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ASK AMY

Daughter’s military marriage may end in quick divorce

Wedding ring.Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Ch/Photographer: Liz Hafalia/The Sa

Q. My daughter has been married almost a year. Her husband is in the military, and they had to get hitched so she could live with him during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

They live on an isolated military base. She takes care of the house, started a business, volunteers for the Red Cross, and has a dog to keep her busy. She just graduated from college, but there is no work on the base for her.

He came home from work last night and told her he has been unhappy for a while and that he wanted a divorce. He said that counseling won’t help; his mind is made up. Then he left and stayed at a friend’s house. He won’t take her calls.

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The two of them did some premarital counseling and have some relationship books, so they have tools. I told her to e-mail him to express what she is feeling, because it is not right for him to treat her like this. She is devastated and doesn’t even know what she has done wrong.

Last month they were talking about starting a family. How are they on divorce’s doorstep?

He has been out drinking with his buddies quite a bit in the last month. He has just decided that it’s over and she needs to pack and leave.

What should her first steps be? She lives several states away, so going to give her a hug is not possible, but I need to help her. She is alone and devastated and doesn’t know where to turn.

I encouraged her to see the pastor on base (the only counselor), but she is hesitant.

Your advice?

J

A. Keep in close touch with your daughter. I agree that she should see the base chaplain. The chaplain cannot save her marriage, but that person will know the next steps the couple will need to take if they decide to separate — or if her husband alone decides to make this break permanent.

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Military OneSource is a very helpful online portal provided by the US Department of Defense. The site covers most conceivable topics of importance to military families, and offers a “live chat” function, as well as telephone counseling support.

Your daughter’s first step should be to research her legal options and responsibilities.

She got married quickly. It might be best to also dissolve this brief marriage quickly.

My understanding is that if this divorce becomes a legal reality, your daughter will lose her access to live-in military housing.

As her supportive parent, you should encourage her to breathe, to take things step-by-step, and yes, if possible, you should offer to help her pack the U-Haul.


Q. I need some advice!

I am a young adult who is hoping to break into the music industry. I use social media to network and connect with other artists — posting events, photos, etc. My well-meaning Nana leaves comments and shares all my posts to her “page.” It’s completely embarrassing and comes across as unprofessional.

How do I get her to stop without hurting her feelings or blocking her? Help!

OFF KEY

A. First of all ... how sweet. I’m at the age and stage of life where I believe that proud Nanas are pretty cool.

Once you make it big(ger), you’ll be able to “own” this with pride. In fact, your Nana’s fandom could be your secret superpower. There might be clever ways for you to use her pride and engagement to promote your work. (A sample endorsement: “Goth’s Earworm: Easily as good as REO Speedwagon! — My Nana”)

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In the meantime, research ways to “mute” her comments. You should be able to do this without her being aware of it.

Also, make sure you are engaging through the best social channels for your career. Your Nana probably isn’t on TikTok (but if she is, you should probably follow her lead).


Q. I appreciate your compassion regarding the loss of a pet.

My dear Labrador retriever passed away recently. Agonizing about what to do when she was really struggling near the end of her life, I reached out to a national organization called Lap of Love (lapoflove.com), which was incredible. They provide in-house visits, hospice care, medical advice (telehealth), euthanasia, and pet loss support.

I am so grateful to the extremely kind and caring vet who helped us during a very difficult time.

MISSING MY DOG IN CT

A. In-home hospice care for a dying animal is a true gift.

Amy Dickinson can be reached at askamy@amydickinson.com.