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Should She Give in to His Sob Story and Take Him Back?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I am an Air Force veteran, and my husband was in the Army.

I adored my husband completely, and I truly can say I lost my own identity when we married. I say that because he constantly cheated on me (I caught a woman driving my car!!), and it got to the point where we didn't even sleep in the same bed.

We separated several times because of his shenanigans. My friends started to wonder what was wrong with me.

I am a pretty, intelligent woman who can still attract many a man, so why in the world was I staying with this man? I had fallen into low self-esteem. Finally, by the grace of God, I got it together and put him out.

I adopted my grandson when he was 2 years old, and he is now my son age 12. Even he began to say, "Mom, he won't change."

My husband has come to my job asking for us to reunite, stating he has changed and he doesn't know why he strayed. When he left the last time (when I told him to get out), he stole from me. He had moved in with me when we married, and he stole expensive sheets, glasses, pots, towels etc. to furnish his own home.

What man steals from a woman and child to furnish his own house? We have been apart more than two years now. I got a phone call this morning from him saying he's in the hospital because he tried to commit suicide with a hunting knife and they haven't released him because he doesn't have anywhere to go.

My heart goes out to him, but I filed the divorce papers (we're going through the process now). I think too much damage has been done because I don't believe I could trust him again and I don't feel I could ever get that deep love again. So I have answered my own question, but I value your opinion. Should I take him back?

-- Feeling Sorry for Him

Dear Feeling Sorry,

I honestly think you have answered your own questions. This is a lot to contend with, and there is really no way for you to stay emotionally or financially stable when you are involved with someone like this.

I really regret when I have to tell someone their marriage is over. However, when I was reading your letter, I was thinking about my attitude when I was in my late teens and early 20s. I used to think I was invincible and that nothing could hurt me. Now I think so differently.

A relationship could affect your health, for goodness sake. If this man is stealing from you, what would happen if he stole thousands from you? Could you quickly recoup that?

You also have a son who needs you. More important, he should have a mother who can keep him safe and emotionally healthy. He wants you to take care of yourself. This is a vital part of his self-esteem. You won't be able to do this if you are in a terrible relationship.

Your husband has too much going on. Now, he's threatening to take his life. If you let him back in, he will disrupt your household and you will have to take care of him.

I say, let some of the women he cheated with take care of him. If you let him back in, I think you will regret it.

Let me know what you decide.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki, a native of Dallas, has been the ‘Dear Abby’ for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Military.com. Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on Military.com, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.