I Feel Isolated and Alone. Help! | Advice

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My husband and I have been married for eight years.

He works in the military, and I work in insurance. He was recently deployed to Egypt for a year leaving me to hold down the house and our three children alone. We talked while he was away, and he would check in on the kids, but as the time went on it felt like the talks between us became more and more transactional. It left me feeling isolated and alone. When he finally arrived back home, it wasn’t the homecoming I was hoping for. He was distant and aloof, but I tried to give him space, given that he was coming back from a long deployment. Over the months that followed, he just got further and further away and even began to become distant from our children and our shared family life. We live in the same house, we raise our children, and we work, but we are not connected anymore. We have had sex once since he has been home. I have tried to talk and suggest counseling, but he won’t even have that conversation. I feel like my family is falling apart, but it’s not a loud explosion, it’s a silent implosion. How do I get through this?

Mike – Homestead, FL

Dear Military Malaise Mike,

The one thing I know for sure is that you will absolutely get through this. Whether getting through this means repairing your marriage or moving on, you will get through it. It will be hard no matter which path your marriage takes, and it will likely have a lot of hurting to come, but you will get through it and there is a new chapter on the other side. Being a gay military family is already very difficult but adding a deployment of that length and a house full of kids would be a stressor on any relationship. Something has shifted in your partner while he was away, but if he isn’t willing to talk about it with you, you are limited in what you can do to move forward. I’m not a fan of ultimatums, but in this case, where you have children, I think it’s fair to set the boundary that this must be talked about. As a parent, you have an obligation to your children to clear the air and make sure they’re in a healthy environment. If it’s possible, suggest a getaway for the two of you. If he’s not there yet, then maybe a walk together. Make it clear that you intend to have the hard talk and are willing to do that in any space that makes him comfortable. If he won’t take a step toward you, even the smallest step, then it’s time to think about a new chapter for your family.

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John Porter is an entrepreneur and founding partner at Oasis Asset Management. He has served as a political organizer and strategist within the Democratic Party, as well as serving as an executive board member for the Miami Yacht Club.

The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column is not intended to replace or substitute any financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice.


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