Hubby's Secret-ish past

My husband was in the army I don’t know what he did and were he went. He began opening up about even being in the army 2 months ago. We have been together for 10 years (married 8) and I can believe there are secrets between us.:eek:
He jut tells me, “I can’t tell anyone, because you NEVER KNOW”
I don’t know anything about military life. He says there are contracts.He also says I don’t want to know.:bigyikes:
I don’t even know how comfortable I am posting this because it feels like something I’ve seen in movies. Where the wife has no idea her husband is a hit man type of thing.
I always knew he participated in self-destructive behaviors, I can’t help to think he hasn’t properly dealt with some issues. It is the strangest thing to not know something about my own husband.:console:
I have suggested a therapist or our priest. He says he can’t trust anyone.
I am very concerned about his soul. If he has gravely sinned I need him to confess it. We have been to confession and I purposely go in after him. He comes out so fast I doubt he opens up. I hope I’m wrong.
What would you do??

merne, your husband is perhaps unwise to hint things of things he won’t or can’t explain. Not many of us can endure that kind of suspense! If he was not free to explain he shouldn’t have worried you. Perhaps he is unnerved at present but if he felt eith or you were in danger he would surely warn you. Perhaps you need to ask if his semi-revelations mean you have cause for fear. You have the right to that question!

I doubt that any of us, even long-term married couples, know everything about each other. I don’t feel either that I must share all little thing with my husband, and besides, most such things would simply bore him.

Either your husband’s unease has basis in fact, or it is a manifestation of mental issues.

Your own anxiety about these matters that your husband is supposedly bound not to share could damage your relationship a great deal, as sadly, one, you feel very shaken, two, as a consequence you no longer have or show trust in your husband, either personally or spiritually. You do need to trust what is between God and your husband in Confession.

The seal of Confession is inviolate, therefore protective of your husband’s secrets, and men can speak quite succinctly to each other and convey a lot in a few words. That he goes to Confession will need to be your consolation, as you continue to pray for him.

Please God you won’t allow this to shatter your trust so completely that your marriage relationship is harmed. God grant you will recover from the shock and be able to function with peace.

merne, encourage him to contact the army regarding specialised counselling if he is taking part in self destructive behaviours. One of my sons school friends Dad was an SAS paratrooper (don’t know what the US equivalent of that might be). When he was away, not even his wife could know where in the world he was or what he had been doing. None of us knew what he even did in the army until he retired from it!

If that is what he was doing, he is a very special person and needs the right care to deal with what could be post traumatic stress.

God bless.

My grandfather spoke very little of his service in WW2 for almost 60 years.

My husband is acute duty. He talks very little about his job and due to his MOS he can’t tell me much when he does talk about work. When he’s home he is all about us. When he’s at work he is still all about us. It’s really not important to me what he has done, is doing, or will do in the future. PM me if you want to or have questions or specific things that are bothering you.

The military does have sections which are extremely secret and the soldiers have to sign a secret act. Another poster has already given the example of the SAS. Try sitting your husband down and asking him questions which will give you answers but won’t make him feel uncomfortable or which he would have to break a “code” he might have. You could ask him if he has had to sign a secret act of some sorts while in the military.

From the information you have given in your post, it’s difficult to know if he can’t say because he has a secret code or he is struggling mentally (not being able to trust people suggests this) with things such as PTSD.

I think this is the first port of call, working out why the secrecy? Is it genuine…a top military operation which he can’t disclose or is he struggling with the past and feels as though he can’t trust people.

I would be disturbed if my spouse didn’t reveal having been a soldier to me. I’m not talking about “I did boot camp and failed” or “I went to ROTC”, but actually being a soldier.

Let me cut to the chase. Most men and women in uniform do their job well and never have to see battle. Some see battle briefly and get out fine. But some do truly terrible things in battle- and under orders. The U.S. military is not the boy scouts and they are often involved in less than noble and in fact, downright vile affairs.

It sounds like your husband needs some serious spiritual cleansing. It might have been something he did or even just something terrible he witnessed and was told (maybe not in so many words) to keep quiet about. I echo the comment about seeing a priest.

And yes, its true that you can’t trust anyone if by that he means that one can never be 100% sure that confidentiality will be kept. Trust, by its very nature, is a vulnerability. But he needs to get help. Obviously, he is telling you these things because he wants help.

Also, remember this is a public forum, archived and searchable.

He may not want to contact the very same people who put him in that position to begin with and even ordered him to commit any crimes he might have.

Really? So what your husband does at work, even if it is utterly sinful, is no concern of yours? I have a very different idea of marriage.

the words: “you don’t want to know”.
at worst it means he has done some really terrible things while on duty. it is so good he goes to confession; just keep hinting to him that the can trust the priests and tell them even the worst sins without fear.

but on a better side he could be in one of these really secret special forces who work under cover and things like that. the day his identity leaks will definitely lead to death.

no matter what please be at peace. when a man says “you don’t want to know” it really means you will be happier if you don’t know it.

Perhaps it took him ten years to tell you a few of his “secret-ish” bits because he was afraid you’d immediately post them on the internet for a bunch of strangers.

My husband is in a career field of the military where I can’t know what he does on a regular basis while he is on mission.

I know what his job title is and the basics of what he does and little else. Sometimes he does open up about certain things about his job but I’ve been largely kept in the dark because I don’t have the clearance to know about it.

If he came home from work and I asked him “how was your day?” He’d joke and say “I’ll let you know in twenty years!”

Your husband may not be able to discuss these issues with anyone but you. Like it or not some of our men or women who are in the military or have been in the military, do get involved in things that are viewed as secretive. They are required to sign contracts related to being silent about what they know, what they have done. This is of course a very difficult and stressful aspect of their lives.

My father was in the military and his resulting civilian job was one that required he not speak of it. We were never allowed to speak of his job as children other than to give a label to it. Even after the military he was expected to be ready for them to call him back at any moment. As a family we respected that secrecy and my mom trusted him in that area of their life.

Only recently have I been confided in by my father about some of his work. Based on this I can only suggest you not pressure your husband about speaking to others on this subject. You really may be the only one he can trust with it. And you need to be able to accept that there will be things he may never tell you. Some jobs or past military acts are simply like that. And no, it does not mean he was a hit man.

No, secret catholic, it is if no importance to me. Probably because I know that God’s got this in His hands and nothing I feel will change what He decides. Besides that, I trust my husband and I know that he would not act in any way immorally. If he did sin, he would not hesitate to go to confession. It is possible to have a military career, even in special ops, and not be a horrible sinner.

That being said, my initial thought upon reading the OP is the husband is pulling her leg. Most men, soldiers included, that say those things are full of malarkey. Few people–even soldiers in special assignments–are truly unable to discuss anything at all about their career. And if he was a soldier but is now out, it’s even less likely that he can truly not discuss anything about his time in service. If he is one of the rare exceptions (because there are some out there!) then he needs to quit teasing her about this. In essence that is what he’s doing, dropping hints and then withdrawing. He knows he gets a rise out of her by doing this and that is why he continues. It’s childish, but lots of men do that kind if stuff. I see soldiers even try to pull this same thing with other soldiers–even soldiers on their unit that deployed with them. Everybody knows how vets sit around bars and the VFW with their stories as well. Top secret or even secret clearance is very hard to get, and most people can not get approval for it. Non disclosure contracts are very rare as well. If the husband is being truthful then he cannot discuss the things he did at work, so he needs to quit hinting at it, and the wife needs to just let it go. But my suspicion is that this is just a bad joke/behavior on the mans part for whatever reasons.

To clarify, are you saying for 10 years you did not know he was in the military? Or for 10 years he has not talked about it? Because one is a red flag and the other is not.

First, I wouldn’t have posted about this online and I think you should consider requesting that the thread be deleted.

Second, you say that YOU need your husband to confess and, to me, it seems like you’re trying to manage his soul/ spiritual life. We’re supposed to help our spouses get to Heaven by supporting them in their walk, not push and drag them to Heaven. I’m a huge believer in saying something one time and not repeating it ad nauseum. In your shoes, I would have suggested that he go to Reconciliation and, better still, find a good spiritual director for a more in depth meeting. I would have talked through his concerns about not feeling able to trust and then I would have dropped it. I wouldn’t hammer or nag on it. If he brought it up again, I’d say, “You know my perspective on that,” and then I’d just listen to what he wanted to share/ not share.

I wouldn’t pump for info or let my imagination run wild. Like I said, I’d listen, without shock or judgement, if he wanted to talk. (Incidentally, one of my uncles NEVER spoke of his service in WWII and then suddenly opened up about it to me. I don’t think I said more than 10 words in that conversation…which is probably why he opened up.)

Perhaps, nothing.

Sorry. But the OP’s husband is either pulling her leg. And being pretty nasty about it.

Or, he is crossing the lines of what he agreed to. :shrug:

If it is secret and he can’t talk about it. Then it is secret and he can’t talk about it. There is no way that it is secret and he can hint about what he did.

Oh, and if he needs to go to Confession? The military has priests that are allowed to hear confessions from people that have clandestine jobs.

To the poster who suggested I take the post off, I didn’t disclose anything 'cause I really don’t know anything.
Like I posted before, I don’t know anything about military life. I appreciate the posts who shared their experiences with a person also in the military. Even insight in PTSD. It does ease my concern to read how others deal with it in their own relationships.

But the OP’s husband is either pulling her leg. And being pretty nasty about it.

On second thought, We have had problems in the past about his lying. He seemed so sincere though. He might be back to his lying ways.:confused:

First off, I would not concern yourself that you were disclosing some great secret in saying that such things exist. It is no secret that people in the military and police forces have these kinds of secrets. Their line of work is both confidential and conducted among humanity at its best and its worst. There is little wonder that they need to debrief and yet find it difficult to find the right ear to speak to.

People who have been in the military or attached to the military or law enforcement are sometimes exposed to some very disturbing incidents. In one case I know of, raids were done in which the combatants on the other side were very young. There was no choice but to shoot back, since they were trying to kill our guys, but it does not make it easier to kill a teenager, a mere boy. (This is true even when the soldier joined the military so recently that he hardly feels more than a boy himself, and has brothers back home no older than the boys taking up arms against him.) This is just one of the disturbing things that can happen in the intense situations of modern warfare, lived with other soldiers from every kind of background in civilian life.

Based on recent reports it may take a longer time than anyone would like, but there is no time better than the present: I would encourage your husband to get onto a waiting list and find a VA counsellor to talk to about these things, since they are so disturbing or so classified that he cannot unburden himself to his wife or even to a civilian counsellor. If he has any thoughts of harming himself or others, he needs to find help without delay.

Take his need to unburden himself seriously, at any rate. He does not have to talk to you, but insist he find somebody. He could be seriously compromising his quality of life by insisting on carrying a burden alone that he is not meant to carry alone. Take his willingness to tell you that these problems exist as an expression of his need to find help in dealing with them. The OP needs to be his wife, not his mother–if she tries to “parent” him, he is going to take his problems elsewhere, perhaps even using deception to keep her off his track–which is to say she needs to help him look at his situation honestly and do what he sees needs to be done, and not try to force him to obey her sense of the situation.

I would by no means leap to the conclusion that the issues bothering him include serious sins on his part, but if he needs to find a priest to talk to, you might suggest that he find a priest in the Archdiocese for the Military, so he’ll have a confessor with a better appreciation of what he is confessing. If I have my facts straight, the VA hospitals are also covered by the Archdiocese for the Military, so their chaplaincy office might be able to help him find such a priest. You could also call your diocesan office and ask if any of the priests of your diocese are ex-military.

that sounds really rough. have you ever read any piece that talks of A JUDICIOUS SILENCE if you do not have anything charitable to say? (a heard intelligence is very different from brilliance)

I’ve known and worked with people that have secretive pasts.

They don’t talk about them. AT ALL.

No hints about what they did, or might have done. No, “I could tell you but I would have to kill you.” Nothing.

Secret is secret. And if it were true, he couldn’t talk about it. AT ALL. Even to his wife.

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