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Thread: Irreconcilable differences?

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    Mrs. GI Joe's Avatar
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    #1

    Irreconcilable differences?

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    I am looking for some advice from fellow military spouses. I have been married for 4 years, but have known my husband for 7 years. We are currently in a LDR since he is a few states away training. He has been there since March; he will be there until the end of August. I am living back home with my family; we are on the same coast, but I feel absolutely emotionally distanced from him. Since we have been living apart, he has pursued new interests, made new friends, and participated in activities that just seem out of character for me. Truth be told, I don't really feel like I know him anymore. I acknowledge that I accept that change is inevitable, and recognize that he and I are both changing; but, it feels like we are growing apart and that he isn't the same man that I've come to know. For example, the friends he spends most of his time with: he goes out with a group of them (I am not sure if they are the same people every time) who like to go to the bars until 0300, smoke hookah (which my husband has never done recreationally, except when deployed in Iraq as part of the customs out there) and cigars, and drink to excess (which he only did once but hasn't admitted to doing again since). My husband assures me that most of the guys he hangs out with are also married, and that some of them have their wives with them while away at training, the others are geographic bachelors. My husband also swears that he would never do anything to jeopardize our marriage, and that he holds our vows and commitment to each other with sobering sacredness. Still, I feel like the things he is choosing to do are changing him into a completely different person. And even though we make it a point to talk for at least an hour a day, I know that there are things he doesn't share with me. I feel like the way he is behaving now is not how a married man who is close to 30 years old should behave. In a lot of ways, I feel like he is regressing socially, like these are the things that single, college guys do. He labels his behavior as being "socially experimental," and that he not only has to but wants to go out with these guys because that is what it takes for him to not feel isolated and lonely out there. I don't think my issue with this is like what he alleges--that for once I am not able to exert control over him, to tell him what he shouldn't be doing and then have him respect my wishes--but a big part of me feels like the person he is becoming is not someone that I would be compatible with. We have had several arguments at least once or twice a month where I don't agree with what he is doing socially, and he lashes out at me and accuses me of trying to control him, to parent him. I don't know how much more of this I can take--I haven't fully been able to accept how he has behaved socially since March, and I don't know how much longer I can suffer in silence while he consciously goes out and socializes like this.
  2. I'm a boss playa', I don't bleed like you.
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    #2
    Well it does sound like you are trying to parent him. It seems to me he doesn't get out much while with you.. Like he's kept in confinement... So he's doing it now while he's away.


  3. The LDR that never ends..
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    #3
    A lot of people in the military go out and drink to blow off steam. DB wanted to spend time with his friends, he usually just DD'd but often times he drank with them. He would go out every weekend and just have fun and chill with his friends. Most of which were either single or married doing the same thing. You have to be able to trust them that when they go out they wont do dumb stuff. If you think he is doing things that would ruin your marriage you do need to have a talk with him and yourself because that's an issue of trust.

    DB spiked drinking and hanging out pre and post deployment. To me that was normal behavior especially since he never drank to excess but maybe 1-2 times.

  4. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #4
    Did you guys talk about boundaries and what is and isn't ok when you got into a serious relationship/married?

    I don't know ... I'm probably not the best person to give advice since I think my DH does most of that stuff except the drinking to excess. Men are logical creatures though, he might be more open to hearing concerns if they are voiced for a practical reason ("I worry about you drinking too much and getting a DUI on the way home") rather than sort of nebulous reasons ("I think you shouldn't smoke a hookah because that's for college kids").

    I know if I were enjoying a new set of friends and my DH didn't like it "just because," I would probably also feel resentful and like he was trying to control me. This is for us living together too ... when we are apart I really don't keep up with much of what he's doing as long as we still have good communication. An hour a day sounds like plenty, he may feel that way too, and that you are deeming it "not good enough" by still criticizing what he does in his free time. It sounds like you guys definitely should have a talk about needs though.
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    #5
    I know distance is hard. But to be honest have you thought about what it is like for him? He is states away from everything he knows. He needs support and friends as well. I dont see anything wrong with him going out with his friends... As long as he is being faithful. Try focusing on yourself. What can you do to grow during this time? Good luck! If you ever need to talk feel free to pm me!
    proudarmygrlfrnd and PinkyLee are my WIFEYS!
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    #6
    Did your husband go to college?? I notice that more often than not, guys in the military that never went to college tend to go all out with their buddies as far as partying and whatnot at later ages. I usually associate this with what most college kids do. Having not had that ability, being married and being "mothered", and whatnot, when the opportunity for a good time arises, they take it.

    As long as your husband recognizes that you guys are married, and has sworn up and down that he wouldn't do anything to ruin your trust/marriage, and he isn't doing anything illegal, I fail to see what the problem is.

    To me, it seems like maybe you could benefit from making some new friends or spending time with ones you currently have. Get out there and do something fun. Live a little. You might not feel so alienated if you are out living your life as well.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. GI Joe View Post
    I am looking for some advice from fellow military spouses. I have been married for 4 years, but have known my husband for 7 years. We are currently in a LDR since he is a few states away training. He has been there since March; he will be there until the end of August. I am living back home with my family; we are on the same coast, but I feel absolutely emotionally distanced from him.

    Since we have been living apart, he has pursued new interests, made new friends, and participated in activities that just seem out of character for me. Truth be told, I don't really feel like I know him anymore. I acknowledge that I accept that change is inevitable, and recognize that he and I are both changing; but, it feels like we are growing apart and that he isn't the same man that I've come to know.

    For example, the friends he spends most of his time with: he goes out with a group of them (I am not sure if they are the same people every time) who like to go to the bars until 0300, smoke hookah (which my husband has never done recreationally, except when deployed in Iraq as part of the customs out there) and cigars, and drink to excess (which he only did once but hasn't admitted to doing again since).

    My husband assures me that most of the guys he hangs out with are also married, and that some of them have their wives with them while away at training, the others are geographic bachelors. My husband also swears that he would never do anything to jeopardize our marriage, and that he holds our vows and commitment to each other with sobering sacredness. Still, I feel like the things he is choosing to do are changing him into a completely different person. And even though we make it a point to talk for at least an hour a day, I know that there are things he doesn't share with me.

    I feel like the way he is behaving now is not how a married man who is close to 30 years old should behave. In a lot of ways, I feel like he is regressing socially, like these are the things that single, college guys do. He labels his behavior as being "socially experimental," and that he not only has to but wants to go out with these guys because that is what it takes for him to not feel isolated and lonely out there.

    I don't think my issue with this is like what he alleges--that for once I am not able to exert control over him, to tell him what he shouldn't be doing and then have him respect my wishes--but a big part of me feels like the person he is becoming is not someone that I would be compatible with.

    We have had several arguments at least once or twice a month where I don't agree with what he is doing socially, and he lashes out at me and accuses me of trying to control him, to parent him. I don't know how much more of this I can take--I haven't fully been able to accept how he has behaved socially since March, and I don't know how much longer I can suffer in silence while he consciously goes out and socializes like this.
    Little bit easier to read now... To be honest I have to agree with Miriah, it does sound like you are treating him more as a child then a spouse.

    While I can see (even though I do not agree) where your concerns are for his behavior, at the same time I think you have to consider that there may not be much else to do out there, this is what the people he is hanging out with are doing, and if he isn't doing anything illegal, to hurt himself, or to betray your trust and the commitment you two made to each other... is there truly harm in his behavior? Would you rather him sit at home bored and miserable vs. going out with his friends?

    And not that there is anything wrong with it, but I sense a bit of jealousy that he is out there doing new things, meeting new people, and all of these other new things while your still at home doing the same old. Have you been able to travel to see him at all? Maybe take a weekend visit and have him take you out with the people he is with and the places he is going will help settle your mind for when your not there.

    I get why your frustrated, but I think some of the anger/upset may be misplaced and that it sounds like there are other issues then just him going out.
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    #8
    So your considering leaving because he isn't moping around and is actually socializing? It sounds like you two dont go out together much.

    Dh smokes hookah and goes out with his friends drinking, I promise you smoking hookah doesn't mean he's.a changed person..maybe he tried it and he ended up enjoying it


    It seems like your jealous he is going out and doing stuff
  9. ...and carry a towel.
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    #9
    I personally don't like hookah, or drinking, or going out in bars. But none of those are irresponsible or childish behaviors, they are simply behaviors some people can indulge in, in irresponsible manner. Drunk driving, that is a reckless, stupid behavior. Getting stupidly drunk every weekend, that I can agree is a college kid behavior. But smoking hookah? One of my close friend's partner has a super high-paying, high-stress job in a huge company. He works like a madman all through the week, and for him smoking hookah and having a few beers is a way to wind down on Friday night. That doesn't make him an irresponsible partner, it makes him a human who needs time off.

    In the end, it might be those behaviors are unacceptable to you. But that's more about YOU, than about him. He isn't acting like a college kid, but he is engaging in things you might not like. Okay, fair enough. Just recognize it's about your expectations and scripts, not about some objective "married guy of certain age" world standard.

    And if it's unacceptable to you, and needed by him... well, you have an issue. You have to talk to him, and see if you can reach a common ground. None of us can tell you what the right answer for your marriage is.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceHedgehog View Post
    I personally don't like hookah, or drinking, or going out in bars. But none of those are irresponsible or childish behaviors, they are simply behaviors some people can indulge in, in irresponsible manner. Drunk driving, that is a reckless, stupid behavior. Getting stupidly drunk every weekend, that I can agree is a college kid behavior. But smoking hookah? One of my close friend's partner has a super high-paying, high-stress job in a huge company. He works like a madman all through the week, and for him smoking hookah and having a few beers is a way to wind down on Friday night. That doesn't make him an irresponsible partner, it makes him a human who needs time off.

    In the end, it might be those behaviors are unacceptable to you. But that's more about YOU, than about him. He isn't acting like a college kid, but he is engaging in things you might not like. Okay, fair enough. Just recognize it's about your expectations and scripts, not about some objective "married guy of certain age" world standard.

    And if it's unacceptable to you, and needed by him... well, you have an issue. You have to talk to him, and see if you can reach a common ground. None of us can tell you what the right answer for your marriage is.
    Also very well worded and I agree.... esp. with the bolded.
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