When they are on a mission, they are trusted to make the right choice so that the desired outcome is reached. While regular Marines have to follow step by step orders from higher ups and only act when told to, operators often make a decision by themselves or with a small group. This unique ability is vital to the success of the SOF mission. The problem is, the freedom they have in decision-making at work often translates to arrogance, pride and a superiority complex in a marriage.
Because work consumes so much of their life, I imagine that it is probably pretty difficult to shut off that part of themselves when they are faced with issues from home. One of the things I clearly remember the recruiter telling us about SOF was that on days when he had nothing to do at the office, he would be allowed to go home early to spend time with his family. The prospect of having him home around lunch or after on days when he was not in a course or otherwise engaged, was a pretty big deal to me.
He was coming from a unit that frequently worked long hours, so to have daytime hours free to spend with me was such an exciting thing for me. You can imagine my confusion and disappointment when these days rarely ever came. I noticed that when he was not in a training course, there was almost always something to do at the office.
I thought for sure the person in charge would grant him some reprieve after being in back to back courses for weeks on end, but no, this did not happen. His life was work, work, work. All the time. There needs to be a better work-home life balance in the SOF community. And since they usually have not known one another long, the time they spend together is very necessary.
It is a sad fact that many teams spend more waking hours with each other than with their wives and families.
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After a year in the community, I noticed that SOF is like a boys club. Everyone wants to be accepted. An individual that is too different from the others is a distraction and will often be singled out. If you know anything about men, it is that they like competition.
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The ways they try to prove themselves are risky at best and self-destructive at worst. More on that later. The trouble in my marriage began very soon after graduation from the initial training course just as the training tempo began to pick up. He was gone more than he was home and his stress level was at an all time high.
Confessions of a cheating army wife.
Most of his peers were extremely stressed as well. I noticed that while they were at work, they got wound so tight and unless they took steps to relieve their stress in healthy ways, they were bound to self destruct at some point in the future. One of the biggest stress release trends for that I noticed among the guys was the use of alcohol. Consider the facts. Combine a pretty stressed out man who thinks he can do whatever he wants, one who is allowed to and expected to make big decisions on his own, and add in the inhibition reducing substance called alcohol, and what do you get?
A boy who does whatever he wants because he thinks he deserves it because he works so hard. My husband had always enjoyed drinking. Drinking in excess was easy for him to do because of his addictive personality. When he decided that his stress relieving activity of choice was to go out drinking with his buddies after hours, it was a dangerous one.
Quite often, it was happening while he was away on training. Training that he sometimes could not talk about with me because the course was classified. I think he must have thought that he could get away with doing whatever he wanted.
Maybe he thought that since he was not allowed to talk about what he was doing in training, he did not have to remain accountable for anything that happened while on this training trip away from home? What this is all leading up to is that while he was away on these training trips, drinking after hours, he chose to be commit adultery. It is hard for me to pinpoint the exact reasons why infidelity is so prevalent in this community but I think it has a lot to do with the unique situations and skills these men have.
These men are highly trained, highly skilled. They are doing jobs that are often sensitive or classified that they cannot discuss in detail with their wives. They are very stressed and have little to no time to themselves. They are working in an all-male environment with very little competition. These are my observations, my theories, my thoughts. I may be wrong, but hear me out.
Give this some thought.
Infidelity: Stepping out on your marriage is the ultimate way feed all the desires of the individual described above. Secrecy: Only you usually know about it.
Hurting them by giving your body away to another person is also a form on control. Even in no one knows about it, they do, and they feel like a bigger man for being able to get the girl. Many times, SOF teams drink together in a group setting. I feel like such a piece of garbage. No amount of physical pleasure or mental stimulation will compensate for the ridiculousness of my behavior.
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People think they sell their souls when they sacrifice their integrity and honor. But that would imply that the soul is separate from the person. In the words of C. Marriages grow, change, alter, and iterate, but they cannot go back to the New Phase — ever. Are cheaters victims? People make choices… and then their choices make them. To those tempted to cheat, I implore you to rethink things. Want the best of The Good Men Project posts sent to you by email? Join our mailing list here. This article originally appeared on The Problem Is Men.
Charles J. Orlando is a bestselling author, and relationship and interpersonal relations expert. Charles is an active member of Mensa "the High IQ Society" , is a contributing writer to a variety of online and print publications, and is regularly tapped by the media for his relationship and marriage expertise, including Self, Men's Health, Shape, and The Reporter. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Anybody in this discussion thought about other alternatives, like polyamory?
After ten dead years, my cheating led me to someone who relit my heart. And the unexpected result was my love for my wife relit, too. The two of them are now friends, growing closer as friends do by sharing, including sharing me! So dump the shame and guilt, be honest about who and what you are, and you may be surprised beyond imagination.