Having a partner in the military is difficult. There’s a lot of sacrifice that has to happen on both sides. But sometimes, it doesn’t have to happen. Sometimes your partner has the opportunity to volunteer to serve.
And when you’re already struggling, that would probably be the time your partner shouldn’t volunteer to leave your family for an entire year and then lie to you and say it was mandatory. But that’s exactly what happened to the poor woman in this “Am I the A-hole?” post.
OP explains that her husband is a reservist in the military, meaning he lives a normal civilian life but can be called up for duty. She also explains that she works 50 hours a week at her job and that they have a “very energetic 4-year-old.”
On top of all that, the closest family members and friends live three hours away, so it’s not like they have a lot of extra help around the house. OP’s husband has already been away “on COVID orders” since March, and is now deploying again in October, this time for a full year.
She found out “accidentally” that he wasn’t assigned to this year-long deployment. He volunteered for it and then lied to her about it. He has been telling her this whole time that “it was not his choice.” She believed him, but now that she’s found out the truth, she’s furious, and understandably so.
If your partner has already been struggling with work and childcare and you’ve been out of the picture for months, it is a conversation when another opportunity pops up. You can say, “Hey, there’s this new job. It’s a year long, which I know would suck, but I think I should do it for x, y, and z reasons.”
And then she should have the opportunity to say, “Hey, actually, I’ve been really struggling here alone and I need support from my husband, etc., etc.” The one thing he absolutely should not have done was take a year-long job without talking to her and then lie to her about it.
She writes, “I basically told him that all my trust in him is gone and I refused to spend my life being lied to and not having a say in our major life choices.” He said she was “overreacting” and that he was “doing what was best” for them, which is obviously not the case.
She’s been extremely overwhelmed this whole time. Let’s say she hasn’t been communicating her issues well for the past few months, maybe because he’s been out of the house. Even if that was the case (which it might not be), you don’t take a year-long job without talking to your wife. And then lie about it.
He obviously knew she would have an issue with it because he chose to lie. An extra detail is that he will not be staying in a combat zone but an extended-stay hotel. It’s almost like he’s trying to stay away from his family as long as he possibly can.
And commenters agreed. “I don’t think you’re overreacting,” one person wrote. “It sounds to me like he is avoiding his responsibilities to you and your child to get away, and trying to use his service as a shield for any blame.”
“Volunteer deployments should be a family decision,” one person wrote. “Money is good, but a deployment is not necessary to help your military career. I’d make sure the money is deposited into a joint account, reduce your hours accordingly, and seek out a lawyer.”