Need Advice ... Husband Deployed

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2013
Need Advice ... Husband Deployed
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 6:45pm

Hello -

My husband and I have been married for 9 years, have two children, and one on the way. Like any marriage, we have had our ups and downs but we have mostly had a good marriage. People would often tell us that they would envy us because anyone could tell we were in love with one another without us even saying anything. We tell each other everything, and it isn't because we are checking in with one another, its because we are each other's best friend. 

Two months ago, he left to serve a year tour in Korea. I felt fortunate to have better communication with him versus the lack of communication we had during other deployments. Although communication was better, I started to get this gut feeling that something just wasn't right. Early one morning, I had a terrible dream. I texted my husband to see if he was awake or available to talk (he is 18 hours ahead of my time). He said he was in his room doing nothing but I noticed he was not being very prompt about returning texts. Certainly not very prompt for talking to a pregnant wife at 4am who desperately wanted to talk. So I called him. Big mistake. As soon as he answered, it was loud, I couldn't hear him, he couldn't hear me. When it finally got quiet, he tried telling me he had been in his room the whole time. That was obvious a lie. But I picked up on something else: he was slurring. He was drunk. I asked him if had been drinking and he repeatedly lied to me. Then, he went off the deep end and completely raged on me. He started screaming at me and when he was done - when I hung up on him - he had told me what a worthless wife, horrible mother, and bad person he thought I was, among other absolutely incredibly hurtful things. His words also hinted at the fact he has been lying about things he has done since he has been there, including socializing with prostitutes off post, although he swears nothing happened. The drinking is an issue for us because it has been an issue for him in the past and recent past and has been detrimental to our marriage at times. As of late, he had been much better about it.

In the past week, I have found out the incredible amount of times he has been drunk, drinking in general, he lied about what he was spending money on, he lied about times he was not in the barracks, and lied about missing our phone calls and/or texts due to a bad signal in his room (it was really because he wasn't where he told me he was). I feel like in two months, he has completely changed from the loving, family oriented man that I know and love into this guy acting like he is away in college, experience drinking, partying, and (maybe) women for the first time. I no longer trust a word that comes out of his mouth. I feel helpless and confused as well as feeling like I had my heart ripped out. His harsh words devastated me to the point that I began to see a counselor this week in an effort to work through the hurt. I have now heard that tours in Korea are referred to the "Single Man's Tour" ... single soldiers go to party and married men go and come back single. Does anyone agree with this?

Has anyone gone through anything similiar? What advice would you give? Is this something that will improve after the "newness" of Korea fades ... or is this something we have to look forward to for the remainder of his time there? I asked for some time from him in order for him to work on himself and for me to get myself back together. I just can't get past the multitude of lies and the hurt. What do I do?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 09-16-2013 - 3:44pm

Hugs!  I can't give a lot of advice, but unfortunately I went through similar issues when my DH was deployed in Iraq and I had our first child on the way also.  For us, its been 6 years since he came back from that deployment, 5 years since he's been out of the army, and I think we finally have the pieces picked up from the entire thing, but its taken a lot of work, him hitting bottom many times with his alcoholism and PTSD symptoms.   Unlike you though, we were newly married at the time he deployed and I was very naive at what I was getting myself into with his alcohol problem.  Anytime he was not out in the field (he was a combat medic), he was in his barracks getting drunk and partying with the (much younger) guys.  I have also heard the same about tours in Korea.

Although I don't have much advice on what you can do about the marriage part, and hopefully someone else will, I definitely will say take care of yourself and the kids during this time.  You are pregnant and the amount of stress you are under is a lot and its not good for the baby at all.  Keep up with counseling, and make sure that financially things are getting paid back home while he is gone.  Do you have family you can lean on?  I know everyone's experience with on base groups differs, ours was not good at all, our wives group was mostly younger wives with no kids that just preferred to gossip. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2013
Thu, 09-26-2013 - 1:34pm

Arryl, thank you so much for your reply. Our FRG is unfortunately full of people I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw them. But thankfully, I do have wonderful neighbors and friends to lean on since my family does not live nearby. The more I have talked to people for general advice, I've heard more awful things about Korea and how easily it can corrupt people. Even my counselor shook her head and said she understood my frustration and anger when I told her my husband was in Korea. I have been focusing my time on my kids and keeping myself as stress free as possible for the sake of the baby. Although not easy at times, I have learned that sometimes if I feel I just can't talk to my husband or feel that I'm not being heard, it is ok to just not talk for a while instead of getting overly angry. Thank you again for your reply! I appreciate it. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2013
Thu, 10-10-2013 - 12:44pm

Good luck I wish I had something good to say about your husband ,but I don't sorry . sounds like he thinks he's a kid again and drinking has helped him move forward in his quest . There's a lot of men that lose their way and forget whats important . Hope he wakes up and seeing how he's infecting the ones that love him 

Avatar for momrisner
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-1998
Sun, 10-13-2013 - 3:21pm
  • My  dh did a total of three years in Korea in his 28 years in and while only the last year over there was while he was married to me, he told me many stories of people who had experienced the same things you mention, Unfortunately the time and distance away from family does some pretty crazy things to people.  It has worked both ways...the active member goes to Korea and comes home to a spouse who has cheated or walked out or vide versa.  I wish I could tell you what to do.  I wouldn't necessarily give up on him yet.  But you do need to talk about it...face the issue head firts.  Is he coming home for midtour?