Infidelity: Not What I’m Here For

How widespread is infidelity in the military anyway? Is it common? Pervasive? Inevitable?

One of the results of the Petraeus admissions is that the question of fidelity between military couples rears its ugly head. I cannot bear all of the shrugging off of fidelity I have heard this weekend, as if infidelity for military couples is the logical result of spending so much time apart.

I’m not here for that.

I’m not here for infidelity. I don’t care whether every other couple in the military are swingers and serial cheaters and bound to show up on Maury Povich with a paternity claim. I’m not here for that.

I am not the kind of person who can wait here during deployment if I think I am married to someone who does not respect what we have between us. I can’t drag around for 16 moves if I think I can’t trust him when we are apart.

I’m not here for that. Neither is he. My sailor does not have direct deposit so that I can take my boyfriends to dinner. He doesn’t spend his weekends painting our kitchen so I can entertain some other guy. He isn’t scrimping on himself to send our kids to college so that another man can have his picture with them at graduation.

It isn’t only the economics of marriage that are at stake here. No matter what every other couple in the world might do, the two of us are not here to put our own pleasures or emptiness or anger in front of our marriage. That isn’t who we are. How do people go on in a military relationship without that assurance of that most basic trust and respect?

I may sound dangerously Kathie Lee Gifford-ish, but I think we military couples ought to be able to expect a little faithfulness from each other, dammit. And that we shouldn’t have to be eternally young and maniacally thin or fantastically rich to make that happen.

I’m not saying that every military couple is perfect. Or that infidelity does not ever happen. I just think when you wait for someone — when you braid their daughter’s hair and shovel their sidewalks and go to three stores in search of their favorite flavor of Cheez-its — that you ought to be able to rely on them to cleave only unto you.

I don’t care if my sailor is surrounded by topless mermaids, I think I ought to be able to count on the guy because we are married. He should equally be able to count on me. Even if I am a topless mermaid in my own right.

The thought that we should expect a little cheatage to come our way simply because we spend too much time apart is a poison in our culture. Infidelity is not acceptable. It is not inevitable.

Faithfulness is not too much to ask for military couples. In fact, I think that it is because our military lives are so demanding on both the servicemember and the spouse that faithfulness is required of each of us. Every day. All the time. Physically. Emotionally. Financially.

Faithfulness is how we roll.

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at
  • Thank you for sharing these thoughts! They are spot on. My husband is JAG and I hear a lot of yuckyness (no names or specifics, just generalities). But I have 100% faith in him. I expect that of him and he of me. We have each others’ backs. We cleave to one another.

    • kelly

      i agee! my husband who is navy and i see it all the time.we shake our heads at the ugliness at who does this but it is usually the cheifs first time power in their own heads

  • gette

    Love the article. My husband Air Force and we have had our share of TDY’s, deployments and moves and the last thing either one of us expects is infidelity. That being said, I think this should be the expectation of every married couple, not just military. Why marry someone if you expect for them to cheat on you or you on them. If you can’t handle forever and monogamy then don’t get married, simple as that.

    • James Stone

      Yes!!!!!! thank you

  • Cassie

    Yes! I completely agree! I feel lucky because I know that my husband adores me and vice versa, and I know that he would rather die than hurt me, just like I would for him. I don’t understand how cheating has become so acceptable. It is NOT. You make a commitment to each other, you HONOR that commitment. Being apart from each other is not an excuse to cheat. If anything, it’s an excuse to try and strengthen your marriage in other ways.

  • Christine

    Awesome article!

  • “to be able to expect a little faithfulness from each other, dammit. ”


    Inside our wedding rings are engraved three words: Faith. Love. Honor.
    Regardless of occupation, these are the words that continue to hold us together.

    *still chuckling* dammit! :)

    • Marsha

      Infidelity is a sign of weakness in character. Cheating whether emotionally (online) or physically should NEVER be tolerated

      • Jinx

        Our rings say, ” yours only”. And yes damn it I am also my husbands topless mermaid too!

    • Pat

      Agree completely.

      • t cassidy


    • Brittany Clay

      I so love this and completely agree. My solider is in Korea and we talk as if he never left. I can’t wait to see the look on my husband and son’s face when they see each other for the 1st time after a yr…

    • Denise

      I do not think that people marry each other if they think that person is going to cheat. You may not be here for that but it is an issue and being a military spouse means you are part of the family and if someone is in pain or needs help you are there for it. For those that have had soldiers cheat on them with other soldiers, it is sad and wrong. There is no respect for those soldiers and if they think that fighting for freedom while destroying the hearts of the people they are fighting for is okay, they have no pride and should be given no respect. This has nothing to do with trust. The problem is not that there is no trust, the problem is that no one is there for these women that go through this. If you are not here for that, then you are biasasley picking what you want to deal with. Everyone deserves the same support no matter what the issue is. Being a bistandard and picking what you will and will not get involved with is not the military spouse way. We are here for each other no matter what. This issue is important because “what happens on deployment stay on deployment” thing is not true. It is brought home and it breaks families and children’s hearts. We need support for those men and women so they don’t continue the cycle, not excuses like ” have trust.” I really don’t think you can tell someone to just trust your spouse when you have not walked their path. Im sure everyone trust their spouse at some point. It is finding out when did that trust end and why? I’m am happy for all those that walk with a blind eye to possibilities of this type of negativity in their lives. For those that endure the pain of being lied to, pushed away and you don’t know why, feeling alone, feeling like a foul, feeling like you have been played and your heart does not matter, I care and I say keep speaking out!

      • Martine

        While I gave up my career to follow my soldier, then raise our daughter, he took the opportunity to cheat on me at each duty station. I was the dutiful wife that trusted my marriage…HUGE mistake. When he was away at training, deployed or TDY, I remained at home. Taking care of our daughter, our home, working full time, and taking care of his responsibilities that he was unable to take care of when he was home so it darn sure was not going to get done when he was gone. While I made the commitment to him, our marriage and our family, he decided to go to bars…even had a man die while he was supposed to be Designated Driver. One of his flings involved a LT (he is a SNCO). She obviously likes married men as mine was not her first. I made it clear he had better be her last or I would have her rank and her ass. So to all who think their marriage is not open to infideltiy…good luck. Gave mine the benefit of the doubt and now, after 14 years of faithful marriage on my part…we are at the tail end of a miserable divorce.

        • Laura S.

          I am so sorry to hear that you were so disrespected by your husband! He doesn’t deserve such a great woman! I hope everything turns out okay as you go through your divorce for you and your daughter.

        • Rrmom

          This is such a sad topic. It stirs up so much crap. I’ve been with my husband for 9 years married for 1 1/2. He has cheated on me before. We were kids, we were different people then. He is truly a loving a caring husband, completely open and honest now because he has nothing to hide. When he joined the military though, we were separated a lot. I was told so many things like “what happens on tdy, stays on tdy” and I became very insecure obviously. I did a lot of research on cheating in the military and didn’t like what I heard. Horrible stories of cheating. Stories like these are important to be told, so women and men know they aren’t alone. But if you have no reason to believe your spouse is cheating I beg you to save yourself the heartache and stop reading these stories.

      • Lori

        For those that endure the pain of being lied to, pushed away and you don’t know why, feeling alone, feeling like a foul, feeling like you have been played and your heart does not matter, I care and I say keep speaking out!…….wow this really hit home. Now going down the road of divorce with my soon to be ex-husband SGT and these words felt like they were spilling out from my heart.

    • Barb

      Can I just say “AMEN!” Worry and concern are part of being a military spouse – that’s one worry I never had, thank the good Lord!

    • Nina

      My ex cheated n is now engaged to another soldiers wife lives w her n everything …when I was his spouse I contacted his command they did nothing n the husband of his “fiancé” told his command again nothing

  • mel

    Great article! Glad to see someone else who takes their marriage vows seriously. I’ve heard from some that my commitment to marriage is rooted in fairy tale ideals of “happily ever after”, but it is possible to believe that 2 people can be committed to each other until they leave this earth. I’ve seen it happen and I believe it will happen in my marriage.

    • kelly

      love it my husband and i after 12 years still have total trust

  • Angela

    Love it! Infidelity should never be acceptable, and is not inevitable. Those who use the military lifestyle as an excuse for their lack of fidelity are just sad and make the rest of us look bad.

  • Olivia

    Wonderfully said!

  • Samantha

    THANK YOU!!!!!! I have been married to my sailor for almost 7 years, been through 5 deployments and we have had a great faithful relationship. Marriage is not valued as much these days which is very sad! Our children and my husband deserve my faithful love for my husband!

  • Rquick

    Awesome post and great comments. I don’t know how rampant infidelity is in the military nor do I care. I care about me and my marriage no one elses. I do hate being lumped in with other peoples horror stories. There are so many generalities. ALL mil couples cheat, ALL soldiers get PTSD, etc. I don’t want to be punished for others mistakes or have what they’ve done reflect on me. People make mistakes but we are not all the same.

  • Katie

    “Infidelity is not acceptable. It is not inevitable.”

    Love, love, love!!!!!

  • Ben

    I will just say as a 24 yr Navy vet….one word comes to mind….PERVASIVE. There’s a saying “what goes on during deployment, stays on deployment.”

    All the Dial-a-Sailor programs durning port visits aren’t just so a Sailor can enjoy a “home cooked meal”.

    But it works both ways when the base clubs are coincidentally packed with women the night after the battle group deploys.

    On more than a couple occasions after my ship returned a day early, i had subordinates arrive home while their wife was otherwise engaged with her temporary boyfriend.

    It’s great if you have a strong, loving, trusting marriage. But based on what i’ve seen over the years i’d almost have to say you’re in the minority. It’s pretty sad.

    • functional art

      Maybe base clubs are packed the night after a battle group deploys because there are a lot of lonely spouses who want to spend a little time with other spouses who know exactly what they are going through. Not everyone goes out to cheat.

      If what you have seen over the years is that your peers are unfaithful when given the opportunity, perhaps you should stop hanging around with such dogs.

    • Ann

      I agree with you Ben.

  • Mike

    Infdelity is the biggest cause of suicide of miliiary members. No branch of the service trains it personnel on how to deal with it. Mamy careers have ended once an infidelity is public knowledge. It doesn’t matter which person committed it. Outstanding article!

  • Stan E

    Well, said. I got just the opposite while on deployment but my expectations were the same and I still believe that should be the expectation of anyone and everyone who gets married.

  • Linda

    this topic is a BIG issue in not only military but our culture. I lived through infidelity (took almost 5 years to get her out of our lives).
    husband high ranking officer. he was the last person anybody , including myself , thought would do this! it’s very selfish, destructive choices that leave scars

  • Kaleb

    “There are two types of marriages in the military. One where the spouse doesn’t know about the cheating. The other is when the spouse knows about it ,but decides the couples life together is bigger than a one night stand” As a young private, this was a lesson taught to me by some old crusty SF sergeants. I know this is not entirely true but it sums up the fears present in the military today.

    • Debra LeCompte

      Kaleb, the old crusty SF sergeants you know must have failed marriages. I am married to a crusty old retired after 30 years Colonel, and I am here to tell your sources are just crusty and old… not accurate at all. Some of the best marriages I have ever known are military marriages. My mom and dad are not military, but are still happily married after 60 plus years, so I know what a good marriage looks like. Non military marriages, from my observation, fail more than military marriages… Maybe that is because I know so many military people.

  • Maryv

    A military family goes through a lot, and I should know, as I was a military wife for 23 years. I’ve seen ‘stuff’ that shouldn’t have taken place, but my family was just an observer. ‘Stuff’ does happen, but as long as you are able to keep your family out of the ‘circle of friends’ your family will survive. As a family, we have to have a set of values, and then not deviate from those values.

  • downstg

    It is not realistic to expect behavior in Military personnel to different in the long haul than in all other sectors of American society as the military is ultimately made up of members of this American Culture. Culture -who we are as a people and what we truly believ is always manifested ultimately in and thru our Art and the behaviors of a nation.

  • downstg

    In other words…. When we have a President getting blow jobs in the Oval office… It’s not before we have Generals doing a Biographer in their private offices. Then it is not long before Private Williams is “All-In” with Private Jones in the back of a hummer. Then it’s not long before Jane Davis is diddling Jackie Evans in the barracks. It’s what our culture has told these folks is “OK”- Normal – Acceptable – Right!

    • Pat

      It’s been more than a a dozen years since we had a President cheating on his wife and he got in a lot of hot water over it.

    • TNB

      It started with JFK! Maybe it started before then, who knows.

  • The standards are supposed to be high for military officers. However, even West Point has failed to indoctrinate all of their students. The punishment for infidelity is often non-existent or lukewarm. Many years ago, I saw a female captain performing sexually explicit grinding maneuvers on the dance floor with an enlisted soldier under her command. I approached her as a lieutenant and warned her about fraternizing. She threatened to accuse me of attacking her if I did. Taking God out of our institutions and teaching Darwinism contribute to our moral decadence. Make the military code more rigid and the penalty for failing to comply more severe.

    • KDKat

      Despite what you may think, Darwinism has nothing to do with this situation. I understand you are a godfearing member of society, but please do not attribute this behavior to atheism or science-minded folk. Atheists are married members of society equal to religious members, and we respect and honor our marriage vows out of respect and love for one another and what we are building together in life. Just because we don’t believe in God or a higher power does not mean we are devoid of morals. Thank you!

      • Pet

        Thank you SO much. Being a Christian does not automatically make anyone live the life of saints, just as being an atheist (or agnostic/pagan/whatever) does not make anyone an immoral sinner. This is not a matter of faith, but a matter of personality.

      • Nunya

        On the contrary, Darwinism has everything to do with the issue. Darwinism pulls God out of the situation and religates humans to mere animals (or decendents thereof). The fact that we are created beings with a moral code is what seperates us from the animal kingdom devoid of such a code.

        • Kiira

          Having a moral code has nothing to do with God or Darwinism. I am not Christian, and I do not believe in your God…..this does not mean I have no moral code. I happen to agree with the majority of the morals present in Christianity, I just don’t believe in god or jesus. Do not confuse morality with religion, I know many “good christians” with the morals of an alley cat.

      • Jane Smith

        you are an idiot!!!! you’ve completely missed the point!!!!!

        • Jane Smith

          I’m sorry…not calling the person that wrote making military code more rigid and more severe penalties an idiot!!! I was referring to all the other idiots commenting about God and Darwinism. Y’all completely missed the point…the subject is on infidelity in the military. Quit trying to make this about you. I totally agree, military officials especially high ranking should be penalized severely!!!

    • Kiira

      Not everyone worships your “God”. Freedom of religion means all religions, not just yours. That is why religion has been removed from institutions. Other than that, I agree with your statement that infidelity should have more consequences, and those consequences need to be enforced equally.

  • pfcpremosgirl

    Kathie Lee Gifford stayed with her cheating spouse. Anyway, not my point. I have to agree with the notion that our own president having oral sex performed on him IN the Oval Office is sick and disgraceful, yet does indeed give the impression that it is somehow tolerable. I mean, after all, Hillary is no pushover and is successful, yet…..she stayed. Not a great example. Here is another point. A very long time ago, we had a president by the name of Kennedy. You know what he did? Had multiple affairs, as we can all gather from information and context today. But you know what it meant back then? Nothing. Because we respected the office of president. We didn’t have paparazzi and nosy people begging for the juicy details. It wasn’t a “secret,” yet it wasn’t paraded out in the open, ala the Clinton fiasco. It’s sad that we see adultery being the catalyst for the destruction of a great man.

  • pfcpremosgirl

    And I’m sorry, or no, I’m NOT sorry, but I firmly believe this whole “affair” is being put forward to keep people from asking the REAL and IMPORTANT QUESTIONS here! I don’t want to hear about Petraeus and his affair(s), I want to hear what he knows about Benghazi. I will not play along here, nor will I be distracted.

    • Pet

      My sentiments exactly. The timing for this is just a smidgen too suspicious…

  • Rickey Frazier

    While I would like to think it is a general consensus that infidelity under any circumstances is unacceptable moral behavoir. For military personal it is even more so, even more so for officers. For as we each took our oath it was part of a honor code of an officer and a gentleman on top of any marriage vows one may take. It’s like trying to correct a child not to do something that they see you do everyday. You cannot justify your disapproval of their behavoir if you are committing the same offenses. You cannot be judge or expect your subordinates to be held to a high standard than you hold yourself too. General Patreus and his family will surely suffer through this as most others have. It is unfortunate for the one person that was a party to this will suffer little if any true fall out.

  • Jerilyn

    I love what you have said in this article and I am with you!!!! Faithfulness is how we roll too!!!!!!

  • Suzan

    I didn’t read your full reply – why should I? You sound like every other self absorbed writer on any topic.

  • JillofMostTrades

    I also find it funny that military couples are so lax in what they deem “cheating”. My husband and I had our huge issues and to him cheating was just intercourse with someone but apparently it’s ok to have websex with a paid prostitute of sorts. It’s apparently ok to have an emotional connection with another woman, and it’s apparently ok to look at porn and completely ignore the wife. Just as long as your not PHYSICALLY doing someone. To me, cheating is all of that. If your talking to another woman that your wife doesnt know about, that’s a no go. If your looking at porn, that’s a no go. If my husband wants a little something while he’s away I will send him whatever he wants of me :D :P But looking at another woman I dont care if it’s over a video or what or talking to another woman about things that you refuse to talk to your wife about. All of that is cheating to me. I dont care if he works along side a woman, I dont care if his higher up is a woman. So long as he is open about OUR relationship and keeps theirs on a strictly professional level I’m fine.
    Dont tell me that “every man looks at porn” because, No, No they don’t.
    I hold myself to that exact same standard as well.

  • ladynpurpl

    In 2001 right after 911 my husband told me he was pulling extra duty. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the reserves. We were married 39 years. I was so worried about him because it seemed he was burning a candle at both ends. I was emailing him and letting him know how proud I was and how I would take care of everything at home………not to worry etc, etc. He responded in like. Only to find out after Christmas he was seeing somebody else the whole time. He was NEVER pulling extra duty or anything else. He left me and filed for divorce on January 7 2002. Needless to say I was taken by complete surprise and devistated. To this day I wonder how many other women were in his life while he was playing soldier and away from his family. He was supposed to be a Christian and taught Christian financial principals in our area to local churches and counciled couples. He literally led two lives. I survived but cannot remarry because I will lose all the benefits granted to the spouse such as retirement, medical, half social security etc. He was in the reserves 30 years. I was the loyal one but I am the one who will be penalized if I want to go on to have somewhat of a normal life.

    • gingerleigh

      Yes you can remarry. You have to decide that you can get a job and earn the benefits you will lose on your own. Or, failing that, you can have a relationship with someone else without marrying them and risking the loss of your benefits entirely. It’s up to you to decide what is more important: a normal life? Your ‘share’ of your husband’s benefits? Some kind of religious belief against enjoying the company of another person without being married to them? It’s your choice… whether you say “I can’t” or “I can”, you will always be right.

      • ladynpurpl

        You are talking to a lady 67 years old who will lose over 5 thousand dollars a month plus medical benefits. I will never make that money getting a job. And just how long do you think I can work?Yes, my faith stand in the way of living with someone without marriage. I do have a wonderful gentleman friend but I would like to be married but finances do not permit it. Sometimes life isn’t fair but one iearns to live with it. I just wish the military would reconsiider how the spouse is treated in some situations through no fault of their own. I feel we serve along with the spouse and sacrifice as much and sometimes more than they do.They go along on their merry way without a hint of remorse leaving the family to pick up the peices.

        • navyretired

          I am the same age as you, and lost my wife to cancer years ago. I met a woman with whom I would like to spend the rest of my life. However, we decided to separate because we could not accept the changes that would have to be made. I realized that if you REALLY love somebody enough, you will sacrifice everything to be with them. When we were young, that’s how it was with everyone, struggling to survive by supporting each other no matter what!

          If you really do not love somebody that much, you should not marry, because if you are not willing to be totally committed like that, the consequences could infidelity being discussed!

  • AMB

    Yes. Exactly. You said it perfectly. Both my husband AND myself feel the same way! Thank you for writing this.

    • Pat

      Yes. Thank you for writing this article. Many people make is sound like it’s impossible to be faithful through multiple separations. Not true. Lot of couples do it. They honor their commitment to one another and build a life around trust and loyalty.

      Over the years, I’ve known many couples who have split up over infidelity. Rarely are they any happier or more satisfied in their next relationship(s).

      I can think of at least half a dozen ex-husbands who have begged their once loyal wives to take them back.

      Too soon old. Too late smart.

  • Jessica

    Military spouse here. Living on base, we saw it happen day in and day out. My next-door neighbor at our last duty station walked in on her husband as he was having sex with another enlisted man. My sister, married to an Army guy, was cheated on and saw many women have other soldiers living with them while their husbands were deployed.

    I work in a civilian legal profession and the amount of active duty guys I’ve helped with divorce due to infidelity is insane. The VAST majority are guys who come home to find a wife obviously pregnant by someone other than themselves.

    It’s deplorable, yes, but I’ve NEVER seen the level of infidelity I’ve seen in the military in the civilian world.

    • Pat

      Me neither. It’s crazy. My husband and I had a serious talk before we got married about choices and consequences. I agree with Vicki. Not what I’m here for.

  • guest

    Prayer is the most important foundation in a marriage. Marriages have been attacked since God created the first one in Garden Of Eden. Military marriage are harder with the separation of deployment. It has been on my heart to cover military marriages with the blood of Jesus, hedge of protection and thorn brushes. It’s time to send prayers up and defeat divorce, separation and all the other negative things coming marriages in the military and around the world. Prayer changes thing. Heavenly Father, I plead the blood over military marriages. I place a hedge of protection around our marriages (Job 1:10). Lord breath on every marriage unconditional love and remove any openning that satan can enter into our marriage. Lord send warrior angel’s to defead our wedding vows and the covenant that heaven witness on our wedding day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    • Gingerleigh

      Marriage predates modern man, and certainly predates the Israelites and their biographers who wrote the stories in the bible. It’s likely that some form of marriage existed (even temporarily) for iron age humans and earlier for whom paternity may have been an issue since females and their children would have been seen as the personal property of males. I’m glad that you believe that prayer strengthens your marrieage, but I think a more realistic approach is to look at marriage for what it is: a contract. Some will imbue it with religious meaning, but it is actually an agreement entered into between two persons to determine inheritance rights. It doesn’t give one the right to break the contract unilaterally, but it will inevitably happen as long as adults can marry quickly and easily and for lots of the wrong reasons. Divorce takes forever…. why does marriage take only a few minutes?

    • TLC

      Thank you for your prayers. My marriage is one that your prayers are needed for. The problem is my husband is living in the flesh and until they hate their sin and turn away from it they will continue to live in it. You cannot serve two Gods at one time. God is too Holy to get near sin therefore until there is a full repentance and turning away from the enemy continues to win!!!

  • Pat

    We’re retired now and can’t help but notice that the couples who stayed true to one another and their vows are having a ball now, growing old with their best friend.

    The ones who were stepping out an each other are estranged from their kids and struggling to keep their financial affairs in order.

    Maybe the sex was worth it. Hard to say. I wouldn’t trade though.

  • Leanne

    Unfortunately, there are readers like me who know firsthand what it’s like to find out you’ve been betrayed by a spouse. It truly is one of the most heartbreaking times imaginable. Some of us will recover, some of us won’t. Infidelity doesn’t affect just the military, and not just the deployed. It’s in all walks of life. And it is all too often looked upon as being no big deal. But it IS a big deal and people get hurt, and marriages fail. There are a lot of places to point at to prove reason, or something/someone to try and put the blame on, but in all reality, they are merely excuses for immorality and stupidity. There are no words to justify it. Those who tolerate it perpetuate it, and I, for one, will not ever accept infidelity as normal, acceptable, or a fact of life. Period.

  • You go Jacey! Amen!

  • Daniel

    Everyone should stay out of their problem and maybe they can resolve it themselves. No good is going to come out of it by all of us being on anybodies side. As for the General, he should be seen as the great leader he is and not something persomal that has unfortunately happened. People do make mistakes in life and God is the only one perfect.

  • Lisa

    I’ve been married to military, dated military. Unfortunately those men do cheat. Adrenalin rush? Being used to having different partners after deployments etc? Only few are the exception. I just got out of a relationship, the guy was sleeping around for almost a year. He hid it well. Marriage ended same way. I’m done with military men. I have a lot of respect for what the do on their jobs, but relationship/marriage? No. It seems to be more of a lifestyle rather than just occasional incidents for a lot of those men.

  • BH

    While I agree it is wrong to be unfaithful, I must point out a different aspect of this situation.
    He was the CIA director and was just about to tell the American people the truth about the murder of American citizens in Libya. But lo and behold his infidelity, that had been known since July, was published right before the information came out.
    I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I am smart enough I see that every time the goose gets in trouble, he squawks about a goose across the pond to create a distraction.
    What’s sad is that the attention span of Americans isn’t long enough to remember what was going in to begin with.
    And that my friends, is the cold hard reality of this entire situation.

    If I’m wrong why is GEN P being forced to resign but no one else???

    • TNB

      Agreed. Now they’re saying that it’s up to Congress if he’ll even testify. A family member of one of the females’ involved said, the cheating scandal is factitious and a smoke screen for something else. Now they’re claiming Broadwell released classified info.

  • Lou-Lou

    You don’t know me, but know this, I am Very proud of your letter. What a heart. You go girl. I pray that you and your sailor will grow old together. Bless you!

  • Jolene

    I agree wholeheartedly! This military life is hard enough without adding infidelity into the mix. I’m standing up for my marriage! Thank you for making it clear that I am not the only one who isn’t shrugging this one off.

  • TLC

    I dated my husband for 5 years then married him. Been married 2 years. Found out 1 year into our marriage he has been cheating. The man I dated and the man I now know as my husband are two different people. The man I thought I was married to would NEVER had cheated on me. I dated him through 4 deployments. Was faithful to him 150% and so I thought he was as well. We took orders overseas for 2 years. I had to come back to the states to handle his property and personal business and he got lonely and sought out an affair. Perhaps he was never who I truly though he was. Perhaps living 2 desperate lives have now clashed? Never been so hurt and devastated in my life and I have walked trough many trials. I now see why the diverse rate is so high in the military. They truly live 2 separate lives. Not sure Military wife is the right title for me any longer:(

    • I feel the same, sadly my military husband did not, nor did the woman he cheated with who was also married. We dated for years, I raised HIS children and felt like a single parent …they are not my children. He cheated on me a year into our marriage, got her pregnant and kicked me out. I got nothing and was not welcome to get my things later as it made HER uncomfortable

      • Gnome/J

        I am sorry for all who have been cheated on! Please remember God made us all different. So where one may cheat others may not. I know the void u have and I as well had a wife that cheated and no pain compares to the loss of your spouse by way of cheating. J

  • from experience

    If you or anyone thinks you’re exempt from infidelity, I pray for you. If you honestly live with the “it will never happen to me” mentality, then you my friend are living a lie, just as I was. No, not ALL military spouses cheat. Yes, ALL military families are fighting a war from within against satan himself. So guard yourselves, your spouses, your children, and the four walls of your home with careful scripture and prayer. You can’t do it alone. And you can’t do it by simply writing an article exclaiming it.

  • Penny

    Amen! Preach it, sister!

  • yungsailorwife

    Thank you for this article!!! GReat..I am a young military wife and my husband and I hold true to what we vowed. I can only pray for us and our marriage. Infidelity does not have to be the end Even in Todays world..Thank you and I truely sympathize with those who have experienced it..

  • Jacob

    Yeah, I am a male dependent and my wife has slept with her boss in the past. I have tried to work on our marriage, but it tough when we are apart. It happened in December 2007. We have been apart now for a total of 23 months and counting. It is a horrible feeling. Her boss knew she was married and they even admitted to being intimate at work. So now I know it can happen any time any where. I have been through depression, attempted suicide, and aged 20 years in the last 5. My life is miserable and I know I will never get over my trust issues. I have not given up on our marriage, but to say it is good is a lie. Why am I saying this here? Hopefully one person that reads this will avoid putting their spouse and children through this hell if they see this. I can tell you first hand, IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

    Infedelity in UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

    • armywife

      Jacob I can totally relate. My husband did the same. I posted here towards the end if you want to read mine. Other people here have said “get over it, move on”. Clearly they don’t know the pain. Not just us, the children. My heart hurts for them daily. People, what is wrong with you?!

  • cajunyoli59

    I was married to an Army man for 23 yrs who had an affair and after our divorce, he married the woman. Affairs seem to be pretty common. Marrying into the military is a tough road to ride. We give up our lives for our military spouse only to find out that was a one-way-street. Now we have no choice but to move on and the military refuses to look at what we have been put through.

  • Steven

    This is so stupid. When are the few going to try and stop brainwashing everyone that people are suppose to be monogomous. Biologically this is not the case. And the divorce rate pretty much proves the point.

    • armywife

      Thank you for your honesty Steven!

  • TopZ

    OK….. one wife started screwing around when I was in SE Asia…….. #2 was when I was in Korea…..
    ….. Uh Huh..

  • Barbara

    I have been divorce 7 years and I not at all taken God out of my life. And I will say the army isn’t what it use to be and lawyers and Courts and to get some one fair. I went to the lawyer office and they gave me a book called Uniformed Service Former Spouse’s Protection and told me to read it and the book is out dated and 50% of retire pay after tax is 45 % if that. Freedom cost so why not Congress and Supreme Court rewrite the the booklet it cost more to live now. I would change the amount percentage. I have a straight formula.
    The soldiers get raises and they know how to beat and play the system. I have went though alot and to live on what I am getting No! I know the bible is true God going to judge SIN and adultery. A person can live Save in the Service purpose in there heart and not let Satan temp them. Proverbs tell s you how to live. I can’t get mad at Company nor the Army , suite,just the guy that wore all the rear.

  • hector

    Since the USArmy punishes whoremongering==how can

    Since the US Army punishes whoremongering and since VD in so common in laissons==how come we have not heard WHY Petraeus is still scot-free?

  • Twenty-three years married. We were both in the military. Still together because we are comitted to our marriage. We both could have cheated at one time or another, but chose the higher ground and our marriage is stronger for it. Don’t get married unless you are 100% certain your spouse is the only person you want to be with, even if you know there will be months you are seperated. The wait is worth it, your marriage is worth it. Our deployed spouses deserve our fidelity.

  • Soontobx

    So correct me if I’m wrong here but it’s ok for a military man/woman to cheat or have affairs or show disrespect to others or have zero honor while they are home away or in the middle? There is nothing the other person who has been hurt and has stuck by them can do? Meanwhile they can keep us the charade of ” honor, respect that our country gives them, thanks and praise for defending our country home and away? ” bull. They should get no honor! Call me mean crazy or whatever but what ever happened to MORALS!

  • Old Chief

    Agree.It’s been almost 20 years since my wife cheated.The pain lingers and the trust is gone. Yes,it IS a big deal.

  • Beautifully stated. We are not created in man’s image and we are not expected to follow man’s ways. God created us and marriage to have a partner to help each other over come the world (the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the forbidden fruit). Each day we overcome infidelity or turn to that friend to guide us into faithful marriage, that is when we come together and “LiveHisDream”.

    LiveHisDream in order to understand the path God created you for. As a child of God and a spouse.


  • Old Chief

    What a load of racist crap!

  • D

    Unfortunately mistakes happen and almost every military spouse I have talked has had the problem of their husband having a relationship with another women. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you or even that they wanted to cheat, But I know from recent experience that even the most trustful spouse can be put in a situation where a bond is made with another female, I was lucky in the aspect that my husband did not have sex wiith her, and when i finally realized what went on on his tdy and confronted him he realized what he had done to me and our family, he is now in counsling and we are working it out. I also find the single military women feed off men that are married.

  • D

    Unfortunately mistakes happen and almost every military spouse I have talked has had the problem of their husband having a relationship with another women. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you or even that they wanted to cheat, But I know from recent experience that even the most trustful spouse can be put in a situation where a bond is made with another female, I was lucky in the aspect that my husband did not have *** wiith her, and when i finally realized what went on on his tdy and confronted him he realized what he had done to me and our family, he is now in counsling and we are working it out. I also find the single military women feed off men that are married.

  • D

    Unfortunately mistakes happen and almost every military spouse I have talked has had the problem of their husband having a relationship with another women. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you or even that they wanted to cheat, But I know from recent experience that even the most trustful spouse can be put in a situation where a bond is made with another female, I was lucky in the aspect that my husband did not have *** wiith her, and when i finally realized what went on on his tdy and confronted him he realized what he had done to me and our family, he is now in counsling and we are working it out. I also find the single military women feed off men that are married.

  • D

    Unfortunately mistakes happen and almost every military spouse I have talked has had the problem of their husband having a relationship with another women. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you or even that they wanted to cheat, But I know from recent experience that even the most trustful spouse can be put in a situation where a bond is made with another female, I was lucky in the aspect that my husband did not have *** wiith her, and when i finally realized what went on on his tdy and confronted him he realized what he had done to me and our family, he is now in counsling and we are working it out. I also find the single military women feed off men that are married.

  • Banyone anonymous

    Many of you are very delusional. Either you get a beta male that you is so grateful to high heavens he got you because he isn’t unable to get anyone else, or you accept that it will happen and hope that he will be as discreet as possible.
    The women tend to cheat physically because of emotional needs. The men cheat physically because he can, but he still loves only you. Typically. He is as faithful as his options and the longer without sex, the stronger the urge.
    We all hide behind the needs of the woman instead of our own. We say we wouldn’t because she says he wouldn’t. Not true. Our needs have very different drives, our brains are wired differently.
    And you are all unable, incapable, and unwilling to understand that because you are all emotionally selfish.
    Don’t try to psycho analyze this, just accept it.

    • armywife

      Oh how true this is.

  • matt

    You know…. It’s about knowing how much the other person cares for you… it’s about finding someone that you care more about keeping happy then yourself.. And in return them doing the same for you. If you are one of the lucky ones to find this.. then you will see that the end result of two people caring more about the other then themselves results in being happier then either ever knew imaginable. I am active duty and currently on my third deployment and could never ever see myself cheating on my wife.. She is everything to me and the hurt i know it would cause her is unbearable for me to even think about.. People cheat, people get hurt, such as life.. Get over it move on and hopefully you can get lucky and find that one you care about more then yourself. If not keep living in your fantasy world and believe it’s just something that happens. NO!!! it’s something that happens between two people that just are meant for one another!!!!!

  • connie

    Infidelity seems to rampant in the military..always has been.

  • armywife

    Whatever…you all are in denial. After 15 years of marriage, two kids, and a faithful military spouse the entire time, I found out he cheated every time he was TDY. Not only did he finally admit it but he said all his buddies…yes ALL his buddies did too at all duty stations we were at. The Petraeus scandal is no shock to me and it shouldn’t be to any military spouse. If it is then you need to wake up. There weren’t any clues, we had a happy and healthy marriage and when I asked “why?” he said “because I could”. And they can, and they do. They have all their “buddies” to back them up too because all of them are doing the same thing. Standards…morality…Christian or not, whatever. Sex is sex, enlisted or officer, male or female. There is no such thing as a “faithful” marriage anymore. Just because you have that ring on doesn’t mean there is some magic fairy out there protecting your marriage. He (or she) can take it off while he is gone, or in my case (even worse) leave it on, nobody cares anymore as we can all see with this fiasco being brought to light. It’s all disgusting and it’s not just our military…

    • Pet

      Or maybe he just tells you that all his buddies do the same so he looks better/not so bad by comparison…
      A lot of people find reasons and people other than themselves to hold responsible when they make mistakes, including cheating on their spouses. When caught, it is not uncommon for them to say things like “Everybody does it” or “You drove me to it” and the likes… I understand you’re bitter/angry/upset over your spouse cheating on you, still doesn’t mean they ALL do…

      • armywife

        True…but most of the others have admitted as well. Not to mention all the wives I know who are divorced for the same reason. Yes, I am bitter/angry/upset. I gave up everything for him so he could follow his dreams. I quit my career, raised the kids practically by myself, believed I had the perfect life only to be embarrassed. What are the women left with? Sure, I can get half his retirement but he destroyed my past, everything I believed was true was a lie. He also destroyed any future I imagined and most of all…he destroyed our kids future and what they believed he was. Now they have to go to daycare for the first time in their life, and I have to work late and they can’t be in sports, or even have a normal social life because I am so tired by the time I get home. No more staying home with mom during the summer or when they’re sick. Yeah, I’m bitter. Who wouldn’t be? These women and men who have sex with known married people make me sick! They don’t realize how many lives they’re destroying just for 15-20 minutes of selfish pleasure. I would like to meet someone who hasn’t. I haven’t met one yet. I’m not trying to be a pessimist, just a realist. There is no such thing as “happily ever after”… I just don’t think we were meant for just one partner. If we were, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  • John

    It is quite sad that infidelity happens. The signs are usually there too that it is going on. One issue I see in my own marriage though is the signs of cheating running concurrently with the symptoms of PTSD. Now I don’t mean to start a huge discussion but it is an important aspect to note. Many times I am distant and disconnected from my spouse and family. Cheating or PTSD? I have some anger issues and at times don’t act very appreciative towards my spouse. Cheating or PTSD? I’m not very open with my emotions and usually have trouble with showing appreciation through gifts or acts of kindness. Cheating or PTSD? So, you see, it can be mistaken. I would just hope that some people aren’t assuming what is going on in lieu of digging for the truth.

  • mike

    Well, listen to all of you all…………. I am married and love my wife with all my heart and soul… some of you all sound like wounded pups.. others sound like experts… As for me and mine.. God has blessed me with a beautiful wife and life and I am completely in love with her. This is my 7 tour, and we have been through alot the last couple years do to me getting hit my last tour. Being blessed with her and our relationship, Thanks to her things are good in my life and im an finishing up another tour right now. Ill be home in a few more days never to leave again. But i know in my heart and soul that my wife is the best thing that has ever happened to me and the Army has nothing to do with that………………………

    • Tricia Anne

      You guys sound like me and my Sailor:)))) How blessed we all are.

  • Jan

    Spouses left at home also have a high percentage of infidelity. It’s a 2 way street.

    Working in close proximity with shared gosls and interest, our partners must understand our vulnerability. Working with brave leaders with wonderful top level driven troops makes it easy for admiration and comraderie to cross the line. We are there with care, understanding that troops may NOT get at home. We are just as faithful as any other group, including lawyers, doctors, politiciand, business men, Presidents, etc. Ex. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Clinton and they are just the ones we that got caught or outed somehow. As long as the mentality is “My spouse is married, I’m NOT”, then it will remain the same.

    • Dee

      one more thing… it isn’t your business to make our husband feel good about himself, he doesn’t need you to give him an ego boost every time he has an argument with his wife!!! Let no man or woman tear them apart. That is what you are doing when you interfere with their relationship. Let them work it out, between them… go find your own spouse OR tend to the one you have!

  • Soontobx

    Again I will say its a sad world we live in if people can’t take responsibility for their actions. But then again they are never held accountable. Don’t ask don’t tell should be there motto. They are trained to keep secrets that’s how it is. When they should be held accountable and especially when kids are involved. They are the ones who hurt the most and for the longest.

  • Chief

    I spend 22 years in the military. My wife and me had an agreement by her rules. They were: not to do in front her, don’t leave her for the other woman, and don’t bring home any disease. We don’t care who did not like it. It worked for us.

    • armywife


  • AirForceStrong

    I’m an active duty service member who came into the military with a husband and a five year old. We were a happy little family stationed in the states and overseas. I discovered whenever I went TDY or was deployed, my husband took it upon himself to engage in sexual indiscretions with my fellow Airmen’s wives or other single service members who stroked his ego. Upon discovering that one of the civilian wives became pregnant, my weak husband denied immediately! Lied until the DNA proved the truth. I began divorce proceedings as soon as I found out he was cheating and well before the DNA proved what i already felt in my spirit. The women all stated that he said he was lonely and that I didn’t care what he did. I could care less about either of them giving excuses or reasons for betraying me and our marriage, since I told my husband on day one of dating that I will not tolerate cheating, lies and hurting my child. That did not change upon marriage and I mad that clear. No matter how long we are together or how many children we have I will divorce him for infidelity. He embarrassed me and put my health at risk by having unprotected sex with other women then coming into our bed with no respect or regard as to my feelings. As a military member I was naive to the concept that my husband will never do what he did. I could never forgive and forget what he did, but leaving him, in spite of his begging, gave me the strength, although the hardest thing I’ve been through, showed me it was in his character to cheat on someone he claims to love and once a cheater always a cheater. I held to his standard to never cheat on him and never go to bed angry at him, therefore, my only option in that marriage was divorce as he exposed my child to his infidelity and created unnecessary stress to me, my unit and my leadership. Today I am happily single and still serve my country admirably along with my well rounded happy teenager.

  • Anonymous

    Wow that’s great for you. My husband brags about how he can’t wait to deploy so he can cheat on me.

  • Jensenmk

    I felt the pain. My first wife used every field exercise, TDY, or duty as an opportunity for a ‘fling’, often with members of my own unit.

    Sadly, some of the servicembers who slept with my civilian wife were also married. As some said, infidelity is a character flaw often associated with other immature behavior. It does take two to tango and both make the immoral decision to cheat on the absent spouse.

  • SSGT.

    I spent 20 yrs in the Army from 1970-1990. During that time . I’ve seen one Maj. Gen. that had to retire because he was in a relationship with a civilan employee, the other Maj. Gen. was messing around with a Lt. Col. wife. this Lt.Col. was his best friend. One of the problems that i seen the blacks where the worse ones to try to get into woman’s pants. white or black you name it. the white wife having a white husband. and messing around with the black. the same with the black woman. They will get on t.v. and cry becauces their husband is deploying over seas or out in the field for training . then the wife will head down town to the bar. and if this admin. wants to put these men & women out of the sevice for they would’nt have a Military.

    • Dee

      seems to me if they are looking to downsize the military that these are the people they should start with throwing out… if you can’t control you own basic urges & desires, if you can’t remain faithful to your vows and your spouse – then how can you be trusted to not betray your countries secrets or represent its integrity??? Get rid of them all… we should only have good honest people serving. BUT on another note, who better to put on the front lines – cheaters should go first and save the good honest people for last in that case!!!

      • gunny

        Really, the blacks? What the hell?? So now adultery has a color? You have got to be kidding me. Your comment is really ignorant.

  • Coupe SSG/Ret – Army

    May I add my own “mighty, mighty AMEN – Hallelujah!”??
    And as my generation ALSO said, “Right-On!…Right-On!!”

  • Ricardo

    I did my time in the Navy and I learm from my pass. Now my wife is in the Army and she gos TDY or has to stay over night. I say I’m going to go out and have a good time. The only good time I have, is to buy a 6 pack. Have 2 beers go to sleep and have the TV watch me. We are nurses, I know whats out there. I will not do any think hurt my Army Capt.

  • nmoody53

    I have been married to my sailor for 11 years and 2 deployments and reservist drills which he takes as freedom to do as he pleases and cheat. I have talked with other spouses in his unit and have been told “that is what they do, get used to it”. If that’s what the military does, which lately appears to be, then these soldiers, sailor or whatever need to rethink their values. I have been told over and over just to tolerate it. Why? He wouldn’t tolerate it from me.

  • nmoody53

    I submitted a comment about being married to my sailor for 11 years and 2 deployments and reservist drills is his opportunity to cheat. I have been told by other spouses in his unit that “that is what they do, get used to it”. Why should I get used to it? I do care about him and want to stay married but if this is the “norm” for military then I have not respect for our men and women in uniform. Especially the man in my life. I had a friend who postponed her wedding because her sailor was going on deployment and she knew he was going to cheat so she waited until he got home. How sad. My heart is broken and I am saddened by what our military can get away with.

  • robertabbott

    Infidelity: a lost art indeed. When I was in the service circa 1972, I had a girlfriend back home. In those days “going steady” was called in some circles premature monogomy. While I did attend the dances at the rec center and conducted conversations, I knew I was not going to cross a certain threshold. I lived for mail call and letters from my girl. I had no control on what went on at home but I was committed to staying true to my girl. Unfortunately time and distance worked against the relationship and we broke up in 1975, I was devastated by the loss. People get together now but the emotional component is missing from the relationships. The laid-back syndrome has taken hold, if I break up with him or her, I can get somebody else on the rebound. Married couples aren’t the only ones confronted with infidelity issues, non-married individuals face this too.

  • yep_he_cheated

    Please read my post below, if you return to this topic. I was 32 when my former husband and I married. This is not just a problem for the young, as we’ve recently been reminded of, more than once in the media. Jenny’s advice is solid, make sure you “check in” with each other, often, especially during and after deployments. May your marriage be a long and happy journey together!

  • Gonzo

    I am sad to say, but infidelity among military members is very common and swept under the carpet especially when it involves high ranking NCO’s and Officers. My ex-husband had an affair with one of his troops, she received a discharge and he got a promotion. He later had an affair with an officer and they said they could not find proof. Again he got promoted. He is now a retired CMSgt and his current wife a Colonel. I was in the Air Force for over 10 years, when I went TDY it seemed to be a free-for-all for the men and some of the women. Just like the saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” In the military, “What happens on a TDY stays in the TDY.” Although I stayed faithful to my husband, my roommate who was single was going out with one of my friends husband. I betrayed my friend, because I could not hurt her feelings, but I felt very guilty. She later found out about the affair, because the girl got pregnant. Needless to say, the Air Force did not do anything about the affair, my friends husband retired from the Air Force several years later.

  • I recommend reading this and going forward proudly and confidently, taking the steps that you can, and leaving the rest to God.

  • Embrace Debate

    I just read this…. My thoughts on this is that this does not just apply to the military. The military is a reflection of the society it protects! We are not free or exempt from pitfalls of life as we are ordinary people too. The only difference is we are willing to do a job that not many sheltered Americans are willing to do. That is why we are praised and held high in society over an ordinary citizen that cries freedom and entitlement but does not fully understand what it takes to earn that freedom.

    My thoughts on what it comes down too is that infidelity is not acceptable. BUT, we are given choice and it is all about the choices we make or do not make. In marriage we make a vow, oath, or commitment and united by God. With that being said we are committing to the other person that we are going to love them unconditionally (as God does us) and without judgement. Regardless if the significant other puts a knife in our back. Again, it comes down to choice.

    Question, if a loved one… Son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, and/or cousin has a debilitating addiction do we turn their back on them because they are not theirselves?

    The correct answer is you shouldn’t. It would be no different under infidelity. I am NOT saying that all of these infidelity cases should be treated the same as each is a case by case and may have their own set of circumstance. However, again it is a matter of choice, understanding, and willingness to look at the problem (if there is one) and determine if their is a solution or NOT.

  • If cheating is a prevalent as is being said here…. I have a word the president has used… change… It is time for change.

  • Jackie Hombrebueno

    That’s what I expect from my husband (TO BE FAITHFUL) if he’s faithful to me then i will be faithful to him but if not I will do the same thing to him so he will feel what it feels like to be cheated.

  • Visham

    Infidelity and military service… It’s part of the culture and will continue to be until there is no longer a need for the Armed Forces.

    It is what it is .

  • Rico

    The old saying is “What goes TDY stays TDY” isn’t true, I almost had my relationship ruined by some squadron mates gossip, when they really had no clue as to what was going on. Gossip, true or not casts a long shadow on one’s reputation, and can land someone in a lot of trouble for slander. So the moral hear is think before you speak, have your facts straight, make sure you have concrete proof, and most of all mind your own business, because what happens between adults is adult business and can have serious repercussions for all parties involved.