Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Am I Crazy to Wait for My Deployed Boyfriend?”

My boyfriend and I met in the winter of 2009 (he’s 40, I’m 25) and began dating by the end of that spring. He enlisted in the Army the month that we met with a 1-year contract. He went away for some training in June but apart from that we had a wonderful summer doing everything together. We began talking marriage in October. The day after we talked about marriage he got orders to leave in two weeks for some specialized training in Texas. I was excited for him and told him that I’d wait the 3-4 months and then we could start talking more seriously about when we’d like to plan for marriage. Two days later he received orders for an emergency deployment leaving in less than 90 days if he would extend his orders, which he did. The orders would now last until April of 2011.

While he was at training, we talked over the phone about getting married before he left for his 12-month deployment, but he failed to propose before he left in January. I am not proud to admit it, but a few months after he left, I went through his emails. I found hundreds and hundreds of posts, responses and conversations with hundreds of women from Craigslist’s sex ads from the last three years — from times when I knew we were together in the same room, and times from when we were apart. I asked him the next day via Skype if he had ever posted on Craigslist and he denied it. I then told him I had gone through all his emails and knew everything that was going on. He pleaded for forgiveness and said he was ashamed and really wanted to change. I broke it off with him but continued to talk to him. I told him that he needed counseling and that he could get over the addiction but he was really going to have to work hard at it, and if we were together he could not focus on that. I continued to talk to him because I still loved him, despite how hurt I was.

When he came back early in August we quickly fell back into the old routine. He spent every night at my place and we spent all our time together, talking and trying to work things out. I allowed myself to forgive him and we spent most of the next few months together, except for when he was away for a few weeks at a time. By now, it was getting close to his contract being up and he was considering re-enlisting. I let him know my oppositions to an army lifestyle — the long deployments and how depressed they made me, having to raise children on my own for periods of time, and my desire to have a career of my own. Despite my feelings, he decided to re-enlist anyway. I told him I didn’t think I could handle another deployment emotionally or mentally as it made me a complete wreck. I had gone into a really bad depression last time and did not have a support system to get me through another. My family is far away and the few friends I had during his last deployment had moved away. Fortunately, the unit he got assigned to was on a deployment freeze for a year so I thought we would be OK, but two weeks later, he actually volunteered for a deployment with another unit and would be leaving in less than a month.

I found this all out via a text message on his phone. One night, when we were on our way out, I happened to see his phone lighting up with text messages. I opened it to see what all the fuss was about and saw a message from his guy friend. It said: “Sorry to hear you’re leaving. We’ll catch up soon.” I read all the messages and learned he was leaving in three weeks for a 400-day tour.

Before he left, I told him how much I wanted to be engaged to him but he didn’t proposed. This past weekend, I was allowed a three-day pass to go visit him. It had been 1 1/2 months since I had seen him, so I was expecting intimacy, love-making, hand-holding, and gazing into each others eyes, but instead, most of our time was spent shopping for shoes for him, driving with the windows down and the music up loud, and him crashing for 12 hours at a time.

I love him so much, but I really wonder if he is ever going to propose. Why is it taking him so long to commit? He talks constantly about our future children and getting old together, yet he is not showing me at all with his actions that I am the woman he wants to marry. I am beyond depressed when he is gone. Most days I can’t even get out of bed. I just don’t know how much longer I can take it. I feel like he loves me but is so strong-willed and stubborn that he believes he will convince me to love the army. And I just can’t understand why he won’t propose. It seems like this is no major cause for the hesitation. Am I being impatient? Selfish? Stupid? Or completely blind? I’d really appreciate your advice. — Army Girlfriend

Why on earth do you want to marry this man?! He’s shown you so much disrespect and disregard for your feelings. And how can you be serious when you say there’s “no major cause for the hesitation” in you two getting married? Girl, there are hundreds of incidents of him engaging with other women he’s met on Craigslist. Did he ever get the counseling you asked him to get for his “addiction”? Did he ever do anything to prove to you that he was faithful? Obviously you don’t trust the guy or you wouldn’t be checking his phone and email whenever you have a chance. And he clearly doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether you support his decision to be in the Army. He re-enlisted with absolutely no regard to your feelings about it. Not only that, but he volunteered for deployment after you expressed how much you hated him being gone. He literally went out of his way to leave you for 400 days! And then! He didn’t even have the decency to tell you about his deployment. He told all his friends first and let you find out by snooping through his personal messages. Does this sound like a relationship without any cause for concern or hesitancy? Does he sound like a man who cares about you and is good husband material?

Why oh why do you want to marry this man? How can you possibly think you have a promising future together based on your history together? Do you want to spend the rest of your life feeling as unimportant as you have for the last three years, worrying and wondering whether he’s cheating on your when he’s away — whether he’s hooking up with other women he’s met online or in his unit? Do you want your life dictated by his career and his schedule with no regard for your needs and desires? Why would you even consider having children with a man who has shown no signs of being there for you, let alone whatever offspring he may be responsible for one day? Are you crazy??

Move on! Make some friends. Focus on your life. Create some distractions so you aren’t waiting for this guy who, frankly, sounds like a loser of a boyfriend, to make some grand romantic gesture to show you that you matter after all. It ain’t gonna happen. If you really mattered to him, he would have shown you by now. Get yourself to therapy if you think you need it to work through your depression and break the pattern that has kept you stuck for three years. Learn to create your own happiness rather than waiting for some guy to create it for you. To quote a DW reader, this dude has given you nothing but crumbs of a relationship, and you think that’s enough to build a future on? You should be grateful you haven’t gotten yourself locked into a marriage (or co-parenthood) with this guy. Truly, he’s done you a favor by putting off proposing. You can move on without the messiness of divorce, and my advice is to do just that. Now. Before it’s too late.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

110 comments… add one
  • Kay July 8, 2011, 7:39 am

    Maybe it’s just the letters being posted lately, but WHY are women asking if they should stay in relationships that are obviously bad for them? Have we become generally masochistic as a gender? Are we afraid that no one will love us if we let the scum go? LW, you wouldn’t douse yourself in gasoline and light yourself on fire because you know there would be lots of unnecessary pain – staying with this guy and holding onto this illusion of marriage to him is the equivalent.
    You’re 25, he’s 40. He’s not acting like he’s 40, and you don’t need to wait for this man, because there’s nothing for which to wait. He’s not going to propose, he seems like he won’t even grow up. You desire to have a career of your own? Go for it. Try new things. Take a class. Volunteer. But please, don’t continue this “relationship.”

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    • utopiaballroom July 8, 2011, 9:18 am

      I’m with you, Kay. But I can speak from personal experience that sometimes you have no idea how bad a relationship is when you’re on the inside. When you finally get out of it and the fog clears, you can join the others in the “WTF was I thinking?!” chorus. But your thoughts can get so distorted when you’re in a relationship like that.

      A side note: I think rather than being masochistic, a lot of women’s expectations about relationships are warped by certain types of media. Wendy’s mention of a “grand romantic gesture” made me think of this. TV and film are SATURATED with the trope of the loser guy who changes into an awesome hero with the love of a good woman.

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      • Lydia July 8, 2011, 10:33 am

        I couldn’t agree more. I was with a super douche-y guy for over two years, even though deep deep down I knew he didn’t treat me right, and it still broke my heart when he dumped me. Sometimes people (men and women!) are just blind to all that is wrong with the relationship because they love someone.

      • SweetChild July 8, 2011, 11:09 am

        Totally been there, but luckily it didn’t last 2 years. Once it’s over you realise you dodged a bullet!!

    • Manwich July 8, 2011, 10:23 am

      I agree. What’s going on with these women? I sometimes fear that heterosexual women are inherently masochistic or they wouldn’t be attracted to men.

      Have you ever noticed that cheaters have no trouble getting laid, and commitment-phobes always have adoring girlfriends?

      If there were a magical pill that caused polite responsible men to seem attractive, DearWendy would be nothing but a wedding etiquette column.

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      • melanie July 8, 2011, 11:35 am

        I’ve noticed that all people, not just women, are attracted to others whom are unavailable. I don’t just mean emotionally unavailable, but people who are typically really busy with their own lives. I don’t know if it’s because we have a competitive streak in us to try to win that person over or what… but have you noticed that once someone starts investing too much time in you instead of being busy with their own lives, they’re not as attractive anymore. The human mind is an odd thing.

      • Manwich July 8, 2011, 12:49 pm

        I think guys are obsessed with beautiful women, and hot chicks are generally unavailable, and busy.

        I think a woman’s sense of attraction is backwards. Confidence is attractive in a man. Money, handsomeness or whatever makes a guy confident is irrelevant. A pretty boy with low self esteem is unattractive. A hot chick with low self esteem is a target. Pretty is pretty. The high-school movie where the nerdy girl takes off her glasses and learns to be hot is a myth. Guys can tell if you are hot and will date you, or take advantage of you. Flirtation is a skill women can develop, but confidence, or unavailability alone does not make a girl attractive.

        I agree that we take for granted what we have already attained, even if it once seemed unattainable.

      • kali July 8, 2011, 1:20 pm

        “The high-school movie where the nerdy girl takes off her glasses and learns to be hot is a myth.”

        Not necessarily. Many women are merely late bloomers. Nerdy girls may not morph into hotness in high school but I know many who blossom into beauties after graduation.

      • Manwich July 8, 2011, 2:56 pm

        I agree some people are late bloomers, but if you are attractive now, guys will notice. They may take advantage if you have low self esteem. Confidence helps a woman avoid being taken for granted, but doesn’t make them attractive.

        The guys in some of these letters seem to have no redeeming qualities, yet somehow have women falling for them. He may be handsome, but she is 25. It’s easy to meet cute guys when you’re young. What do these guys have that makes them so irresistible?

      • melanie July 8, 2011, 2:13 pm

        I agree with some of what you’re saying. But I don’t agree with the only thing that makes a man attractive is confidence. Sure, it’s a huge factor. But, let’s be real… there are some people that are really confident and not the least bit shy, but they’re incredibly obnoxious. Also, I HAVE to be physically attracted to a male to be with him. I’m a very visual person, so I can’t really hop on board if I don’t have that visual stimulation (I’m completely aware of how shallow that sounds; but lets not forget that what I find attractive may not be attractive to someone else).

        Also, I wasn’t the coolest or prettiest girl when I was in high school. I was just a mediocre female. Now that I’m in my mid twenties, I’ve figured things out a bit and I get a great deal of male attention. So, I do think that there is a little bit of truth in the “learn to be hot” theory.

      • robottapocalypse July 10, 2011, 11:36 pm

        My girlfriend is a diamond in the rough, and I keep quiet while she keeps it rough. In fact, I generally find the rougher diamonds to be more attractive for relationships. There’s something to be said for a woman who looks great right out of the shower, but less than ideal once she’s had her way with her fashion. I know the men who approach her won’t be approaching for superficial reasons, or consistently objectifying her. They’d have to have a hell of an imagination to have any inkling what’s going on under there, but if they only knew they’d be harassing her more.

        That being said, I absolutely hate tramped-up douchebait, and refuse to date girls like that anymore. I had a relationship with one for a long time and really didn’t enjoy the levels she would go through to attention mine from other men, nor the types of men who would surround her at public gatherings. Her issues came from low self-esteem and her daddy’s inability to giver her positive attention while growing up. The issues manifested in tight clothing, low necklines, high skirts and attention from men just like her dad. I’ve had much better luck now that I know where those actions come from and avoid them like the plague.

      • moonflowers July 8, 2011, 1:41 pm

        There’s some cognitive shortcut that people take where we think somethig that’s more expensive, and thus more difficult to get, must be more valuable or better. There’s also the addictiveness of unpredictable rewards, like with slot machines – you win sometimes, you lose sometimes, and the randomness keeps you on the edge of your seat. I know I’ve accidentally gotten stalkers for myself by trying to be polite or friendly to guys I didn’t like while also rejecting them – that combo just made them more determined to date me!

      • twiglet July 9, 2011, 5:22 am

        it’s not that these attributes are attractive to women, it is that these men are charismatic or charming or have some other great thing about them that makes them able to treat women badly and get away with it.

    • demoiselle July 8, 2011, 10:34 am

      Women are taught to judge their own worthiness by the approval of men. Sometimes I wonder if (some) women with loser boyfriends become desperate for a proposal because on some level they think “If I can’t nab even THIS jerk, what does it say about me and my worthiness?”

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      • plasticepoxy July 8, 2011, 1:50 pm

        I think there’s a lot of truth to this (“if i can’t nab even THIS jerk…”), which is sad. I can just hear bgm ripping all the ladies a new one over this letter 🙂

        I haven’t read all the comments yet, so maybe i’ll get to read something like that yet.

  • robottapocalypse July 8, 2011, 7:56 am

    There is something ridiculously wrong with this woman, not just the guy here. My guess is distant father and family issues regarding respect for her mother. Why else would a 25 yr old woman be hunting for an emotionally distant daddy figure?

    Screw Counseling for him, she needs counseling and solitude. Sadly, that’s not going to happen. She’s going to act surprised when this all crashes down on her even though Wendy warned her. I’ll throw out that she’s probably trying to get preggers by this guy as well.

    My advice:
    don’t have the baby.

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    • BoomChakaLaka July 8, 2011, 8:56 am

      I know someone that is actually using that tactic to keep a man. He isn’t in the army, but he’s just as equally deadbeat as the LW’s dude. I want to scream out to her: NOOOOO. I mean, it’s not just getting stuck with such a guy, its the baby that I’m kind of sad for.

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    • ReginaRey July 8, 2011, 8:43 am

      “Emotionally distant daddy figure.” Yes. This letter SCREAMS daddy issues.

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    • El July 8, 2011, 11:00 am

      Ew. I really hope you’re wrong about that (although she mentioned hypothetical future children more than once, which is concerning) . IMHO, baby-trapping is the dirtiest, most pathetic thing a woman could do to a man.

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      • MissDre July 8, 2011, 11:05 am

        AND the worst thing you could do to the poor child that results from such an action…

      • plasticepoxy July 8, 2011, 1:51 pm


  • sweetleaf July 8, 2011, 7:57 am

    MOA. No explanation needed.

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    • EB July 8, 2011, 11:48 am

      agreed. this letter should have been a shortcut.

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  • PFG-SCR July 8, 2011, 8:05 am

    “He talks constantly about our future children and getting old together, yet he is not showing me at all with his actions that I am the woman he wants to marry.”

    Actions speak louder than words, LW. There are so many issues in your letter, and it’s obvious that this 40 year old man…actually, 40 year old boy, has no interest in the same things you want. Before wasting any more time and emotional energy on this, end it and then focus on yourself and getting over him because you’re clearly too attached to this unhealthy relationship. 

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  • Patrick July 8, 2011, 8:14 am

    I am a retired army officer with two Deployments. A number of the things that this guy allegedly said do not add up. Add up in the sense that almost whatever this guy says, it probably is or IS in fact a lie. This letter she wrote could have been chopped by 40% but people, when they usually want to internally justify why they want to hang with someone, will prattle on and on and on as to why they should or must. Girl, you should drop this guy like a 230 degree hot potato and today. This guy, long and short term is nothing but trouble. And if you continue to waste your time on him, you deserve everything you deserve.

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      Wendy July 8, 2011, 8:32 am

      It actually already was chopped by about 40%, believe it or not.

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      • thefabulousmzm July 8, 2011, 9:25 am

        Wow. Even more depressing.

      • Maracuya July 8, 2011, 12:55 pm

        I’m sadly curious about what could ELSE could possibly be contained in that letter.

    • Manwich July 8, 2011, 9:58 am

      yeah, The long term deployments with short notice seem suspicious for a guy who just enlisted. He’s a liar.

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      • LTC039 July 8, 2011, 11:20 am

        My guess is, he’s not even in the army. Everytime he “leaves for training” he’s with his family in Somewheresville, USA…

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        Skyblossom July 8, 2011, 1:08 pm

        I don’t think they allow 40 year-olds to enlist so was thinking the same thing.

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        EscapeHatch July 8, 2011, 4:18 pm

        I have to say, the whole army thing seemed fishy – I doubt he’s really doing what he says he does. I’ve never heard of the random deployment stuff though, and I’m part of a large social circle with several enlisted and commissioned servicemen and women.

        Related/Unrelated- The army changed the maximum age of enlistment to 42 years old. So that aspect could -possibly- be true.

      • ReginaRey July 8, 2011, 12:41 pm

        Honestly, this is probably extremely close to the truth. This guy seems incredibly skeezy, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he has a wife and kids that he sees when he’s “deployed.” Or you know, he’s just bouncing from Craiglist girlfriend to Craigslist girlfriend.

      • JennyTalia July 8, 2011, 3:55 pm

        Totally my feeling. There is an age cutoff for enlisting, and it’s certainly less than 40. You can’t sign up for a 1-year contract – they are mostly 6 years but sometimes you can negotiate down. There are no 400-day deployments up front – they are not allowed to be over 12 months at a time, but they can be extended past that nearing the end of the contract. Someone is lying here, and it might even been the LW.

  • Tristy July 8, 2011, 8:30 am

    OMG. LW, if you read this letter from someone else then wouldn’t you agree that she needed to MOA?? Please MOA. Just as someone said before me, his actions CLEARLY show he doesn’t give a crap about you. Don’t waste anymore of your time on this “man.”

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  • silver_dragon_girl July 8, 2011, 8:50 am

    Get out while you still can.

    This guy is using you. He doesn’t really want to marry you, he wants to keep you around to have sex with when he’s in the area. That’s it. There is no other explanation for this entire situation. If he respected you and wanted to be with you and only you, forever, you would not have found emails from him to multiple Craigslist women. You would not have found out about his new deployment via snooping. He would NOT have chosen a deployment (and btw, I have NEVER heard of a guy VOLUNTEERING for a deployment and using that as a reason to extend his orders) over you.

    This whole thing just REEKS of a mid-life crisis (on his end). At age 40, he joins the Army, which is the age most guys finally get OUT. He is also hooking up with multiple women that he finds on Craigslist (maybe nothing physical ever happened, but that’s really no excuse here). He talks to them WHILE YOU ARE IN THE ROOM WITH HIM.

    This guy is a man-child. Run as far as you can as fast as you can.

    Do NOT let him use deployment to guilt you into staying with or seeing him. He WILL try to do so. Don’t fall for it.

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    • kerrycontrary July 8, 2011, 9:06 am

      Just as a technicality, my sister volunteered for a deployment because its more money and she has to be deployed before she can be promoted. She’ll be away from her husband for a year, but it’s the best thing for her career. The LW’s boyfriend is totally wackadoo in a million other ways though.

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      • silver_dragon_girl July 8, 2011, 9:11 am

        Yeah, I know there are certain situations where it’s best. I’ve dated a LOT of military guys, however, and I have never heard of anyone seeking out a deployment. Although, like you mention below, I’m sure there are many who do get a high off of it. I think the LW’s bf is doing it to prove something to himself. Or possibly to get away from the LW…

      • Maracuya July 8, 2011, 10:00 am

        Yeah, but I’m sure it was discussed before she volunteered.

      • Fairhaired Child July 9, 2011, 12:49 am

        My brother has also volunteered to be deployed several times (probably about half the amount of times he’s been over seas was because he chose to). He’s an E.O.D in the Air Force, which pretty much means he’s their bomb squad etc. On every base that he’s been on there are only a few guys who do his specialty (I think because of downsizing etc of bases and how dangerous the job is) – so he volunteers more often because in his mind, its keeping another one of the “younger guys” out of danger.

        However this guy is def. pulling the wool over the LW’s eyes and feeding her the lines that she needs to hear and happening to “disappear” right when its convineint. Every time in her letter something pops up its like “and then 2 weeks later…”

    • Patrick July 8, 2011, 9:10 am

      As a guy with two Deployments, trust me when I say HUNDREDS of people volunteer for them due to emotional and financial reasons so it happens all the time. Some people just want to run away and get paid well for a year but some truly want some adventure of sorts (like me but trust me I am not like the Army guy mentioned since I have a 25 year marriage, etc etc). That Army guy has a screw loose somewhere. Some of the facts that he purports to be Army life I question but one thing is for sure: he is a pathological liar of substantive proportions.

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      • beans629 July 8, 2011, 10:21 am

        I totally agree that he is lying (the least of LW’s worries though). When I read that he initially enlisted for a year, I thought to myself…”the military doesn’t enlist any one for a year commitment.” Then I continued reading to the part where he is going to training for 3-4 months. Really, because basic training is 8 weeks combined with 4 additional months of training that’s half of his enlistment right there.
        LW, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

      • Maracuya July 8, 2011, 10:47 am

        Okay. The LW needs google. http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/f/obligation.htm
        I knew 1 year sounded like bull. So not only is he a jerk and a cheater, but also a pathological liar.

      • spaceboy761 July 8, 2011, 11:09 am

        Google: It’s the latest thing!

      • spaceboy761 July 8, 2011, 11:27 am

        This would be funnier if you saw me give a big thumbs-up and my game show host smile as I clicked the ‘Submit’ button.

    • beans629 July 8, 2011, 10:31 am

      At age 40, he joins the Army, which is the age most guys finally get OUT.

      I get the point you were trying to make about his mid life crisis but I just wanted to say that it isn’t that uncommon for older people to join the military in this day and age.
      Some people wanted to join the military when they were younger but couldn’t due to other obligations such as marriage, children, etc.

      For me (and I am near the bf’s age), it’s because I am making a career change to the medical field and the military provides possibly the best avenue for my future success. They will possibly pay for med school, I will get the necessary medical experience, I get to travel (I’m a vet so I know military ‘travel’ really means 🙂 ), and there’s a defined career path. But most of all, I will not have to worry about the overhead and debt of running a private medical practice.

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      • silver_dragon_girl July 8, 2011, 11:10 am

        It sounds like a great opportunity for you, but I stand by what I said. It’s very uncommon to join up at that age. I’m sure if his situation was anything like yours the LW would have mentioned it. If that was the ONLY red flag in this letter I’d be giving totally different advice, but that fact combined with everything else just makes me think “man child.”

        Best of luck with your career change though 🙂

    • LTC039 July 8, 2011, 9:38 am

      He’s a 17 yr old trapped in a 40 yr old’s body.

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  • BoomChakaLaka July 8, 2011, 8:53 am

    LW, the truth is, I think you are more obsessed with being a bride than being a wife. You are more interested in the wedding than the marriage. You’ve given countless reasons why he would make a bad partner in life (even as a boyfriend) and yet all you can think of is why he isn’t going to propose? How did it not cross your mind that he doesn’t even respect your wishes by volunteering for the long-term deployments even after your clearly expressed that you aren’t interested in spending the rest of the relationship alone? Or how about the fact that he lied to you, multiple times? I’m not even gonna get into the CL postings…

    If you really sat down, and really thought about this, the answer is all too clear: you do not want a future with this man. You may want a moment: maybe that moment when he bends down on his knee and proposes, but in the same breath, you clearly expressed how you don’t want to be an army wife. Do you understand that that is what a proposal could potentially lead to? You having to support these extended deployments?

    I think we are all going to tell you to MOA, but in a variety of ways. Please read through all of these and then actually MOA.

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    • LennyBee July 8, 2011, 11:31 am

      I agree with most of what you wrote, but I have to disagree with the wanting to be a bride more than a wife. I think a lot of people fantasize that their terrible-for-them boyfriends will magically become awesome husbands. Sort of “if he would just propose, he’d see how amazing I am, how he can’t live without me, and he’d become the man he is in my future fantasies”. Sadly, the Hollywood rom-com industry, while quite entertaining, propagates this myth.

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      • BoomChakaLaka July 8, 2011, 12:47 pm

        But I think she would have mentioned it, at least once. I agree with you that so many people do believe, internally, that once they marry a guy, he’ll just change. Or even worse: that my life will finally be complete, and I will live happily ever after. I feel like the LW is leaning towards the latter. Even with this epically long letter, nothing here indicates that she has any faith in him changing. All she wants is a proposal…no matter how effed up he is.

      • LennyBee July 8, 2011, 5:21 pm

        Ah! I see! I misunderstood. I always think of wanting to be a bride as someone who just wants the attention of a big party and ginormous dress. I agree that it sounds like the LW is leaning toward “my life will finally be complete and I will live happily ever after.”

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    Elizabeth July 8, 2011, 7:54 am

    not everyone is meant for a military lifestyle, but those who are and make it work have to do so through lots of love, understanding, patience, and commitment ON BOTH SIDES of the relationship. Not just you waiting around for some dude who says he likes you but his actions are completely opposite. Even in cases where two people have a good relationship, sometimes the military thing is the deciding factor because no matter how much love there is in the relationship, the depression/frequent moving around/lack of career choices for the other person/etc etc is too much and they have to say “I’m sorry, not for me.” i know. My college boyfriend and I broke up because ultimately this lifestyle did not mesh with my career and family goals. It was the right, but difficult, decision and we have since moved on to relationships that match out needs/goals.
    Even if this guy wasn’t half bad, you would have to think about what a military career would mean for the things you said you value. BUT HE’S IS MORE THAN HALF BAD. Please move on.

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  • kerrycontrary July 8, 2011, 9:04 am

    My boyfriend is in the military, so we see and hear about all of the relationship issues that can result from that lifestyle. Your boyfriend wants someone to be connected with while he’s deployed, but he wants to be deployed because he’s addicted to the adrenaline and rush he gets during deployments. Watch the move Restrepo. Listen to all of the men talk about how there is no greater high than during and after combat. Aside from the military issues, HE MET WOMEN OFF OF CRAIGSLIST. If one of you knew that your best friend’s boyfriend was meeting HUNDREDS of women off of craigslist for sex, would you want her to stay with him? Probably not. And like Wendy says, WHY do you want to be married to this man? My feeling is that you probably want to be engaged and have a wedding, not a marriage. And since you are 25 you feel like it’s “time”. No, the right time is when you meet someone with common goals and values, and that someone should respect you (which this man clearly does not through the stated craigslist interactions). Get out while you can.

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    • ReginaRey July 8, 2011, 1:14 pm

      “My feeling is that you probably want to be engaged and have a wedding, not a marriage. And since you are 25 you feel like it’s “time”.” Yes, the LW is one of those who really, really wants a shiny bit of bling and a big fairytale wedding, with zero idea what marriage really is or what it truly means.

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  • thefabulousmzm July 8, 2011, 9:14 am

    Yes, you are crazy to wait for him. Because you’ll be waiting for a proposal that is NEVER going to come. There are plenty of deployed people that still manage to propose and marry. But he hasn’t, and he won’t. And even if he did, would you REALLY want to be married to this guy? I thank him for his service to our country. But nothing about his lifestyle makes you happy. And that would still be the case even if he wasn’t in the service. Sweetie, we are all the architects of our own happiness or unhappiness. You insist on chasing after a guy who clearly makes you happy.

    I don’t know what else to say, people like you drive me batty.

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    • ape_escape July 8, 2011, 12:32 pm

      Agreed – drives me insane. What a waste of time on this guy.

      He is NEVER going to propose, he is NEVER going to sacrifice the rush of the army to make you happy, he is NEVER going to respect you enough to have adult conversations with you. And he is certainly NEVER going to get counseling. GTFO of this while you still can, and scavenge some self-respect…

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      • spaceboy761 July 8, 2011, 12:36 pm

        “and scavenge some self-respect…”

        Yeaaaaaaaaah, I’m thinking that this ship has already sailed. A logn time ago. Far.

  • cdobbs July 8, 2011, 9:15 am

    LW can you not see the forest for the trees! this guy is a player! He is stringing you along for god knows what reason! You need to dump this guy and get a real man, not a lying, self-centered jerk!

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  • Elle July 8, 2011, 8:27 am

    Oh, honey, your bf loves and is married to the army. You will never be as important as the army. Please read your letter again, and Wendy’s answer. It’s so so obvious.

    Another thing I would like to add. I’m usually apprehensive about a big age difference. I think he tried to date women around his age (the LW found hundreds of emails, or even before they got together), but none of them put up with his crap. That’s why he chooses to date younger women, because they’re more naive, and easier to manipulate.

    LW, he’s not honest with you, you’re not a priority in his life, why do you put him on a pedestal he doesn’t deserve to be on? The word I’m looking for is reciprocation. He’s not reciprocating your feelings. You gave it time to happen, but time and time again, he chose the army. Stop wasting your time, LW. And I assure you, you will find a guy that would rather stay with you than be away from you for years at a time.(I can’t wrap my head around the fact that he volunteered)

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  • Bethany July 8, 2011, 9:28 am

    As someone said the other day:

    MOA- He doens’t want to marry you!! In fact, it sounds like he doesn’t even want to be in a committed relationship with you.
    Your relationship is making you sad, WAY more than it’s making you happy. Don’t you think that’s a sign??

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  • SGMcG July 8, 2011, 9:29 am

    It would be one thing if this soldier was involuntarily deployed and still fighting to make a connection with you. Yet he volunteered for his deployment without discussuing it with you. If he were TRULY interested in you, he would have at least shared that information with you. Yet he’s not only failing to communicate, but he’s disrespecting you with conversations with other women who solicit for sex on craigslist.

    You are not crazy for waiting for your deployed army boyfriend – you are just sad. I truly pity you LW. It is one thing for you to keep your promise to be true as he is serving his country, but what about him honoring the promises he made to you as well? If you think it’s hard having a military boyfriend now – what makes you think you can handle things better if you become a military wife? Your soldier boyfriend is not only making sacrifices here – you are going above and beyond the call of duty tolerating his dangling of your heart. Find someone who will honor you and keep the promises he’ll make for you and MOA from this loser already.

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  • ForeverYoung July 8, 2011, 9:34 am

    I’m a little bit concerned about how you seem to perceive your depression. You’re depressed when he’s deployed because you just love him so much? But when he’s around he seems to show you nothing but disrespect. I think you are clinging to him because you want a relationship, not a relationship with him. You are not depressed when he’s gone because you miss him, you are depressed when he’s gone because you are finally forced to take a long hard look at the relationship. When he’s not around you are forced to think about your future together, and given the type of person he is, that IS a depressing thought.

    Which leads me to address your self esteem issues. Someone above mentioned that it seems like he is going through a midlife crisis, but I think YOU are the one going through a quarter life crisis. You are 25. An age (depending on the region of the country you live in) where a lot of your friends are probably starting to get married, have kids, finally start the career they want, etc. I completely understand why you want these things too, but you DO NOT WANT THEM WITH THIS GUY. Don’t get married just to get married. You will set yourself up for a drama filled life.

    As if this needs to be mentioned – you need therapy. In all of this talk about loving him and wanting him to propose, yet he’s the worst person alive – where are your dreams? How do you see your future play out? What about career? I think you need to spend a couple months in deep reflection. I think you are just clinging to him because going along with his life means you don’t have to think about what you want out of yours. I get it – thinking about what you want out of life can be exhausting. But it is completely necessary if you want any type of happiness out of life.

    Use his deployment to get some distance. I know the army life. If you want to speak with him while he’s deployed it will be completely on his time schedule, even if that means you have to set an alarm at 2am to talk. Don’t do this. Do not make sacrifices for this shitty relationship. Get into therapy. Cease contact with him for a while so you can objectively take a look at both your life and your relationship with him. It will be easy for him to throw out the ‘I love you’s’ and ‘I can’t wait to marry you’ while he’s safely away. Don’t let him manipulate you. He will want someone to talk to while he’s lonely and deployed, but don’t mistake that for him being your soul mate. You need to put yourself first for a while.

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    • ForeverYoung July 8, 2011, 12:51 pm

      This might help simplify it for you:

      If this is not your own personal relationship rock bottom what would be? How low exactly are your standards for a boyfriend?

      He’s never around, he lies to you, you find out about life changing events by snooping through his phone, he is a craiglist freak, he makes life decisions you specifically said you wouldn’t be happy with, you’re depressed….

      I guess if those things won’t make you leave what will?

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    Budjer July 8, 2011, 9:38 am

    To answer the title question:

    Yes, you would be cray-cray to wait for this literally and figuratively deployed bf.

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  • ReginaRey July 8, 2011, 8:41 am

    Good lord LW, you have some MAJOR self-esteem and self-worth issues going on here. While it’s clear your boyfriend should probably be in therapy, it’s also clear that you should get to therapy, and fast. You are grasping for dear life to the coattails of a man who does not truly love you, does not value your opinion, does not respect your desires, does not want to marry you, and does not want to be with JUST you as evidenced by hundreds (HUNDREDS?!??) of illicit interactions with women on Craigslist. You are bowing down to this man while he stands on a pedestal, deigning to pay attention to you when he feels like it.

    Does that sound healthy to you? Does that sound like a relationship that will fulfill you, bolster you up and make you happy for the rest of your life? For God’s sake LW, you can’t even get out of bed you’re so depressed! That means, somewhere very deep down, you have acknowledged that this is not healthy, not happy, not normal and not worth your future. This is your LIFE!! Your happiness, your career, your hopes and your dreams should not be sacrificed for some man who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you!! Some man who, at 40 freaking years old, is still behaving like a sexed up 19-year-old boy. Don’t just MOA, DTMFA!!!

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    • Guy Friday July 8, 2011, 12:33 pm

      “Good lord LW, you have some MAJOR self-esteem and self-worth issues going on here. While it’s clear your boyfriend should probably be in therapy, it’s also clear that you should get to therapy, and fast.”

      I was hoping someone was going to make that point. I don’t mean this in a mean way at all, but It always surprises me how people seem to take as a completely rational approach “I’m suspicious about ___’s motivations/actions/feelings, so I’m going to hack into his/her e-mail/texts/phone call logs/diary and see what I find.” It’s irrelevant, in my opinion, whether you end up finding something or not; if you are insecure enough about the situation that you have to break into his private information — and, yes, even if his password is saved and the page is bookmarked, it’s still breaking in — to spy on him, you obviously have some issue in desperate need of therapy. I’m telling you, LW and others who might do this: if you’re at the point where you think breaking into his stuff is going to help, it’s done. Because if you’re right, you MOA because he’s a whatever-he-is. If you’re wrong, he’s going to MOA because you just violated his trust. I don’t care if the guy kicks kittens or pushes little old ladies into oncoming traffic; if you can’t look at your significant other and say “I trust him/her enough not to snoop through his/her stuff” either you need therapy, your relationship needs therapy, or you need to MOA.

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      • ReginaRey July 8, 2011, 12:48 pm

        I agree with you, but honestly the reason I suggested therapy was more because she’s so willing to throw herself at the feet of someone who clearly treats her like crap, regardless of what she discovered via snooping. She didn’t need the snooping to know that he disrespects her, doesn’t care about her opinions, doesn’t prioritize her, lies to her, etc. Her self-worth is abhorrently low.

  • artsygirl July 8, 2011, 9:47 am

    “I broke it off with him but continued to talk to him.” This is not breaking off with him – please leave this guy and loose his email, phone number, and block him on any social media you have because until you step away from this relationship you will not realize how toxic it is for you.

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  • SaraRosie July 8, 2011, 9:48 am

    I had actually posted my experience with someone in the mililtary in the post about Regrets hah, which should tell you a lot about what I learned. All I know is when i look back at that time in my life all i can think is what the hell was i thinking?!

    I met a guy 3 months before he deployed and we desperately tried to make it work, once he left things really changed, his loyalty was to the military now, not me! i couldnt see that and for months sent him packages hoping every day for an email. After 4 months of hearing from him once a month (once a month!!) i realized i had compromised my own happiness for someone i barely knew and had one focus and it surely was not me. Once i made that realization the next time we talked i told him i could not stay committed to someone who could not commit to me.

    Once he came back we tried to date, but it was awful, he had changed and so had i. In your 20’s your focus should be your life, your career, your family and friends. I tried to mold my life into one that would fit with his, it didnt. The more I tried the worse it got, the more mishapen things became. I dated a few people after him and am now living with someone for the first time and still I cannot believe myself and what i put myself through to be with someone who chose the military over me. It’s ok that the military is his main focus thats his passion, but its not yours and thats ok too. Its just getting the courage to say this isent what I want.

    Please please please get out and live your life! there are men out there who would love to be in a happy commited relationship with you, and you dont have to give up your own passions and dreams to be with.

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  • LTC039 July 8, 2011, 8:50 am

    I don’t want to be rude. So I’m just going to say… Are you kidding me??

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      Landygirl July 8, 2011, 11:59 am


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  • Maracuya July 8, 2011, 10:08 am

    If he really cared about you he would:
    1) include you in his career decision-making process. That he doesn’t indicates
    he doesn’t see your future goals as important.
    2) Take your input when you say the military lifestyle isn’t for you. Though,
    seriously, if he’s 40 and he’s still in the Army he ain’t never gonna get out.
    2) Not email HUNDREDS of women on craigslist encounters!

    I think you fell too hard, too fast and now you’re in over your head. You’re sacrificing yourself for him, and he doesn’t even care about you. My boyfriend (who is also in the military) encourages my career goals and wants us to BOTH find a way to be successful. This is less about waiting for your deployed boyfriend and more about how you intuitively know you should find someone worth waiting for.

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    • LTC039 July 8, 2011, 10:14 am

      No, he said he just enlisted about 3 yrs ago. I find that rather odd. Not to be judgemental, but I’ve never heard of a 37yr old JUST enlisiting. If they’re that age & in the army, it’s bc they’ve been there for yrs.

      I agree with your last paragraph…She’s way in over her head

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      • Maracuya July 8, 2011, 10:44 am

        Yeah. A quick google search tells me that the age limit to enlist (without any prior enlistment) is 35, but was briefly raised to 40 from 2006-2011. And, I don’t know that much about the military but…do they really have 1 year contracts? Sounds like, “Hey, let’s train you and then set you loose right away!”

      • LTC039 July 8, 2011, 11:03 am

        I thought that was odd too! I thought the minimum was 4 yrs, first time you enlist, or if you enlist with the National Guard it’s 2 yrs minimum… My brother’s in the army, but I too am not so familiar with the different types of contracts.

      • Meaghan July 8, 2011, 7:53 pm

        Yea I thought that was definitely weird that it was a one year thing if he was joining the army. Maybe because he’s so old? I know my fiance had to do four years.

  • sarolabelle July 8, 2011, 9:20 am

    The timeline is way off. You met in 2009. Started dating around March 2010. He left for training in June 2010. In October 2010 you began talking marriage. He went away for 90 days to be home in April 2011. Then you say he left in January 2011 and came back in August (2011?)

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      Wendy July 8, 2011, 9:25 am

      No, they began dating in the spring of the year they met — 2009. Of everything in this letter, the timeline is the least problematic.

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  • Desiree July 8, 2011, 10:24 am

    Another case of a woman desperately hoping the man she is with will become the man she needs/wants instead of actually finding the right guy. I think most women do it at one point or another, but this is a pretty severe case. LW, seriously, this man DOES NOT want to marry you. In fact, he has one purpose for you in his life: to use you. If you want to continue this relationship, you better make peace with that purpose. Or, better yet, leave NOW.

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    • sarita_f July 8, 2011, 11:40 am

      “Another case of a woman desperately hoping the man she is with will become the man she needs/wants instead of actually finding the right guy.”

      Yes. Totally.

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  • Desiree July 8, 2011, 10:30 am

    Re-reading the letter, I noticed the LW’s isolation (far away family, no friends). That is probably contributing to her clinging to this man. LW, get out and make some friends! Seriously!

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    • plasticepoxy July 8, 2011, 2:15 pm

      I think this is a great point. There are a lot of negative statements flying around here and the LW could use something positive to focus on. If she makes some friends, she’ll have the support network she needs.

      We all need friends outside of a romantic relationship, even if it’s just one friend. This allows for outside perspective, which is so important in this situation, in addition to the additional social outlet.

      I think the LW’s boyfriend is incredibly manipulative and is testing her to see how far he can push, and will continue to do so until the LW is completely broken down or leaves him, I can see this turning into an even more abusive relationship than it is already, he’s being emotionally abusive already with the CL stuff and false deployments, etc. Hallmarks of abuse can be fast paced relationship (granted they haven’t actually gotten married, but he’s hooked her with the vague promise of it), actions like boundary pushing, etc. She obviously has low self-worth, which would put her “neatly” into a victim role. I strongly suggest she read “The Gift of Fear” as was suggested to another LW recently.

      Please LW, focus on taking care of yourself and building the life of career and friends that will satisfy you (this doesn’t include “having a boyfriend” or “getting married”, those aren’t goals, those are add-ons). If you focus on you and what you want/need, you can be assured you’ll have a full, mostly-happy life no matter who else is (or isn’t) part of it.

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  • demoiselle July 8, 2011, 10:31 am

    You already know you’ll be unhappy with the lifestyle he is planning to lead and didn’t consult you about. He lied to you, concealed things from you, and apparently has a secret and extensive sex life which does not match what you would want in a partner.

    Why do you want him to propose? Is it to “win”, to have it proved to you that you are lovable and worth committing to, even if the guy doing the proposing is a bad match for you and a jerk?

    MOA. Being proposed to isn’t the ultimate compliment. And it won’t make any of the issues you face better. It will make them all ten times worse.

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  • spaceboy761 July 8, 2011, 10:38 am

    My snark engine actually got jammed by all of the things going wrong in this letter. I’ll just conclude that you’re little more than a 15-years-younger bang toy to him that he’ll keep around until he gets bored. And it looks like he’s getting bored. Feel free to stick around as long as you want to.

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  • Yozi July 8, 2011, 10:53 am

    Wait, wait, wait did this guy meet up with these women on craigslist IRL? Because if so, ew. LW, think of all the STDs this guy could have, and in turn could give to you. If he’s traveling a lot he has plenty of opportunities to be unfaithful. All relationships should have trust at the foundation, but relationships where one person is traveling all the time especially cannot function without it. I’m imagining you married to this guy like you say you want, taking care of his children solo (he’s deployed), worrying constantly about why he changed his email and voicemail passwords for the fourth time that week. You get a lovely package in the mail. It’s a letter from abroad, and guess what?! It turns out your kids have half sisters and brothers!… and you probably have herpes, so you should probably get that checked out…

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  • kdog July 8, 2011, 10:54 am

    Dude get out of there. You are blind, for sure, and probably a few other things that don’t sound quite as nice. If you stay in this any longer it will be all down to you and I’m betting you’ll regret it. I realize this is harsh, but I really think you need to hear it. Please, please, please learn to value youself in some way.

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  • MsMisery July 8, 2011, 11:10 am

    *bangs head against desk in frustration*

    The other ladies (and a few gents) have said it all anyway.

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    CMF July 8, 2011, 11:17 am

    LW, I went through a similar situation. He was 40, I was 30. He talked about marriage, family, babies (he talked about baby names, for God’s sake!), the size of the wedding, where we would live, blah blah. But never actually made an effort to work toward any sort of future. I think he enjoyed talking about those things, and why not? It’s fun to talk about those things. It’s exciting and romantic. But if only one of you is serious, it’s a shitty thing for the other person to do. I would have been very happy, thankyouverymuch, never hearing about marriage or babies. I didn’t need it. But he said it and I foolishly believed him. And it sounds like you’re maybe at the same point with this guy.

    I’m sorry to say it- but it took me a long time and a lot of heartache to figure out: He does not want to be with you. People say things they don’t mean all the time. All. The. Time. He might like the idea of being with someone, he might like the idea of being in love, but it’s not about you at all. You could be anyone to him. Any girl willing to put up with his garbage would suit him just fine. Please move on and find someone who wants to be with YOU.

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  • MsBorgia July 8, 2011, 11:30 am

    I did a double take when I read “Is he ever going to propose?” I thought the question was going to relate to all the lying and disrespect that was going on. It would have at least made sense if she wanted to know what to do about it, not when he was going to marry her.

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    • Amber July 8, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Yeah, I was confused by that too. Does she think that the things going on in her relationship are the norm? And how is marrying him going to make those issues better? And how could you love someone who might have been having sex with multiple women at the same times as you? I have many questions. The trip to see him should have opened her eyes to his feelings about her. I don’t think shoe shopping is on the top of any guy’s to-do list when his girlfriend who he hasn’t seen in a month comes to visit!

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    • ReginaRey July 8, 2011, 1:18 pm

      Ha! You’re so right. “He talks to hundreds of women on Craigslist, he doesn’t listen to my opinions, he doesn’t respect me, he doesn’t prioritize me in his life, he walks all over me and I let it happen because I have no self-worth, so when the heck is he going to propose?!”

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  • Jena July 8, 2011, 12:02 pm

    a)he cheated via craigslist
    b)he lied about it
    c)he lied about deployment
    d)it’s been <2 yrs since you guys even met and you're already this freaked out over never getting married ("Why is it taking him so long to commit"? a year and a half is not a long time)
    e)you've gone through his phone/email multiple times.

    you two do not belong together. he has cheated and you don't trust him. plain and simple.
    move on.

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  • AKchic July 8, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Honey – having been a military wife and girlfriend (married army and air force, currently in a LTC with a former Coasty) – you are nothing more than a casual relationship/port-to-port romance. He will not propose, you two will not marry. He is 40 f’Crissake! He is a confirmed bachelor for a reason – because he likes to have multiple women at multiple duty stations that he can wine, dine, romance, and then leave for another in another town, and eventually come back to for sex when he’s temporarily stationed back there.

    You do not fit into his plans. He is a career military man, and while I salute him for that, he is using his career to have meaningless relationships and string women along (trust me babe, you aren’t the only one he’s doing this to).

    Go right now and get tested for STDs. Every deployment, every training out of town runs the risk of YOU getting something. Kick this military lothario to the curb and find a guy (soldier or not) who will have the decency to not only commit to you, but the decency to be HONEST with you.

    And I am not knocking soldiers or their lifestyles. You get the “Playboys” in every industry.

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    • spaceboy761 July 8, 2011, 12:33 pm

      Playboy tax accountants can be real assholes.

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      • AKchic July 8, 2011, 2:56 pm

        Totally. Especially those Wall-Streeters that love Huey Lewis 🙂

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    Heather July 8, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Should you wait for this guy?


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    • Caris July 16, 2011, 10:32 pm

      very well put

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  • MiMi July 8, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Like everyone else, LW, I don’t think you can dump this guy fast enough. But rather than agonizing any more about him and his issues, it is definitely time for you to agonize about you and your issues. With no emotional support from family or friends, you’ve made this “relationship” and your supposed future marriage the be-all and end-all of your life, and blinded yourself to the glaring evidence of this 40-year-old man’s craven nature. Clearly, you have a hole in your heart, an empty spot where self-respect and self-love are meant to dwell, or you wouldn’t have allowed yourself to be played, ignored, and hurt for as long as you have. Your only priority right now must be to find a cognitive therapist, a faith-based group therapy, or some type of intervention led by a trained professional to help guide you on a road to healing.

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  • RavageMaladie July 8, 2011, 1:49 pm

    Please move on.

    No wait. No please. Just move on, mmm’kay?

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  • Princess Bananahammock July 8, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Stop asking: “why doesn’t he want to marry me? will he ever propose?” and start asking yourself: “why should I want to stay with him?” The answers need to be more than mushy answers like: “I love him.” You should look for concrete reasons that you should be with him, such as: you have shared life goals and priorities, he is a good partner, he brings out the best in you, he offers long-term stability, he’d make a good father, he is honest and supportive, etc. Sadly, it doesn’t seem that are a lot of reasons that YOU should want to be with HIM. I agree with Wendy, MOA.

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  • Jennifer July 8, 2011, 3:09 pm

    MOA! LW, you seem a lot more invested in this relationship than he does. You’re looking for a commitment, but he keeps coming up with very good excuses. He can’t help it when he’s deployed all of the time, and even by volunteering to do it, he may just be one of those people that thrives on deployments. However, if he was serious about marrying you, he would be SO much more interested in your thoughts and feelings about him leaving like that. It sounds like you’re settling for the relationship breadcrumbs that this guy is tossing you. At 40, has he ever been married before? A man who’s been single for 40 years is very set in his single-man ways, and IMO not going to be very interested in marriage, especially since it sounds like you’ve only been dating seriously for a little over a year. He’s leading you on, and avoiding the inevitable confrontation of a serious talk about marriage. He just wants to keep the peace, keep having fun with you, and someone warm and loving to come home to without all the expectations of commitment. If dropping marriage hints is what keeps you happy and interested in him, then that’s easy enough for him to do. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t settle for being led on like this. You’re 25 and have plenty of time to find someone who has similar goals for the future, but this guy doesn’t.

    On top of all that, you discovered “hundreds” of craigslist messages?! He may have been remorseful, but with his behavior, he may have only been remorseful that he got caught. How do you know he’s not still up to his old habits? You refer to it as an addiction, but if that’s the case, how do you know he hasn’t been feeding that addiction in other ways? Sorry, but he sounds like a waste of your time, LW. Do yourself a great favor and MOA.

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  • *HmC* July 8, 2011, 3:36 pm

    LW- Your relationship lacks fundamental trust, you are unwilling to be a military wife, and your boyfriend seems to take every unnecessary opportunity he can get to go far away from you for extended periods of time. You simply are not the right match for each other.

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  • lk July 8, 2011, 3:55 pm

    It’s sad that you have invested so much time & emotion hoping that there would be a big pay-off: a romantic proposal, a dramatic home-coming & a fairy-tale wedding.

    Cut your losses now. Consider his treatment of you as a multi-faceted lesson in what *not* to settle for from a partner in the future – & a lesson you have paid dearly for, so I hope you really value it & take as much from this experience as you can.

    Read the comments, go forward & improve your own life – don’t wait around for someone else to fix it for you.

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  • fearfulsymmetry11 July 8, 2011, 3:59 pm

    I know this is the least worrying issue in this letter, but why the hell do women hint at marriage and talk to their SO about how badly they want to be married and then wait for HIM to ask? Jesus christ, if you have the balls to say, “I want to get married.” What’s stopping you from proposing? Be proactive, YOU have a voice, USE it. Why do you have to wait for the man to do everything? You get your answer THEN, rather than being dragged along like some passive weakling. Seriously, I will never get that. And it pisses me off so much to hear women bitch about this, it’s your future too, why don’t you do something abut it? And for the record, I am a woman, myself. To the LW, and I quote Dan Savage on this, DTMFA. This guy is a total douchebag.

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    • Christy July 8, 2011, 5:17 pm

      I wish I could give this 1000 thumbs up! Society tells women relationships are supposed to be about both partners communicating and being active UNTIL it’s time for a marriage proposal. Then women are powerless and have to resort to hinting and begging while they wait for the man to do something.

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    • AKchic July 8, 2011, 6:05 pm

      At least by proposing herself, she will get him to finally quit dragging her around when he either says “no” or bails on the wedding after she’s planned it, thus humiliating her publicly so she won’t WANT to take him back when he does inevitably come back crying “stress” and “wasn’t ready yet”.

      And yes, I do agree with you that women need to break this gender barrier a bit more often. We’ve all been raised to think that men propose. Generally, it was men that asked the father for the bride – it was almost a business deal. Then, the husband would give a cursory “I’d like you to be my bride” and then the father and mother of the young woman would pretty much give reasons on why the female needed to go through with it (prestige, aligning two powerful families, political plays, money, etc). Rarely was it about love. Those that were were good. Those that weren’t, well, yeah.
      Now, we just have the “ask Daddy for permission” and then ask the female. Either way, women – we wanted equality and dammit, that means taking charge and proposing when we want marriage too. Not 6 weeks into a relationship (like my youngest sister), but after a healthy amount of time.

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  • Christy July 8, 2011, 4:53 pm

    Great advice Wendy! This is what happens when women are so focused on getting married that they don’t stop to ask *why* they want to get married or if the man they’re with is worth marrying.

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    katie July 8, 2011, 7:16 pm

    LW, i share you sentiments that being a military wife/girlfriend is terrible. I haven’t even ever had a military partner, but I know that would be a dealbreaker for me. heck, one of my best friends is a marine and I hate it! if nothing else, look at that fact of your life. the guy you want to marry is unwilling to not be in the military. you do not want to be with a partner who is in the military. you two are not meant for each other.

    and this isn’t even counting all the douchey things he does to you!!


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  • Meaghan July 8, 2011, 7:47 pm

    There are so many men and women like this that I’ve met since I’ve started dating my now fiance who is in the army. Looking at them it seems like common sense; they cheat on you, disregard you, are immature (regardless of their age), and see you as basically a backpack they carry on with during their careers. Some wise up and leave, some stay for the benefits, some just start copying the behavior and just end up in a miserable circle for the rest of their lives that affects those around them. Guess which category you’re sitting in?

    If this was just about him deploying I’d say do what I am; have a close support system on the base and keep in contact with him as best as you can. However, he’s scum. And what do you do with scum? You scrap it off and then disinfect everything it touched.

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