"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex ... Pacts

I'm going to warn you, I'm a bit fired-up. Like hands-shaking-fired-up. And when I'm like this my thoughts are a bit jumbled and my words don't always come out right. But I have learned that I write the most openly when that flame starts so I am going to go with it.

Forgive me if the message is frazzled.

A month or two ago a friend of mine and a newer spouse asked me a question that to be honest caught me a bit off guard. 

She asked if cheating in a military marriage was "normal" because so many spouses at her duty station said she just had to accept it and push through.

Umm .... in shock at that explanation I very firmly said, "NO. That is NOT the norm and a hell-to-the-no is it acceptable."

I have not said a word about what has been coming out about (ex-)senior leaders of our military. I won't talk about that. My husband served multiple times beside one of these men over the last deployment. To say that I am disappointed and confused and ... 

Well, I'm not going to talk about that.

A fellow military spouse came to me today about an article published recently about "Military Sex Pacts." I am not going to share the article. I debated back and forth but if you go searching for it, trust me, you'll find it. At no point in the article does the author say that she approves of these apparent "sex-pacts" but she put in one line that has me so fired-up. It isn't a quote from someone else. It isn't something that she heard from somewhere else. She wrote it and she is taking hits left and right for it. 

Most civilian women would not defend their husband’s infidelity.  But for the military wife, cheating practically comes with the territory. And rather than ignore the lusty elephant in the room, some military couples have created their own defense against infidelity: the so-called deployment sex pact.  

I am not going to sit here and act like infidelity doesn't exist in the military. I'm neither naive nor obtuse. I have seen marriages that on the surface looked incredible to only be ruined by cheating. I have had friends struggle with it in their own marriages. I can't count how many divorces C has had to be in the middle of because for whatever reason it is part of his job. He has pulled cheating spouses out of the barracks. 

Spouses. Soldiers. Deployed. Stateside. 

It happens. 

But do not - do NOT - tell me that it "comes with the territory". Do NOT tell a new spouse that that is her "normal" and to "deal with it".

I am going to say something that may make some people upset but to my core it is what I believe. The difficulty of a deployment does not give a pass to break the vows. The struggle of being "alone" does not justify dishonoring the sanctity of marriage. 

I don't care that it's hard. I don't care that being alone sucks because I get it! When you say the vows you don't say "except when you are training," or "except during times of war." The soldier doesn't say, "unless I am bored in Afghanistan."

Come on.

Do not ... Do not, do not, do not tell the public that this is our normal. Do NOT tell the public that this is "acceptable" or "a given" or "part of it." 

It isn't.

I don't care what you decide in your marriage. I don't care if you cheat. It isn't mine to judge. But do not say that the vast majority of our military that is here to serve, who believes in the sacrifice, can't control their behavior, can't own their behavior, can't understand what a marriage is. 

Do not belittle the deepest respect I have for C, for the sacrament of our marriage, for our children. Do not lump my soldier into a lump of others who say a "sex pact" allows them to take care of their "urges".

That makes me physically ill.

Putting that into the minds of new spouses is toxic. Putting that out to the world is the very reason strangers find it acceptable to ask me: Are you worried he will cheat on you?

I believe in my marriage, in my husband, in the seriousness of the vows, in the respect, in the love. Marriage like that still exists. Respect and understanding of the vows still exists. 

Don't belittle me. Don't belittle C. Don't belittle every military couple that fights through, that builds a strong foundation of trust and respect. I will wait every single time he leaves me. Every time.

He is my everything and I have never questioned that I am his.

Have some respect for the thousands upon thousands upon thousands who believe in the vows.


What do you think of the statement shared from the article?  


  1. This was beautifully written...thank you so much for taking a stance for all of us who fight hard against this stereotype every day!

  2. I read the article earlier this week and it is absolutely frustrating that she tried to explain the current events playing out in the media as if "everyone does it, why is anyone surprised; it comes with the territory." it is absolutely insulting to act like military couples are incapable of being faithful to each other. When I told my husband about the article, he was just as frustrated as I was, which I suspected he would be, since we believe in the sanctity of marriage. I am not acting like temptation doesnt exist, but sheesh, show some self control people! Ever hear of the phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder." Our family is never as close as when daddy comes home from deployment. And you will never convince me that the couples that participate on these pacts don't eventually pay the price.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said! Especially about never as close as when they get back. It's amazing how some people can make such horrific assumptions.

  3. I hadn't heard anything about this. But, like you, this fires me up! How dare a woman belittle all the challenges we face as military spouses. We respect the commitment we made to each other, and make a choice to honor it. While I have seen infidelity occur even with some of my closest friends, people who I thought had marriages that would last through everything, that is not limited to the military world. We have never made a pact. We respect each other and we will hold to the promises we have made, through deployments and everything else the Army and life throw our way. Thank you for bringing attention to an obvious wrong.

  4. Wow. I am fired up right there with you on this one. How dare this woman belittle everything we face as military spouses by suggesting it would be the norm to have a "pact". Like you, we have made a commitment, and we honor the promises we have made to each other. No matter what the Army (ending out a 10 month deployment soon!) or life throws our way, we would never make light of the relationship we have built by allowing something as major as infidelity to be "part of it". Cheating does not, and never will, come with our territory.

    1. AMEN!

      And YAY for that deployment being almost over!!

  5. I believe that is horrible to put into spouses heads. It is not normal. If it was part of the "military lifestyle" then why would it be such a high offense to be accused and caught cheating in the military world. If I soldier is caught cheating I know that the punishment is severe. I'm not up tl date on the exact punishment, but I know that it is not something taken lightly in the military.

    1. Awesome point! In no other line of work would I expect you to be able to face being fired for infidelity!


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