My wife and I have been married 10 years and have two young children. Two years ago, we agreed to separate, and I left for Iraq. Two weeks later, she moved a boyfriend into our place. The following year, she ended it with him, and we decided to try to work things out. I bought a house and moved her and our kids in. Two months later, she went back to the boyfriend. A year later, she left him, and we agreed to try again. I moved our family back into the house and gave her power of attorney and my bank account password to prove I was committed. A month later, I had to leave for Iraq again, and am still here. Within a month, she had some guy sleeping at our house. She claims they’re just friends; he’s there because she doesn’t feel safe, and they aren’t having sex. She even told our son the guy’s doing her a favor and has a bad back, so it’s only fair that he sleeps in the bed with her, not on the couch. I’m 99 percent sure our marriage is done; I just wanted your opinion.

---Troubled, From Iraq

Ever wonder why junkyards always have signs like “Beware of Rottweiler,” not “Man With Bad Back On Premises!”?

A woman who wants to protect herself gets a gun, a burglar alarm and a really big dog, not a man with spinal issues to sleep in her bed while her husband’s off to war. But, let’s say you didn’t buy a house in some sleepy suburb, but in the middle of Crack Alley, where they’ll break in to steal the rabbit ears off your 1972 black-and-white TV. If a guy’s real interest is in watching over your wife, not rolling over on her, the foyer rug should provide both a firm surface for his aching back and the perfect vantage point to keep an eye out for prowlers.╩

The firm surface you need to meet up with is the business end of the clue stick. This saga started two years ago, when you and your wife agreed to separate. Two weeks later, after you left for the war, she moved her boyfriend into the family home. Two weeks later? ╩

You aren’t “99 percent sure” it’s over, you’re clinging to the fantasy that you’ll find a marriage in there somewhere č somewhere amidst the strange men strolling in and out of your kids’ lives. Sorry, but if you have a choice, take “Needle in a haystack for $20.” The only reliable thing about your wife is her unreliability. After all, most guys get one “Dear John” letter. You’ve got a subscription. So, what are you afraid of? Admitting your marriage didn’t work out? It seems preferable to staying in it, and having your kids see you walked on so much that you’re practically a human treadmill. 

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA╩ 90405, or e-mail (

(c)2008, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.

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