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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: My Husband Wants a Divorce!

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.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ask VMW: My Husband Wants a Divorce!

I got a very sad email the other day:

I am sitting here numb writing this. I don't even know how to process this next bit of news. My husband, who just came home from a deployment, told me he does not want to be married anymore. I don't think it's another woman or anything I can put my finger on, but he seems absolutely dead set on this. I tried to ignore what he was saying, but now I see papers from a lawyer, so I guess he is serious. I don't even know where to begin? What do I do?

To be honest, I am numb reading your email. I am at this point, while I am writing this, trying to send cyberhugs through the airwaves. I don't want to profess knowing it all or even understanding what you are going through, but here is what I advise for you to do, not necessarily in the order listed below.

  • Get yourself a lawyer ASAP. You can even go to your local Army JAG office. You just won't get the same lawyer your husband got.
  • Know what your rights are as a military spouse. Don't let him sucker you into anything or sign anything, until you get it checked out. Many spouses don't realize until much later, what they should've done instead of what they actually did. You very well could be entitled to at least half of his retirement pay and certainly child support if you have children together.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and people who genuinely care for you. You'll know who those people are the minute this gets out, and it well. Take them up on their offers of help and support, even if you feel you don't need it....you deserve it and your children too.
  • Keep your chin up this entire process and continue to look straight ahead. Because you are who you are and so is your husband. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and if anyone has a problem with it, then you didn't need them in the first place.
  • Make sure this is what BOTH of you want. If you can, try to get counseling first. We all have our ups and downs, and you want to make absolutely sure this is not just a down period and the relationship is truly on its way out.
  • Read this wonderful blog. This strong Army wife went through the process herself, and she is now thriving, and her kids are thriving. She does such an excellent job of laying it all out there and nothing is off-limits. Get strength from her experience and many others like hers. There are MANY support groups out there. Find a support group and connect with others who are going through this as well.
  • Stop by these other sites to get informed and to gather as much information as you can.
Military Divorce and Pensions

How is Military Retirement Pay Divided During Divorce

Military and Divorce

Frequently Asked Questions

If anyone knows of any other resources that can help here, please post them below. And Angie (name changed to protect anonymity), please know that we are thinking of you today and please know that you will emerge stronger from this life event, and we want to wish you positive thoughts and the strength and will to carry on as you go through this ordeal.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can not believe no one posted any comments for this sad lady!
Please KNOW that this is not your fault, and if you think that the marriage can be saved, INSTIST that he attend counselling with you. If he won't, please go on your own. Hugs and prayers. Carol

November 7, 2008 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. It's nothing you have done wrong. Believe me. I hope you can take my life lesson with you in all of this.

People get married to the right person for the right reasons at the right time. But everyone changes and grows as a person. These changes we go through over time often happens with our significant other and we are able to grow together and stay together over the years. For a good many of us this is why divorce happens. We end up taking different paths in life and get to the point we are no longer the same people we used to be, no longer have the same aspirations in life, and end up being too incompatible to stay together. Some fight and work to get their paths back in line with each other. Maybe time together will do so for you and some therapy will help guide your paths back together. But if not you have a lot of support both with the friends and family you had now, and those in the military who have experienced the same thing you have.

His deployment and service had to be a life lesson/experience. Nobody that serves their term oversees ever comes back the same. For some it's for the better, for most those experiences are very tough. But either way it changes you. Unfortunately it's just the way it has to be.

He's a different Man now than when he left. You probably see him differently. And if not that might be the hardest part is you not seeing all the changes he is holding back and not showing or expressing to you.

It's good that he is being honest about how he feels but sucks that you are losing him all over again.

About all I can say is anyone that has read this is give you big enormous hugs over the internets. You might not feel them or know that they are there, but believe me they are.

We all feel your pain, either having been through this, or try to think what you could be going through.

About the only thing I can suggest is tell him you understand and respect his request and ask in return that he respect a request from you and that is to try councelling for 3 months or 6 months first and if not then you will go ahead with the divorce. After all you don't want to be the one holding him back from a different life, or he you from a something different. Better, or worse, just remember it's only change. You might find there is a reason he wants to leave and it's to help you. So you don't have to experience his pain with him, and to learn all that he has been through and had to do while he was away.

November 24, 2008 at 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Alice said...

I agree with the above post, espec. the last paragraph. Be firm in getting you both through 6 months or so of counseling, and seeing if he can grow in understanding, just as you will need to. You probably won't be able to change him for the good or for the bad, but you need to let him come to realize himself how this might hurt the both of you. God Bless.

November 29, 2008 at 2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all,

What if the husband refuses counseling? He says he needs it for himself but won't go. Attended a few sessions with me pre-marital (2x) and about 2 months ago (2 or 3x). Now refuses. I go alone now.

I suggested counseling from a regular church since he says he's also a Christian - nope. Confide in your parents - nope. He has no close friends per se, so no avenue there. He refuses every possible suggestion yet gets irate when I seek help and prayer from church and counselor and family.

I get no money [he promised a regular allowance before marriage] but nothing until now. Gave me total of maybe $200 to settle some bills in last 4 months. He buys what he decided is necessary from the grocery lists. Haven't done laundry in ages then he went and did a load for me [bought broken washer which remains unrepaired]. I can launder by hand but sometimes peels skin off my fingers and it pains for days.

He implies because I'm non-American, I don't know the way things work here. Says because I'm not military, I know nothing of army rules etc. Is that bondage or what?

Anyway, please forgive me. Sincerely, this is not a complaint but I wanted you experienced folk to get the picture just so that your advice will helpful to me. My heart goes out to the sad lady in question and may God lift her up to a place and situation better than she could ever ask or imagine. May God heal her husband too.

Thank you all. Please pray for me to because I have seen more pain in "4 months of marriage" than in 36 years of life.

May 4, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Wow, I am really sorry about your situation. It should not be this way!

Have you tried militaryonesource.com? I've known ladies who were able to get help and advice thru their resources. That's what I would try next. Your husband also has certain obligations being a husband.

I will certainly pray for you too.

May 4, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to hear about your husband being that way ... prehaps he's depressed and when you get that way it kind of fogs your thoughts and you don't care. do you have children together? How long did you guys know each other before this military life changed your lives? Does he plan to stay in the military for life, do you think that getting out would save your marriage? Is that something he would consider? Try to write down questions that you think are important and ask him or get him to write a response sometimes it's difficult to talk ... tell him you need to know because you want to understand and be able to move on if divorce is the only way to go.
Stay strong and I hope things work out for you.

April 25, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going on when they deploy my husband came home from an assignment and stated he didn't want to be married anymore...had my life planned out...
Such whimps...

December 10, 2010 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I am so sorry to hear that...especially when it comes as such a surprise. I wish I had more advice to give you other than to stay strong...and you get yourself a very good support group of friends and family...

December 10, 2010 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous s.lopez said...

I am actually going through the same thing. My husband is downrange and will be home within the next few months. We are stationed in Germany. He called me 2 weeks ago and told me he wants a divorce. I am a total mess. We have 2 children 2 dogs and what I thought a happy home. I have been a military wife for 15 years so I have been a stay at home mom with no job skills or money of my own. I am so scared of having to up root my children and my home and have to be sent back to the states with pretty much nothing? I don't know what to do.....

March 16, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Goodness S....I am just so sorry. You must be in total shock right now. I think the most important thing for you right now is to get time on your side. You have to get your husband to realize that you are not up to speed where he is, and that if he cares anything about your well-being and the children, to please give you a chance to understand what is going on as you feel you have just been sucker-punched.
Ask him to wait til he comes back to talk about it...you need to figure out the reasoning behind his decision. Try to at least get him into counseling...he may not realize what he is doing, and it may give him an outsider's perspective.
Also, he probably doesn't realize that you can really take him to the cleaners if you get my drift...you could end up getting HALF or even more of all his income & his retirement...I'm not saying to threaten him with that, but he needs to understand that he has to approach this like a rational adult and to see what's best for everyone..you, him and the children...he can't just run off without huge consequences to his wallet (that may get him to perk his ears up if nothing else works).
In the meantime, get some close friends around you (who won't gossip)...a good support group of family and friends from home and also talk to the pastor at your post chapel.
I would say you can get legal advice, but your onpost legal office may not be able to help if your husband has already talked to them...he is their best interest and not you unfortunately...there are some good blogs out there too from military wives who talk about what they went thru from start to finish. If you can't find them, let me know. Good luck to you and chin up, okay?

March 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM  

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