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Infidelity (Military Deployment) - Desperate for Help

Is this the worst “cheating” story you have ever heard?”
My husband is in the US Military. He voluntarily deployed to the Middle East to a fairly large military base for a yearlong position in which he was working with a large group of military officers from different NATO countries. I have to add that EVERYONE adores my husband! He is charismatic, smart and a hard worker. Only his family gets to see any other side of him. A young female, foreign intelligence officer (15 years his wife’s junior) was enamored of him and it led to an on-post affair. He would always go to her room because his was in an all-male area. Her deployment was finished and she had to go back to her country a few weeks after the on-post affair had begun but they continued their affair (including video sex) via email, post and video. My husband was able to come home for a conference at one point but we only saw him in the evenings and even then he was very distracted, not himself and seemed disinterested in family life. I was VERY surprised that he didn't even really want sex. (I think its important to add that I am no ugly duckling myself here. I am above average in attractiveness and have a good figure. I still turn heads wherever I go. The mistress had NOTHING on me.) My husband was supposed to stay 8 days but some "change in situation" forced him to leave 3 days early. The situation change turned out to be his girlfriend flying in (from Australia) to stay with him 30 miles from our home before he flew back to Afghanistan. After my husband actually did return to Afghanistan, our daughter became very ill (she suffers from a chronic condition).  She had multiple daily seizures and was hospitalized many times. A plethora of specialists couldn’t figure out what was going on with her and she was diagnosed with two horrific and debilitating diseases. She was bed-ridden, seizing and in pain, along with a variety of other symptoms, and I was her 24-hour nurse. I was living on no sleep and still having to do all the regular mom stuff in addition to being a full-time nurse for a 100% disabled child. We have no family in the area to help, and asking for a neighbor to care for your seizing kid at 2:30 a.m. is a little bit different than asking for a casserole. It was all I could do to get my daughter the care she needed and still be able to care for our younger child. I honestly don't know how I held it together. I do know that I aged like a newly elected US president. I kept my husband apprised of what was happening and I begged him to come home. I told him I didn’t know if I could continue to handle it by myself, I told him I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown, I told him how much we needed him and how the whole family was suffering. I missed him so badly that it ached. He had even seen video of our incredibly sick and seizing “daddy’s girl.”  He listened to my pain and fear and heard my cries, worry and heartache about our daughter. He told me he was sorry but NOTHING could get him home from deployment other than an order from the Red Cross - and that probably wouldn’t even work (which was B.S. by the way.) He said it was impossible for him to come home before the end of his deployment because of some lie about rules/procedures. So instead he sent my (76 year-old) mother-in-law out to help me. You can imagine how much help a 76- year- old woman with an artificial hip and multiple back surgeries can give. I was the one lifting my daughter in and out of her wheelchair and to the bathroom, making meals, doing laundry, cleaning, doctor appointments, taking my son to his activities, doing homework, managing my daughter’s home-schooling etc. I couldn’t articulate how bad it was if I tried. At the time I THOUGHT it was the worst time of my life. I did not know what was on the horizon.
So here is the kicker. I have (had) blind faith in my honest, upright and faithful husband FOREVER. I NEVER doubted him once during our 30-year relationship (we met as teens).  I chose this man as my husband with great deliberation, one of the aspects being his ability to commit with such heart and conviction to me, his country and all else in his life. He told me that he could not take leave because he was going to get to come home from deployment a few weeks prior to his year-long commitment. Without question I believed this absolute bald-faced lie. Instead, while our daughter was at her SICKEST and even HOSPITALIZED my husband chose, instead of coming home to see and help his family, to take his leave time (that he told me he didn’t have) to see his mistress for a two-week multi-thousand dollar romp through the hotel rooms and sights of Australia. Can I also mention that it was during the two weeks of BOTH of our children’s birthdays?! So instead of coming home to see and support his family he chose to ignore his children’s illness and birthdays and instead partake in a sex-filled, blissful, adventurous vacation with his mistress. And after that? It didn’t end. He kept up his affair with her and even brought it into our home (via computer) after his return from deployment. He stepped off the plane like his dog had died and gave me a dead hug. I was expecting second-honeymoon while he was searching for “steps to divorce your wife” on his computer. And even though he was living in our home, he wasn’t here. His mind, affections, sex drive etc. was with her. He was basically living with his mistress in our home via computer for 3 months until I happened to check what this little red “G” on his phone meant when it was plugged in near me one day. Whoa! Their professions of love and lust for each other were UNBELIEVABLE, immature and sickening.
The night I found out, via his phone, my world SHATTERED. There are no words to describe the devastation. He was immediately repentant. He said that the reality of what he was jeopardizing all of a sudden came crashing down on him. He cut off all contact with her that night and since has done everything that a cheating man should do to recover and repent (as far as I know). He is in a men’s therapy group and we go to couple’s counseling twice a week.  We have had lots of great talks and he wants to save our marriage and our family.  He has become affectionate with me again and doing the little things that he used to do in the past like hugs, spontaneous touches, massage, talks, walks. We have restarted our “intimacy” and it has been beyond good good. I feel like he is stepping out of what we call his “Mid Life Crisis” Persona and into himself. He is slowly returning to the husband I knew him to be. I love my husband and I am almost 100% sure he loves me but is it even possible to recover from something so egregious as this - Especially if he is soon leaving for another (not so bad) deployment? I would do anything not to hurt my kids (they don’t know) so I am trying to “weather the storm” and come out the better fpor it. I sometimes even have some crazy ideas that our marriage might turn out to be stronger than ever because of this.
My questions is: Can this storm be weathered? Is there anyone out there who can feel my pain or empathize with my situation or testify to his or her own success/failure story? Desperate for help. Thank you.
12 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
I think this story is as bad as any infidelity story.  They are all sad and show a true lack of character in the cheater.  

the only way couples make it through infidelity is if the cheater is complexly sorry, full of remorse, does whatever it takes.  The person cheated on also has to think about the relationship and where they may have let their partner down that facilitated the cheater to go elsewhere (not ever blaming but we can't do things like deny our partner sex, treat them badly, etc. and expect them to be with us forever).  I don't buy into 'mid life' crisis and other such bs and I wouldn't either if I were you.  He was weak and lacked character or goodness in his heart when he betrayed your vowels.  he's not some sick dude that was driven to it as he saw himself aging.  He saw a young thing and went for it.  Shame on him for doing that to YOU AND the OTHER WOMAN.  She was his victim just as you were.

So, I'm glad he is trying.  I HAVE seen couples work it out.  For sure.  But it takes time.  And the truth is, you will never look at this man the same.  You have to judge if the relationship is of value to carry on with the knowledge that he did this.  If it is, you have to try to forgive him and not punish him for the rest of his life.  You have to accept that it will never be the same for you and him.  You know the truth about him now.  You may decide you can still love him and for your kid's sake, I hope you do.  But you have to understand, it will just never be the same.  

good luck hon and sorry this happened.
Avatar universal
I don't have any suggestions but I wanted to say that I'm sorry this happened to you and I hope everything works out for you in the long run.  
144586 tn?1284669764
As you may or may not know the military takes this behavior very seriously. It may result in revocation of his security clearance, as well as that of his lover. A written complaint to the commanding officer of his deployed unit will have serious consequences. He will be read the riot act, and possibly face military charges. I am fairly certain he will be relieved. I am not necessarily advocating this course of action. If you do so write to the highest ranking officer in his chain of command.
13167 tn?1327197724
Well,  if she intends to stay with him,  reporting this would be shooting herself in the foot.

144586 tn?1284669764
That's right, Rockrose. It's the nuclear option.
Avatar universal
Yes, sadly, reporting him would punish our innocent and undeserving family more than him. Our children would lose their college education benefits, we would lose retirement pay and other benefits. His "consequences" would shatter our entire family.
What I don't understand is how a man like this - and I mean I can't even tell you what an upright, amazing, perfect, smart, thinks through all potential outcomes,<dutiful, hard-working, patriotic, devoted, sensible, trustworthy, fantastic father and husband, seemingly perfect (in fact our family's nickname in our community is "The Perfects") man he is.  How could a man like that risk EVERYTHING - his career, family, wife, reputation, sense of self, his WHOLE LIFE, his EVERYTHING for nothing but an ego-massaging, mid-life crisis sex romp with a young sycophant? Is the penis THAT powerful? Was it the attractiveness of the youth or the freedom?  I only wish I could make sense of it somehow.
Avatar universal
Sadly, You are absolutely right. I know this and I wrestle with it. Part of me knows that the absolute "right" thing to do is simple: tell the truth and face the consequences. And DAILY this lesson is a mantra that this man teaches for  his children. I could and would gladly support this if the consequences were his alone but they are not. They will affect his innocent and undeserving children more than anyone else. We have a chronically ill child who needs specialized care. Where would that leave her? Her entire support system would just fall away.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your advice. Not easy to talk about with people I know.
Avatar universal
Thank you. Anything helps when you are this low, and I appreciate it.
Avatar universal
Sadly, you are absolutely right. And not so much me as my kids.
7052683 tn?1392942395
Hi DB,

This is a story that only you and he can write the ending to. Others may tell you how they suffered, survived, and struggled with infidelity, but every situation is different. What works for one doesn't work for another.

Can this storm be weathered?? This is something only you will know.
You say everything is good NOW, so I guess you have to be thankful everyday that he has done the work needed to get your relationship back on solid footing. What happens in the future is what happens, and you will deal with it when the time comes.
Thirty years is a long time and worth the work to save the marriage anyway you can, but I guess that really will be up to Him . I hope for your sake and your family's he will realize what he has and not be tempted to indulge in this kind of behavior when he is deployed again.

Try not to think of the re-deployment until it comes enjoy your renewed relationship and set a solid foundation for his return to Afghanistan.
Good luck and keep the faith in your relationship......and thank him for allowing Americans to live free due to his sacrifice and service.

CML
973741 tn?1342346373
COMMUNITY LEADER
I would not go the route of revenge---  telling on him.  I personally don't think you'll ultimately feel good about that.  

What I think you really have to explore is that perhaps it wasn't a ego, mid life crisis sex romp.  Perhaps he had feelings for her.  Perhaps he had some reasons based on your relationship that left him vulnerable to the cheating.  We have to think about that because otherwise, we just get over the cheating and don't look at the relationship realistically to make it better.

I think you stay in therapy.  Work on what HE can do to make it better.  But also what you BOTH can do to have a better relationship.  good luck
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