was huge. 20 years of marriage and I was the one to be destroyed in his mind, this was my own fault for sucking as a wife and mother. I was also a SAHM and scared to death of what would happen to me and the kids.

    The only thing that saved me was one day he came home about 4 months in and told me he does not love me enough to do the heavy lifting and fix our marriage. The next day I went and filed for a divorce and status quo. I did not tell him for several months about filing for the divorce, got my ducks in a roll and finally started to watch his actions. Yep caught him!! The affair was physical and had never stopped. He tried to take money out of the retirement account but I had already put a status quo on the account and he could not.

    Mine got violent and I got hurt, so our divorce was quick and just split down the middle and my kids did not get any schooling or medical help after 18, so I advise going no contact as soon as possible, work with the lawyer. We may have not got as much as possible from him, but we are happy and doing well, just us three. I am 4 years out and my kids are in college and I am happy to be out and free.

    My Ex married very soon after the divorce was final, but not OW, I guess there was a #2 that I did not know about, I would bet OW did not know about her also. You do not realize how much chaos they bring until you are out and no contact.

    As it has been stated often, it is going to be hard and hurt like crazy but getting out will save your sanity.

  • Mindflayers tell you what they fear.

    He fears disclosure: to yout family (because you will receive support), to OW’s husband (who may beat the snot out of him and seek support from his family), his commander (professional consequences) and of course – he DOESN’T want to be with Schmoopie without you playing handmaiden to HIS feelings.

    Screw that noise. At the very least, consult an attorney who knows the ins and outs of military divorces. I hope you’re not in Texas where historically military spouses got screwed (is it different now?).

    Best of luck to you.

    Dump the mindflayer.

  • You have to be realistic. Your husband is an officer which means the military has spent a great deal of money on training him. If he is demoted or gone the military loses money. I say always follow the money. The only way you are going to have any say so is being loud and proud. Get your legal ducks in a row and then make a lot of noise. No threats, just run your mouth. Everyone may believe that you are the reason he cheated but that doesn’t matter just keep going. Do not not go under and let him walk all over you. The #metoo movement got off to a good start and you are ONE of the reasons why we need to stay vocal.
    It has taken me a loooong time to accept that we need universal healthcare. It’s going to take a lot of tweaking because it’s going to be expensive but no mother should ever have to worry about the health of her family when going through a situation like this.

    • Isn’t there a military law against fraternization, Officers aren’t permitted to date enlisted?
      This used to be considered a serious offense, not sure if it still is.

      • This was still a really big deal, as far as I was aware, when I was married to an Army pilot. That was 2016.

  • I live in Jacksonville, FL–home to two naval bases We have divorce lawyers here who specialize in military divorces and can help you navigate this. I’m betting wherever you do does do.

    The best thing I did was tell my tale. It helped me get support to get through hell. I don’t advocate silence, but if you want to be on the safe side, talk to a lawyer first.

    You will end up in a better place.

  • 26 year Navy Rio wife……the culture of cheating is rampant. His commander is probably cheating too. They will do little about it, but even if they do? You’re EX will still work and be made to be responsible. All the above advice, and look up 10/10/10 spouse ( I am 20/20/20) it should give you health benefits long enough to get established. He will not stop cheating…. the culture at his job revels in it. He’s just sorry he got caught. Take charge now. You can do it…..CN is here

    • Please don’t sign up for the pick me dance. 15 years ago the DICK said ILYBINILWY. It never occurred to me he had already been cheating( that box of “souvenirs” was huge)… thus began the pick me dance. I got smaller and smaller trying to keep him happy and do what he wanted.

  • Former military wife here too. (It’s dirtbags like the cheating fuckwit in my story and Gee’s STBX that give the real military heros a bad name…)

    Anyways, my advice here is echos CL – get a lawyer RIGHT NOW. Don’t tell your faux-husband a damn thing. Make it crystal clear to that lawyer that you have no support system at this duty base and you need to be able to move back to where your family/support system is. Putting that as the first fighting point was the smartest thing I did in my divorce, because cheating fuckwit did all he could to keep me and Little Red trapped in a state where there was nothing and no-one for us. The guardian ad-litem and my lawyer really focused on the support system necessity for small children and the judge agreed.

    The support system is needed for small children and also FOR YOU. Use whatever leverage you have to make that happen – threaten to share with his CO (I wish I had but chumpy me didn’t…), his co-workers, his family, whoever. You should tell them all anyways, but at the most opportune time for YOU. He’s turned your love and kindness against you and unfortunately you have to play his game, so turn his fears against him.

    This will be a fight but you have all of CN behind you. You can do this.

  • Gee,
    1) You’re clutching so hard to hang on to him because your self-esteem is rock bottom. You really have all the power here. It’s time to use it.
    2) Don’t listen to anything he says about the OW’s husband. I told the OM’s wife, and he told her I was a crazed, jealous psycho who was blaming him for our marital issues.

  • Do not believe anything he says, everything he says is about controlling you, as in keeping you from wielding real life consequences. Don’t believe it’s his first affair, don’t believe what he says about the OW’s husband. Don’t believe him when he tells you that you can control his actions with your actions. It’s not true. He will do whatever he wants, you could do everything he wants, and if he wants to abandon he will have a whole new list of grievances to pave his way out the door. Believe me, I have been there.

    I would advise that you DO NOT go to marriage counseling with him. I did that briefly and it was very harmful to me. What you need is your own therapist who has no conflicting interest in your husband.

    He is abusing you, and when you get out from under his 24/7 bullshit machine you will begin to see that he has been managing you from day 1. It may have been subtle, but it has always been there.

    You have a great deal of power, he does not want you to know that. Bring your family into the loop, your friends, you need people to support you. Get out. Be prepared for threats, and get a lawyer.

  • When I told my husband I was going to tell the other woman’s husband, he whined, “But Effie, he will KILL me.” My head snapped around to face him and I told him, “Then I’ll MOURN your sorry ass.”

    He stopped whining, at least.

  • I also recommend that you get you and your children out of the situation as quickly as you can. Find a way to move close to your support system as quickly as possible. My kids and I are currently still living with the STBX and it is hell (many reasons but the biggest being he refuses to leave and is drawing out the separation agreement). Remember that money is important for your survival but it is not the only consideration. Your health (both mental and physical) will suffer if you stay in the minefield of living together for any length of time. Best of luck to you. Try to be thorough but quick as well (and I have found that nothing moves very quickly).

  • I would discontinue with marriage counseling and find a therapist for your self who has experience with border line personality disorders/narcissism (your EX)… they will understand the abuse red flags and help you understand.

    I also recommend the book PsychopathFree (on amazon) and online. You will find many insights into what you are dealing with as far as the manipulation and mind games. Protect yourself and your children from future damage/abuse. See a lawyer right away.

    This will NOT end his career, but he will be told to keep his dick in his pants and likely be transferred – which gives you space (because you can stay behind or give live with family) and get away from him while you proceed with divorce.

    OH – and as much as you want to believe this is the first time he has cheated… your luck must be amazing… you should play the Powerball next.

    I know this is a super painful time to see your family implode, but right now you need to be brave and protect your children. You can cry and mourn this loss later… and we’ll be here for you.

  • This is a “me too” moment.
    X career Navy wife. I left cheater squid 24 years ago after 6 years of wreckinciliation. Remained a chump throughout, and believed his BS. I didn’t look out for myself. I am 60 now and have nothing. I have filed for SEI. We’ll see how that goes. My point is: Listen to CL, and CN! Please!

  • Gee, my heart goes out to you.
    I’m going through settlement from my military ex at the moment. The last 7 months have been hell since I find out. You will go through it all no doubt and you sound like right where I was 7 months ago. Everyone is different, but even though you’re likely to keep trying to hang in there because you don’t want to believe it; his lies, threats, sadz, gaslighting and all the rest of it are unlikely to stop. You will need to make them stop by leaving.
    Notice his actions; try to block his words, albeit this will be the hardest.
    Emotional abuse is not something you realise is happening to you right away, that’s why you need help.
    Tell people for support. Is there a unit social worker?
    My X is special forces which only makes it worse as he is literally trained to mindfuck people, which was devastating to realise even included me.

    The advice from CN here is the REAL DEAL and as everyone has said, get a lawyer. I thankfully had done that within the first couple of months once I was able to stop crying long enough to have the phone call. That real advice helped me to adjust to my new reality, even while I was living in a constant state of emotional abuse.
    Hopefully your lawyer (and a good counsellor) can give you some context.
    This really does take time, but you and those kids are worth more than that P.O.S has ever known and it’s up to you now.

    Oh and just in my experience, the military will protect him. I’ve been disgusted to find out that whilst I thought the military praised family units, loyalty and honesty, I didn’t realise it was subjective and only applied as a facade to sucker poor chumps in to try make the military “look good”. They’ve spent too much money on him to care what he does outside of his job or the collateral damage he leaves in his path. Including his 1 year old child. Disgusting.

  • Former Militay Spouse

    My husband cheated and the OW reported him to his unit.

    Holly Shit show!!!
    He did get an article 15, got demoted and got extra duty etc on the end.
    If the OW wouldn’t give them solid proof thou they wouldn’t have done anything.
    He confessed on top of it. Which made them wanting to push for jail time under UCMJ!! (Up to 10 years)

    So yes, listen to what ChumpLady said!!! Please do! I saw too much shit going down! He’s mindfucking you to get away with it.
    You’re over 10 years of marriage. You’re entitled to a whole bunch of shit, doesn’t matter if he gets demoted or not.
    Go to JAG, file officially seperation and report him to his Unit with clear evidence! He has to pay you Spousal support and child by his rank. If he’s high enough up it won’t make a difference if he loses a rank

  • Something else to consider, don’t know if others saw this. My ex undermined me to my kids gradually over the years. I don’t know if it was intentional or not. He called me ” the fun police” etc… it got worse as they got older.

  • I am so sorry that you are going through this. It’s hell. Luckily for you, you found the right tribe to hold you up when you need support.

    He’s is full of shit I’m surprised the whites of eyes aren’t brown. Do not believe him about the fragility of the OW’s husband. So you are supposed to care more about the husband than the wife who’s still cheating on someone who’s is supposedly suicidal? Not of that makes any sense! They just don’t want you two to find compare notes.

    Cl is totally right – he’s is throwing abuse and fear at you so keep you in the corner and cowered down waiting for him to tell you the next move or what you will do next. He has no leverage other than your fear of not having him. He’s not worth having!!

    -He cheated
    -He’s lied to you about his whereabouts, what he’s done, and what he’s not doing.
    -He’s blameshifted the intimacy onto you. BS!!
    -He’s using fear to keep you down (how descipable and shameful on his part). That’s not someone who loves you. “He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.”

    Listen to these wise chumps – they’ve been through this. Please tell your the family and friends that you trust – you will need their support in the coming days.

  • Gee, I’m not an ex military wife, but I am an ex wife that divorced in a no fault divorce state after 12 and a half years of marriage. I too, had an 11 and 9 year old. I was a stay at home mom, I stopped working when I became pregnant with my oldest daughter. I was 40, hadn’t worked in over a decade outside of the home, just some volunteer work. I was awarded no alimony because I had a college degree. I was awarded half of all of our assets including his 401k. I moved home with my daughters, got back on my feet, found a job, bought my very first car all on my own, and a house as well. My point is, you can do this. You can leave the abuse. I’m not special or better than anyone else. Trust me, I was devastated at losing the life I loved, my intact family. But I loved my daughters and somewhere in here, myself more than to allow him to abuse and disrespect me and our marriage. My world turned upside 18 months ago and this is where I am today, not 100% meh but I’m holding my own for my daughters and myself. Side note: my ex chose the other woman (she was married with 2 children as well, she was his employee, I turned them in he a CFO and her his accounting manager). They were fired but he found another job making more money and so did she. Having said, that nothing else has gone his way, his life is falling apart. In the beginning I hoped for this, now I’m in a place where I view it as waste. Waste of our lives together, our children’s foundation. This new woman is exciting but that fades and when it does what’s left can never compare to what his family was and is. But that won’t be your issue to sort out, it will fall squarely on his shoulders.

    • “This new woman is exciting but that fades and when it does what’s left can never compare to what his family was and is. But that won’t be your issue to sort out, it will fall squarely on his shoulders.”

      When the affair is sizzling hot for the cheaters, you can pretty much count on the demise of the affair relationship as one of them will cool, actually become very cold and become disgusted with the affair partner. This is when things get interesting. The break up is never pretty.

  • Dear Gee,
    Absolutely tell your mother or anyone else that will support you through (I am guessing) the worst, and most painful time in your life. Your story is very similar to my own, only I am almost exactly one year ahead of you. I am guessing you are in utter shock, which means it is really hard to see things for what they are. I can tell you this, I told EVERYBODY starting with his mother, who was a chump many years ago herself. I do not regret that at all. I later found out that he was telling everyone what inadequate wife I was, and that is why we were done. He denied to everyone that he was having an affair with his hoe-worker. It’s called image management, and please please please don’t go along with it. Why should you get the blame for his cheating or end of the marriage, YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG!!! Repeat that to yourself at least 1000 times a day over the next several months until you really, truly believe it. These two have shown no mercy to you, your feelings, or your children. He will most likely leave you anyhow, just when he has more ducks in a row. Don’t let him get one duck in a row! You have the power to control this shit show and protect yourself and your children. The last year has been hard, the hardest of my life, but I am free now. I did not want to let my dream of my family as I thought it was go, it was unbelievable and it took me many months to really see what was really the truth. It sucks. But you know what? I would rather hate my cheater (now ex-husband) for who he is, rather than love him for what he is not. My heart hurts for you, it is really painful, I know. But just from what you had told us here I know you deserve so much more than him, and hopefully you will really internalize that one day. Hugs to you❤️❤️❤️

    • Can I also add that whole “alive” feeling becomes hysterical later; trust me. Take you & your kids out of the equation for these two and see how well they fare. I have no contact with cheater-only through Our Family Wizard co-parenting app. I make a game of how long I can go without seeing him face to face (I am at a personal record 6 months!!!)Oh he hates that, no more opportunities to manipulate me. He is still with schoompie, has tired to come back to me while still with schoompie. Can I say that in the last year he has aged tremendously and looks like shit (I recently saw some pictures of him on my daughter’s cell phone). On the other hand I have never looked better and I have grown in so many ways. I guess that schoompie and that “aliveness” aren’t all they are cracked up to be😆😆😆.

      • Yes, the “alive” feeling is about the thrill of doing something transgressive, and about enjoying the deceitful and abusive nature of cheating. It does become an obession for these disordered people. This guy is completely whack and a domestic abuser. He just doesn’t use his fists…..yet. It’s a small step from threats to battery. She should run like hell and lawyer up with the most agressive one she can find.

  • Gee, I am so, so sorry this is happening to you. My heart absolutely plummeted reading this.

    “If you tell, I’ll be forced to pick the other woman?” This isn’t a marriage, it’s a hostage situation. I’m so sorry, but you must understand … your husband has already picked the other woman. He’s fired himself from the marriage. It’s over.

    Please, please talk to a divorce lawyer immediately. Don’t tell your husband, he’s no longer on your team and he’s already threatening you. You have to protect yourself and the kids and start nailing down details (assets, custody). Don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more difficult this will get.

    Also, the OW’s husband is suicidal? Bullshit. Either the poor man really is suicidal because he’s reacting to his wife’s abuse, or he’s mentally ill for unrelated reasons. In which case, why isn’t his wife supporting him instead of whoring around?

    Compassionate people support their loved ones through difficult times. Worst case scenario, they divorce but still have compassion for their partner. Oh, and they probably have a verified diagnosis. Cheaters love to accuse their victims of abuse and mental illness. It’s a way to isolate the victim and kill their credibility so they can’t ask for help.

    Abuse thrives in secrecy. Please, please tell.

    • “Abuse thrives in secrecy”…… this! So much, they use our loyalty to them against us, while they show us none. And then tell us it’s all our fault.

  • Another tip, when you can’t think straight (cause this sure is big and horrible), imagine it happening to a good friend or someone you really love and you hearing their story and what you would tell them. Often brings some clarity when you de-personalise it and look in from the outside and say x did this to y and is now telling y to do this. It kind of puts it under the microscope. It’s is people who sexually abuse kids and say, don’t tell anyone will you or there will be consequences. Yeah for you mate. The consequences for you I am afraid are at this point not something he is concerned about.

    Hated reading this today as feel for what you are going through as you so often do with the CN stories. Keep coming back and keep posting for advice x

  • OMG! This is exactly what happened to me less the military part.

    Dickhead pulled away and I could not understand why. Counseling didn’t help because he didn’t put forth any effort. Then I found out why. He asked me not to tell the OW’s husband or his boss.

    I didn’t tell any of them and OW to this day doesn’t know I know. Her marriage finally exploded and they are now together. They suck!

    But I kicked him out. I got everything I wanted in the divorce because I am not above BLACKMAIL. He didn’t want his work to know…comes at a high price.

  • “He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.”

    What a tool.

    You can do so much better. The sooner you get out, the sooner you start living that much better life.

  • Let’s focus on these statements, and then take them in three groups.

    1. [My cheating husband] ask me not to tell anyone, not even my mother.

    2. My husband told me that OW’s husband is suicidal and has been neglectful of OW and their children.
    My husband told me that he began losing the intimacy for me a little before he started his affair.
    He told me that I’m the perfect wife and mother, but he needs intimacy.

    3. He told me not to tell his commander and have them separated.
    He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.

    1. [My cheating husband] ask me not to tell anyone, not even my mother.
    Really? Your marriage is falling apart and you can’t confide in your MOTHER? Or a SIBLING? Or your BEST FRIEND? But he can have his Schmoopie, his sidepiece.

    No, no, nope, nopety nope. When you are done reading these comments, call your mother. Today. Right away. You need support. You need your mother. Maybe she can get on a plane (your dad, too, if he’s still with us) and give you some help sorting this out. Maybe you can just talk to her every day. For hours if you need to. If you have a supportive, loving siblings, call them. Tell your best friend, even is she is sa thousand miles away. Tell. Do not keep the secrets of disordered people or drunks or drug addicts, who are pretty much all the same thing–people who like to keep their dark deeds from the light of day. CALL YOUR MOTHER NOW.

    This is far and away the most dangerous thing I saw in your letter, your X’s desire to isolate and control you. If he loved you, he would want you to have support at any moment in your life when you are vulnerable, afraid, hurt, grieving or in shock. ASKING YOU NOT TO TELL IS NOT THINKING ABOUT YOU OR THE KIDS. IT’S TO PROTECT HIM AND HIS MISTRESS.

    2. These are pretty much what all cheaters say:
    * My husband told me that OW’s husband is suicidal and has been neglectful of OW and their children. * * My husband told me that he began losing the intimacy for me a little before he started his affair.
    * He told me that I’m the perfect wife and mother, but he needs intimacy.

    Why would you believe a word he’s saying? He’s a cheat and a liar. One of the toughest things you will have to learn is to not take his word as gospel. Not to take his word as a command for you to follow. Of course the OW’s husband neglects her, in their version justifying the affair. Of course, he lost desire for you before the affair. Otherwise, he’s have to confess that what he lost was his integrity and truthfulness. And then he throws you a faux compliment–you are a perfect wife and mother but he needs SEX with his Schmoopie. It’s not “intimacy.” It’s SEX. They’re having SEX. Any “intimacy” is just how they bond by finding fault with a poor suicidal husband (arggghh) and the perfect wife and mother. Intimacy involves knowing another person, letting them see you as you are. I suppose showing your cheating sex partner that you are a cheater too is a form of debased intimacy. But it’s sure not what you imagined when you thought of married intimacy, where you actually share hopes and dreams, not how badly you’re deceiving your supposed loved ones and how you are putting your kids at terrible risk.

    3. Notice that NOT TELLING is about not separating him and the OW or not levying financial consequences on them.
    * He told me not to tell his commander and have them separated.
    * He also told me that if I report his affair, he would have no choice than to be with the OW.
    He doesn’t want to end the affair. That’s clear. But he doesn’t want the consequences of actually freeing you to live your own life without a cheating jackass. He has a lot of choices, starting with going to his CO and telling him that he needs to be separated from the OW because they’re having an affair. He could choose to let you go, sit down and work out a settlement and then he’d be free to be with OW if she does the same. But no. He wants CAKE. He wants his “perfect wife and mother” making him look good. He wants access to his kids. He wants his whole paycheck. He wants his mistress. He wants SECRECY. He wants to control you.

    You’re in shock. My point here is to jog your brain out of that shock and start you thinking about how deeply abusive this man’s behavior is. You owe it to your kids and yourself to see a lawyer, pronto. I like the idea of a civilian lawyer who understands military divorce. You don’t mention what you think of the therapist but actual marriage counseling with this man is a terrible idea. You need to get some space from what HE wants to figure out what you want. There is nothing you say here that speak of a man who is willing to be a loving husband. Sorry to say that.

    Protect yourself. Get a support team around you. Good lawyer. A therapist who is in your corner. YOUR MOTHER. Your relatives and friends. (I would be a strong advocate for Mom making a visit, if she can.)

  • I want to add this note separately. Give some thought to finding out if you can move home to be near your family. You don’t have to follow this jackass around for the next 10 years, leaving home and friends behind. Get yourself to a place where you are loved and protected.

    If your husband is what you thought he was, he will understand that you can’t risk this lifestyle any more. He has totally abused the privilege of having both a military career and a family. Asking you to follow him from assignment to assignment OBLIGATES him to protect you, to be your boon companion and supporter as you uproot yourself and the kids, again and again. He is not only failing in the duty, he’s trying to control you and isolate you further. So get yourself out of that lifestyle. If he wants a family, he can separate from the military, follow YOU to a place where you are safe and loved, and rebuild his life like you have done, over and over.

    That doesn’t mean you should take him back. If you were my daughter, I would tell you come home. Get a divorce. Heal. Then start working on your own career. In time, you can see how Cheater comports himself and decide where he fits in your life. But the house is on fire, honey. Save yourself, the kids, the pets.

    • Excellent advice as usual from LAJ.

      One comment on this conditional: “If your husband is what you thought he was, he will understand that you can’t risk this lifestyle any more.”

      Your husband is NOT the person you thought he was. That is, perhaps, the biggest mindfuck in all this–we did not fully know the person laying next to us in bed each night. Sending hugs, Gee.

      • Of course he’s not what Gee thought he was. But IF he were, that’s what he would do. And of course, he isn’t doing it.

  • “My husband told me that OW’s husband is suicidal and has been neglectful of OW and their children.”

    Then she should be dealing with him and her children. Whether it’s a Baker hold, or holding him accountable for his mental health (moving out with the kids – by herself!), seeking counseling for herself AND for their children, etc.

    Consult an attorney who specializes in military divorces. Let OW’s husband know what is going on and what she had to say about him. He may be depressed because she’s an emotionally abusive twit. Or maybe he’s been struggling with depression for some time – in which case she isn’t improving the situation by cheating on him.

    Protect yourself, your children and your assets = LAWYER
    Inform potential fellow chump = tell OW’s husband after you have hired an attorney AND are ready to yank the rug out from your husband’s abusive feet.

    You’re his wife, not an incompetent employee or a hostage. They are children, not cannon fodder.

    Gee – you can do this!

    As for the therapist – cancel the joint session. Find a family therapist for yourself and your kids. The courts look favorably upon parents who make their children’s mental and physical health a priority.

    • Great advice, nsc. I tend to doubt the OW’s word on her husband’s mental state, anyway. It sounds like the sort of thing cheaters say to justify their infidelity.
      OP should definitely NOT do MC with this abusive creep and risk being mindfucked further by an RIC con artist. She should immediately get legal help to protect her rights.

    • Find a family therapist for yourself and your kids. The courts look favorably upon parents who make their children’s mental and physical health a priority.

      This, this, this!

    • This is great advice! I could not have made it the last year without my therapist, friends, and family. Some days I would just go in and cry the entire time, leaving being able to get through the evening with my small kids. Now my kids see the same therapist and they are thriving!

      My stbx wanted to go to couples therapy to see why he did what he did…I did not respond. I wasn’t strong enough then and would have internalized his blame.

      I am so sorry your going through this! Hugs!

  • In addition to all of the above mindfuck reasons that military cheater gave me for why I couldn’t say or do anything about his affair, I also got “you can’t say anything because if this gets out then OW might try to make it out like I sexually harassed or even raped her.” And I bought it. Looking back with some clarity of retrospect…..WTF???

    Now to be fair, my situation was compounded by the fact that I absolutely could not think straight. My D-Day occurred in the same week as my 15 year old almost dying in a car accident and after a 4 hour emergency surgery to save his life being given the expectation that he would be paralyzed, PLUS finding out I was pregnant with a 5th child that I certainly did not want under these circumstances, AND trying to keep my shit altogether because while I was taking care of my teenage son in the hospital I also had 3 other kids at home – including a breastfeeding infant – that still needed me. Did I mention that D-Day, the wreck, and the positive pregnancy test all occurred in the span of one week??? So suffice it to say I completely dissociated from everything and just went into zombie robot mode. I didn’t question the mindfuck reasoning because I didn’t have the mental energy. I was tapped out. When he started in with how he would get fired and then I wouldn’t have any income or INSURANCE (hello, high-risk pregnancy with 4 other kids, 1 of whom just had a $174,000 surgery and I didn’t know how long he would be hospitalized but I did know we were looking at years of surgeries/therapies in his future) I was too scared to even wonder if that was really the absolute truth or if the lying bastard could be, I don’t know…LYING.

    Unlike you amazing chumps who get your lives together when your world falls apart, it took me a few months to evaluate the situation more clearly. My military cheater had conducted an affair with a military OW who was less in rank than him, and he actively worked for her to get promoted and get special awards. So that looked pretty bad. Moreover, the OW’s husband was also military and he was a higher rank than my husband and had lots of connections that could make my cheater’s career sink in a heartbeat. Yes, there was a real possibility of OW’s husband making cheater’s life – and by financial extension, life for me and my kids – hell. I decided to contact him anyway to let him know that it was my husband she was having an affair with. As it turns out, he’d already found evidence, was already in the process of divorcing her, and it wasn’t just my husband (which was news to my cheater – and seeing his special sparkly ego busted was hilarious!!!) OW’s husband agreed that it was in my children’s best interest for him not to report or say anything, and it’s been 4 years since then that he’s kept his word. As much as I wanted to see my cheater taken down, I also didn’t want to suffer with less income or retirement than I was entitled to, and I certainly didn’t want to have any gaps in insurance.

    Now cheater still works with OW, and there’s still the possibility that she might get pissed at him one day and come out to their superiors with their affair as a revenge tactic. (And I do believe that an affair with a younger, lesser ranked soldier was an abuse of his power, btw.) But whether he was legitimately worried she might actually do that to him or else it was just another grasp at maintaining control over how I responded, I don’t know. I will say that I saved screenshots of text messages and transcripts of their texts/Google voice/hangouts for my own divorce evidence. If I ever needed to provide cheater with proof that it was a consensual relationship I could. I don’t want him going to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

    All that to say, your cheater is capitalizing on your very REAL concerns. Income, insurance, retirement – you are a faithful and loyal spouse who deserves all of these and it’s not fair that if your husband gets penalized for his shitty actions that you might be, too. And worst of all, it’s a gamble of whether or not his chain of command even cares to do anything! It’s a cold hard truth when you think you’re in a partnership with someone who loves you, but find out the reality is the only one truly looking out for you is YOU. Don’t listen to the mindfuck channels, listen to the lawyers. Plural. Find out who has the best reputations for military divorce and see as many as you can for consults. (I did this on the advice here so that my cheater couldn’t use them because it would be a conflict of interests.) Gather your evidence and document everything. You have a lot at stake to lose, but a competent military divorce attorney can help you protect it. In my case, I was advised to line up my ducks but not tip my hand by leaving right away because I was *so close* to the 20/20/20 and I didn’t want to lose out on that. It was good advice. 🙂

    You’ve got this, Gee. But you’re going to have to be very, very intentional about what you do to protect yourself and your kids. It means you’ll need to put yourself first for once, and that can be a really hard thing for us as women, mothers, and military spouses to start doing.

  • What kind of koolaid is this pathetic excuse of a husband asking you to drink. Ditto to everybody above who says “tell your mom”. This is not you hiding the fact he mistakenly broke some present she gifted him. He fucked up royally (and literally) and does not want anybody’s disapproval. He wants you floundering without a support system (let me guess your folks/family live on the other coast) And more importantly he wants you confused and unsure of yourself while he starts draining the finances and hiding assets. He may not leave you right now but be damn sure he’s not planning to let you get half of his stuff now or in the future This asshole operates on the principle that what is his is his and what is yours is ours. He will dump you when you finally outlive your usefulness. You are nothing but a maid, nanny, and the façade of a good family. He loves his penis more than whatever the hell he defines as family. Anybody that expects you to hide his abuse of you is a POS. Picture one of your kids as an adult in your position ; would you want them reaching out to you for support and comfort.
    Please see a lawyer, call your mom, get your ducks in a row. Tell somebody. Keeping secrets makes chumps like us feel ashamed and stressed.
    As a former military wife who was also a military member everybody in the idiot’s unit knows about the affair. They just don’t talk to the spouses about it. I’ve seen the cohesiveness of my own unit go sideways when a married member starting banging one of his subordinates. All the wink wink nudge nudge crap was excruciating to listen to. The CO did not formally talk about it, he transferred her out.

  • I divorced a military cheater, and I am also ex-military. I understand the money and power disadvantage of being the ‘dependent’ vs the active duty person. The military lawyers are still worth talking to, if only because it is FREE–ask for a civilian to feel more comfortable. The most frustrating thing is that it is tax time and they get completely slammed and tend not to respond. I was told there is no magic 10- or 15-year time limit to get partial pension. At 5 years in, I was entitled to a percentage, but I chose to waive it to not be tied to him and get the divorce done quickly. I agree with the advice to seek representation and protect yourself first, but hold on to the leverage of being able to harm his reputation with the Command. As others have said, military infidelity is almost impossible to prove, but his fear of being officially outed could come in handy if necessary. Also be aware that mutual friends are not necessarily on your side and are not to be trusted. Mine were incredibly disappointing; I no longer have friends from that era. They didn’t want to believe, told me it wasn’t a big deal, told me everyone does it, didn’t want to hurt their work relationships, blah blah blah. One told me I was obviously bad at marriage. Trust yourself and find those that support you. All that matters is what YOU are willing to live with.

    • Agreed. I let go of so many friends through my military divorce. A couple that I *thought* were really good friends of mine ended up selling Ex and OW their house. It was a depressing and brutal realization that even though he threw the marriage away, I was out.

      And can I just say, I still live in an Army town–every time a store clerk asks if I am eligible for the “military discount” somewhere it just grinds my gears. Give us a “divorced military spouse” discount–we sure as hell have earned it!

      *Rant over* 🙂

      • I didn’t get the chance to let the mutual friends go. They disappeared so quickly! Sometimes I wonder if they still like him. People thought he was so smart. How smart does he appear now that he has divorced his brain?🤔

  • Gee, I’m so sorry you are in this situation. Ex-military spouse here, read the comments and saw you have plenty of good advice.

    A couple of things to add – it takes a while to realize the military culture is also mind-fucking you. There is an insane amount of pressure to be the supportive wife. It is a role you are issued much like a uniform.

    After being in a while, moving frequently, being away from family and starting over with local friends, you lose sense of who *you* are away from your roles. It can feel like you failed Even Though You Did Nothing Wrong. When your feedback is narrowed to that insular world, it’s hard to ignore the pressure to conform.

    All that to say, start making decisions that do not take the military into account. Make them for you and your kids.

    More practical note, go by the JAG office and ask for a list of local lawyers. Then ask who they would use and find an older lawyer to ask, as type of assets matter. My ex got the list, interviewed some, then gave it to me. What a prince.

    Go interview several – ask different questions at each to gather the most knowledge upfront. This also means your ex can’t use them. Find out the best way for you to hit 15 years and if that matters (it did for me).

    Find out exactly how the health insurance will play out. I ultimately got it back, but was without for several months during the review process. This cost me several thousand dollars in private insurance.

    Your kids should be covered the whole time but make sure you ask. If you will still be taking them on base after the divorce you can get a special ID issued so you don’t have to get a visitor pass every time.

    A lot of details but the point is, it can all be figured out. You can do this, and you will first be OK, then good, then great.

  • He’s absolutely bullshiting you. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s what they do unfortunately. Do not trust this person anymore. He is not your friend. He’s proved that.

  • I sincerely appreciate all the advice and care you ladies have shown. Reading CL’s post combined with CN’s advice has given me the strength I needed to start getting my head in the game. This is the most painful experience of my life, but I pray to come through it better than before.

    I deeply love my husband and feel hurt for our children. That’s another reason for the counseling. I know they will not take this well if we don’t work out. I’m shocked that he never thought about our children through his affair. He knows what this will do to them. Last night he told me he doesn’t want to stay in it for just me and the kids. He said he’ll try counseling. I told him that he had to want his family and counseling shouldn’t make him realize that. He should want it on his own.

    It’s not looking to good right now. I’m angry that I’m fighting for this more than he is. At least it seems that way. I don’t understand how he could “love” OW after confessing their feelings towards each other just 2 months ago. I reminded him that she has 2 children under the age of 5 and that she won’t have time to romance with him all the time. He didn’t respond. I also told him it would be horrible for our children not to have him in the home, but he will help raise OW’s children. I don’t think he has thought about all the little details in depth.

    He has it made with me. We still had a sex life. I cook Everday and I’m good at it. Our house is always clean. Both children are honor roll students, never missed honor not once. I’m not a “nagging wife”. I’m actually pretty chill and laid back and he agrees. I’m super responsible with spending money. I don’t understand. Aren’t these all the things husbands want? He doesn’t know how OW lives or takes care of children and home, but he’s willing to risk it all for the unknown. He told me I’m the perfect wife and mom, but it’s him and his affair had nothing to do with me. He said he messed up. He has apologized over and over again and shows remorse. He still remains conflicted though.

    Ladies, I am listening to all the advice. I’ll seek legal guidance this week and continue on with counseling. During counseling I’ll be able to see what his deal is then proceed from there. Our therapist mentioned to me during our private session that she was cheated on by ex hubby. She said that if our marriage can’t be saved, she’ll work with me on my personal healing.

    Sorry for the rant. There’s a lot boiling inside. Thank you ladies again. I truly appreciate the support!

    • You have to protect yourself, regardless of whether you want to reconcile. He could leave you — that’s a very real possibility and his “remorse” doesn’t mean a thing. And yes, you are doing ALL the heavy lifting here. That’s the depth of his sorry.

      • And he could be diverting money and resources to finance leaving you. Protect yourself financially. That means, while you are still together, running a credit check on both of you. ASAP. You may find open credit cards you don’t know about.

        Ask the attorney about how to protect yourself financially.

    • Hi Gee. I just wanted to chime in again and say that I, too, did everything I possibly could for Ex. I loved him dearly, cooked, cleaned, went along with his wish to not have kids, moved, had a good (if fairly routine) sex life. I am 8 years younger than him, I stay in shape, and I’m pretty.

      OW is 13 years younger than him. Has never been able to hold a job (obviously not her fault, says Ex). Lived with her parents until she moved to America to be with Ex. Can’t drive. Fundamentalist christian (apparently)–ex is not religious. Wants lots of kids. Fully knew he was married before engaging in the affair.

      Ex did not care one single bit about the crazy disparities. Apparently she likes to scuba dive, and that is all he could muster for a tangible reason to leave me and be with her (I am sure the excitement of it all was a big piece too, of course, but you get my drift). It makes zero sense.

      It took me a while to really accept that it’s nothing I have done or not done. It is all about him. He is disordered, and him blowing up his marriage may have been inevitable. Seriously. You are not to blame here.

    • “I’m angry that I’m fighting for this more than he is. At least it seems that way.”

      That’s because it’s true.

      “During counseling I’ll be able to see what his deal is then proceed from there.”

      Do a lot of listening and very little talking. Let the therapist listen to him. More important is to WATCH HIS WALK. He’s walking away. Let him.

      “I know they will not take this well if we don’t work out.”

      Yes and no. They will not be pleased. They may be rocked by it – that is why you should find a family counselor with their needs in mind. I

      “I’m shocked that he never thought about our children through his affair. He knows what this will do to them. Last night he told me he doesn’t want to stay in it for just me and the kids.”

      I’m not. He never thought about you or your marriage, why would he think of the kids? You’re the one raising them. He phones it in. Plus having an affair is all about oneself and making decision after decision after decision to lie, sneak, cheat and possibly steal money too.

      I’m glad the therapist isn’t likely to fall for his bullshit. You need allies.

      I’m so sorry you’re here. If you insist that he treat you with respect your marriage may not continue, but you will feel so much better about yourself. Eventually.

    • Last night he told me he doesn’t want to stay in it for just me and the kids.

      I lost my shit reading this. JUST you and the kids? As if you and the kids aren’t reason enough? As if his family isn’t worth anything? This fuckin’ guy, I swear. Girl, if you lived nearby, I’d be at your house ASAP with tissues and coffee. I’m so sorry.

      You’re asking a lot of questions about your worth, trying to reconcile how your husband could do this if you’re such a good wife. You’re clearly a great wife! The problem is, idiots like this don’t feel very deeply, don’t share our values, and don’t appreciate what they have. He doesn’t care about family, stability, respect, honesty, his responsibilities, or other people’s feelings. He instead prioritizes a stranger he “fell in love with” after 2 months. That’s not commitment, that’s the mark of a shallow, self-centered person.

      It may not feel like it yet but seriously, this has nothing to do with you or your value. This guy has a problem. He’s wired wrong. You’re not responsible for that. He’s just fucked up.

      Don’t feel bad if this takes a while to sink in. You’re in shock. Your feelings right now are normal. It’ll get better, you’ll be okay. Hang in there.

    • What you haven’t wrapped your head around is that you didn’t do or fail to do anything to trigger the affair. Your H is having sex with his subordinate because he can. He feels entitled to have what he wants. He did inadvertently tell you one true thing–none of this is about you or the kids–either keeping your family intact or breaking it up.

      It’s about him. It’s ALL about him.

    • If he is feeling at all conflicted, if he can’t decide if you and the kids are “enough” reason to stay, well then I’m afraid you already have your answer. You should not have to “compete” for the place in his heart that you thought you already secured.

      It’s the most painful thing in the world to realize. I’m divorced 6 months, and some days I still can’t believe the cruelty of his discard. Some days I still wonder if he will ever “come to his senses” and realize what he gave up. I know I would never take him back but I am still not over how little I meant to him, how quickly he threw away our long life together.

      But but the sooner you face these painful truths, the sooner you can begin healing. And IF he is truly remorseful (unfortunately, everything you shared suggests he’s not, and that he is an abuser), then he will do the work. Why should all the heavy lifting of “saving” your marriage fall on your shoulders? He’s the one who broke it, not you. Let him fix it. No matter what you do, ask for a post-nup agreement. See what he is willing to agree to do financially to “set this right.” But if I were you, I would cut my losses now. Save yourself the heartache of a “reconciliation.”

    • Ah…honey. My heart goes out to you Gee. You list all of your wonderful attributes as if you are presenting a defence of your worthiness, which just goes to show that you have a ways to go in understanding what cheating is really about. You did nothing to make your husband cheat. It is in no way a reflection of the kind of wife you have been. My husband even admitted on several occasions that he recognized that the issues in our marriage were not so great that it warranted him leaving. He knew that we should have been able to work it it, but that he just couldn’t. He couldn’t…it’s all on him.

      You are feeling shame for something that is not your shame to bear. The shame is on him. Some really good counselling for yourself is very important. With time, you’re mind will start to connect many more dots with a different lens to recognize many signs that went unnoticed for a long time. I can now pinpoint my husband’s devaluation of me going back a few years before the discovery of the affair. I excused it at the time with a myriad of reasons: stress, his going back to school full-time, deadlines, living on the budget of one income while he was studying, etc. I learned that he watched pornography quite regularly for a couple of years before he moved on to engaging with real live women – the beginning of the disintegration of the attachment bond to me, which likely was never very strong to begin with.

      People who cheat have very unhealthy issues with attachment. They often attach to a “love” partner very quickly, but it wanes. Their guilt might keep them hanging on or they hang on because they see it’s what they ought to be doing. They are fickle and lazy in their affections. They give just enough over the years to make it look like they are in it with you, but there are little passive aggressive moments. Moments that briefly reveal a weak character or an unethical streak, but you easily explain it away as you go along.

      None of what he has done is about you. It was never about you. You and your children are the unfortunate victim of his failings. Do not let him continue to tear you down.

    • “I don’t understand how he could “love” OW after confessing their feelings towards each other just 2 months ago.”

      He doesn’t love anyone other than himself. Not you. Not the children. Not her. That shallow bit of lust he’s feeling for the OW is the closest he’s going to ever come to the genuine emotion, so he thinks it’s love. You’ve got nothing to work with here. Get a lawyer and start protecting yourself and your kids – you can’t ‘Nice’ someone into developing the ability to truly care about others, or into being honest and decent.

      How’s counselling supposed to go?

      Counselor: “Well, you see, Mr. Gee, lying and cheating and treating someone like crap is bad.”

      Mr. Gee: “But I like screwing around more than I like being faithful.”

      Counselor: “But you hurt the people around you.”

      Mr. Gee: “But it’s fun for *me* so…” [shrug]

    • Not that I am the suspicious sort (well, I wasn’t until the shoes kept dropping on my head after fuckwit had supposedly disclosed EVERYTHING!!), but I have a nagging feeling this wasn’t his first rodeo. There is something with his behavior that makes me wonder. If you do stay with him, please make a polygraph, after a FULL disclosure, mandatory. These guys/gals are phenomenal liars, in addition to being cheaters.

    • Gee you’re still in the “trying to understand and make sense of it all” phase. Also known as the “we can work it out” phase and “I can still save this marriage” phase. We’ve all been there. I’m sad to report that very few of us zip through leaving a cheater. Some get mighty real fast, others, like myself, take the long, slow, years-long march toward mightiness. It’s a personal process.

      I can tell you a million times that your marriage is over, that you need to get out now before the abuse get even worse, that your husband is someone who you never really knew, that your kids will be ok (as long as you stay their safe, sane, and stable parent), that it’s not your job to fix this anymore, that with no-contact and distance you will see actually how much abuse has been happening and for how long (WAY more than you think now). But really, you gotta get there yourself. I hope for your sake it takes less time than it took me. By the time I left I was a shell of my former self.

      With some work and luck, you’ll wake up one day feeling safe and free and no longer exploring the “whys” of his behavior but only working on fixing the “whys” of you tolerating it.

      Best of luck

  • When I first got in the Air Force, I was a squadron section commander for a maintenance squadron. I’ve seen some things. That squadron was pretty good about nailing cheaters, both officer and enlisted. Then I went to a flying squadron where the commander enabled cheaters and sexual predators. Will your husband’s squadron do anything? It depends. Good leadership will, bad leadership won’t.

    But as far as keeping his cheating ass out of trouble? He banged a coworker and demands that you cover for him. Fuck him sideways. Tell his First Sergeant. If that doesn’t work, go to the commander. Do what you have to do, but don’t let him manipulate you. He had choices. He chose wrong.

    • In fact, one of the maintenance squadron LTs was stupid enough to get his picture taken for the base paper WITH THE OW! Right there in the center spread. Kinda hard to miss. Getting rid of him was easy. The two commanders I had in that squadron were devout Mormons. They didn’t mess around.

  • Another former military wife here. He retired and we moved to our dream home and he continued to work for the military as a civilian. Shortly after our 20th anniversary, he walked out one night after dinner and that was the end of our marriage. I subsequently discovered he was sleeping with a junior enlisted soldier he was “mentoring”.

    He moved into her place and then quit his job and followed her when she PCSed to California. They got married almost a year to the date of the abandonment. He didn’t tell the kids he got married.

    I told everybody. His old boss and all his colleagues. Her former commander and her current commander. She is currently “under investigation”. I wish I knew what that meant! I hope she gets separated from the army. It would be a tiny bit of justice.

  • Uncle Lester the Molester tells Johnny not to tell his mommy about their “special games” because then it will be Johnny’s fault if Lester goes to jail. All the responsibility is now Johnny’s.

    Abuse should not be this difficult to identify.

    • Exactly this.

      What this man asks of Gee is what child molesters tell their victims to do. Tell no one or what happens is your fault…I’ll kill your puppy….

  • For those who need a little levity today. It is April Fool’s Day and goodness knows fools (and trolls) are all around us. Some of us sleep with one, or have done so.

    By Wednesday – Midlife Club (circa 2000?)

    Trolls are some of nature’s most magnificent beasts. Their variety, baffling habits and amazing talent for mimicry makes them fascinating to any budding naturalist. Fortunately, they are common throughout the virtual world — you may be able to spot them in your own backyard! Here are some simple tips to help you track, observe and interact wth the elusive Troll.

    1. Assume that Trolls are nearby. You may not see them at first, for they are charming creatures and seek to camouflage themselves by reflecting the tone and color of their surroundings. You don’t need to travel to exotic locales or purchase expensive Troll detection gear. Simply observe carefully. If you are patient, a Troll will eventually make itself known to you.

    2. Understand a Troll’s basic living requirements. Like any creature, Trolls need to eat to survive. The basic dietary requirements of Trolls are daily servings of Attention, and regular meals of Controversy. Trolls have a variety of methods of meeting their Attention needs, although eliciting sympathy is the most common tactic, usually through some believable, but undeniably sad, tale of woe. Another Attention-garnering technique is to parrot the usual message of the environment, i.e. Teaching Their Grandmother to Suck Eggs. Their Controversy requirements can vary greatly. Some Trolls can wait weeks or months before igniting a Controversy, others only a day or so. But all Trolls require Controversy, and it’s one of the more foolproof methods of detection.

    3. Although they are chameleon-like in their ability to blend with their habitat, Trolls, like leopards, cannot change their spots. Every Troll has a telltale habit, some signature “issue”, that allows you to classify it. It could be a misspelled word, or a pet phrase, or even a favorite psychoanalyst. By observing the patterns, you will identify your Troll. When you do, remember to stun it, tag its ear for tracking purposes, and release it back into the wild.

    4. Prepare yourself in advance to deal with the consequences of exposing a Troll. Trolls fear the sunlight and when cornered, will turn vicious very quickly. A Troll’s first line of defense is Denial. It will protest vigorously for a time, and with such innocence that you will be tempted to believe you were mistaken. Remain firm. The protests will become more and more passionate, but they will be abandoned eventually. The Troll will then attack the integrity of everyone in its environment. Concurrently, it will attempt to find a defender, someone who will deny the Troll’s Trollness and appeal to the goodwill of the community. Don’t be hoodwinked. The final Troll defense strategy is to Storm Off In A Huff and Promise to Never Return. The Troll may indeed leave the environment for a short time. But, having found a reliable food source, you can be sure he will return to his home territory when he feels the danger has passed.

    5. If your Troll infestation has become serious, remember the old adage, “Starve a Troll, Feed a Fever.” While Trolls are interesting to observe and such fun to feed, remember they are wild animals first and foremost. You do not want to acclimate them to living with humans, much as you would not want grizzly bears learning to raid your trash cans. There will be too many opportunities for dangerous encounters if they lose their fear of people. Your only recourse is to cut off their food supply. If they stop receiving Daily Attention, a Troll will make several attempts to elicit his desired response, but in time, he will move to more fertile pastures. Their natural habitat is abundant, and they are in no danger of extinction.

    Now, get out there and find those Trolls! They’re waiting for you!

  • Decent guys don’t act the way your h is acting. Your ex is at heart selfish and controlling. He is not devastated by your distress…..a sure sign that he lacks normal feelings. He sees you sick and scared and he is not moved by that to end it with this interloper.

    Cheaters deserve one another. Tell him that you want him to go be happy with her. But the price will be that he give you custody of the children, and spousal and child support. Have it written in that he has to pay for college expenses for the children when the time comes. If he won’t sign these things then tell him his boss is then going to hear about this ‘woman’. I use the term woman loosely because she is a major creep.

    It hurts to find out that the men we loved are not good people. Good people don’t screw around and hurt the ones they love. Good people realize the value of their family and would never take a chance to lose it. Good people aren’t confused about their priorities in life. Only the selfish immature jerks think it’s permissible to hurt us.

    It’s scary being alone. But scarier living with a predator.

  • It never ceases to amaze me what people will sacrifice for a few fleeting seconds.

    Be strong chump. I’m sorry that his selfishness is showing.
    Move forward with purpose, muddled thoughts and all. It gets better. Speaking from experience.

  • I’m 3 weeks from Dday, consulted a lawyer today, and found CL’s epic book waiting for me at home. Chump nation unite!

  • I did not do the pick me dance once I found out but I did eat the shit sandwich in order to keep my retirement money (triple what he had). I kept my mouth shut and it was hard. I still struggle with the fact that I had no real closure but in the end it was worth it to have financial security while he has had 2 failed businesses and lives with Schmoopie and her mother.

  • Gee,
    I am not a military family member or even an ex-wife. I’m chiming in here to say that, as a potential* unicorn, here’s what real remorse looks like. As an FYI, I am 8 years post DDay and still married. Here is a short list of what my husband had to do to repair the damage in our marriage.
    – immediately end the affair and resign from the volunteer position that put him in contact with her (they were both commissioners of a large youth soccer organization that our kids played for)
    – go to individual as well as marital counseling. FOR YEARS. (individual counseling 3+ years, marital counseling 2 years). I refused to find him a counselor or set up any appointments. that was all on him.
    – move out, at my insistence, for several months, before I was willing to invite him back in. While he was out, he asked for permission to visit the kids at our house every evening. He came by after dinner (I was not cooking for him!), helped them with their homework, and visited with them while I did something else, somewhere else.
    – receive a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and get medication and 3 years of focused therapy to address it (he is still on medication and it is a condition of our marriage. I will not live with a person who has an untreated mental illness.)
    – immediately — and to this day — take on an equal burden with the children and the home responsibilities. Just last night, he started to complain when he set his alarm clock to 6 a.m. to get up with our daughters and prepare their breakfast and lunches. I reminded him that I did that duty solo for many years and now it is his turn. He set his alarm without further discussion.
    – apologize to me, our children, and my family (parents and siblings) for the hurt he caused us all by having an affair.
    I did not ask for a post-nuptial agreement, as I am the one who handles all of the finances in the family. He would not even know where to look to find our will, mortgage, or retirement documents, for example.

    So far as I can tell, your husband is doing none of these things. He is focused solely on himself and what the impacts are on him. You have nothing to work with here. He should be doing 100% of the work right now to right this ship, but it seems to me and others here that you are doing all of the heavy lifting. I eventually had to do some of the work too, in our story, but not initially and not for a long time. Not until he proved to me through his actions that he was willing to do the hard work himself.

    What other perspective can I offer you 8 years out? My marriage is pretty good, not great. I would not have given it a shot at all, except that I had 3 young children at the time (6, 9, 11). If it happened again today, I would walk out without a backward glance. BTDT, not going to do it again.

    On the other hand, we get along really well. We are friends, and have an active sex life. We have successfully gotten one kid to college, and another is headed there in the fall. The youngest is through elementary school, and all 3 are doing well. We can have fun together and he warms my feet when they are cold.

    It was years of hard work to get here and touch and go for a while. About 18 months in, I was convinced that we were going to divorce and while I was looking into that, the psychiatrist figured out the right medication and dosage. Even still, it was work after that — there is no magic pill! Not everyone is up for it. That is not a judgement of any one here at CN. Most don’t have anything to work with, as you don’t.

    *I say potential because nothing is certain. No guarantees.

    • Thank you for that honest account of what a real attempt at reconciliation looks like. I can see it’s been really hard work, and continues to be really hard work for both of you, and that trust is always going to be an issue.

      Chumps who think they’ve got unicorns because he bought them a bunch of flowers once should read your story and learn.

      And you’re right. Most of us have nothing to work with at all. The hard part is waking up and realising that.

  • I don’t know much about military life, but I do know A LOT about liars, cheaters, and manipulators. When I presented Lady Liar with evidence of the affair, expenditures, and other things she had been hiding, I gave her two weeks to get her things and move out of our house. She asked me not to tell our kids or other family members why our relationship was ending, and said she would adamantly deny the affair if I told the (teenage) kids. She told me she would tell everyone that I made these things up, and I would look “crazy” and it would just prove that she did everything she could but couldn’t stay with “someone who was that sick.” She said, “I’m not going to tell my family all the bad things you did that led to the breakup. This is PRIVATE – just between you and me.” REALLY? So why does the AP know highly personal things about me?? (encoded forever in texts and emails) She said it was OK for her to tell the AP because we don’t know each other, but I couldn’t tell our friends or family because then they might think badly of her! These are the threats of an emotionally abusive person who has learned how to scare and control you. You can’t control the outcome by staying silent. Get help and speak up.

  • I told my pastor to request counseling for my husband when his porn-and-hooker habit put us in bankruptcy. And did Cheater thank me for putting him on the path to righteousness? No, he wailed about how mean I was, and he said it was very hard to forgive me for betraying him. You read that right. HE accused ME of betraying HIM because I told our pastor (not even our family or friends, but just the pastor) that he was so addicted to porn and hookers that he was spending all our mortgage money and we were losing our house.

    My point here is, Gee, Cheaters are notorious for creating massive disaster zones with their screwing around and then claiming that the true tragedy here is that you told someone. They expect you to quietly go about cleaning up their messes for the rest of time while they rush about getting their thrills.

    I wish I could tell you that your husband could be made to see the light, but nothing about this says that he is sorry. He is not trying to fix anything. He is blaming you and threatening you.

    There is this myth out there that cheaters get caught and they are filled with shame and remorse and beg for another chance, and they realize the error of their ways and will do anything to make it right. I have lived on this earth for 44 years now, and I have never seen that happen even once. The scenario you describe is far, far, far more common. If your husband felt bad about cheating, he wouldn’t have cheated. But here he is being so remorseful that he’s threatening to go be with the other woman if you make him mad.

    Start planning your exit. You may not be able to do it immediately, but start making your plans. And tell whoever will support you.

    • Yes! If and only if the cheater is truly remorseful they DO NOT act this way. It’s the same for all cheaters-they have a handbook of what to do once caught. Blame us and they are the victim

  • TELL!!!!!!! Use your power and DO NOT allow this A-hole to control you! CL is right…..they ALL use these same BS excuses and try to control the outcome ONLY to keep doing it and screwing you in the long run. The fucker deserves an article 15 and for OW to be deported. Serves him right.

  • Oh Gee, so sorry. Rest assured, he’s not conflicted at all. The clock is ticking on him leaving you, regardless of your pick-me dancing.

    Lots of good advice above. See a lawyer, tell him nothing, stop asking him about anything and just take the actions your attorney tells you to. This will all be very difficult and you’ll cry and panic alot. Do it away from him and your kids. From this moment forward, deny him access to your emotional world. Be a strong, stable parent (even when it feels impossible). Dig deep. Model female strength to your children.

    Your house is on fire, for your sake and your kids’ sakes, GTFO. Mourn the loss of the house later, but get out now.

  • I would consult with a lawyer before I so much as uttered a syllable to anyone (well, other than CN). The military may or may not do anything, but know that’s it’s very difficult to pay child support or alimony without an income. It’s hard to be ruled just by your brain at this point, instead of your heart, but it’s crucial. Once you consult a legal expert and are briefed on all of the possible scenarios, then, and only then, you can consider your options. Revenge fantasies are normal and understandable, but acting on them is something else altogether. The first call is to an attorney, the second should be to a therapist. Best of luck to you.

  • Another hand raise for a military spouse chump. Clearly we seem to be a large subset of chumps with some unique situation issues- though one thing is for sure it is not our fault. Sadly my story is much like yours- 14 years of marriage, 2 kids, and totally blindsided by my cheater. Thought we were in a rough patch and a stressful job only to discover he was cheating. Tried to deny it, tried to make excuses, tried to understand all before I found Chump Nation. I heard all the blame and gas-lighting. So glad I have opened my eyes to the manipulation and abuse- because that is what it was.

    My tips: 1) Military One Source will provide free “non-medical” counseling for you and the kids. Google it and call them and talk to someone- just to get it out of your brain and say it outloud. It is confidential and does not show up on medical records if you are worried about that. 2) Get a lawyer- they are so valuable to navigate the crap of divorce and complexity of the military. Especially since you are looking at a PCS and are far from your original home. A parenting plan will be complicated. Think baout if you want to move where the next PCS is, stay where you are, or go somewhere else. He owes you part of his retirement, child support and alimony. Make him pay. He can and he should. The 20/20/15 or 20/20/20 rule apply towards Tricare and MWR benefits not a percentage of retirement- though be wary if he tries to get medically disabled then that is not covered as retirement. 3) Do what feels right about telling. I honestly haven’t told his command and while I am 95% sure it is someone form work I don’t have hard proof other then an address, but if asked I would give basics of he is a lying cheater and I don’t hide my opinions when directly queried- but I didn’t blast it all over. It is complicated since I work t the same post in a different section as a civilian. I learned most people don’t really want to know the truth anyways- it just makes them uncomfortable- but do what you feel is right.

    I am sorry you are going through this. This has been my entire last year and I know it hurts and it is tough but you WILL be stronger and better for it in the end. <3

  • I’m going to tell you like someone told me long ago on here: The only thing you may have control over is when the divorce happens and if you wait too long you may not even have control over that.

  • My ex was not in the military but a CFO/CEO of a state agency in SC. He had an affair with a co-worker and the first thing he did when I found out was to file a restraining order against me to have no contact with his employer. When I contacted his employer, I received a not nice letter from their attorney! Please get out of there!!!!!! I wasted 37 years of my life, please, please, please don’t waste yours!!!!!!!!

    • I hope you are out of the situation. Once you are out you can talk to anyone you want including media. Though I hope you are now in meh and don’t care

  • Do all the cheaters have some handbook?? Blame blame, cheaters are the victim. You ruined their lives. They don’t get it at all!!! Narcissist idiots

  • At the end of the day, as I’m reaching for Meh, I count Chump Lady & our Chump Nation as one of the biggest blessings ever! Where else can you get helpful, informative, hard-earned, KIND advice like this?! We are awesome!

  • Agreed he’s threatening you, you must report it immediately. He broke the marriage vows not you and he needs to MAN UP!

  • I’m so sorry you are going through this nightmare. I am also an ex-military wife. You came to the right place for advice. CL and CN are your tribe.
    Please visit this website for more specific information about your benefits and rights. https://www.ex-pose.org/ is a group of ex-military spouses and can explain all the the military mumbo jumbo concerning divorce to you. DO NOT TRUST THE MILITARY TO HELP YOU! THEY ARE ONLY CONCERNED WITH THE MILITARY MEMBERS AND NOT HAVING ANY SCANDAL.

  • Gee, you have lots of good advice here, but I’ll add my 2 cents-worth anyway, as a veteran and former military spouse.

    First of all, he will not be punished or demoted because of the affair. The only time I have seen the military do something to a cheater is when the cheater is a complete dirtbag and they want to get rid of him anyway. Then, they’ll ask if he’s having an affair…AND FRATERNIZING…with another service member in the command. If he lies, they can try and do something, which may or may not be successful. But, I assure you, he will receive no punishment or demotion just because of infidelity. He should, and will be separated in the workplace from his affair partner, however. Most likely, the slut will be moved.

    If I was in your shoes, I would get the ball rolling with an atty, and when everything is solid there, I would gleefully disinfect that shit show with a ton of sunlight!! I would tell EVERYONE ahead told you not to tell, with tears running down your cheeks. Suicidal husband? Him, too. Maybe the truth shall set him free and provide an explanation for his feelings. You could save his life. There is no way I would comply with that bastards demands. You deserve better than him, so let him get with OW. I find it poetic justice when two lying, cheating, pieces of shit end up together!

    God luck!

  • “Once he had sex with the OW (twice, by the way, last month)”

    Not sure if anyone has already addressed this. But this is utter bullshit. Twice? Trust me, they have had LOTS of sex. Way more than twice.

    “Yesterday he told me he was going to the store and was gone almost 2 hours. When he got back he said he needed to drive and clear his mind. That’s why it took so long” Bullshit again. He was with her and they had sex. I promise you. I’m so sorry I know you don’t want to believe that. But it’s true. I’ve been there Gee. My ex pulled the same crap. I would believe his dumb-ass excuses about where he had been. All of us chumps have been through this. However much I thought I knew, however bad I thought it was, I continued to find out over and over that it was so much worse.

    “He said if we don’t reconcile, he’ll be with OW in 5 years. I feel like they maybe planning behind my back. It’s hard for me to know if it is really true.” Read this to yourself. Again and again. He is STRAIGHT UP TO YOUR FACE TELLING YOU that he is going to leave you, and that he intends to keep torturing you in the meantime. Please don’t let him. I know how powerless you feel. I’m so sorry. But you are not powerless

    “My goal is to find out more in counseling then go from there.” Another classic chump mistake, thinking counseling is going to a goddam bit of good. Trust me it’s not. In fact it is harmful. Why? Because he is USING counseling to stall you, to give you a tiny bit of hope, so he can continue abusing you. God did I ever learn this the hard way. I should have put my time and money into lawyers, not counselors.

    “My husband has never been of this character before. This is really sudden.” I used to say this as well, that he had been a good person who suddenly changed. After we separated, and I went no contact, and the months went by, clarity came to me. I remembered little things, big things, red flags that peppered our entire relationship from day one. His character was always shitty. I ASSUMED he shared my values. But looking back, I never had direct evidence of this, and plenty of evidence of his horrific selfishness.

    Gee you have a lot of reading to do. Get the book (leave a cheater gain a life) and keep reading here. Get your power back. You feel weak and dependent but that is an illusion. Read, and get a lawyer, and protect yourself from this abuse ASAP

  • I always wondered the fuckwit logic of these clowns: “Don’t tell people I’m fucking the OW – or I’ll fuck the OW!”

  • It’s painful to read Gee’s story. It’s horrible to see what has happened to her, and to witness her fearful, uncertain, heartbroken, hopeful, naive response. We chumps have been there. I know that there are men on this forum; obviously, women cheat, too, although less often and usually for different reasons than men. But what’s so hard for women chumps to come to grips with is how easily men they thought loved them lie to and discard them (and even their children). How easily they move on to another woman. After all they’ve been through together and the life they’ve built! How easily they spend marital time and resources fucking others. Almost as if we lived in a polygynous culture in which women don’t really matter, especially as they get older, and a new one is more fun. It’s for sex, I’m convinced. It’s all about new, exciting sex.

  • This sounds like my situation……. He has told me he slept with a 19 year old twice and gave me details about how he had to make her shave and he told me it wasn’t all that good and how he fantasied she was me which she was fine with because she’s a lesbian and she started calling me their wife because of it……. He ended up taking it back and told me he’s tired of me accusing him and if I want a story he will give me a story……, I messed up a few years ago so I don’t know if it’s him punishing me and his revenge or what but he is a drug addict, just like his mother and his circle of friends……. It was only pills at first but he went back to meth which his mother encourages and also does……. She has told me I didn’t just break his heart, I shattered it into a million pieces and how he thought I was this angel…… He had me sleep with his friend about three years ago cause he “likes to watch”. I did it for him to please him and to make him happy……. He found out I was on meetme which I say is a social site to make friends…… He ended up becoming very insecure and let everything go. I have completely relied on for everything for me and my son. I have been trying to find work but it seems impossible and it seems like they are just waiting for me to get tired of all of the bull shit like the “I don’t care” and the “leave me alone” crap……. I don’t really know what I should do. He gets mad at times when he thinks I’m accusing him and has told me he’s sick of my bull shit and that I don’t take responsibility for my actions and that I love to play the victim…… I don’t really know what to do. He is all I know and I hate the idea of starting over…….

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