Voluntary Separation

by Renee
(Killeen, TX USA)

My husband and I have been married for a year and half now. During this time we have only been able to see each other maybe 1 month out of the year due to year-long military deployments. Prior to us getting married he always had plans to get out of the army and go back overseas as a civilian contractor for a year. So now I am back home from a years deployment and he is back overseas.

When I ask him if he has he ever thought about how I would react to him going overseas, he says he didn't because his opinion is the only one that matters, and he is finally living his dreams. When I tell him money isn't everything, he says I'm not being supportive, and that I am putting him down. I tell him that I am always sad and lonely because he is not here, and he never has much to say to that.

He says he is not stopping what he is doing or quitting his job. He says I am being selfish. I say he is selfish, because he chose to take a job overseas for a year without even considering me or my feelings, not to mention we have not spent much time together because of recent deployments.

Who is wrong in this situation? Do not I have the right to be lonely and sad? Should I be more supportive? What should I do?

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Answer from Stella:
Renee,
This is what I think would be reasonable in your situation. After his one-year contractor project is over (or after he has been gone a year, if the project doesn't end) he needs to meet you halfway if he wants to save his marriage.

At that time, he either quits the overseas junkets, or else takes you with him. To live separately for years on end does not a marriage make. You do have a right to be sad and lonely, and you do not have to resign yourself to a permanent life of solitude and misery.

Push the issue! Life is too short...

P.S.: Why not insist that he let you join him NOW? You are his wife and deserve to be at his side.

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