What a great use of "promissory".
Maybe she could play with herself in front of the computer when she IS in the mood and just record it and send the video to him? The live interaction would be gone, but at least it's something.
It sounds like she is using what she would like to get from him to try and please him. I would be willing to bet if he started sending dirty emails to her and then for an entire week after did not ask her to get on cam once she would turn around. She is probably turned on by the innuendo and he wants the visuals, that's a pretty normal situation.

He should try being flirty to her and then DO NOT ASK HER TO GET ON THE CAM afterward, for a while. He should suck it up and be the starter here since she obviously won't.
I feel bad for them. He didn't say when they would be together again. I hope it's not too long. It sounds like he loves her. Which is good. I hope he can wait. Does absence make the heart grow stronger? I really hope so for their sake.
@2: Good idea. I think that'd help a lot. She'd be able to exert more control over how long she takes, what she shows, etc. and she doesn't have to feel like she needs to "save" her horniness for a cam session or make the effort of calling the LW (maybe she feels nervous about possibly getting him at a bad time, etc). Maybe they can work their way up.
@3: What would that 'start', exactly? If they're already flirting and that's something she genuinely enjoys, and then they use a webcam and the wife half-asses her way through it, it would mean that there's already an uneven give-and-take. What would being flirty and then not asking for anything solve? It sounds like your suggestion, assuming your visual-vs.-innuendo interpretation is correct, would simply give the wife what she wants while denying CHUMP even the paltry satisfaction he's getting now.
@6 You are right that it would give the wife everything she wants first. She would then be satisfied (somewhat at least) in her sexual life. If a woman is unhappy with her sexual life she will certainly not be enjoying herself going out of her way and her busy schedule to get on cam for her husband. Add some nagging into the equation and I see why is yawning.

One of them needs to please the other first and since the husband is writing in the advice goes to him. Right now there is a cycle going on where she does not feel sexy or satisfied so when she grudgingly gets on cam for him she feels even worse. He has the ability to get the cycle moving in the opposite direction.
I agree... She's probably just not interested in camming. If I were him I'd quit being a baby, wait for her to come home and find some other way to stimulate myself.
Cory nailed it - this guy needs to grow the fuck up already.
#2 for the win.

Also, I think it would have been awesome if Dan had just written "A public scolding from some fag sex-advice columnist isn't going to improve her performance any more than her husband's pouting has." But he's a better person than me, thank God.

Also, "Cock hard under pressure/CHUMP" most certainly has the largest :) / :( ratio... such an awesome thing followed by such a sad acronyn.
This marriage is done.
I question the decision of being apart for so long. She couldn't find an education here? He couldn't tag along there? I don't get it. Relationships aren't free.

No, I'm sorry, but it's not working.

Doesn't matter why.

It's nobody's fault, but it isn't.
Srsly, scrap some money together and go visit!!
Come to think of it, I saw a DeLorean on the road yesterday.
Srsly, scrap some money together and go visit!!
Come to think of it, I saw a DeLorean on the road yesterday.
Agreed. CHUMP is a huge baby, and his wife clearly has either no interest or no energy for camming. If he continues this behavior, she's going to start resenting him VERY quickly. She probably already does. I'm 99.9% certain that he will never get a camming experience out of her that satisfies him, and every time he asks her to do it, then bitches about how it wasn't good enough, she will start to give less of a shit.

If he needs visuals *that* badly, why not compromise and ask her for stills? She can take them when she's feeling horny/sexy rather than being forced to "perform" at a time when she's tired and/or stressed.

Speaking as someone with a lot of LDR experience, this guy needs to learn a lot about empathy and compromise if he doesn't want to fuck up his marriage.
^ Agreed with Cory@8, that is.
The combination of the Picard facepalm along with your comment is golden!
I sympathize with the wife, because I have been in her position (on cam) many many times. I just can't get into cam, i am constantly struggling to balance bringing myself to a point where i feel turned on (needing to fantasize about something) and taking care of the other person's needs (reading/listening to their requests to see this or that) with no physical reinforcement in between. Not fun.
@12, visas aren't free either. Well, except 6-month tourist visas. But it would probably mean you'd have to quit your job to be with your wife at a time when jobs are thin on the ground.

I also don't get people (e.g. Dan) who seem to feel that it's impossible for one partner to leave the room without the other partner instantly hooking up. It is fairly easy not to have sex for a couple months, guys. You'd think absolutely nothing of such a drought if the person wasn't in a relationship.
@16 brings up a good point. She's giving off strong signals that she's resenting him.

he either moves or he moves on. There are no other options.
Could part of the problem be time differences? I've worked and studied abroad in Asia before, and the one of the real problems in maintaining relationships was the time difference. If his 9 PM is her 6 AM, it wouldn't be too surprising that she's yawning a lot. This may or may not be solvable, but trying to figure out if there's any time that's actually good for both of them might be a useful first step.
Unless her training/schooling abroad is of extremely valuable use to her future career, I'd say that it's time to look in the mirror and tell yourself, "We had a good run." Because (IMO) if she really loved you, it would have taken an almost (if not fully) irreplaceable opportunity to study abroad to convince her to leave your side. Hell, even if she was on the other side of the world, I'd think that she'd be able to enjoy a leisurely weekend jack-off/jill-off session for her husband's benefit. Instead, she's somehow managed to put a lot of distance between her and you, and for a long enough amount of time that you're all but begging her to masturbate for over an Internet connection. That doesn't scream "eternal devotion" to me.

If this separation is entirely driven by her needs *and* (note the *and*) she's living in a place that she's "always wanted to visit", listen to this ("…") until it begins to sink in, then start divvying up your stuff and calling around for a couch to surf upon, because she's moved on. She may be willing and ready to move back towards you when she comes home, but the two of you aren't "soul-mates" or "life partners" or anything of the sort (in her mind.) You're her "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad", you're a steady partner to fall back upon, you're her "safety school"; bottom line, you aren't a priority to her, and that lack of prioritization will eventually cause the break up. It's better to pull apart now (before children, mutual acquaintances and expensive property become involved if they aren't already considerations at this point), than to stay in the relationship and accumulate enough baggage to make the split seem unbearable.

Bottom line, if she's studying one of the few non-modernized (AKA, "lost") societies on the planet, put up with it. If she's living in Brussels and training under a master chef because she's a cook and you're always dragging her to some patisserie or gourmet restaurant, put up with it. If she's trying to cure AIDS and she's living in some hut in the middle of Zambia to do research, definitely put up with it and invest in hand lotion. If she's "always wanted to visit Vladivostok/Osaka/Cairo/Buenos Aires/Tampa/insert the name of her fantasy city here", pack your bags. Altruism and intellectual curiosity (even of the extreme sort) is an admirable trait, and it's worth the temporary separation and the anxieties that separation brings. Fantasy fulfillment (even if it's for a "good cause") at the expense of someone who you're chosen to spend the rest of your life with reeks of selfishness. As someone who's wanted to live outside of America since he was a little boy, I can admit that I almost turned down the opportunity to live in Europe for love (she didn't want to live there, not even for a minute.) The only thing that allowed me to take those orders was *her* breaking up with *me* because she didn't want "us" to get in the way of "my" dreams. Yes, she'd moved on before I returned to the States.

Your wife hasn't given you that option. It's up to you to decide if her "sacrifice" is worth your devotion.

P.S.-If her current environs are/were part of her fantasies when she was growing up, she's either been seduced or is well on her way to being seduced by some local with a charming accent and a cock that doesn't appear to be slightly pixellated whenever it isn't in her direct line of sight. If her trip is all business, temptation would be easy to avoid, but if her nights are anything like mine (Seriously speaking, all it took for me to begin to get over being separated from my former paramour was spending a year locked in my bedroom talking to her, being dragged to Berlin by a bunch of R&R enjoying pervs looking for new conquests and literally walking face-first into a Christina Applegate-esque platinum blonde from some 15 letter-name city in Northern Sweden that I couldn't even pronounce as I gawked at the stores along Kurfürstendamm. And I don't even *like* blondes! ) If she's someplace that she's always wanted to visit, and there's enough spare time for one of the natives to screw enough courage to offer her a screw, it's very likely that she's thinking of a plausible excuse for you even as I type, and she'll *still* refuse to cam with you.
@2 seems to be the best advice so far. I'm assuming this is just for a semester or so? If so, the DTMFA people are over-reacting. If this is only a few months into several years apart, then they might have a point.
I was in this position two years ago and you're all just douches. She's probably not sleeping around (unless she's in Europe or Latin america - then, well yes she totally is). a year or half a year isn't that long and frankly a bit of camming on her part is likely at a very weird time at night or day. She might resent his whinning but I think she just rolls her eyes about it, and not get especially worked up. Distances bred a bit of poor communication and it'll get a lot better once shes back. I agree with the stop whinning and initiate message.

Divorce over this is just ridiculous and out of the blue.
What happened to being GGG? I agree that there's a bigger issue at hand if they're not into the same things, but this doesn't seem like a huge request. Maybe the whining's not helping, if that's in fact what he's doing, but sounds like a little enthusiasm--fake or not--on her part, would go a long way. Also sounds like she's at least planting the seed for a fun time with the texts and emails. Why all the issues with the guy?

Also, Dan's gay? Who knew???
@26 easy there, not everyone is prescribing divorce. I'm in a similar position now - and have been for 3 years. (Though admittedly I get to see my husband at least once a month) Mature and dedicated couples should be able to maintain their relationship for a finite separation. CHUMP is not handling the situation well. His response has been to try to guilt his wife into a sexual situation she's clearly not comfortable with. That's a shitty thing to do, and he's too fucking clueless and selfish to realize it.

Presumably, this study abroad was discussed and agreed upon between them beforehand. If she took off without discussing it with him, then sure - SHE is selfish, and the marriage is (or should be) toast. But if he agreed, he has to live with it. Either he should:

(a) stop being such a fucking baby and deal with the fact that a few months or even a year of celibacy isn't going to kill him (and recognize that there are more than one ways to maintain sexual intimacy),

(b) get over his meh factor and have the sex she has told him he can have, or

(c) wake up to the fact that he isn't emotionally capable of maintaining a LDR. In that case, he's better off discussing this issue with his wife rather than badgering her for a sex act she doesn't want to perform.
@24 Really excellent points! I can't imagine anything that would have made me move across the ocean (alone) at any point in my marriage. Seems like one person usually makes a sacrifice to be able to go along with the other person. Also kind of bizarre that they discussed non-monogamy before they left. If they hadn't previously been in an open relationship (and from his "meh" description of his feelings about an affair, it sounds like it was mostly coming from her) it sounds weird that they're openly discussing it being "okay" if something happens. I think you're right, @24, sounds like this trip may be a trial separation for her.
@27 I admit I may be projecting. The thing is, I'm plenty GGG. There's pretty much no legal, non-scat sex act I wouldn't be willing to indulge my husband in in person, but while I would probably be willing to do camming, I would HATE it. And if I sent out signals that I didn't enjoy it and tried to open up alternate outlets through text/e-mail flirting or phone sex or whatever, but he still insisted on doing this thing I couldn't stand, my conclusion would be that he cared only about himself rather than mutual pleasure.

I could be totally off base, but that's how I read the situation. And that's why I think that CHUMP is a complete tool.
@30 I don't necessarily disagree with you. But it seems, if this is a relatively mature couple (which I'm granting them based on the open relationship discussion), that his request isn't that outrageous. Had his wife tried it three or four times with the same result, I'd say she gave the effort and they need to agree on something that's more enjoyable for both of them.

Personally, I probably wouldn't insist that my wife do something she's not at least moderately accepting of--and it seems highly likely that there's more going on here than the non-camming. But I'm not sure he deserves the "suck it up" responses. Change the situation to them living together and the same request on his part, and a one-and-done attempt would definitely seem weird. For a couple that expects happiness/contentment/whatever. (Continue Disclaimers.)
I tried doing this for my boyfriend and he turned me down.

It really sucked.
"... have my wife masturbate for me while I watch ..."
Maybe if HE masturbated for HER she would be more comfortable and easily turned-on.
I've been in a long distance relationship for about two years. At first, I was pretty uninterested in performing in front of the camera, but after watching a few enthusiastic solo performances on the part part of the bf I warmed up to the idea ;-) I also thought it was pretty hot that he put himself out there and let me just watch him even though he wasn't sure whether I would be interested or not.
Now we mostly masturbate together over video chat. It is much easier to get into it when you can see his hard dick and when you realize he's performing for you as well. The whole thing is not so voyeuristic that way.
@29. 24. I take it you've never had the opportunity to study abroad/pursue education/work somewhere far from home. Part of what makes a relationship thrive is each partner's ability to pursue their own interests, *gasp* every now and again living in a different locale from the partner for half a year or a year or whatever. If she had turned down a stellar opportunity, I would wager their relationship would be in a lot more trouble than you all are thinking it is right now (she'd be miserable for not getting to pursue this interest, he'd feel bad for making her stay, etc etc). Being apart is tough, yeah. I've been the one apart when a partner left to start grad school, and I dealt with it, and ultimately we were reunited. People don't have to be by one another's side every day for a relationship to be healthy - in fact, I'd say quite the opposite.
What about good old fashioned phone sex, without the camera? Personally, I would feel much too exposed with the lights on and a camera recording me (for future use, blackmail, embarrassment once the mood passes?) to really get into it at all. On the phone with just voices, it's easier to let go. Her yawns and obvious disinterest might be her way of defending herself against looking too porny. It makes no sense that she'd feel this way, but emotions are often senseless. Try talking your way through it over the phone instead of insisting she sit spread-eagled in front of a camera.
Thank you, Schmooze for saying what I wanted to.
Does this asshole realize how many couples have to be separated for whatever reason and have no ability to communicate at all?
He doesn't say how long this separation is going to last, but it can't be for more than a year or two.
He doesn't want to masturbate to porn--poor baby.
His wife has given him permission to go outside the marriage for sex, and he finds that "meh"--what the hell does that mean? He can't be bothered? His is uninterested? He doesn't like what he finds? Does "meh" indicate disgust or just unenthusiasm?

His wife doesn't want to perform in front of a camera--many women wouldn't. I'd feel self-conscious, and hyper-aware of all the technology, and sitting in front of the computer isn't remotely sexy to me. But she's offering phone sex, and flirtatious emails, and trying to maintain the emotional intimacy. And some day, she'll return.

He needs to grow the fuck up, selfish asshole.
I was in this exact situation too and I know I was doing the exact same thing as the wife in this situation was. My boyfriend would want me to masturbate on the cam, and I would sometimes, but I just wasnt that horny most of the time. For me, I am horny when the possibility of sex is right there. If is not, I honestly dont think about it. I tried to be as willing as often as possible, but I know he was unhappy about my lack of participation sometimes. As with any relationship, there needs to be compromise, so my advice to the couple is for him to tell her he needs at least a little more action from her side (set a number, like once a week or whatever works for them). But anyways, I just wanted to defend the not so interested lady who most likely is just not that interested in camsex, and it probably doesnt mean much more.
Studying abroad is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's not fun being away from someone you love for that long, but it's usually worth it. I would hope that Wife is cramming as many valuable experiences into her (probably) short time abroad, and THAT (combined with the time difference) is the reason why she is so tired. Sometimes you can't let your relationship, as important as it is, get in the way of living life. It sounds like she needs some sleep and to be let off the hook for providing for her husband's sexual needs for a little bit.

This guy is just demanding a show. No wonder she's bored. On the occasions I've masturbated on a webcam for guys, they want to see PORN. They want well-lit genitals positioned near the camera, with nothing blocking the view. And they want an enthusiastic face in there too. Those angles take some time to figure out in front of your computer. You know what I (and a lot of other women) want when masturbating? To plant something that vibrates in front of my clit, or rub against something. I don't know of a way for me to get off that looks good on camera. Sorry, but I need more than a finger or two on my clit. Guys want to see the in-and-out, not the clit rubbing that actually produces results for most women. And you can bet that I don't naturally masturbate in a position that looks nice and flattering on a camera. Sitting on a chair is not exactly a classic female masturbation position. If you have to masturbate in a manner that looks nice on film instead of how you like to get off, and you have to talk or type to someone while you do it, you're not really going to be able to get off as well. Unless she's an exhibitionist (sounds like she's not), it's going to be a chore, not a fun sexy adventure that you have with a partner. Maybe he should have filmed his own personal porn of his wife before she left on the trip instead of demanding regular live shows. He should consider himself lucky to have a partner who does interesting things with her life and is willing to allow him some extra-marital attention and go find someone who has the time to fulfill his needs until she gets back. I hear there are ladies on the internet who specialize in masturbating on webcams in a way that looks good to guys.
I wonder if some of you folks would dump a military spouse who was deployed. Sometimes married people pursue separate opportunities, without cheating, and without splitting up. Going overseas to study doesn't mean she's disinterested in the marriage. Not going with her doesn't mean he wants to split up. Marriage doesn't automatically make you a conjoined twin.

As to the whole camsex thing - sounds to me like she's trying, but it doesn't get her off. OK, so she's being pretty GGG about his wishes; what does SHE need from HIM in order to get her off? Is he willing to try that? Maybe she's more verbal than visual, and he needs to send her a really explicit, really filthy email detailing exactly what he'd like her to do with the cam. Then, if real-time doesn't work for her, I agree with the suggestion to record it for him instead. Just double-check the address before you send it. ;-)
I like sex. But I like real person to person sex. If my husband's not here...ok. So what? Before I met my husband and we started having sex (seeing as how he is the only person I've ever had sex with) I had never masturbated. I didn't have the urge. Now it's more of a hmm de dum dum, I'm bored. Let's masturbate! kind of a thing. So to me it seems most likely that this woman is just busy. Doing fun things. Not thinking about sex...
It sounds like to me that this CHUMP is jealous. His wife is off doing something fun and exciting, furthering her education, job opportunities, whatever and he's at home. Alone. So he's focusing on the sex thing to complain about because that is the thing that many men tend to focus on: sexual gratification. This could just be a cover for deeper emotions.
ALSO, he sounds like the laziest motherfucker ever. Dude, you're complaining because your wife won't masturbate for you...but she gave you permission to fuck other people... What?

Stop whining and just beat off for a couple of more months if that's all you want to do. For pity's sake.

Nor does your marriage have to.
Mostly I agree with Dan's advice, except one thing:

Don't bother asking her about the fidelity thing, and don't bother renegotiating your agreement. That way madness lies. IF (emphasis on IF) she is willing to fuck one of the locals and not tell you about it, in violation of your agreement to communicate (even if her motivation is to spare your feelings despite having permission), then she is probably willing to continue fucking that person and still not tell you about it after you demand that free passes are revoked. Pragmatically speaking, short of her coming home pregnant or with an STD, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW FOR SURE whether she has been faithful to you or not while abroad. Either trust her or don't, but trying to revoke an existing agreement for a free pass while she is still halfway around the world will only lead to paranoia.

That said, I sympathize with what appears to be a fear on your part that she is losing interest in you. That she admits that she gets horny, but does not think of you when she does, must sting. So she is exercising her sexuality, but doesn't see fit to involve you. (Hopefully she isn't involving anyone else, but considering you both have permission, what are you going to do? Again, it does not do to dwell on such matters.)

Before you go there, however, listen to Dan. Take a hard look at the clock and do a little arithmetic. What time is it, localtime for her, when you are asking her to perform? What time is it, localtime YOUR time, when she is likely to get horny? Are you available for her? (Well, whaddya know, 2am. Oops. I'd be yawning too.)

Speaking of performance, that may also be the problem: that camsex may feel to you like a way for the pair of you to connect, but maybe to her it just feels like putting on a show for you. Personally, I find the idea of phone sex or camsex contrived, and I am quite certain that I would feel awkward and self-conscious while doing it. I can easily believe your wife might view it with equal distaste, despite her trying to do it to please you.

If you are going to talk to her about anything, talk about that: since camsex obviously doesn't turn her crank, what activity would feel TO HER like sexual connection with you? And when would be the best time for your contact sessions, to minimize the amount of yawns?
She's probably just not that into camming. Most of us women are somewhat self-conscious about our bodies. I made some naughty pics for fun and was completely ok with it. With pics you can control the angle and highlight your best features. Unless your wife is a Victoria's Secret model, she might be a bit uncomfortable baring all on cam (which btw, skype can be recorded. I'm sure that doesn't add to her comfort level, knowing that it could be made into a video and streamed, downloaded, IM'd or added to any number of websites). It sounds like she's making an effort. Try phone sex and naughty pics first, before trying to get a web cam show. Or maybe just be happy with the phone sex and naught pics if she's not comfortable in front of a web cam.
#2 is absolutely right. I speak from personal experience: masturbating in front of a webcam is difficult for women - emotionally and logistically. I had to prop my legs up on the desk for him to get a good view, which sat me way back on my tailbone - uncomfortable! - and the pressure of "performing" in such an awkward position made it really hard to get any physical enjoyment out of it. (I admit I was self-conscious about my belly-roll, too.) I only got a little bit turned on because I was watching him at the same time.

Video, that is not-real time, is the way to go.
"Is it likely that when a person gets horny, they don't think of ways to satisfy the drive? "

No. That isn't likely. However, it is not at all unreasonable that when she gets horny, she doesn't think of ways that involve you, because being on opposite sides of the planet makes it too difficult. If phone sex and cam sex are all you got, and phone sex and cam sex leave you cold, and you happened to get horny at 10 PM localtime, which is right in the middle of Hubby's workday back is simpler to just masturbate when the mood strikes.

Still, something troubles me about your agreement with respect to non-monogamy. My opinion is, don't make an agreement to allow non-monogamy unless you assume your partner fully intends to act on it and you are 100% okay with that. Anything less, you are whistling past the graveyard, and you are setting yourself up for a nasty shock when it inevitably happens. (Yes, inevitably. Otherwise why give permission?) The way you two went about it was not good.

My sense is that you strongly prefer monogamy, that you gave permission grudgingly, and you fear that she is not being faithful -- and not telling you about it, thereby stripping you of even the one illusory bit of control that your agreement to communicate seemed to provide. Her lackluster performances in front of the camera and the things she says about not thinking to call you when horniness strikes probably reinforce that fear. At least, that is how I interpret the question "Am I a chump?"

I think you should have told her that while you were aware of the factors that would enable incidents of infidelity, and that you wanted your marriage to survive if it occurred, that you fully expected the goal to be fidelity, and you expected her to be fully aware that you would find infidelity to be very painful and potentially damaging to the marriage. That may sound like the same thing as "while neither of us wanted to open up the relationship, we would understand if "something happened," but the latter seems to express "well, okay, go ahead, if it happens it happens," while the former expresses "know that if you do, you will have chosen something that you know will hurt me." Don't agree to try to be completely cool with something that you know truthfully will tear you up inside.

I suppose you can go ahead and express that to her now, if you want. If that counts as renegotiating, go ahead and renegotiate. Just be clear that as contracts go, this one is entirely unenforceable. You can't make her be faithful, and you can't make her tell you when (if) she isn't. You will never know for sure if she held up her end of the deal. Just let her know where your heart is on this, and then trust that she cares enough about not breaking it to respect your wishes.

Again, all of the above may be to forestall something that isn't even happening. Go ahead and have that discussion, if you want, just to clear the air. But your real task is to find a workable long-distance sexual activity that feels good for both of you. First item on the agenda: drop the demand for cam sex. It obviously does nothing for her. Let her know that's off the table, free and clear. Next, ask her to come up with something that she would like to try. If she is uninterested in coming up with anything, or continues with the cancellations and blah participation, you can start worrying again. But if she comes up with something good...problem solved.
When I used to cam, I was often unhappy at the unflattering angle of the cam to record masturbation. Not my best side, as it were. And yes, camming is uncomfortable and a little icky if you are also trying to type with those same fingers. He should ask her what would improve the experience for her, for once.

I'm not commenting on the separation itself, I was commenting on the distance and the amount of time for the separation. It's not like he stayed behind in New York and her grad school was in Boston or he stayed behind in Houston and she's studying in New Orleans. Hell, it isn't even as if they're a pair of "Gay Parisiennes" and she decided to study in Cologne. She flew across multiple time zones and crossed the ocean for something that for all intents and purposes appears to be a whim. +If you judge the letter-writer at face-value+, you'd have to be impressed (or for the average Savage Love reader, shocked) that his commentary revolved around *how* to get her to use a webcam for sex and not about *how or who* would be the best targets of meeting areas for a married man to liaise with women who'd have no problems fucking him. Hell, it seems like half of the people who write letters to Dan are either somewhere in the process of cheating on their SOs or trying to figure out how to break the news to their SOs. Compared to them, he looks like a saint. A stupid saint (seeing as how he hasn't figured out a way to make her hot enough to forget about the time differences or the physical discomforts that webcam sex entails), but a saint nonetheless. And he's doing all of this to preserve a relationship with a woman who's happy enough with him to wear his ring, but happy enough without him to wander the world. Like I said, +Unless her studies are of irreplicable benefit to her or their lives, *she* should "woman up" and do her part to keep her man drained.+ I would and have said the same thing to men who were in that situation, which leads me to part 2.

Although military service in and of itself isn't compulsory, servicemembers have no choice but to go where their command chooses to send them. Engendering enmity at your deployed spouse due to this is petty and far from comparable to the current situation. For most servicemembers, their "job" isn't just a way to put food on the table. For even the most jaded members, it's a way to maintain a roof over the heads of their family, to keep food in their stomachs, to make sure that they have access to a doctor without having to figure out which bill won't get paid in the process, to have a life that is slowly drifting into the distance for many Americans. {Deciding that it isn't "fair" for your spouse to be in the middle of the desert, "enjoying" himself or herself in the baking heat and billions of biting insects and nosy/annoying neighbors who you'd be able to ignore back at the base but are forced to deal with because there's nowhere else to go and the casualties that can never come one at a time no they always show up in packs of 6 like beer and the shelling let's not forget the fucking mortars, while you sit at home safe and secure, is bullshit.} For the rest of us, it's a way to repay our country for it's gifts, to try to protect our loved ones/try to protect people who can't protect themselves, to give aid where it's needed, to be able to surpass our limitations... When you enlist (or receive a commission), you're sacrificing a part of yourself to become part of something greater. OTOH, her trip (given the amount of information offered in the letter) is all about *her*. And a marriage that's based entirely on one person making (or being expected to make) all of the sacrifices for the benefit of the other isn't a marriage that's going to last long in our modern, no-fault divorce possessing society.

It's why I said, "If she's doing it for you, or if she's doing it for the both of you, or if she's doing it for the benefit of others/all, suck it up and step your game up. If she's doing it because it's something 'she's always wanted to do', she's already put her writing on the wall."

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