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Infidelity in the Military

By Anonymous October 25, 2008 - 3:09pm
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With so many men and women deployed, is it fair to the spouse that is left at home? Is it fair to flirt while your loved one is away for so long? It is human nature, isn’t it?

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EmpowHER Guest

Dear Trying Hard.

I am currently deployed. I can guarantee you that there are no co-ed showers and furthermore there is a zero tolerance for sex in AOR. Men and women cheat on deployments all of the time and the wives like to blame the other female taking the responsibility away from their spouses. It is wrong on both parts. I cannot tell you why they cheat they just do. On another note, I'm not sure who posted that the reason why their husbands sleep at night is because they are comfortable, and happy and where they want to be....please don't believe the hype....the reason your husband sleeps well is because he's happy he got away with something. If you were raising "Cain" he'd be sleeping with one eye open and he'd be very uncomfortable.

Your spouses need to be held accountable for their actions....or you all need to come to the realization that people cheat...that as humans it is possible to be attracted to more than one person and that person won't always be your spouse.

Also, for Anonomous the single guy in Afghanistan....there are many women who cheat and there are many who do not....don't base your future spouses on situations happening between your friends and their wives. It's hard to be deployed and the fact that you can't have "things" to keep you occupied is totally nuts to me...the military wants you in the AOR for a year and they don't want you to have sex or to cheat but you can't have magazines or toys???? They are setting us up for failure if you ask me. The AOR is like a prison...they dictate the way we think, the way we eat, the way we dress, where we can go...etc..Do you really think that people will not want human interaction? And did I mention that they sell condoms in the BX? and they hand them out in the clinic (so Trying hard you should be really upset that your husband didn't use protection when protection is offered.....and why? Why do they do this....you can't have sex but they're giving out condoms...setting us up for failure, that's why...

Anyway those are just my thoughts....Good luck to all of you!

October 24, 2011 - 3:36pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

For the post above me,

I just want to Thank You for putting into perspective the mindset of a military member; not all military members but, alot of them. I am a Navy veteran and a Navy wife. In my eight years of service, having affairs and one night stands was the thing to do when your unit was deployed. It wasn't for me but, as the skipper is raising that anchor on the first day of underway, off comes those wedding bands, with high anticipation of hitting that first port. My idiot husband, whom I have loved unconditionally for the last 5 years, had a one night stand in the Phillippines 3 months ago. The ship had gone there for a week, and he was hanging out with a different group of guys than his usual. The only reason he told me about it was because, he had gotten an STD, as did the whole group of guys he was with. Like all ships entering any port in a foreign country, the Navy does a safety brief that includes briefs on illegal prostitution, what STD's are rampant for the area, don't drink the water or get tattoos. Basically going down the list of things they don't want you to do but, know you will do them anyways. Then out comes the big jar of condoms from medical that gets placed on the table on the way out.

I can tell you that I never thought my husband would do something like to me. After everything I gave up, moving overseas with him, being stuck on this tiny island while he's out cheating along with a group of other married sailors. When I was in the service, I could never understand how an individual could go running into the arms of their loving spouse and children after they just left the arms of their deployment lover as if nothing had happened.

I just want to make one thing clear, that not all servicemembers will fall into this kind of trap, nor will they allow themselves to be subjected into any kind of coercion by others who do cheat. In my case, my idiot husband made a bad mistake, one that he is still paying for 3 months later. I have met sailors along the way who were completely devoted to their spouses 100%.

My wish is that the military would enforce such acts of infidelity/adultery to the fullest extent of the UCMJ. Something needs to be done about our spouses going to foreign countries where prostitution is known and not allow servicemembers to enter those areas. The individual above said it right, these guys are being set up for failure, starting with the safety/port brief and that jar of condoms. I am not saying that my husband did not individually make a terrible decision. What I am saying is that, if him and his fellow shipmates were never allowed to enter certain areas known for bargirls, cheap motels and prostitution, that group would never have entered there and probably just ended up doing karaoke somewhere getting drunk. Instead, you will most likely see your chain of command at these places where they "recommend" you don't go cheating on their spouses as well. The reason my husbands ship even went to the Phillipines was purely for a liberty port. Lucky me!!

October 28, 2011 - 11:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you so much for your response Trying Hard.... I am so sorry for what you are going through.... I'm sure your husband wasn't in his right mind, but it still doesn't lessen the pain / disappointment for you. I hope that you both can work past this, and get things back to the way they used to be.

I'm actually up in the air now about the lie detector test, after reading some responses about it, but can't say I definitely won't want to follow through with it. I probably won't, but it made me feel better that he agreed to it...and I kind of feel like it'd be good for me to take one for him just to ease any worries he may have... He made the comment the other night that MOST military wives either cheat on their husbands, or take extreme advantage of their husband's bank accounts while they are deployed. He mentioned an officer who'd been in for years, who actually left one deployment because he found out his wife was cheating on him. I know that a lie detector test isn't ideal for any marriage - but if it could allay any worries on either side, is it really that horrible of an idea? He told me before that he had no worries of me cheating, and that he wouldn't have married me if he did - but because of our arguments etc recently, he does have his concerns now. I'm hoping that deep down that isn't true - we both tend to say things we don't mean during arguments - another thing we really need to work on.

Thanks again for your response though. I sincerely hope you are doing ok, or as ok as you can be right now. I do feel that given the length of time you've been together, that it probably had everything to do with his unstable state of mind, and had nothing to do with you. I still don't think I'd personally be able to get over that, but it seems like you are willing to work to get past it - and it doesn't seem, just from what you've said, that it would be a hopeless venture.


February 1, 2011 - 4:18pm

Dear Anonymous,
I agree with Susan that unnecessary worry isn't healthy or wise at this junction of an upcoming deployment. To clear up the worry of the co-ed showers. There are indeed one area of showers (where there used to be separated) and they ask that the men and women use them at different times. I'm not sure how well this works. I do know that in my case, women coming into men's rooms, enlisted into officer's room, etc. was pretty much ignored. This doesn't mean that it will happen in your case. I do know that spouses get very lonely and it may mean that your spouse will realize that you are SO important in his life. You sound like you're trying very hard to make sure he knows how much you want this marriage to work. Deployments are never easy but it is made much easier by knowing that someone at home is loving you and waiting for you. It wasn't until our third deployment that my husband strayed but they were deployments that were almost back to back over four years and I don't believe he was in his right mind at the time. I feel as though my plea for help and telling my story brought angst and worry into your life. I agree with Susan that asking for a lie detector test or anything that brings uneccessary worry or worse, accusations, prior to even arriving to the middle east will only make the separation begin on the wrong footing. Try to relax, work on communication while he is deployed and take care of you and the baby first and foremost. There are Family Readiness Groups and wonderful wives that will be there to help you. Good luck and take care.

January 29, 2011 - 1:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for your reply again Susan.

Do you mean that you think he lied because something happen? Or that that could be a possible reason for him lying - just as him lying could have been because he just didn't want me to be upset that the girls were with him?

I'm not sure if the first two things he lied about would be considered big, but to me - a lie is a lie for the most part. I was upset that his goddaughter's parents, the woman mainly, never congratulated me on being pregnant. They're very close to him - and she used to call him quite often - to talk about her husband when they were having problems. That in itself made me a bit unneasy but I didn't say anything about it until I wasn't congratulated. I asked him not to say anything to them but about a week after bringing it up to him, I got a short email on facebook from her saying Congratulations. I just knew he'd said something - it was quite the coincidence otherwise, since they'd known about a month that I was pregnant at that point. He denied it SEVERAL times, and looked in my eyes several times and told me that he didn't say anything to her. I had also mentioned how I didn't think she was extremely friendly with me when I'd met her and there were a few emails that we exchanged on facebook when I added her as a friend - and I thought she was a little short with me at the time - I mentioned that she'd have to give me pointers on how to deal with the deployment etc... He actually asked her to forward those emails to him and I only found that out because he'd left his phone out and I clicked on his email. (I know I was snooping...but I'm a believer in snooping when you feel like you need to...this was before we were married and I was having my doubts on if I could trust him so felt justified.)

He still denies telling her that I thought she "didn't like me" as childish as that sounds - but I can't imagine the reason he said he wanted the emails forwarded to him... he gave me an excuse but it sounded extremely lame. I only found out that he did indeed lie about telling her I was upset that she hadn't congratulated me, because her husband actually called me - to say, I'm sorry you're feeling this way with him - but he's a great guy etc, I want us to all get along since you're going to be having his child and will probably be in his life for a very long time etc etc... I was pretty impressed that he called me...he also explained why his wife didn't call me. It was shortly after this lie that we started counseling.

The other lie(s) were about pornography when I first moved here, about a month after I moved here I guess. I had gotten a job waitressing for a little bit...and would get home and see that he'd been on these sights. He thought he'd deleted the history, but he hadn't cleared all of the evidence. Anyways - I am not hugely against pornography - I feel like it CAN be detrimental after a point, but am very pro him watching it when he's deployed, and even when he's not. What made me upset was that he was denying me sex quite often at the time. He said it was because we were arguing so much... he also was hurt playing soccer in high school and actually has some erectile disfunction. He always took a shot or a pill before he and his ex gf had sex, but didn't with me though so that at least made me feel better. I know this is a lot of info but I thought it was necessary to explain - because I feel like that could have went into him not wanting to have sex often as well (maybe I'm just trying to accept that excuse.) Honestly, I think I'm very attractive - I'm not feeling as attractive as I was in college, (I have lines creeping up by my eyes) but... this made me very insecure. It was almost like, I'd beg him for sex one night and not get it - go to work the next night, and see that he'd watched porn.

I moved down here because I really saw something good in him, or thought I did - and trusted him a bit more than I probably should have, because we both came from the same small town and had mutual friends. I knew he was deploying, and we both felt that this was our chance at a relationship - because if I'd moved to the city I was thinking of moving to, we'd have been 6 hours from eachother - and we just didn't think we'd be able to form a solid relationship that would get us through deployment. He told me 2 days before I moved here that he was in contact with girls he's slept with before. (He's only been with a handful of ppl which isn't bad compared to guys I knew in college) but....this got me upset.... one of them was an ex gf, one he worked with, and one was on a deployment with him (they had that emotional bond.) It was only once with the girl from his deployment, and once with the girl he worked with. I accepted (not very willingly) that he stay in touch with the girl from his deployment - he said they've both been there through their roughest times together - both saw someone killed while deployed - but couldn't accept the other two. He was pretty adamant about still talking to them, but finally gave in - although I just checked his voicemail two days ago and found out that the girl he worked with called him. I haven't confronted him about that yet, I wanted to be face to face with him when I do, so will tonight when he gets home at 9. (He was supposed to get back at 2 but they'd messed up the itinerary and didn't notice til today when they checked in at the airport.....)

So.... those were what the lies were about. He didn't want to quit talking to the girl he worked with because she was very knowledgeable in his subject area and wanted to be able to call her with questions at times - so I'm hoping that is the case - and I'm sure that's what he'll say - but It definitely makes me uneasy as WELL as the lying about thursday night. :(

And yes, him patronizing me basically when I'm so upset - doesn't help the situation one bit. I kind of feel like he's pretty unable to open up, and very afraid of letting his guard down and showing emotion - but it's still not fun to deal with. I know he's got feelings though - he was definitely a little teary when a girl on American Idol the other night sang "Temporary Home" by Carrie Underwood. He's heard that song quite a bit as I LOVE that song. Haha. I was in the process of making photo albums of our wedding for him to pack in his boxes for deployment. He wasn't even going to take boxes, because he felt like he didn't have time to pack them - and I stayed up literally ALL night because I wanted him to have pictures of the wedding and his family, and made copies of the vows we said to eachother, and I wanted him to have a warm blanket and pillow, and he finally pulled out a few things that he wanted to bring as well once he saw that I was serious about packing them for him.

I feel like he knows how much I love him - - I wouldn't do things like that for him if I didn't....and he knows how worried I am about him getting hurt...he knows I watched Restrepo on my own...and I tear up pretty often if we talk about the deployment. I am trying to be strong for him, and have gotten much better the past few wks about hiding those emotions/ worries...but I truly feel like he KNOWS how much I love him. Or should know. I think it's possible he's pretty insecure himself - a lot more so than he lets on.

January 29, 2011 - 9:37am
EmpowHER Guest

Are there really coed showers and coed rooms on deployments?? I was just married a month ago to a soldier. We didn't date long (4 months) before I moved in with him, and became pregnant only a month later. I am due in May. I know how that sounds, truly I do. We are both almost 30 though, and knew eachother somewhat in High School. We're both from the same small town and when I reconnected with him I'd just gotten out of a very bad relationship and honestly was quite vulnerable. I agreed to move here to be with him (as he relocated) because I was in the process of finding a new city to live in also - and I figured - why not give this a shot. I truly felt like he had a great heart, and hope that is truly the case. He is deploying in a few weeks. I wanted to marry him because this is his 3rd deployment, and he saw more than anyone should see on his first two, and came back with P.T.S.D. both times around. The mission he's going on is very dangerous - and I'm almost positive he'll come back with some type of P.T.S.D symptoms. He told me how the p.t.s.d. has affected him before - he tends to withdraw himself, almost going into hibernation mode. I thought the best chance at us raising this child together - was for us to get married - feeling that he'd be more committed to the family if this were the case, even if he comes back wounded either physically or emotionally. I felt that he'd be less apt to withdraw if that were the case. I love him very much..... I'm also very torn though by something that just happened last night while he was away for a week taking a class. We'd been arguing for a couple of days, and he was at the base he used to be stationed at - and went out with friends who used to work with and had been deployed with before, and some of the soldiers he's currently with. He very rarely drinks, but did last night before even going bowling. I talked to him right before he left the bowling alley and could tell he was very intoxicated. He said he'd be back to the hotel shortly and call me - and sounded very loving - I was SO happy to hear him speak like that because they say "the truth comes out when you're drunk" and our fighting the two previous days really had me questioning whether or not he truly loved me. I still hadn't heard from him 45 mins later, and so called and texted him 3 times. His phone then died, so I called one of his fellow soldiers, who happens to be female. To make a long story somewhat shorter, he was out until 3 a.m...he tells me that he was only with one of his male friends from the deployment, but he lied about almost the whole night and only because I consistenly pointed out his inconsistencies in his story did he begin telling the truth layer by layer. I hate to admit it, but there is really a part of me that thinks he could have cheated. He's lied at least twice since I moved down here, and I have stressed to him just how important honesty is to me. I don't understand how he can lie, but love me....and I don't understand how to trust him after this. He comes home tomorrow, and goes to the field the very next day for a week, and then we finally have a few last weeks together before he is deployed. I've never felt so emotionally drained in my life - I'm almost numb now. I've had 9 hours of sleep in the past 3 days and have not been eating well until tonight when I finally got some of this off my chest tonight with a fellow army wife who used to be a soldier herself. She said that on her deployment that the single soldiers "acted crazy" -- i.e. they "hooked up" quite a bit with one another. She first said that cheating was faily commonplace but then said that it wasn't extremely common amongst married soldiers. I truly respect the work soldiers do - and can recognize that they may become almost inevitably emotionally bonded with fellow soldiers of the opposite sex - and am so afraid of this happening now, and leading to a physical bond as well..... This lady I talked to tried to tell me to stay positive - that her and her husband fought a lot their first 2 yrs of marriage - and ESPECIALLY right before a deployment - they've been married 5 years. I also spoke with one of the only other army wives I know who my husband and I are friends with as well as her husband - and they both really feel that my husband loves me. They understand me being upset about him lying, but feel that we can work through this -and that he truly loves me. I asked one of his best friends from high school if he thought that he loved me (I wouldn't normally contact his friends like that -but so needed some validation) and he said he did as well and to remember that "love is not based on one lie or one moment or one day" ....

How do you ladies (and gents) feel regarding this? I want so badly for this marriage to work - I want it deep down in my core - especially with a child on the way. Also, I've never been as in love with someone as I am with him. He has a hold on me like no other has before. There's a part of me that hopes that even if he is lying, and I pray he didn't cheat (I don't think I could handle that, I definitely could not stay with him) --anyways, there's a part of me that hopes that if it was "just" lying that he did - that the more he falls in love with me, the more he'll realize just how much it hurts me to lie to me. He did agree to take a lie detector test once he gets back from deployment, and said "good you can take one too" to me. He usually says he'd never worry about "small things" like I worry - but I really think he would worry if he were in my shoes, if roles were reversed, and I was working etc. and out of the house more often. Do you think his promise of taking a lie detector test means he's planning on being completely faithful and that I shouldn't worry *too* much about last night?

I'm planning on doing all those things (sending tons of letters/ pictures/ videos of baby and me) etc to him to make him feel like as much as possible like he is not missing out - and that I truly love and miss him. I'm also VERY worried he will get hurt. I guess I feel like I want to know I can trust him - when I know just how much this is going to take a toll on me as it is (him being in a warzone.)

Deeply in love and confused,
New army wife

January 28, 2011 - 9:50pm

Thank you everyone for your comments and insight. Susan, I did tell him when I found everything. I can honestly say it was the most emotionally horrific moment of my entire life. His reaction was one of sorrow and humiliation and regret...or so it seemed. I found out that he continued the affair for about 3 months while he was telling me it was over. It wasn't until we were stationed elsewhere that it really ended and honestly, I think she and I ended it for him because she moved on and I got stronger. He truly is doing all the things now that he should have done from the beginning but I can't forget...the photos, letters, knowledge that he even did this won't leave. I have now started seeing a therapist. To be honest I come from a place of abject fear and can't see myself without him in my life. I'm working on the fear. I tell myself now that this is what I'm working on....ME. Am I too damaged? CAN I live with this knowledge? Will I ever trust him and is this enough for me? I make no promises right now, am just trying to take care of me. TO ANONYMOUS, I so appreciate your taking the time to write to me. I understand your skittishness regarding marriage and relationships being that you are in the military. Unfortunately, just in the time that we have been in the military I have seen the decline of families as well as the military's support of family values. They have co-ed showers and rooms that don't define gender or rank or married and single. It wasn't always like this. Don't let all you have seen sour you on all relationships or all women. There are lots of people like you and I out there that regard fidelity and vows and love to be of the utmost importance. There is a twist in my story in that my husband is an officer and the "girl" was a Private. I know my contract is with my husband (truly I do) and he should have been the responsible one but you can the letters and the boldness (beyond boldness) of this girl who seduced and was cocky and confident and eventually won over. Again, I know it was his responsibility but I am shocked by both of their behavior. He could have been court martialled and would certainly have lost his job. We saw another Major who committed suicide once he was found out and they were in Iraq because he didn't want to face his family after found out and yet my husband continued to risk everything...the career we followed and I gave up so much to follow, children, everything. It shocked me. Maybe war and continued deployments can add to this, I'm sure it can by the 3rd deployment, but she was brand new and it was like a careless game. Blech, too much in my head as you can see. Again, thank you guys. This is a big help to me.

January 23, 2011 - 8:06am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to TryingHard)

I just reread this post from you - I agree about the private. It's disgusting how some people have no regard for the sanctity of marriage or vows - and act as though everything is just a game with no regard to who they hurt or the families they break up... It really is pathetic, and DISGUSTING.

February 1, 2011 - 4:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,
Your comments really hit close to my heart. I was once a military spouse as well as a Soldier which caused even more concern for infidelity. I also understand suicide from Soldiers...that is very close to my heart as well.

As someone in both positions, I can assure you that there are great women out there that will be completely faithful although many will abuse the power of marriage to gain access to your monetary gains (even if your not deployed or in the military).

I am not certain of your age but I certainly hope that the military lifestyle has not deterred you from marriage or preserving a relationship with someone. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Thank you for serving our great Country and best wishes,

January 22, 2011 - 10:08am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi im deployed right now in afganistan. Im a male, single soldier in tarin Kwot. Im happy there is women out there that support us like you guys do. I'm faced with death ever day, however the one thing that really eats me alive is that If i did die id not have any children to pass on. Most sane single military men dont trust women for the long hall. I myself is a ver simple guy. all i need is internet, Love from a spose and food. Many of the single males ive talken too sence i been in (4yrs) say that there wife is gonna leave them. im never getting married. every unit i go too there is only a hand full of spouses that are devoted though a deployment. just letting you know we have like 280 married ppl in our company. Its so sad, cheating Military spouses dont understand that a unit is a network of thousands of ppl. You will get caught and they always do. Guys and girls im saying. But It breaks my heart.. mostly men are affected the most when there wife is cheating. Its so sad when guys commet suicide because there wife choose to cheat. When i was in Korea a guy killed his wife for cheating on him. hell in afganistan women are killed for cheating on there husbands. Does it make it alright? sure why not. Why not marry a person and just give up on them. why not hurt everybody around you. I see guys out here giving all there money to there wife, the money they gain for risking it all and serving the people of the United states. and there wife spends it on there boyfriend back home. Its sad and too risky to get married nowdays. I look all around me and its not worth the emotional pain. There is some awsome wifes i know though im good frinds with some. The thing is that makes them so Faithful is the trust and understanding they share. And above else taking responsablity. Both men and women have to take responsablity for there actions. I mean sombody up there commented " I said I DO" and she ment it.

January 22, 2011 - 3:21am
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