My husband kissed another woman

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

About a month ago I found out that my husband kissed another woman. How I found out was I received a letter from Iraq where my husband was stationed, claiming that before he left a group of soldiers went out one night, including my husband. During this evening everyone became extremely intoxicated by noon and continued drinking till 11 that night. This was four days before they were leaving to Iraq. During the first part of the day, a fellow soldier kissed my husband. He pulled away then kissed her back. He claims he was drunk as was she and neither of them were ever looking for anything. They were just friends. She initiated the kiss and in his drunken stuper, he reciprocated. This girl is very unattractive and I am not. She is also a lesbian. These things add to my confusion. What really upsets me is that he never told me. He said he it meant nothing and he was scared I would leave him. I found his phone and saw that on this day they were in constant contact but never before or after. I had to find out 6 months later from a fellow soldier who for whatever reason felt they needed to be honest about it now. The letter alleged they had sex that night but it was a military sponsored trip and there was no opportunity to make that happen. I even went so far as to contact her and other soldiers who were there that night. I even saw pictures of my husband on the bus back to the barracks that night. He says he loves me and could never live with himself if he lost me over something like this. He says it was just a stupid mistake that came about due to alcohol, not underlying feelings.

A: Oh, there were underlying feelings, all right. The man was scared! So was everyone else in that drinking spree. It’s not at all unusual for people to lose their good judgment and to reach for someone else when they are drunk and frightened, and especially when they don’t want to admit how frightened they are. I suggest you believe your husband. He and the other soldier are not carrying on a flirtation. They were drunk and clinging to each other for comfort when they were about to be deployed.

The person I question in this story is the person who decided to contact you. That person is certainly stirring up trouble where there doesn’t need to be any. My guess is that either he or she is trying to get even with your husband or the other soldier for something or he or she is attracted to you. It’s not wise to listen to troublemakers. Don’t respond to any more contacts.

Most military bases have psychological services for soldiers and their families. I think it would be helpful to talk to a counselor who has lots of experience working with military personnel. A military counselor can reassure you better than I can that what your husband did is not a comment on your relationship and can help you deal with your feelings about it.

You and your husband need to put this behind you. You both have enough to worry about without adding overconcern about an impulsive moment. Let it be the trivial incident it was and put your energy into supporting and loving each other while he is in harm’s way.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). My husband kissed another woman. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/10/my-husband-kissed-another-woman/