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A Veteran’s Day Salute to Military Chumps and Spouses

flagHello Chump Lady,

I was wondering if you can run some type of article on Veteran’s Day about all of us military spouse chumps?

All hell is bad, but I think a military spouse chump gets their own little level somewhere in there! On Veteran’s Day we see all the hero worship and it is a horrible trigger for us military chumps. They get free and reduced meals and all the thanks they get on Facebook. And I know a lot of them deserve it, however as we both know, there are a lot that do NOT.

Thank you!

Survivor and ex-military chump



Hi Mike,

Thank you for your service as a military spouse and husband appliance. Gah, what a shit sandwich. Of course, military service people write to me about being chumped too, like this Marine chump. I think what must make Veteran’s Day difficult is the emphasis on sacrifice and honor. Beautiful ideals. And so many FWs failing to measure up.

As I say here, it’s not the pain Olympics, but yes, there is a special place in hell for anyone who cheats on a military spouse, or a vulnerable, deployed member of the armed services. Because you’re part of something larger than just your marriage — you’re making a sacrifice for the well-being of our entire country.

It’s a shit-ton to ask of someone to move from base to base, uprooting their life, and their children’s lives, time and again because the military requires it. Military spouses often have to sacrifice their own career success. And they do it, not just to support the person they love, but because they believe in the mission. So it’s another level of betrayal when you find out you’ve been used and abused.

When you divorce out of the military, my understanding is you lose all those support structures. Plus you lose a whole identity.

I briefly worked at the Defense Department as a writer. I liked the whole suck up and deal ethos. I had to learn the lingo, but what particularly stuck out to me was an emphasis on “unit cohesion.” That you had to make decisions based on the well-being of the unit, not your individual desires. That this was a fundamental building block to any functional military. They say it’s why they shave new recruits’ hair — to strip down the individual and build up the whole.

Cheating is such a basic assault to unit cohesion. I know adultery is an offense in the military code (and rarely enforced, you guys tell me). Rules for thee but not for me? No trust? No one is giving up their life for that shit, knowingly.

Mike, I don’t know if this is the column you were looking for this Veteran’s Day. But I want you to know that you’re seen. Every time we thank a veteran, we should also thank the military family that’s doing the grunt work on the home front. And I’m sorry you were betrayed. You can’t be chumped unless you have a big, selfless heart to begin with.

Thank you for your service.

Friday Challenge — thank a military spouse, a veteran, and share your military chump stories.







Ask Chump Lady

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  • I served in the Navy. And I saw plenty of people on my ship (an aircraft carrier) cheating either on board or when they left the ship. But even as a 20 something in a relationship but not married at the time, I didn’t believe in “what happens on cruise stays on cruise.” I made clear that they’d best stay away from me because I’m not their secret keeper.

    And there were plenty like me on board that were loyal and didn’t cheat. We would go out as a group to meals or drinks or movies and be real friends.

    I also saw too many shipmates get “Dear John” letters from their spouses and relationships back home. … or just discover the cheating when they came back after deployment. It’s all heart breaking.

    When I became a civilian, it was actually worse in civilian work places. I couldn’t believe the cheating and insanity with the men I worked with in a sales role I had in Chicago. And it only made me more disgusted because there was no excuse — no separation for long periods. These men weren’t lonely… they were just cheating during the day then going home to hot meals and sex with their wives.

    My only point is, I know that both sides of this coin hurt for both military spouse chumps and veteran chumps. I’m sorry. Happy Veterans Day

    • I was army and saw the same thing. Both sides cheat….spouses actually have more opportunity. I saw this all the time.

      But I also agree that many don’t cheat.

      Happy veterans day to all who served, whether active duty or spouse. I was also a navy wife after I got out and spouses sacrifice a lot.

  • New chump here, in the process of divorcing my ex-army deeply dishonest black-hole-of-a-FW. It is so maddening to see him “honored” knowing the truth of who he is. He is very involved in the veteran community, very charming, sociable blah blah blah. Also he is a social worker who works specifically with veterans suffering from PTSD, and is cheating with a coworker! I am still struggling to reconcile who he is and what he has done with how he presents himself publicly, and “trust that he sucks”. Thank you for this community, it makes it all a bit easier.

  • I had a very long habit of automatically thanking veterans, firefighters, police whenever I saw them. I am sad to report that because of reading here for about four years, I no longer do so.

    Protect and Serve begins at home.

    Unit cohesion begins at home.

    All the principals characteristic of those service positions BEGIN AT HOME.

    Principles are to be practiced in all our affairs, no pun intended. Not selectively.
    Otherwise, they are just manipulation and image management.

    I am so angry at hypocrites in uniform. A hero to me is someone who shows up in the same way for their family in private as they do in public.

    I have a dear phone buddy who I met here. We call her ex LTC Fuckface. We gave him a dishonorable discharge from their so-called marriage. Yesterday she signed the papers on a little farm, a life dream she can now have. We have tentatively named it Cheater Free Ranch.

    I will hang my giant American flag today. It REALLY upsets me to now have an asterisk after my thank you.

    *unless you’re a cheater.

    So with my whole heart, my thanks and gratitude go out today to military chumps everywhere. I sincerely thank YOU for your service. No asterisk.


    • Sadly I learned a little bit of law enforcement slang from my friend who is the wife of a retired police officer. In San Francisco, the cheating accomplice of a police officer is called a “beat wife”. It’s such a widespread occurrence that there is slang for it.

      She’s chosen to stay in her marriage. I love her to death and won’t abandon her because of him. But I am honest with her when the subject comes up. And her choice makes me so glad I left. The last affair she knew about was probably fourteen years ago. The wound is not healed. They go to therapy every week. “Suspicion is a permanent member of the family.” Her words. No thanks.

      • And as was pointed out above, I realize cheating is not exclusive to the military or other professions of community service.

        It’s just a sector of society where cheating stands so starkly opposed to the characteristics of the position held.


        • “…a sector of society where cheating stands so starkly opposed to the characteristics of the position held.” Makes me think of Jesus Cheaters too. There’s something especially devastating about cheaters who have been intentionally trained in the ways of KNOWING BETTER.

          Thanks to Mike and CL for this post today. I don’t have experience with infidelity in the military, so I appreciate hearing this particular story. Helps grow my empathy.

          • Also cheaters/abusers with children with chronic illness or disability. There should be a tenth ring of hell reserved for the latter along with military family cheaters, Jesus cheaters and those who cheat on partners struggling with serious illness.

      • My ex, the Lying Cheating Loser, is ex-military. Apparently the military equivalent to a “beat wife” is “deployment pussy/dick.” The LCL used to also say “what happens in the sandbox (meaning Afghanistan and Iraq) stays in the sandbox.”
        He was enlisted (and married) for over a decade, and the cheating was rampant, both on deployment and stateside.
        I always resented his peacocking about his military service because I knew what a profoundly unethical person he was and is.

        • My FW LOVES peacocking about his service. Here’s the thing; he got kicked out in less than two years because he couldn’t pass the PT test. For all his braggadocio about his service and being wounded in Iraq, I saw his DD-214. There was absolutely nothing remarkable, and there was certainly no Purple Heart. He had zero achievements, and every decoration he had was either a unit award or awards that are the equivalent of participation trophies.

          • You just reminded me of my ex who loves the “thank you for your service,” from people. He likes int so much he wears t-shirts or hats with a military emblem hoping someone will ask if he was in the military and thank him. He does this act where he pretends not to know he’s wearing the military clothing followed by fake modesty with his fake ass laugh.
            He should be thanking them, he only joined the military to earn flying hours and cold’t wait to get out.
            When he did get assigned to fly during a crisis he had a head cold and they had to leave him in Greenland by himself. lol!
            I’m sue you’ll find him someplace today parading about in his military t-shirt and baseball hat waiting for someone to say something so he can do his fake modesty act.
            Glad I don’t have to witness that anymore.

          • Real heroes don’t brag about it. When my brother retired after 38 years in the national guard that included 3 deployments we were stunned when the commanding officer listed my brothers awards and achievements. His own kids had no idea!

  • I am both a veteran and I was chumped by a FW who was also a vet. I’ve also encountered other FW during my time in the military, and here’s the thing; they may get ahead, everyone else may thank them for their service, and they may get their free meal at Applebee’s, but the rest of us that served with them know that they’re FWs. My roommate in officer training was a total ho and a colossal bitch. She couldn’t keep her pants up for the three months we were there while her husband took care of her son (notice the personal pronoun used). They are no longer married. She’s an O-6 now, and guess what? People still think she’s a bitch.

    Exhibit B is a Navy Captain, now a disgraced Admiral who was my senior rater at my last assignment. He was arrested and indicted in a extremely high profile case in which he and others were accused of giving classified information in exchange for Thai hookers, among other things. He threw his life away (and I assume his marriage) for Dom Perignon, nights at the Ritz Carlton, and a lot of pussy.

    The last is a 2nd Lieutenant who cheated on his wife, who happened to be in my squadron. He denied it up and down. Then the dumbass got his picture in the middle of the AF Times with his schmoopie carrying on about how much they loved caving together. It was bigger than shit. Everyone saw it.

    My point is that even though it hurts like a motherfucker, please know that there are plenty of other veterans who know that your FW is a FW. My FW liked to play up the PTSD-I’m-a-Poor-Wounded-Vet card. PTSD does not turn good people into sociopaths. It does not make a faithful spouse cheat.

    Also know that a faithful military spouse who supports their spouse’s career and keeps the home front to get is worth their weight in gold.

    • This also makes me remember something I heard when I first got in the Air Force, “Cream may rise to the top, but turds can float too.”

    • Ah the Fat Leonard scandal…. Yea it took a few people down and it would have been humiliating to have a dday from that.

  • I recently read Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel. I understand there is also a movie based on this book, but haven’t seen it.
    I highly recommend it. Having been chumped by a former member of the military, and been privy to all his disgusting stories of cheating while serving, Thank You For Your Service allowed me to learn and understand more about the service members who do deserve our respect and empathy.

    • Seconding your recommendation of “Thank You for Your Service.” Finkel’s other book, “The Good Soldiers,” is also good reading. (I taught a college course on the literature of the Iraq War. All the primary texts were by veterans; Finkel’s books were part of the secondary reading.)

  • Jocko Willink, a retired Navy seal and author of the book, “Extreme Ownership” was doing a podcast with someone I listened to.
    He was talking about the complexity and coordination of their missions on Seal team 3, with many hundreds of people involved in the process.
    He was asked by the interviewer what is the one step in all those many steps that if left out the mission could not possibly succeed.
    His response was,
    “ if you don’t take care of your team, nothing else matters”.
    (I substituted ‘ family’ for ‘ team’ and added that to my notes with red exclamation points.)
    Cheaters miss that step completely!
    God bless our veterans who sacrifice so very much to keep us free!! 🇺🇸💙♥️
    The bad eggs are, unfortunately, in all areas our lives, but we can’t ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ and condemn them all as narcissistic low life cheaters. Very excellent people do still inhabit this earth and deserve admiration and respect for trying to do the most good they can.
    Cheaters will never lay in a comfortable guilt free bed, no matter how grand they try to make their lives look on the surface. It’s always all surface.
    They may have attempted to nuke our lives, but the shrapnel hit them too and they will be pulling it out in all kinds of ways for the rest of their lives as well.
    As a well known psychologist said in all the decades he’s worked with people:
    “ I have never seen anyone ever get away with anything”.
    I think that is a scary and very real assessment.

    • “Cheaters will never lay in a comfortable guilt free bed, no matter how grand they try to make their lives look on the surface. It’s always all surface.”

      This I know without doubt. They don’t lie and cheat in a vacuum restricted to marriage; they lie and cheat in their entire life. They just do. And of course if they keep it under wraps they are involved with another liar and cheater, who is lying and cheating to folks in their life. Because if they weren’t it wouldn’t be a secret.

    • I have a close friend who was chumped in her 60’s after 28 years with the cheater. She is the one who gave me the “nice guys don’t lie” one-liner that is often so helpful to snap my perspective back into the right place. Also because they had an active sex life, she was also a reminder that cheating has nothing to do with the sex life with the chump. (#behatiprinsloo)

      She is now remarried to a real life Lt. Dan, retired SEAL (SEAL Team 2). I will be forever grateful for her support and encouragement and could not be happier for her new and radically improved life. He’s one of the good guys and I think I will text him a THANK YOU today.

      She heard through the grapevine that the jerk who cheated on her said, “Tell M I will always love her.” When she heard she laughed. It’s truly laughable that cheaters think they are role models of love.

  • My FW was ex-marine corps and also liked peacocking around and mouthing off about honour and integrity! I’ve written this before but after he buggered off I was getting rid of his books and a psychiatric evaluation fell out of a book on fishing!!! Can you imagne if I’d just dumped it in the book exchange without looking – his name, address everything!!! When I read it the lying bastard had told the psychiatrist how “all the women in his life had left him”, “how he was traumatised by seeing people killed in front of him”!!! Ha ha, he was NEVER in a war zone and other than San Diego his most traumatic event was getting caught by the Swiss police driving in the bus lane! Cos yeah, Geneva, Switzerland is so traumatic! This evaluation is where I first saw in writing that he (the shrink) considered FW to be a covert narc (as well as a drunk)! I got a domestic violence conviction against him and given that he’d already had four DUIs (rolled three cars), the French were going to put him in jail. He always talked about how as a marine you put on your suit and tie and take your punishment – and then as soon as there was a possibility of a French jail he was going to skidaddle back to the US – so I reminded him about his suit and tie statement! He’ll get no “thank you for your service” from me – frankly he was an embarrassment to all the other decent veterans out there!

  • Tracy,
    Thank you so much for posting the article for us military spouse chumps!! I know there were unfaithful spouses of military members as much as there a probably us military-spouse chumps but on this day when our ex-FW’s are out gobbling up all the kibbles from everyone thanking them for their military service it’s quite the trigger for us to see them get all that hero worship. My ex was a Lt Col (now retired) and commander of a USAFR squadron and was having a long term affair with an enlisted member from her old unit before taking command. When you find out that during all your horrible struggles by yourself dealing with 3 kids, homework, school, your own job, etc…they are out having there little sex-fest without a care in the world of the family they are destroying. They go out on TDY’s together, training flights, deployments, etc….and we are home being so supportive and proud of them. We really cared about their careers and their promotions. We supported them by giving everything we had and then we find out we are just being kept around because we enable their cheating and make life easy for them!! In my case, I was just her “show husband” and enabler so that she can go do anything she wants. In the Chump Lady FB book I have given some advice to another military-spouse chumps on how they could handle their divorce, the pros/cons of filing an IG complaint (UCMJ is bitch as my ex found out!! LOL). Your book and blog has helped so much!! Thank you for everything you do for us and thank you to all the military members who honorably serve without betraying and destroying their families! – Mike

    • So your xw actually experienced UCMJ consequences? A lot of them here never did.

      Yea, I was a great military spouse and he betrayed my trust probably from the start.

  • My wife was a two time military chump. Both husbands were serial cheaters. Heck, her first husband lived with a woman for 6 months while getting training in SC. My wife said it was the most humiliating thing when they got permanent orders to that post where he lived with that fellow solider woman. She found out when she moved to that post that he was living with a woman. My wife said that everything on that post was a trigger about her husband and the AP! When she separated and later divorced her 1st husband she met her 2nd. Her 2nd husband said that he was divorced and they lived together for TWO years while he was very much married. His wife and child were living across the country with his parents. He even slept with his best friends wife. My wife has a very dim view of military people. She says most of them cheat and are ENCOURAGED to cheat by the people in their units. First thing my wife asked me was if I was serving or had served in the military before our first date. She wasn’t going to have anything romantic with a military man again. She has a lot of stories about the drugs and drinking that the military men do and how the military covers it up.

    A neighbor in the National Guard said that the people in his unit tell their spouses that they are going, for an example, for training for 16 days when it is 14 days and they rent a hotel to all sleep together. Made him sick about it because he was a chumped military man as his ex wife cheated on him while he was deployed overseas.

  • Lest we forget those who served and serve.

    Defense service runs thick on both sides of my family. All saw action. Only one family member cheated (to my / anyone in the family’s knowledge) and I was the one who caught him when I was too young to understand. Legit war hero too. Mike, you have my sympathy and support.

    The problem with cheating and the defense services is multi-varied. It’s there in the ideals you serve under (see the word team which has no “I” in it) and oaths taken when you serve (for God and country etc) versus the lack of any of that when you cheat. Cheating is the polar opposite of honor and valor. It’s the living in the image (uniform / top gun / special forces / border patrol) while not living in integrity. It is not faithfulness to the cause.

    Semper fidelis. Always faithful. This. This is what we chumps are about.

    Cheating is not selfless sacrifice, and protecting others. It’s ruthless self advancement which is at odds with the notion of “the cohesive unit”. No trust? No safety. If you can’t trust someone to protect the only person they took vows with, how can you possibly trust them when you are pinned down and under enemy fire?

    The concept oft touted in defense is to “step up” and be the very best version of a human when you represent a nation and the higher ideals that are espoused. Military / Navy / Airforce / Intel / Admin — it matters not the title, branch nor the role — what matters is the heart and soul.

  • Military spouses are the unsung heroes of the military. Actually the backbone of the military. Spending many months sometimes years holding up the home front by themselves. Unable to contact their spouse, they’re left with the responsibility of car repairs, appliances breaking down, single parenting. Traveling alone across the world with children. Moves every couple of years often to foreign countries, living in third world countries, turning a shack into a home, dealing with children’s adjustments as well as their own. Making new friends at each assignment..
    They do it all with grace, on a military salary.

  • I have no military experience as a chump, but my heart goes out to those that do. Today, though, is D-day for me. I read that sociopaths (covert narcissist in my case) pick times or dates that hurt the victim & it happens to be Remembrance Day here in Canada. While I was eagerly looking forward to spending the long weekend with him & our kids, I truly believe he picked Remembrance day to drop kick my world so that it would stick out in my head forever & unfortunately it still does. I’m getting better at fading that memory though & after the initially thought of “oh yeah it’s that day”, I’m able to carry on nicely not caught up in a play-by-play anymore of D-day. Wishing all military chumps & D-day chumps a very good day -that while these cheaters may get extra kibbles today – we get the satisfaction of knowing that they were the people that couldn’t keep their shit together enough not to implode their families & marriages. My hope is deep down they know they’re fraudsters & posers, no heroes whatsoever.

    • An attorney friend warned me that scumbag lawyers love to serve scary papers, file scary motions and set scary hearings against opposing parties on days that have special meaning so that it’s extra-demoralizing and gets traumatically associated with those events forever.

      My guess is that the behavior isn’t just learned as part of the trade but comes quite naturally to those with personality disorders. I’m pretty sure spoilerism is passed down from generation to generation in dysfunctional families so that it becomes ritualized and second nature. But that doesn’t mean the effects aren’t intentional on some level. Every abuser was once abused. Inside them is the child who remembers how horrible it was to see dad get drunk and beat mom on Christmas eve. And they decide that you shouldn’t be able to go through life without having meaningful events tainted forever with trauma, terror and betrayal.

      Some people share their negative experiences by educating others on how to protect themselves and survive. Others “share” by subjecting others to the same horrors they endured. How generous. May they rot.

      • Hell of….thank you for the comments on family spoilerism & ritualized dysfunction. I believe my ex has a sadistic streak & does get a perverse pleasure of ruining special occasions & he definitely got that from his passive-aggressive parents. Although they TRY & hide it behind a refined facade & he would never admit that his childhood & parents were anything but perfect.

    • Yes, Sociopaths and Covert Narcs pick certain dates to drop kick the Chumps world. That is indeed, a thing. Mother’s Day, Christmas, Chump bday, kids graduations, and in my case, the death of my father. FW walked out on us 4 days before I buried my Dad. That is the thanks myself and family got for being loving and supportive of him for 21 years. Another chump told me her FW walked out on she and her kids on her twins 18th bday! She said she got on her knees and BEGGED HIM not to walk out on that day. But the bastard did it anyways. Why? Because sociopaths enjoy inflicting pain. They get off on it and love a fireworks grande finale to bail on a relationship. It speaks volumes about them.

  • My ex was in the Army during the first 5 years of our 19-year marriage. While he claims that didn’t cheat until around year 10, he bragged about how he was faithful during his year-long deployment to Iraq. Mind you, I had our first child during that deployment – gave birth alone and raised him for 10 months by myself. FW made it sound like he had many opportunities to be unfaithful and made a sacrifice to not cheat during deployment. It was such a slap in the face during D-day. While I sacrificed my career, my body, my choice in where to live, etc, he wanted me to be grateful that he didn’t cheat like 14 years in the past while I raised his child completely on my own. Nevermind the 20-ish affairs he had during our marriage. Such a mindfuck.

  • I’m wary of tales of glory from war and I’m wary of pity traps. My late dad was a partially disabled combat vet who refused to attend veterans events. He didn’t drink, didn’t cheat, didn’t peacock, didn’t brag about the war and couldn’t stand other vets who did. When he was recovering in a veterans hospital, one of the attendants– usually rich kids who’d never been shipped out– stole his purple heart, which was apparently very common. He understood that a certain percentage of vets telling glorious tales of heroism had never seen a day of combat and were walking around with stolen medals.

    He had a few friends who’d served in the same war but they were the same as him. If people asked them for war stories, they would get leery and shut down. My dad explained that it was typical for civilians to thank returning veterans for their service and then, as if extracting goods and services for the thanks, would excitedly pry for gory details. He could never understand how people got vicarious thrills out of tragedy and horror and he learned that most didn’t want to know what it was really like. I sensed this was part of the post-trauma– feeling as if one’s real experience was being rejected and feeling one had to “put out” for acceptance by adjusting one’s narrative.

    It’s unsettling to think that the social context almost trains veterans to do this but my dad had no respect for anyone who would do the little dance as entertainment. He developed a lifelong friendship with a fellow vet while in college on the GI bill because, when they were being grilled for thrill stories by other students, they both grumpily tossed off a few vignettes that were so horrific and tragic that the students quizzing them turned pale and shrank away. I guess you could call it a kind of war bonding. Neither would truss up their realities to get laid. I also never heard any details about the war until I was an adult. My dad never played up glory or plied for pity but later in life he expressed sadness over some of the things he witnessed. There was one story in particular that stuck with him all his life. He saw the teenage corpse of an enemy soldier “blooming” out of the top of a tank like a charred, bloody flower and realized that some woman had tended and fed that child into perfect health only to be blown to bits. There were even a few tales of heroism in there but he would never tell them to people who got off on that sort of thing.

    Not all tales of glory are lies but you have to question the character of someone who trades that in for kibble while forsaking memories that, if told as they really happened, are sure to be drenched in conversation-stopping, libido-squelching meaninglessness and horror. After college I worked with a guy whose father had fought in the same war and loved to tell thrilling war stories. His father was famously decorated and the stories were apparently real. But his dad was also a violent alcoholic whose second and third marriages began as affairs and who didn’t even bother to call his adult daughter as she went through cancer treatment. The guy I worked with had been in AA since his late teens and hated his father but his own first marriage later crashed and burned when he was caught cheating on his wife.

    My dad’s warning about braggarts stayed with me all my life but I think it took me longer to develop wariness towards pity traps, particularly if someone genuinely suffered a particular trauma. But just like romanticized tales of glory in war aren’t always totally fabricated, there’s something messed up about someone who can detach themselves enough from any part of a traumatic experience in order to spin the stories in some expedient way. They’re trading on something that can’t be traded on. It seems like a kind of emotional prostitution. My dad used to say that everyone applies the golden rule but not always in a good way. When you see someone exploiting others, you have to consider that they also exploit themselves.

  • I’m not a military spouse but was a “trailing spouse” on a diplomatic mission. I didn’t want to go- after grueling IVF rounds I finally had a baby and it meant I would be 7 weeks postpartum when we moved. My ex FW talked me into it because he really wanted it for his career. So he took me out of the country (again – we already live as ex pats) for his job while I was vulnerable and it was then his cheating career began in earnest. We had quite a lot of money and it seemed it made it easier. Of course he blames me because I wasn’t putting out- postpartum and being moved across the world does that. We never really had a normal sex life after that – he seemed to prefer cheating. So even though I was there on “the mission” , he cheated.

    And for all those lovely chumps out there, a special thank you for your service ❤️

  • I was in OCS school in the 70’s. My ex called to let me know that I should probably be checked for syphylis. Because it was entry level training, none of our time was our own, so I had to ask my Company Commander for permission to see medical. She wanted to know the reason. I told her. She however did not feel obligated to keep her mouth shut. She told our company’s Chief. The Chief called me aside and told me he knew. He advised me to stay married because a little bit of sex didn’t mean my husband didn’t love me. And besides, I was married and shouldn’t even be at OCS. I should be at home taking care of the home, having babies.

    A lot of institutional bullcrap in that 5 minute session.

  • my ex husband cheated on me while deployed overseas for 9 months with a fellow male soldier and then came home stateside and continued cheating on the down-low with random men for another 2+ years before he finally came out and told me “your husbands gay”.

    I moved out and a month later his half his age BF moved into our marital home.

    Being chumped as a military spouse when you sacrifice everything for your soldier and family is the worst then pile on top of that learning your whole past, present and future was a lie and the man you loved was a liar, a cheat and always knew he was attracted to men but “tried to do what society expected” and pretended to be straight, married me and had a kid.

  • Not military but State Department trailing spouse. I worked with all branches of military overseas. There are similarities with State and DoD but I’ll be forever perplexed by their dismissive handling of infidelity. Background checks, security clearances, and at the end of it, loyalty as a “Breaking Bad” excercise to demonstrate the slippery slope. Character matters and has implications to family and beyond. Doesn’t someone who falls for a honey pot tell you everything you need to know?

  • It has never been much consolation to me that others knew the cowardly liar was cheating.

    No amount of knowing it and not telling me would have prevented me from catching a potentially fatal disease. No amount of knowing it and not telling me would have saved me years of fidelity in marriage to a person who was destroying and mocking the life I thought I was living. No amount of knowing it and not telling me will ever unmolest my teenage niece.

    People may know the cheater is a horrible human, but if they just sit around knowing it silently, it really doesn’t particularly help the chump to any great degree.

    Anyone can put on a hat or camo for attention. I choose to celebrate veterans I know and find honorable on Veterans Day, and I give time and resources to a charity that assists unhoused and underserved veterans. The way I see it, if we each do our part the best we can, our honorable veterans get celebrated, and I don’t give energy to anyone who is pretending to be honorable while being deceptive to a partner. ❤️🤍💙

  • I’m not a veteran. My dad was in the Navy in WWII. So were four of his brothers. All made it back alive and relatively unharmed, thank God (my dad lost most of his remaining hearing working on Navy ships).

    My three nephews from my oldest sibling, my sister, all enlisted. It skipped my siblings and my generation. But we all grew up w/a reasonable respect for the armed forces.

    When news of my FW XW’s adulterous actions became known, these three nephews and their oldest sibling, their sister, all rallied around me to let me know that what the FW XW did was bullshit, and they fully supported me. It meant and still means a hell of a lot to me.

    These were kids in their twenties who understood what a horribly selfish thing the FW XW had done to me and our family, and had much better character than her, obviously. My sister and her husband as well. My sister was and is a rock for me. The kids got a dose of good character from both parents.

    So I am very thankful in a real sense to our veterans, for more than the obvious, normal reasons. I don’t like blindly thanking veterans generally (I’m too worried about creating a fascist environment), but those I know that are of good character, and have served honorably, especially those of my family and extended family, I sincerely am thankful for. If that makes sense.

    As for you, Mike? I’m so sorry you had to deal w/your FW XW’s shameless actions (not to be flip, but I feel your pain 😥). Now I understand more what special challenges you and other military spouses may have also had to deal with. It’s never easy to deal w/a loved one who turns out to be a back-stabber, especially via infidelity.

    I’m wishing and hoping for all the best for you and your children going forward, and peace and meh eventually. It just takes a lot of patience and good people supporting you.

  • My former boss had done active service with the Marines in Beirut, then met his wife while serving in Honduras. At her request, he paid to have her mother come and live with them in the US when he was transferred back. He signed his name to tens of thousands of dollars in school loans for her to go to college after that, while he was working full-time at a university and studying for a degree himself. He came home from work one day to find the entire house cleared out of everything of value–there was not even a bed for him to sleep on that night.
    His wife had taken everything and left without even a note.

    He was an awkward person socially, but always decent, fair and kind. So he was well-loved by his colleagues at the university we all worked in, much more than he realized. People dug into their pockets to help replace what he needed, even though we were mostly struggling graduate students ourselves. The look on his face when he saw the check was something I will never forget. After being betrayed by some one so close, he really needed that concrete reminder of how many people in the world valued and cared about him. I still keep in touch with him, he got a job with the department of defense and eventually found a partner more worthy of him who truly cares about and appreciates hime. He has worked all over the world with her by his side.

  • I was a civilian who worked with the military for many years. I heard all the gross stuff, like there’s a saying that “when the plane takes off, the rings come off” for deployment (heard this my first time in Afghanistan). I was single then but didn’t want to try to find a romantic relationship with anyone I couldn’t be sure was single!
    And while there’s a Code of Justice much discussed and pointed to in the annual trainings, the reality is it’s incredibly hard to get any of your justice from it. Everyone knows what’s going on and yet there’s not enough proof to hold anyone accountable.

  • OW was a military spouse. Her husband was retired and on disability due to PTSD from his service. She made no end of fun of him for it, saying he was faking it, was lazy, etc. I only met him twice, so I can’t really say anything about him, other than that he seemed miserable both times. I’m not surprised, given what OW was like.

    FW, OW, and I all worked for the DoD as civilians (I still do). It’s where they met.

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