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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: My Husband Has Shut Me Out!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ask VMW: My Husband Has Shut Me Out!

I received this heart-wrenching email the other day. I post it not to be voyeuristic, but as informational, in that this could very well happen to any spouse you know. If you don't know the resources to help yourself, you could potentially flounder in helplessness and self-doubt. Here's how to get help.


Here's the post:

It seems my son quickly married, and then was deployed to Afghanistan. He got the pay increase and then returned to his duty station in Europe. He has been telling his new wife that he would send for her where she could join him there. In the meanwhile though, she has access to his bank account which he always completely empties. He has not given her any money. Initially when he first returned he gave her some money, but now not any. Then he kept telling her just two more weeks. He told her to sell her car and quit her job because she was coming. She did this and now she is left jobless and carless, and he won't give her any money. She is living with relatives at the moment. This has been going on since July? She is 19 years old. What can she do?

It seems that there are certainly a lot of things going on here....much of it not good. Their marriage definitely needs some help that I am totally not qualified to give, BUT she does have some pressing issues that need to be addressed...and immediately. As the legal wife of a servicemember, she does have some rights and privileges. I would start looking for help at the lowest level, her husband's commander and then work her way up if she does not get any resolution or movement in the right direction.

  • Contact her husband's company commander (the Captain usually) first by phone and also in writing. Explain exactly what is going on and see what he says. Then, if you get no response or attention, try his battalion commander(typically a Lieutenant Colonel). Give the commander a chance to fix what is wrong. Many don't know much about their soldier's private lives at all. If you strike out again....
  • Notify your Congressman and do what's called a Congressional Inquiry. This thing is high powered and obviously if a Congressman gets involved, you can bet some heads are going to roll! When I was a commander, you had to respond to a Congressional within a certain timeframe...think it was something like 48 hours...and you'd better have a good answer why things are the way they are. I've seen many things resolved very quickly this way. I've also seen totally frivolous things as well that had nothing to do with the soldier. Use your best judgment here obviously. Even though you may be adverse to the contents of this site I'm going to send you to, it does have some good information on how to contact your congressman to file a complaint.
There are also a variety of places on the internet to read about your entitlements and benefits as a spouse. A good place that has all the links and sites in one spot is Military Spouse.org.

Does anyone else have any advice for this young lady besides to stay positive and that this too shall pass?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

generally, the Company Commander will ask if they've seen a chaplain first, so I'd suggest that she goes to the post chaplain and talk to him...but since she is not in the same place as him, that might be hard. If she's near a military facility, she should try to see a chaplain there.

Also, contact JAG to see what recourse she may have. My husband is a Company Commander (though he's a CW3...long story) and while he's the "top dog" things like this should probably also follow the chain (by contacting the 1SG first). Though sometimes you get more done by going right to the top, I have seen where the CO would not talk to the spouse because she didn't "channel" properly (for the record, my hubby's not like that - he just dealt with a mom whose son wasn't calling her, lol!)

I truly feel for this young woman. And it does not bode well for her future relationship. Quite honestly, I'd say, cut ties, file for an annulment ASAP.

September 25, 2008 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Yes, technically, you should follow your chain of command, or should I say your husband's. It is always a good policy to go through your husband's enlisted chain of command (Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Company First Sergeant) for issues that concern you or you soldier...but this is such a blatant violation of the soldier, and with her not being there, her best bet is the company commander.

September 30, 2008 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Marine Wife said...

Linda makes a good point about the spouse needing to contact JAG. Of course what is immediately available to her will depend on how close to a military base she is.

September 30, 2008 at 11:12 PM  
Anonymous dani said...

I am in almost the exact same position. I am here he is there. He has lied to me about everything, taken everything I have. I had a good job, an apartment and was able to pay my bills. Now I have nothing and have gone into debt because of my husband. I am 25 and now living at home with my parents. Unfortunatly I don't even know my husbands unit. He and his sgt. are buddies so no help there. I started with Jag at a near by base. They told me to call the post locator at his base and find and talk to his Co. Commander. The operator sent me to a staff place who is trying to find what I need to know. Dealing with the army is not easy and they sure don't do much to help, but be persistant. Google everything that comes to your mind and keep making phone calls.

December 11, 2009 at 6:43 PM  

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