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Cheating on a Marine? Don’t Ask Ms. Vicki

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flagAn alert chump in the U.S. military sent me this link to the columnist “Ms. Vicki” whose advice runs in military publications and on military.com. The question posed was whether or not to tell an OW’s husband, a Marine, that he was being chumped.

I’ll let you judge the caliber of this advice for yourself. My snark savagery will appear afterwards.

Dear Ms. Vicki,

After 18 years of marriage, I found out my husband is having an affair. The other woman is married to another Marine, and this is not the only affair my husband has had.

My husband has never said “sorry,” and I have filed for divorce. He has made a mockery out of this.

I want to contact the other husband and let him know his wife is a cheater. Am I wrong? My life is turned upside down. Please help.

Sincerely,

Devastated Wife

Dear Devastated,

Wow, 18 years? I am so sorry to hear this. I don’t blame you for wanting to contact this hussy’s husband and tell him that his wife is a cheater. You have been through so much emotional turmoil because of her actions.

I’m increasingly meeting women who confess that they are the “Other Woman,” and they don’t mind being in that position.

They report that being the other woman is the best position in the world to be in for several reasons. They don’t have the stress of keeping the marriage together.

When they see your husband, he is looking good and at his best. He is not stressed out about work and sad about other life events because you, the wife, put up with the problems.

The Other Woman doesn’t have to cook his meals or wash his dirty underwear. When she has her rendezvous with your husband, he is ready to have fun and spend his money.

Lastly, the Other Woman doesn’t care anything about “his wife” or “his children.” It’s all about her.

When I hear this kind of thing, it makes me realize how easy it is to be the Other Woman. The Other Woman doesn’t have any investment.

So, I know your first reaction is to tell this Marine that his wife has been cheating with your husband.

I agree that he should know, but I’m wondering if that will keep you on a roller coaster ride of emotional turmoil. Besides, if she is the typical “Other Woman,” she doesn’t care if you tell her husband.

Please know that marriage can survive infidelity. I know many that have survived and became much better, with the couple being open and honest with each other about what caused the affair.

I can’t tell you to stay or leave your husband. However, you should give careful consideration to both. Let me know what you decide to do.

Sincerely,

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

Your advice sucks. You took a question that ostensibly was about two chumps — the writer (married to a serial cheater) and the OW’s husband, a Marine who is unknowingly being chumped — and you made it all about the OW.

The OW is a side dish, a fuckbuddy frippery. She’s not All Powerful with the “best position in the world.” (What position would that be? Reverse cowgirl?) According to “Devastated Wife” she’s not even the first OW. She’s the most recent. And yet instead of comfort and clear-headed direction, you write a valentine to OW. It’s so “easy”! So “fun”! and the OW gets to “spend his money”!

You make cheating sound like a cross between a day at the mall and summer camp. Who wants to be a wife when you can be a groovy, carefree side piece?

The OW isn’t the problem here — the problem is DW’s serial cheating husband. As long as there’s a buffet of willing OW, the guy isn’t going to keep it in his pants. More to the point, HE ISN’T EVEN SORRY FOR CHEATING ON HER. According to DW, he’s “made a mockery” of her attempts to escape his abuse, i.e., filing for divorce.

How do you know she hasn’t “carefully considered” this path? What a staggering assumption! Her marriage could “survive” and “be much better”? Based on WHAT? Magic unicorn dust?

What evidence do you have that it could be better? His serial philandering? His utter lack of respect for DW? His complete absence of remorse?

Or do you just, on principle, think it’s a shame to throw away an 18-year marriage, even if that marriage is full of abuse? DW isn’t the person throwing the marriage away, Vicki. It’s her husband. He shat on it. She can stick around and let him continue to shit on their marriage or she can find her self-respect and leave.

The woman finds the courage to do that — and you question her judgement and bizarrely tell her how fabulous it is to be an OW. Gee, maybe she should be more fun like the OW. Pick me dance anyone?

“You have been through so much emotional turmoil because of her actions.”

This “her actions” shit is insulting to men — as if they’re all hound dogs who need to be tethered to the porch, what with all that tempting woman-flesh out there.

DW’s been through so much turmoil because her HUSBAND brought the OW into her world. Her husband betrayed her and humiliated her. The OW could be anyone.

But hey, she’s not just anyone. She’s some Marine’s wife. Some guy who is serving our country whose wife is fucking around on him. That guy doesn’t even merit a half a sentence from you.

Sure, tell him, you say — but “if she is the typical ‘Other Woman,’ she doesn’t care if you tell her husband.”

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE OW! It’s about that Marine CHUMP! He deserves the dignity of the truth. He deserves to know his wife is endangering his health and well-being. By saying OW “doesn’t care” you are as good as saying “oh, don’t bother.”

Hell YES she should BOTHER. Clearly you don’t spend any time on infidelity boards, because if you did you’d know that OW care very much if you tell their husbands. It has a sobering effect on affairs, and usually results in OW either winding up divorced (and being thrown under the bus by the married man who doesn’t want a quite-so available dish dish as a main course), or desperately doing damage control with her husband.

The truth should win out. That man deserves to know. Who gives a flip if his wife cares or doesn’t care? She didn’t much consider HIS feelings in the matter, now did she?

Vicki, your advice is offensive and wrong-headed. Can’t the military find a better use for your writing abilities? Users manuals? Marketing newsletters? PowerPoint presentations?

Stay out of the deep waters of infidelity. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Dear Devastated Wife,

 Yes, tell the OW’s husband. He deserves the truth. 

Your husband is a serial cheater, who is not one bit sorry. He’s abused you and your trust long enough. There is nothing here to work with. Stay the course on the divorce. 

It’s better on the other side. ((Big hugs))

Chump Lady

Happy Memorial Day weekend, CN! Big hugs of gratitude to all our chump veterans and those in military service. Thank you.

“Love sacrifices all things to bless the thing it loves.” —Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Rerun today. Back tomorrow. 

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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.
  • The only time I would delay telling the chumped military spouse would be if they were deployed. Especially mission essential military personnel could really be endangered if they experienced receiving awful news of spouse cheating while they were out in the field. I think they should be told, but only when they are in a position to receive support and act on the news.

      • Not all military chumps would want receiving the news that the spouse was cheating delayed until after their deployment. I would hate to be spending a year or so deployed thinking my spouse was committed to our relationship and then at the end of deployment find out I was coming home without the relationship that I thought existed (MY marriage). I would prefer to know sooner rather than later. The deployment would give me some time to process the news. Much better for me to know ASAP rather than spending the deployment thinking I had a spouse at home who was committed to our marriage. There is never a good time to get the news that your spouse is cheating. They do not cheat because they love you. They cheat because they do not care how their actions will affect you.

        • I’d personally want to wait till returning to know. You’re just in a whole other mental aspect when away from your wife and kids. Mail call was what got many through the day. Plenty of soldiers attempt suicide when the news is broke to them whilst away. We had this one girl who came running out of the bay near the chow hall trying to slash her wrists open. She got tackled and taken down and then into the hospital.

        • Maybe times changed but we were told all about dependapotimus in basic and to avoid strip clubs and buying mustangs in AIT 😂

          • ChumpyNoLove, truth. I think those that are clueless about dependopotamus find out pretty quickly, either being told by their NCOs or watching it happen to their buddies.

            The tough part is what that stereotype does to extra-Chumpy spouses. “Oh, I don’t want to be dependopotamus! I’ll just make my needs really tiny and take his word for it that yes, he really needs to travel again, and no, we can’t afford that!” Not that I know anyone who did that *breaks eye contact*

            Wrt notifying deployed Chumps, I think that’s a tough one. I had a 55 soldier platoon, so needless to say it was statistically impossible that we didn’t have multiple family implosions on a year long deployment. Some found out by rumors, which is way worse than being told the truth. At if someone tells you, you know s/he’s got your back, and honestly it’s the most crippling feeling when the people on your side in the war aren’t looking out for you in life. Some used the deployment time to cool down and process & most ended up ok by the time they returned. Some just were completely derailed. Deployment itself is like an alternate reality and affects everyone differently. I think first/second line leaders would be in the best position to know if a soldier/Marine/airman/sailor would be helped or hurt by knowing… But who wants their team leader to know their personal business?

            We had plenty of monumentally fucked up situations created by selfish entitled cheaters and users, both military and spouses – ones where there was no single best solution.

        • Ladyloyal, makes me ill. Army Values my ass. They still stand there & say it without any apparent shame. Or sense of the irony.

      • Katie I agree in most cases except when (a) s/he’s likely to find out from rumors, and (b) s/he might be violent toward the spouse… Which one spouse claimed was why she didn’t want her soldier to come home on leave. Ouch. But having an altercation/spouse call to MPs could end a Chump with more problems, even if we don’t care what happens to cheater.

        Idk I was admittedly an emotional mess on deployment, but still I wouldn’t want to be welcomed home with a big fake smile and STI by cheater, only to find a few days later that my deployment bonuses are missing from my account. I’d want to know and have time to make a plan.

        • I’ve heard and don’t know full details about company commanders having affairs with enlisted soldiers wives and the captain in the story setting things up for the enlisted soldier to get an OTH discharge. Maybe Army rumour but maybe something to it? I seen a few get an OTH but for different reasons as their command never liked them. Rather crap thing to do to a soldier and they end up losing their GI bill and VA etc.

          • It wouldn’t surprise me. I had one soldier I was responsible for who was subjected to continued harassment by a married someone in the headquarters (while deployed) because she refused to make a statement that would incriminate herself re their consensual affair. She was much lower ranking and knew she’d be the one thrown under the bus. Better for her in the long run but the whole situation still causes me pain. She was a stupid child ow but didn’t deserve what she endured.

  • And military spouses, like all chumps, should take their own situations into consideration before filing or giving out information that might cost them at settlement time. Line up your own ducks first. Follow your attorney’s advice about involving the AP in depositions, etc. Once you tell the other spouse, you lose control over how your own divorce may proceed. And in all long-term marriages, issues like eligibility for spousal Social Security or military benefits should be part of your calculation about timing.

    That’s not to say “don’t tell.” That’s to say be strategic.

  • I got a laugh out of the Bulwer-Lytton quote at the bottom, thinking that when DW tells the OW’s husband it’s going to be a “dark and stormy night.”

    • I saw the dark side of the quote– just replace “love” with “wuv” or “bonk.” Cheaters sacrifice their families’ mental health and financial solvency, their spouses’ physical health, etc., as sort of blood offerings to “bless” their bonk partners.

      • And I still don’t get that.

        I can only go from my own experience. I was not perfect, but I was very good to my ex, certainly showed him lots of affection, as I do my now husband.

        But, yet he chose (I am not exaggerating) the town whore (bicycle) over me, and defended her. Makes no sense whatso ever. Even if he fell madly in love, why would he treat the mother of his only child, and someone who had been a loving wife for decades, like shit. How do these guys square that in their heads.

        • That’s narcissistic behavior. They’re playing a game, and the best defense is a good offense.

          It’s easier to turn the chump into an enemy who deserves to be abused than it is to take responsibility for the shit show their cheating created.

          Blame, project, and attack.

          • You’re SO RIGHT!! Until the clinical psychologist/marriage councelor diagnosed us, i didn’t know that Narcissist was a real thing! Especially passive-aggressive NARC!! It is a weird experience because the behaviors are so bizarre but obviously calculated and systematic. I just thought my husband was a self-absorbed douchebag addict but i didn’t know it was a thing!! He must have picked that psychologist to trap me in a bad diagnosis which would make me look delusional or paranoid but it backfired i guess. The dude was specialized in personality disorders. Once i started reading on borderline personality disorder, all forms of narcissism, sociopaths, all forms of PTSDs depressions in clinical journals, my eyes were opened. My suicide attempt wasn’t borderline behavior but acute stress disorder on top of cPTSD, major-depression like the man said. Death is better than continued “gaslighting” and other systematic abuse to get me to submit to my parents and husband. Are we still in the 1800s? Are women just chattle to others wishes? Like a commodity to use.. Sounds like most of us to include the men posting are seen like animals to serve the spouse. I still don’t understand why?? Why destroy someone?? The insurgents were more humane. A least they were just trying to blow me up. My exoerience in Iraq was a vacation in comparison to my family forcing me to submit to their ideals of a proper conventional woman/daughter/wife. I’m never going to recover. It’s hopeless.

            • Hello CPT Schmuck! Thank you for your service! I am currently separated from my STBX and have also learned more than I wanted to ever know about narcissism and control (Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft has been illuminating); Family of Origin… Would you be so kind and share clinical journal references on acute stress disorder, cPTSD, and major-depression? Those are new to me. What you wrote resonates with some of my behavior that I am not proud about… Allow me to tell you that yes we recover. One tiny step after another. One day after the other. It took me months, and different therapists, but I am getting way better. We are chumps, we got down, but we will get up again. Hugs 😘

              • Alas Rainy Again,
                Sure! I was doing the EMDR treatment while i was stationed in Korea. I had to stop treatment about a month in when i became pregnant but was put on bed rest for 2 trimesters. Rough pregnancy but my boy survived and born healthy. What i can say about this therapy is that i didn’t get better but i didn’t get worse either. You pick sound or visual stimulus which is monotonous while conducting a mild form of exposure therapy. So a pattern of beeps or light flashes while you tell about your deployment experiences over and over again.
                A great clinical review of the varying approaches to treatment for the unique experiences we encounter in the military:
                Treating PTSD In Military Personnel
                second edition-A Clinical Handbook
                (2019 Eds) Bret A. Moore & Walter E Penk
                Guildford Press
                New York/London
                ISBN 9781462538447

                Psychiatrists recognize that traumas are different and have different effects but (caveat) most psychologists and various licensed therapists are clueless and cause more damage. They’ve told me that “trauma is trauma” when i questioned their approach. No it is not! The clinical psychologist who functioned as our marriage counselor was awesome and recognized what was happening. He works and testifies for the court system so he’s not the average psychologist. In hindsight, i could see why my husband chose him to ambush me in a future divorce case. But HA! It went in the other direction but i was way damaged by then and I’ve tapped out freaking with him. I haven’t filed not have i received divorce paperwork yet. Terrified with the idea of having to deal with him again. I’m drained and broken for any type of court drama.
                Thank you for the words of inspiration that we can recover at some point. It just doesn’t seem possible to me but you gave me some hope. I thank you.

  • lmao, I don’t understand what happened there. It’s like the columnist has an idealised version of the OW that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t matter to her if someone tells her husband? Really?! Why is she hiding it then? If it doesn’t matter surely it should be out in the open.

    Also I’m so sick of hearing about “what caused affairs” because it doesn’t bloody matter. Whatever issue might have been the catalyst to an affair I can assure you that cheating was not the answer. Not only that, but it is disproportionate retribution, it’s the equivalent of me stepping on your feet and you stabbing me.

    • “Not only that, but it is disproportionate retribution, it’s the equivalent of me stepping on your feet and you stabbing me.”

      exactly

  • I cleaned out 30 years of garbage from a relative’s basement.

    The fact that it was down there 30 years didn’t make it any more valuable. Junk is junk.

    • ” Fallacy effect. … People demonstrate “a greater tendency to continue an endeavor once an investment in money, effort, or time has been made.” This is the sunk cost fallacy, and such behavior may be described as “throwing good money after bad”, while refusing to succumb to what may be described as “cutting one’s losses”.

  • Since when do OW not care? Of course they care. They usually don’t want to lose their spousal appliance either. They like cake. Plus they hate to lose the respectable image they have so carefully cultivated to hide the disordered self inside.

    OW in my case was equal parts icily furious and sad sausagey after I told her husband. AFAIK they are still together, so my guess is he read her the riot act and severely curtailed her freedoms.
    A year later she made a subtle (and unsuccessful) run at my ex again, who had disliked her ever since she was such a bitch about their breakup. So I guess her husband had stopped being marriage police by that time. I didn’t see the point of telling him she was at it again. I’d already given him info on her lengthy and disgusting history of serial cheating, so if that wasn’t enough, he obviously wasn’t going to leave no matter what. Poor sap. He has a progressive medical condition and is likely hanging on because he’s hoping she will take care of him when he is eventually disabled by it. IMO, that is not going to happen. She’ll dump him in a nursing home and be off fuckwitting while he suffers all alone.

    What they don’t care about, Vicky, is their spouses. But image and cake? Oh, they care.

  • I was in the Army and the sheer amount of cheating was unbelievable. The dear John letters, the barrack bunnies getting gangbanged in the bays, the huge divorce rate, wives being passed around base, cuckolding, swingers. The Army turn a huge blind eye to most of it. Such a toxic environment for any relationship to survive. After all, Jodie was with my ex wife whilst I was away.

      • It is crazy. Back in the late 70s early 80 in our home town there was this little tavern that was famous for it huge tenderloin sandwiches. I never thought much about it, as I didn’t drink, and we didn’t have money to buy the sandwiches anyway. I was busy raising my son.

        Anyway, one day the news hit the paper that a bunch of customers had been arrested and the bar was shut down. They had been accused by a woman of raping her on the pool table. I agree that she was raped. Once she was too drunk to consent she was raped. If they still had the agency to have sex with her, they were not too drunk.

        I don’t remember the outcome, but I do know the bar eventually re opened.

        But yeah, this shit is so wide spread and certainly not new.

        I had a red flag early in my marriage when my Army H was stationed in VA. He brought a woman he worked with home to meet me, her name was Rena if I remember right. His story was she was just a co worker friend and she had taken him under her wing. He was 20 she was over 40. Yeah, I bought it, that is how stupid I was.

        I did question it, and he assured me she was really old and no way he was interested in her. He never brought her around again, and we left that post a few months later.

          • I never saw that movie, will have to look it up.

            I may give my town away, but the name of the tavern was The Goldbrick. It was a dive.

    • ChumpyNo Love, I was a faithful military spouse for 24 years. It is my opinion that adultery is a part of Army Culture. We could ask General David Patreous about that. I saw so much cheating in those years.

      I once was folding the adulterous STBX’s underwear in the laundry mat when I was propositioned by a young SGT. I held up the underwear, showed him my wedding ring and exclaimed “I am married.” That SGT told me “I don’t care about that.”

      I knew a COL relieved of duty for fucking his secretary on his desk AFTER there were security cameras installed. His wife was devastated. She disappeared so quickly.

      I could go on with ugly recitals of adultery. I won’t. Those memories are painful and triggering. I hope the COL’s wife got all her benefits. I hope she found Chump Lady. I hope she is living cheater free.

      • They don’t care if a woman is married or not. It’s my opinion that military service and relationships just don’t work out well. Of course there are success stories but I’ve seen so many fall apart and all from cheating. It’s even worse when deployed and girls in the Army basically have themselves passed around hence the barrack bunny terminology. We were exposed to the cheating early in basic training when a drill SGT who was married with kids was caught sleeping with some of the female recruits. He got taken of DS duty real quick for that, no idea what else happened to him but he was gone.

        Via Facebook I’ve seen that near all my married battle buddies are all now divorced and surprise they divorced within first 18 months of service. I truly believe the military is a noble thing but I’d 100% tell my kids to only ever go into the service as a young single person.

        • As a former military member of the female gender please stop denigrating female members of arms. We did not fuck your people. We did not usurp your roles. Assholes among us did you wrong. Shitty people do shitty things but they are not defined by their occupations or titles.

        • ChumpyNoLove,

          Like Wasjustanotherchump, I was in the military. Women in the service are not the problem and it’s crap that we are blamed for it.

          Yes there are women in the service that also cheat. Women in the military DON’T CAUSE MEN TO CHEAT. Men that will cheat will do it anyway… they go ashore or to duty stations and pick up prostitutes and find women in bars. They cheat.

          Are coworkers an issue? YES — in all businesses (not just military — ALL BUSINESSES). Cheaters cheat. Should we keep women out of civilian offices too?

          Blaming women in the military is SEXIST and ignorant.

      • 😂😂 that’s classic. Would suck to be him. Old butter bar Jodie. Wonder if he was amazing with land nav like the rest of the new LT’s.

  • Miss Vicky done fucked up. Any one who describes the whore in such glowing terms is highly suspect of being cheater herself. Why Miss Vicky, why? Why not tell that Marine? I think Miss Vicky was considering the mess that will ensue when a Marine discovers his wife is cheating on him. There will be so much paperwork.

    • Yes, and she said she agrees the other chump should know. How the hell does she expect him to find out if the wife chump who knows for a fact doesn’t tell him.

  • Sounds to me the writer is reminiscing the time she herself was the OW and got a bit carried away…

    • 👍

      Kind of like at a police department event, my someone brought up that one of the other guys (his bud) was fucking the new police woman, and he said “I can’t judge them”. Umm first of all big red waving sparkly sign that this chump ignored, and second since when can you not judge, you have done nothing for years but judge other policemen for treating their wives like shit.

    • That’s EXACTLY what I read between the lines. Ms Vicky enjoys being the OW and is defending herself.

  • Military divorce is a whole different world and timing is everything.
    She does NOT want him to know, if they get divorced the timing is the difference between her being 20/20/20 or 20/20/15. The longer she stays married the more $$ of his retirement she will get, it is percentage based on length of marriage.

    I disagree, if he is deployed he still needs to know, she has a POA.
    REal Life experience here! We lived on post, my neighbor (while her husband was deployed) took the kids and moved everything from HOOD to to her hometown in KY. She used his POA and was able to move money around. She bought a house that she had put in her parents name, she got cosmetic surgery and started her new life.
    My husband was deployed as well and was his commander. I went to visit a friends/family for a couple weeks and I knew she was going to KY on “vacation” for a couple weeks, I got back to post to find her moved out. With his POA, she sold his car and cleared housing. I let my husband know and it was out of my hands, otherwise he would have come back a year later to nothing.

  • I was the chump of an 18 year marriage to an active duty Marine at the time I discovered his “emotional affair” (was actually monkey sex of a serial cheater) with OW.

    The Marine culture likes to tout the virtue of the Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) Marine and vilify the ho-bag wife who mounts every dick in town the second The Virtuous One leaves to Serve Humanity. In my case, I was faithfully tending home, hearth, kids and work while he was fucking nulliparous coworkers (from what I learned, they were his “type”).

    Like many chumps, I dreamed of the vengeance I could get on both of them but I had the sense to see that my momentary pleasure might likely create issues for me (like him losing his retirement) if he was caught in the affair as it actually compromised his mission. He was a big dollar military purchasing agent and OW was the vendor. Her company wisely fired her when they saw the incriminating emails.

    Whether or not to tell while the active duty member is deployed depends on various factors. Some deployed people get financially fleeced while they are away but yea, you don’t want to catch a guy 10 minutes before a life-threatening mission and tell him that his life is fucked.

    There is a special sort of heartbreak from learning that the three 6 month deployments I endured (remaining as chaste as a nun) were not reciprocated by my then-husband. I thought we had a “marriage”and we didn’t. After 18 years of my sacrifices to his military career, he had his retirement ceremony placed and timed to accommodate (who I later learned was) the OW.

    He shat on me and his kids (one of whom couldn’t be there because timing) and yet the worst was his manipulation just before the retirement ceremony. He could see that I was so upset (at his declaration of intent to divorce me) that just before the guests arrived, he swore a promise to reconcile and save our marriage. It worked and I was happy at the event. After the last guest left, he rescinded the promise. Asshole.

    Tell the Marine the truth so that he can make his life decisions based on reality and not lies.

    • I can’t wrap my head around wanting to accommodate the OW but not his own child. Or toying with your emotions so you could wear a happy face at the ceremony. What a POS.

      • Yes, he was a selfish fucker in the OW era. My mom wain the neurotrauma ICU on a vent and he didn’t bother to go to the hospital with me…he thus had more time to swoon over Susan.

        One of the many ideas he pitched was to move the family to Seattle (because there are no jobs for retired military in DC, uh…no) to be closer to Susan of Seattle. I pointed out that it was his sons senior year of HS (hence a terrible time to move him) and Cheater suggested he go live with someone for a year. Ive known families who did this in a loving way but for us in that moment, he was just trying to throw our kid away for his side fuck.

        I failed at a lot of things and made a million mistakes, but I succeeded in not letting him screw our kids (any more than ha had already). I knew that staying put was the best thing for the kids and I refused to move even though Cheater carped about it EVERY DAMN DAY until he dropped dead.

  • It is true that adultery is punishable by the UCMJ, but my limited observations is that it is rarely used and too often it protects powerful people who should be the ones setting a good example.

    But yes, a guy could have 18 years in and get thrown out and both he and his spouse (who is entitled to help his retirement forever if they have been married >10 years) would lose the retirement. In reality though, I think that cheating is so rampant that if every cheater was prosecuted, the military courts would grind to a screeching halt. I think they save these cases for egregious cases like the Mormon General with super sensitive clearance who was caught going to orgies.

    My Cheater was a supply officer who was responsible to millions in purchasing and he fucked the vendor…that might likely have caused him to lose his retirement, but rank and file ground-pounders likely won’t get prosecuted.

    The violence side of this is VERY real. Marines are among the few military folks still taught hand-to-hand combat. My Marine (sometimes after sex while were in bed) would sometimes ease my head into a wrestling hold then tell me that he could snap my neck in an instant. Military are trained to kill the enemy and often they forget who the enemy is. BE very wary of becoming their enemy, you may not survive it.

    • The military does not use cheating against anyone unless there is something else going on and they want to throw the book at someone. Realistically they could care less if an officer with a security clearance is cheating with the admirals wife, or the admiral himself. The spouse is on his or her own.

  • I somehow feel better that, having been in the same position (except 16 years of marriage and FW and OW’s husband were both Navy), I chose to tell the OW’s husband. I waited many months to do it and knew where his ship was when he got the message. Mostly I waited to give myself a lot of time to think if it was the right thing to do and also to be so removed from D-day that it would come out of nowhere. It seemed like the right thing to do and OW suffered consequences. He dumped her so fast. I think he divorced her inside the year. I shared the information anonymously. It felt good to do something as I wished someone had told me before. And I liked helping the karma bus ride over her and throw it in reverse. Nobody deserves to be chumped, least of all service members.

  • This brings back so much PTSD issues for me. My ex who is still active duty Army was the cheater. I found out he was sleeping with half of Hawaii… our neighbors, coworkers, and just random people. One in particular was a military spouse that he would enjoy long lunches with. I was so upset when I found out and it just burned me every time I thought about it. I told me husband I was going to tell her Army husband. He said not to because I would just look stupid. I didnt care. I thought he was playing me. One night I followed him and he drove to “her” house. The husband was there. Come to find out my husband wasn’t just screwing the wife.

    • “Come to find out my husband wasn’t just screwing the wife.”

      Oh my…that would have resulted in whole other levels of shock.

  • Zasha Trivi, you bring up a good point. Leaving any cheater is a dangerous time for the cheater’s victim. Any decisions made must be carefully thought out. This isn’t a time to lash out in anger. This is the time to use this anger as impetus to gather intel, study the cheater, document and get your ducks in a row. It is the time to educate yourself about the divorce laws in your state. It is time to make a plan, look for weaknesses in that plan and to implement the plan when it is favorable to do so.

    I highly advocate blindsiding the cheater. In all of this protect yourself. Pack a GoBag. Have a safe place. Be prepared for mayhem. Statistically it is a very dangerous time for chumps when they leave. On the advice of my therapist and my lawyer I left and then filed and had LTC Fuckface served.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. You didn’t have a chance. Yeah, LTC ranks have privileges where they get away with adultery. My boss a LTC got away with 2 investigations regarding his behavior. They just forced him to retire with not even an article 15. I witnessed him but on my chief and a 20yr old with the same lines. He gave me and my chief lousy evaluations for witnessing too much. He was harrassing my chief for months but she wanted nothing to do with him. He ended up carrying on with a LT and a Major. The Major was the SHARP rep for our unit. SHARP is sexual harassment and assault representative. Ain’t that something!!
      And he still behaved better than my husband. I really need to post my situation and get advice from you all. Now that I’m reading other service members and military spouses, maybe I’ll get balls to file. I’m so destroyed that i became non-functional and recluse. Scared to ask for financial support from him who i supported those 8 unemployment years of our 10 yrs of marriage. Not to mention the punches i received, money stolen for his many vices and affairs. My family never believed me and said that he was saint to put up with me and my bullshit army career. If he hit me then i probably deserved it. Hard to leave a marriage that everyone is against you even after being sent to hospital. He was arrested but i was being investigated and i did a urine analysis just to prove that i wasn’t the lush but it didn’t matter. I was in command at that time and felt so humiliated that i didn’t even testify in the case so he would take care of our infant. I couldn’t leave him in day care from 5:30 to 18:30 every day and then take him to my office for two more hours until we were done. He didn’t take care of him throughout the court-ordered restraining order and his mom booked him up with an apartment in the same city his mistress lived in. I realized what was happening but it didn’t matter. I quit the army after bad PTSD therapy that sent me spiralling down to suicidal. Strong Star program have incompetent psychologists that exasperated my PTSD from mild (3 psychiatric evals)to suicidal co-morbid with major depression. And when i asked my parents if i can come home because i was broken, they wouldn’t let me return unless he came with me. So the abuse became worse with my parents degrading me on a daily bases because i wanted divorce. I’m selfish and lazy for not wanting to work out my marriage to such a tolerant man. I finally tried to commit suicide to end it all and gain peace. My son was witnessing all of this and if rather be dead than have him hate me too. I worked the whole time, didn’t cheat, but i did verbally abuse him Everytime i discovered money vanishing, or find a huge bill for gaming, come home from work with him passed out drunk, or when he start arguing with me about me cutting him off our joint account. After he sent me to the hospital, and my suicide attempt, the gloves came off and i HAD TO SCARE HIM OFF or it wouldn’t ever stop. Man had no boundaries but neither did my parents who reminded me every day how i was garbage because i went away for college, moved out of their house 45 mins away not 5 mins, attended culinary school, wasn’t feminine, joined the army or went to graduate school and not used that degree, forensic anthropology. I paid for all of those schools, not them. I left a high salary job to join the army which infuriated them. I wanted meaning in my life and i loved my years in service. Theoretically i know my life isn’t garbage but it’s hard to hear my dad tell me that every accomplishment that i was proud of was to them the biggest mistakes of my life. Having my son was the only good thing that i did according to them. A biological function is what my life was reduced to. They now deny everything from defending my ex, to the verbal lashings and outright lies about me, and they demanded his presence to “babysit” me from myself. I have no resiliency left to file for divorce or to file for financial support. My son and i are living in a RV burning through my disability check. I was medically chaptered out for my injuries in iraq. I had submitted my resignation but during the usual medical checks the doctor initiated the chapter which voided my resignation. So no chance of joining the reserves afterwards for extra-salary. Sorry for the long response but now i don’t have to do a post for advice. I’m not doing the VA mental health program, it’s a joke. Women don’t have a combat PTSD program, just a sexual assault program or the other option group therapy with men. I don’t mind that but i need to unfuck what that bitch psychologist created. I need a shrink not therapists. I read all of the ladies and mens stories and THANK YOU ALL!! Our marriage counselor was a clinical psychologist that he picked out. I get Borderline Personality diagnosis until my husband starts to admit some of his behaviors. That’s not right!! It turns out he’s a passive-aggressive narcissist. He’s the one with the personality disorder and i have cPTSD and major depression. My diagnosis shouldn’t be reliant on his confessions. That’s horse-shit!! How is that not illegal?? What dude is going to confess on his criminal behavior voluntarily??

      • Cpt, your story overwhelms me. I can’t imagine how strong you had to be and how resilient and determined you are. Your family has done you so much wrong.Just needed to send you a hug ❤and hope you have peace of mind soon. You’re amazing and so mighty!

        • Thank you for the kind words but i truly feel like failure. I survived 2 attacks in iraq, 3 surgeries and a miscarriage with no problem but i can’t recover from my parents treatment and opinion of me. I’m an only child and the only reason they speak to me is to visit with my son. I’ve never been arrested, great credit, never borrowed money from them and for the life of me i can’t understand their deep resentment for me. All of my boyfriends cheated on me (but they cheated on all of their chics too) but somehow they feel i deserve it. I speak up for myself. yes I’m definitely abrasive but i don’t set boundaries well enough till it’s too late so then there’s a shock value i guess. My Soldiers, NCOs, and CSMs would tell me all the time that i genuinely care about them so i figure i must be somewhat empathetic but I’m facing the facts that I’m just pathetic. If i can’t get my parents to love and respect me then who will?? I’ve cut off everyone after the negative responses or uncomfortable responses when i told them what really happened in my marriage and with my parents. I’ve been supportive with them but then again i had to show them the pictures of my broken face to convince them i wasn’t exaggerating. It’s my fault, i really wanted to make my marriage work so i didn’t share the important stuff till the end. Maybe they think i betrayed them for not being 100% open about the ugly stuff. If my marriage did work out, i didn’t want any static. My fault, i didn’t know how to handle all of this. Like what other posts mentioned, if we say something, then our whole chain of command gets involved. No personal privacy so it all came out on the blotter with his arrest. He was facing a felony 8-12 yrs and i didn’t testified so i could focus on my company upcoming deployment and wanted all of that to disappear. So humiliating, knocked out 2 front teeth, broken nose, cheek and they almost had to wire my jaw shit if the fracture split open. I have no self-respect anymore. vengeance/justice sounds great in theory but awkward and uncomfortable in real life. Even the division generals were tracking my situation. My brigade cdr, COL was an angel by giving me my privacy and support. I’d take a bullet for him.

          • Cut your parents out of your life. I know it’s hard, BTDT, but the release it gives you to heal is worth it. It will take several months, at least, to start recovering from their toxicity, but once your head starts clearing, you’ll more clearly see how they raised you in dysfunction and groomed you to marry the POS you are married to. Take deep breaths and then baby steps. But please start getting your ducks in a row to divorce him. It starts with cutting everyone out of your life that doesn’t add value to it.

      • Dear CPT Shmuck,

        Yours is such a horrible story and I am so sorry you’re living thru this.

        You may indeed need your own post for advice from others who would be more familiar with your situation.
        If you are not in the Chump Lady private group, please reach out to others to find out how to join. You need good advice!!

        What I can tell you is that your family is toxic and destroying you. You need support now, not their knocking you down.

        Can you remove yourself from contact with your parents? Or can you at least start to practice grey rock? You’re a grown woman and a mother and need to get rid of anyone who will damage your soul. Family can be left behind and you may be better off without them. Ask yourself what they add to your life? If the answer is nothing good, then it’s time to walk away for yourself and your son.

        Since it sounds like you’re not living on a base, perhaps looking into community-based mental health services might be better for you than relying on the military.

        I will leave any advice about divorcing your spouse to those who can give more specific ideas.

        I wish you much luck and am so sorry your getting hit on all sides. Please don’t lose hope and keep posting!

  • Ive been reading a book named exaholics and the author says she finds the one individual that ends up suffering the worst in the end after all the dust settles, is the OW. She has worked on rearranging her whole life around the married man’s schedule, lives with nothing but constant jealousy, and once the affair eventually comes to life, usually gets kicked to the curb. Karma.
    Probably the people saying its the best position are trying to project an image as a self-defense mechanism.

    • This reminded me, the other day I saw one of those memes that the ow posted on my sister in laws page. (my sister in law and I are friends after all these years) It was basically a meme where you choose something and it tells your personality. She had posted about how “whore is the nicest sweetest person alive, she is honest to a fault and does not tolerate lying” I am sorry it was a side splitter, even all these years later. Do these people ever look in the mirror or have any self awareness at all.

      I didn’t read the whole meme as it was so stupid it was ridiculous. Also, it would have taken me to her page likely if I clicked on it. I am still not a FB expert. I am not on it that much.

    • In my case, the OW and my ex have now been together 10 years post-divorce and at least 5 – 10 years during my marriage.

      Have have no idea what their relationship is like but they are still law partners and life partners.

      The only way to deal with your feelings about what happens to the OW is to not care.

      • “The only way to deal with your feelings about what happens to the OW is to not care.” Or the fw for that matter.

        Yep, I think that helped me a lot in real time. I mean obviously I thought she was a whore, but beyond that I didn’t really think a lot about her, it was all I could do to move forward. I also didn’t want to know what they were doing, so that helped me. For many years neither of them ever even crossed my mind. Oh I would ask my son “how is your dad” and such, but that was it. It was a perfunctory question, because honestly until he had a major heart attack I really didn’t care one way or the other. After the health issue, as my sons dad, I did care about that. I never asked about the ow, just didn’t care.

        Because we share a son and he and she treated my son and sons family like shit, in fact blew up the relationship; I did know how things went in general for them a few years down the road. They did stay together, but they fucked up their lives financially and with our son, pretty much beyond repair. Used and lied to him just as he did to me.

        I have no doubt thought they blamed everyone but themselves, and just kept right on crapping all over themselves.

        As CL says, they don’t have character transplants, neither of them. It will be the rare situation where they prance trouble free into a new life. Unfortunately many of us won’t see that, so no use worrying about it. Easier said than done.

  • Why do these people even get married? Why can’t they just screw whomever they want on their own time? Why make promises and have families just to destroy them?

    There are 2 types of lovers in the world: the ones who cheat and the ones who don’t. It’s really that simple. Why can’t the cheaters stay on their own side of the fence, and let the rest of us be happily monogamous?

    • Yep, other than what CL has said, they enjoy the duping of the chump.

      I mean come one we all know sex is fun and feels good; but something has to give it the extra kick they crave and duping has to be part of it.

    • “Why do these people even get married? Why can’t they just screw whomever they want on their own time? Why make promises and have families just to destroy them?”

      I have thought about this a lot.

      It has been 35 years since I married Cheater and I think that back then, the military really encouraged marriage for officers…there are many benefits that you can only get once you are married. Prior to that, with regard to the military, your partner doesn’t exist if you aren’t married.

      I don’t think my Cheater ever should have married and he also knew it. I wish that he had been more forthcoming with that but society really can and does set expectations for people. I think some things have changed since then (not rules and the military) but people being allowed to be themselves.

      My Cheater ought to have fessed up to wanting to be non-monogamous and non married. I would have passed on him and looked elsewhere.

      • I think klootzak wanted that higher BAH so he could afford a nice house. Marriage makes officers look stable and klootzak is all about image management. It doesn’t matter to him if he puts others through hell for that image.

        Klootzak’s latest “look at how wonderful I am” is his adventure trying to appear to be Super Dad. His attorney must be advising this. He intends now to sign our son up for Boy scouts though our son doesn’t even like tent camping. I would encourage it if I knew he wanted to do it, but he doesn’t, so end of story. But klootzak has to maintain his image and told his buddy he could see how doing scout stuff with kiddo will allow him to “expand (his) networking and social opportunities.” Nevermind what benefit to his child. He needs more friends and networking opportunities! Of course he does. Except for his one narc buddy he made 3 years ago, all his old friends have done away with him. They don’t share his values. So his solution is to sign kiddo up for Scouts because of what is in it for klootzak.

        Being a married, family man is an image the officers like to have and the narcs among them marry a chump to keep up. Since he failed to make O-6, I’m just a dependa and reason for all his woes. I didn’t support him into being an admiral someday.

      • Could be, but according to what I read cheating is getting worse in younger generations, so I don’t know.

        I think we have just become a throw away society in many ways. I think my ex took his vows and though he loved me romantically as one does at age 18, he never really intended to keep his vows. He intended for me to keep them, and was confident I would.

        Unfortunately for me, I was confident he would too. Only one of us was right.

        I honestly don’t think when he cheated for many years he ever intended for me to find out, or to divorce. But, he got caught up in the last situation and well, the rest is history.

  • These posts make me so sad. Our years in the Naval aviation community were probably the only ones that Knave-man did not cheat on me. Maybe it was due to our youth, a joint sense of purpose, and that squadrons were small. Or, maybe it was because we were only in the military for a few short years. When I later used the word “dishonorable” to describe his cheating, an unusually meaningful and serious term for military officers, that was the only time he ever flinched.

    • Hmm… on second thought, maybe it was the rush of an F-14 that was exciting enough to keep those cheating urges at bay…for a while.

      • When they deployed and you couldn’t afford a babysitter because they had to buy into the”admin” in every port?( a hotel room that they stocked with women and booze to be used by all). Yeah, I thought he (a RIO)wasn’t cheating then either. Who would want to? He had it all… a loving wife, beautiful healthy kids, sports cars…. I guess they wanted more.

        • It’s definitely in their personality to push it to the edge, and then some.
          You’re probably right; Knave-man was likely cheating then, too.
          I only noticed enough to be suspicious after he separated from the Navy and began his media career with the same bravado.
          No one ever told me anything — I guess they must have listened to Ms. Vicki’s terrible advice.

  • I vote for: Tell the other Chump. Everyone deserves to know the truth. And this is your story to tell. And this advice columnist sucks. And Chump Lady ROCKS.

  • Ms. Vicki:
    I value the opinions of people that WIN. You?? You’re sparkle deficient, shut up and go away already. Go ask the OW what you should do, clearly she has her priorities straight. Just look how happy she is, flitting through life with nary a care. Not impacting readiness or causing paperwork. It’s not a problem unless you make it one, DW. Are you going to make this a problem?

    Ugh. And if Ms.Vicki had rank they’d probably promote her for writing this.

    • Don’tfeellikedancibg, LTC Fuckface used those very words to me, “It is not a problem unless you make it a problem.” I sure as hell made it a problem. I told him if I ever caught him cheating AGAIN I would leave him. I caught him and left him. Now I am battling that narcissist in the courts. I hope every chump makes it a problem.

      I think Miss Vicki is “sus”.

      • Super sus 😂 Petraeus’ OW’s codename

        Thirtythreeyears, I wish you luck, mightiness, 20/20/20, 74% of the retirement, and ultimate victory!

  • I am not surprised by Ms Vicki’s advice. The military is vested in keeping marriages together for the peace of mind of its personnel.
    I was in Officer Candidate School when I found out about the cheating FW was doing while I was in sucky training. His mother kind of told me he was cheating with another teacher.
    There was no way for me to discretely request STD testing. I had to tell my company officer why I wanted to go to medical. She approved the request but then she blabbed to our drill sargeant who pulled me aside and talked me out of a divorce. I still got the STD testing.
    That was in 1976. Sounds like things haven’t changed. It took me 6 more years and a couple more girl friends (the ones I knew about) to finally leave.

    • Emma C 100% correct, it’s don’t rock the boat & look the other way if at all possible.

      Sorry to hear this bullshit kept you stuck so long, and sorry to tell you it’s still the default.

  • I am prior service and was an Army wife for twenty years. I really wish someone had told me. I now think everyone knew except me. I didn’t find out until a couple of months after the sudden abandonment. However, after I found out that the skank (now wife) was Army, I reported her to anyone and everyone I could think of. She got kicked out of the military and her career was over but she is still in her twenties so can build another one.

    Cheater and the whore have a new house, are preparing for a baby and present themselves as proud veterans. (According to DD) This is a hard day.

    • “after I found out that the skank (now wife) was Army, I reported her to anyone and everyone I could think of. ”

      So glad you got some kind of justice & could walk away knowing that you at least served with honor.

      Today’s not about those “proud veterans” anyway, although I’m sure it would be news to them. Me me me!

      Hope you had a nice holiday & some space to think about the ones we honor today.

    • Too many triggers, Peaches. I was a proud Navy wife who kept the home fires burning while the dick had his cake and everyone else’s too.

  • Interesting. My ex had, at least, an online deal with a Marine’s wife – gymnastic nude pics via webcam. I thought about letting the husband know, but didn’t.

  • As if returning soldiers don’t have enough to deal with ( PTSD etc.) to add being cheated on to the mix is just cruel. Telling him the truth is important, but the timing needs to be right.

  • I will say that of all the incredibly stupid RIC/counselor type stuff they they throw ut, the idea that your marriage can be better cause someone cheats on you really is the stupidest of all.

    • True, but it is all designed to just make the chump swallow shit, so they can keep collecting the fees.

      The cheater is certainly not going to swallow any shit.

  • No, actually, cheating does improve the marriage! For the Cheater!!!! They see what you will accept if you stay with them. They get to lie and cheat and act like an idiot and you ” forgive” them. You work on “improving’ yourself even though there’s not a damn thing wrong with you ( that Caused the cheating). I became like a Stepford Wive, improving myself and swallowing the bullshit.

    That s just so wrong, Cheating improves your marriage. It’s just an illusion. I don’t think it ever can. Ever

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