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When people think of a military spouse, they think of a woman married to a service member. But this isn't always the case as nearly 10% of us are men. I was born in November 1978. I am a stay at home dad to two boys, one born in October of 2000 and the other born in June of 2009. I married my wife in June of 2006. In April of 2010 she left to go to basic training for the US Army.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Transparency and Honesty: My Skeleton in the Closet- I have been cheating on my wife

For the better part of the last two months I have been preaching the need for complete transparency and complete honesty. I have written about the need for honor, integrity and high moral character. And I have done these things with the fear that my personal secret(AKA "skeleton in the closet") would come to light. After all, I am Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Spouse of the Year for 2014(JBLM SOY) so it's not like I can fly under the radar. It would be only a matter of time before someone in our tight knit community found out and I would be exposed with either the truth or a rumor of my truth. And with the type of man I am, I would prefer to do my own laundry instead of having someone else hang it out for me.

As the last few weeks passed and my words became stronger regarding honor, integrity and high moral character, my heart ached with conviction over this secret of mine. I knew I had to spill it before the anguish consumed me. So last night when my wife got home from work I sat her down and told her how I dishonored her.

For those worried about my marriage and want to get a sense of where things are at the moment, push play and have a listen as you read what may be the hardest thing I have ever written.

I can't say my wife was too surprised when I told her. We knew with PCSing to JBLM that I may succumb to this affair. "The other woman" in my life is in the area and it was something both of us worried about for me based on my track record. We talked about it here and there in the months leading up to the move but we never had any serious discussion regarding how we would handle it.

It only took about 2 months or so for me to reengage this "other woman". We pretty much picked up right where we left off. It started with a quick fling and then it turned semi consistent. But it wasn't too long before our encounters turned into something regular. I honestly believe we were made for each other. I love my wife dearly, I really do, but I come alive with the "other woman" in my life. I am a different me. A me I actually like.

People have been asking me what my secret is to losing weight and the honest answer is the "other woman" is my secret. She makes me feel good about myself. She motivates me to get off the couch and do things. As weird as it sounds, she even inspires me to be a better parent. Because of her I have a little extra pep in my step, hope in my heart and a smile on my face. She makes me feel "high".

Some of you may be wondering how I could have this ongoing affair for roughly 8 months now and still sleep at night next to my wife. I really can't answer that for sure. All I can do is ask that you please not judge me. You don't live in my home. You aren't me. And if the truth were to be told, I actually sleep much better when I spend time with her before I go to bed. It sounds twisted, but it's really not.

Gathering the courage to come clean with my wife was not easy. I remember vividly the last time I told her about this "other woman" and let's just say the conversation didn't go too well. In fact, last time I nearly lost my marriage. I can't say I could blame my wife, I was a complete jerkoff back then AND cheating on her with this "other woman". My only hope when telling her yesterday was that maybe she would be understanding to our current unique lifestyle and my needs as a man to be allowed to do what I want if it made me feel good. We are preparing for either a deployment or an unaccompanied tour and I honestly believe this "other woman" could help me get through it. And in some crazy sort of way I need to try to convince my wife of that.

My wife's reaction was better than I thought it would be. She didn't fly off the handle nor did she walk right out on me. I think it is still too early to tell how we will move forward, but I get the sense that Bob Marley was right when he said "Everything gonna be alright". We still have to work through the issue and weigh our options, but I have hope.

Now I know it's not proper to expose the "other woman", but what's fair is fair. If she is to be labeled a home-wrecker then everyone should be able to call her out. So I am going to put her name out there for the world to see and I am going to come completely into the light:

My name is Wayne Perry, I am a military spouse and the 2014 JBLM SOY. For the last 8 months I have been having an affair with Mary-Jane.

For those of you who don't know her by her nickname maybe you know her by her given name- Marijuana.

Now don't go judging her based on what you may have heard about her, she's really not a bad girl. And definitely not worthy of the label (Drug Classification) she gets. I'm not saying she is for everyone, but I do believe she is for me.

I have talked quite a bit about my struggles with depression, anxiety and mental health. Since joining this life as a military spouse I have put more pills in my mouth than I ever did in my 30 previous years combined. From roughly July 2011-July 2013 I was off an on various meds with limited success. No matter how many pills I put in my body or how many talk therapy sessions I attended, nothing worked as well as weed does for me. The last Psych Dr I was seeing felt we had whatever is wrong with me manageable, and we did. I wasn't going into long slumbers of depression and I was taking less Xanax, but I wasn't me. On top of many other things I lost motivation and I gained weight.

The last time I was smoking pot consistently I lost 76lbs. Then I became a military spouse and I couldn't dare jeopardize my wife's career by using an illegal substance so I stopped. Then I gained 106lbs. In the 8 months since I started smoking again I have lost nearly 70lbs. And I have done nothing to help myself to lose that weight. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing. I don't exercise at all. I don't diet. I still eat what I want and when I want, just maybe not as much. I do of course get the munchies and on occasion I satisfy that urge. Oh boy do I sometimes satisfy that urge. So whatever you thought you knew about pot and munchies, hopefully you will open your mind up a little more. Because it is either the pot that has helped me lose the weight or the fact that I don't shop at the commissary all that much anymore. I will let you decide.

As far as my mental health..... I have never been better. Don't get me wrong I still have an occasional mood swing, but I am not relegated to my couch any longer. I haven't taken the psych pills since we got here with the exception of a Xanax a few times. And each of those times me taking Xanax was directly related to the commissary. So it was only recently that I needed them.

Prior to leaving Kansas I consulted with my Dr about the possibility of trying to use marijuana to help me out and he strongly encouraged me to give it a try based on my past experiences with it. I think he and I both knew that I was surviving on the pills, but I wasn't thriving. And I don't know about you but I would rather be a thriving survivor than a struggling survivor.

I don't know what pot does for others, but I know what it does for me and I like it. I like that it makes me feel more creative. I like that it helps me get off the couch and do busy work. I am sure my wife wishes that my busy work involved windex, a toilet brush and a mop instead of a shovel, dirt and plant seeds, but I think I do a decent job at balancing everything out. I could always do more, but who couldn't?

My wife and I still haven't fully discussed this issue, but I am hoping it won't be an issue. However only time will tell. I think for the both of us our biggest fear will be how is this could effect her as a US Army soldier. Prior to moving here I searched high and low regarding the Army's take on spouses smoking pot and there really isn't much clarity that I could find. I know as a civilian I could smoke pot and they can't say anything but there is a grey area regarding whether a soldier is allowed to have it in their dwelling whether it is theirs or not. So my continuing to smoke pot may not be up to whether she says I can or can't (because I would listen to her-I love my marriage way more than a bowl). It may be up to the answers I get when I seek them out. And believe me, I will get my "yay" or "nay" answer. Even if I need to contact my wife's Commander in Chief directly.

I am prepared to be told if I smoke pot I could hurt my wife's career. I know in the military community marijuana is not accepted. So I will do one of 3 things that is accepted in the military community if I feel I must stop:

1) Go to military events and drink in excess at the "grog bowl"
2) Hang out at the barracks and get drunk there

The only problem with those 2 options is I don't drink. Since approximately October 24, 2012 I have had less than 20 ounces of alcohol.

Option #3?

I will enter rehab and when I get out get back on a waiting list to see a psych Dr to get prescribed a cornucopia of pills hoping we can find something that mimics the effects of marijuana so I can continue to thrive and not just survive. There are two challenges with this option however. The first is finding a good combination of side effects that won't limit me too much. The other problem is I fear I may run in to Bob Saget at rehab.

Are you confused why I would mention the All American Dad of the 80's and 90's when talking about rehab? Then watch this clip. Unless you are a fast reader and Bob Marley is still playing. Always listen to Marley when he is on. **WARNING BAD LANGUAGE**

Now I am pretty sure there are a few of you wondering if that greenhouse I built is for growing weed. It's not. Not in any way. I am not now nor have I ever tried cultivating marijuana. OK... there was this one time when I was like 18 or 19 when I planted some seeds in my moms dead plants and she got all excited that something was growing in there. I got rid of them before she knew what they were. But other than that, never. It's not that I don't want to, but I don't know the laws well enough to venture down that road. Especially when the DoD has not been clear on their stance. So if there are any vendors looking for some help marketing their product as we prepare for the legal sales for recreational use here in Washington, lemme know. I am not one who can be "bought off" but I can be "smoked out". **How about at the very least a military discount?**

Am I going to become some giant advocate for marijuana? No. Weed isn't what gets my blood flowing. It's not my passion. But I would advocate for it on a smaller scale. I would make my voice heard.

Do I want my kids smoking pot? NO! I do not want them drinking alcohol either. If they do either while living under my roof without my permission, there will be problems for them.

Do I want to be able to freely continue to smoke pot? Absolutely. But like most things in my life it's not that simple. Even if my wife gives me the OK. And even if we get the OK from the DoD for me to smoke pot, we, by we I mean me, will always worry about the black cloud that will follow us in this military life. My wife could be considered guilty by association. I am sure once this blog entry goes live she can expect a few more random pee tests in her near future. Luckily for us my wife is pretty square and there isn't any worry there. She likes a glass of wine here and there and I love getting stoned. Outside of that, we are pretty boring people and in bed by 8pm 7 days a week. Well, as boring as it can be when you live with someone like me and live the life we live.

At this time I can't really say what will happen next besides that right now I am going to catch a buzz and climb in bed with my beautiful bride and get a good night sleep. My conscious is now clear. My secret is out.

This blog entry required not one. Not two. But THREE songs in addition to that epic Bob Saget clip.

**How is that for a range of video clips in one blog entry?**


Anonymous said...

Option 4: Ask you doctor about trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It is an alternative treatment for depression in cases where medication and therapy have failed. See http://neurostar.com/ for more information.

TheArmyWife(Dude) said...

I hope that I won't have to choose any of the options I provided or the one you suggested. In a perfect world I would be allowed to do what is legal where I am without fear of it reflecting poorly on my wife.

But we all know the world is far from perfect.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I am suffering from anxiety, cyclothimic disorder and insomnia. I'm on one med, thanks to a fantastic doctor, but still don't feel "all together". I have also smoked pot (I'm a military spouse too) for my insomnia and I don't care. It's much better AND easier than doctor hopping (I'm on my 5th in about a year).

Anonymous said...

and brave. good for you

Anonymous said...

Good for you. Thanks for sharing. It takes one brave person to take that one step.
I've been trying to find something, anything on this issue in regards to the Air Force in Washington. If there are any recent articles or web sites you could direct me to I would greatly appreciate it.