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Thread: Military Wives...

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    #1

    Military Wives...

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    Okay, please don't be judgmental with this post. I don't want any rude remarks.

    My bf was supposed to come home in four years, after active duty. That was our plan. (we are long distance and were going to remain long distance until his homecoming)
    But he just told me that he doesn't know if he wants to come home in four years. He might do 8 years active.. he might make it a life-long career.

    And this sucks a lot for me, because personally, I did not want this life at all.
    I don't want to move every 2-3 years to a new place, especially if I have no control over where it is.
    I dont want my future kids to have to change schools every few years.
    I ESPECIALLY don't want my kids to basically be strangers to my parents.
    And I also did not want to see my parents only once or twice a year for holidays.. (I am very very close with my family)
    I honestly just didn't want to live in the active duty military wife lifestyle. He always knew this.

    I've always wanted to just be settled down by the time I'm 30. To just have my own house, with my own family, my own career, my own neighborhood and friends. Just to be completely 100% settled. That sounds so perfect to me....

    BUT- now that he's having second thoughts... I'm trying really hard to wrap my head around it.
    I want my bf to be in my life forever. So maybe I can alter my life plans for him. But I honestly don't know if I can.

    So I thought maybe I could get some opinions on people who are in this situation.
    Military wives... did you ever NOT want to have this lifestyle?
    How was it transitioning?
    How do you cope with no longer seeing your family members? How often do you see them?
    Do you think it's something I should consider trying?
    I would be sacrificing a lot of my own personal beliefs but I feel like I should at least try...

    It's so hard not having a light at the end of the tunnel. We are long distance, so having a plan that he was coming home in 4 years made it easy.
    Now we don't have a plan..... so its so hard, I can't stop crying for days. 8 years.. a lifetime? who knows.

    I hate uncertainty.
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    #2
    I too, hate uncertainty, so I 100% feel you on that front. I will say that as life has gone on, I've gotten much more comfortable with coping with uncertainty (even if I still don't like it), so I felt that warranted mentioning.

    I'm not a military spouse yet, but I will say that military career plans, like any other kind of career plans, can and do change. DB initially got in planning to fulfill his minimum contract, then get out...almost 14 years later, he's planning to stay in for the full 20. My cousin, on the other hand, had planned to be a career marine since we were kids basically, and instead chose to get out after 4 years.

    There is no way to predict what your BF's feelings will be when it comes time for him to actually make the decision about getting out in 4 or staying in; his experiences during the next 4 years will likely have a lot to do with how he makes that decision. I would really try not to let yourself get into too much of a tailspin about it at this moment in time. As long as your relationship with your BF is positive and fulfilling, that's the measuring stick I would use at this point for deciding whether to stay with him, not how fulfilling it might or might not be under different circumstances in the distant future.

    The military lifestyle does have drawbacks, as you've stated. I too am very close to my family and the prospect of potentially living far away from them at points is not a particularly happy one, but on the other hand, I look at DB and his relationship with his his family and best friend- he hasn't even lived on the same coast as any of them for just about 8 years now (and has been deployed twice in that time frame as well), and yet they're in constant contact; he vacations with his best friend at least once a year, his mom is super close with his kids (visits multiple times a year, talks to them on the phone several times a week), and he talks to his brother daily. DB's kids have had to adjust to new schools etc, but they have friends in three different states that they keep in touch with and visit when possible. They're so open-minded and adaptable, and those traits serve them so well in a lot of different ways. Their childhoods are a lot different than mine was. But different doesn't mean worse or better, it can honestly be a lateral move if you give yourself the time to wrap your mind around it.

    Just some food for thought. I hope you're able to get a little (even temporary) peace on the matter
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    #3
    I never intended to marry a soldier. My family has...issues on the topic, which I won’t go into here but they’re very deep and very real. They LOVE my husband now, but that’s taken time.

    My kids are not strangers to their grandparents, or to my siblings. We skype regularly. My oldest son writes long letters to his grandfather, who he loves. My parents send parcels and presents at least once a month.

    Seeing them in person is rarer, and unless it’s the holidays it’s rare for all seven of us to be in one place, but we try. One or another of my siblings will come to see us fairly often. My parents were here for a long time earlier this year, as I had new twins and they felt I needed the help!
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    #4
    As stated earlier, minds change constantly. Mine did. My husbands did. I went into the military intending to go career and now I’m dead set against it. It wasn’t what I imagined and it isn’t a lifestyle I want for myself. My husband is the most “hooya” person I know and everyone, including himself, expected him to be career. He just submitted his re-enlistment package and informed me that he might be done after that. People, circumstances, and dreams all change regularly. Your DB is still new and very well could be in a phase, or he could actually follow through with it. However, if this isn’t the life you want that’s okay. You don’t have to be comfortable with it and you don’t have to feel bad. You both had a plan and now that plan might change and it’s okay to not want it. But you have to discuss it with him. Don’t force yourself to try to be happy in a life you don’t want.

    Now as a military wife I will say that I’m okay with this lifestyle. I enjoy moving new places and seeing new things. I love change and I love how much my husband loves his job. There are aspects I hate, like being away from our family and deployments, but such is life. Right now we’re young and adventurous and are enjoying the military life, but that could change when we have kids. Taking it day by day and not trying to plan every detail years in advance is also helpful in not feeling overwhelmed.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RebeccaAshley View Post
    Okay, please don't be judgmental with this post. I don't want any rude remarks.

    My bf was supposed to come home in four years, after active duty. That was our plan. (we are long distance and were going to remain long distance until his homecoming)
    But he just told me that he doesn't know if he wants to come home in four years. He might do 8 years active.. he might make it a life-long career.

    And this sucks a lot for me, because personally, I did not want this life at all.
    I don't want to move every 2-3 years to a new place, especially if I have no control over where it is.
    I dont want my future kids to have to change schools every few years.
    I ESPECIALLY don't want my kids to basically be strangers to my parents.
    And I also did not want to see my parents only once or twice a year for holidays.. (I am very very close with my family)
    I honestly just didn't want to live in the active duty military wife lifestyle. He always knew this.

    I've always wanted to just be settled down by the time I'm 30. To just have my own house, with my own family, my own career, my own neighborhood and friends. Just to be completely 100% settled. That sounds so perfect to me....

    BUT- now that he's having second thoughts... I'm trying really hard to wrap my head around it.
    I want my bf to be in my life forever. So maybe I can alter my life plans for him. But I honestly don't know if I can.

    So I thought maybe I could get some opinions on people who are in this situation.
    Military wives... did you ever NOT want to have this lifestyle?
    How was it transitioning?
    How do you cope with no longer seeing your family members? How often do you see them?
    Do you think it's something I should consider trying?
    I would be sacrificing a lot of my own personal beliefs but I feel like I should at least try...

    It's so hard not having a light at the end of the tunnel. We are long distance, so having a plan that he was coming home in 4 years made it easy.
    Now we don't have a plan..... so its so hard, I can't stop crying for days. 8 years.. a lifetime? who knows.

    I hate uncertainty.
    No. No you shouldn't necessarily "at least try". If this is not a life you want and it feels like giving up too much, that's fine. Hopefully you know yourself well enough to know what you need, and maybe it's not this, and that's okay. In a relationship, it's not enough for the person to be right. The situation has to be right as well. Maybe it isn't for you, in which case please have the strength to know that and walk away.

    Did I ever not want this lifestyle? Plenty of days I still don't. My career is dead thanks to three consecutive overseas tours. I don't have kids and never wanted them. My career was my thing, and it's gone. I mourn that deeply.

    I Skype with my parents once a week or so. I see them anywhere between every 4 months to every 18 months, but it's usually been about every 8-15 months. It's tough being overseas. That's hard, especially as my parents are in their 70s and sometimes I feel the ticking of the clock and I think of this time that I will never get back with them.

    He's asking you to alter your life plans for him, but it seems he's not willing to even consider doing the same. That's seems pretty one-sided to me. Do you get a say in whether he reenlists? Or does he plan to just make the decision on his own and then dictate terms and hope you decide you can live with him. On one hand, I don't blame him if that's the case, because you aren't his wife yet and he needs to make the decisions that are best for him. OTOH, it shows where you places you on his list of priorities and I think that's very telling.

    What about compromise? Reserves, perhaps?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #6
    Lets see...I am about to turn 33...I own 2 homes (currently selling 1) I have 2 very young kids who adore their father. Also adore their grandparents. We military spouses these days are what i call weak compared to the military spouses of the 40's. We have amazing technology that helps keeps family close. Heck I just spoke with my mom about 3 times yesterday even over silly little things. We even face timed 2 times because of the kids. Just because we move around doesn't mean I don't feel settled. The military community if you let it can be a great thing. We bond together if you are willing. Heck just this week a friend picked up her phone and called me and asked if I came out of hiding yet (deployment right around the corner) It was so nice of her to do that for me. I have spent holidays away from my blood but I have spend those holidays with my other family.

    We have our good days, we have our bad days....and some days I would like to kill my husband but in the long run I am happy with this choice.
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    #7
    Step back, breathe. Hasn't he been in the military for only a month? Everything is new to him. Wait a bit, like until he has been at his first duty station for awhile before making any decisions. Go see him at his duty station and meet families who have been in the military for awhile. You may not change your mind, and that is okay, but you will have more information on the "military lifestyle".
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    #8
    Oh dear.
    I was you.
    My husband said he might re enlist when we were dating, I begged him to get out.
    And he did.
    And he tried, but kind of flopped like a fish out of water.
    He is not someone who does well outside of the military, maybe he needs the structure. Getting back in is a whole lot harder than staying in.
    He is reserves now and trying to go active, it is difficult enough that he may end up going air force (he is navy).

    I do understand your concerns, they were once mine too. I do caution you, as I wish I had known, life gets in the way of plans. Life will maybe change things and well, I had intended on being done changing diapers by 30, to have a forever home. I had intended on moving up the chain of command in the fire service. To be DONE moving. Here I sit in our rental home holding a three month (as of tomorrow!) old baby.
    Life can throw you for a loop, military or not.

    I do know ONE thing for certain, my family LOVES the ever living snot out of my kids and "strangers" is a word that will just never apply to that relationship.
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    #9
    I'm not a military wife...my DB is currently deployed for a year, he's been in the Navy since he was 18 he was active when he was younger and then switched to reserves and has been reserves the entire time we were dating. I honestly never planned to be dating someone who was deployed, had that been his opener 3 years ago like "I plan to deploy for a year" I don't know if I would have jumped in and been as open but I am glad I am where I am and we are where we are, we have a fantastic relationship and he also has a great relationship with my kids (who do not see their bio dad/my ex-husband). This deployment sucks and is hard on me and my kids but I wouldn't not be in love with him and not have our life together over it. What we have is so much more than that, and this is an important thing for my DB and his Navy career which he been such a huge part of his adult life, I fully support him and am proud of him for taking this opportunity.
    My family is all back in Canada while my kids and I now live in Texas. Life is just crazy sometimes and unpredictable and the best laid plans don't often work out the way you would think they would. Do I see them as often (in person) as I would like? Heck no! I have a career and am not able to take much time off work, and they still work as well so travelling to Canada, well lets see I just did that this summer but before that it had been 7 years! My parents do usually come visit once a year. Are they strangers to my kids? Not at all, thanks to Skype/FaceTime they see them all the time. Is it the same as being next door or down the block, of course not, but we make it work. It's more work for me as I don't have family support nearby and currently don't have my DB either...so I do a heck of a lot on my own, but that was true before I ever met my DB. My ex-husband wasn't military but is why I am so far away from my family - once we divorced he legally stopped me from leaving with the kids to go back home and yet refused to see or help with the kids, go figure!
    I know this isn't super relevant but the point is, you never ever know what lies ahead in life, there's always curve balls and unplanned and craziness (at least in my life there has been). So would I give up on someone I am madly in love with because it doesn't match my initial game plan? No. Never. Would I agree to a sacrifice my personal beliefs for someone else. No. The way you worded that, "sacrifice my personal beliefs" that is a huge red flag to me. That statement to me says you'll resent him if you make that choice because you feel like you're giving up what you want FOR HIM. My advice is to seriously think long and hard, make a pros and cons list if you have to, have discussions with him, but if you CHOOSE to stick this out and be with him it's YOUR CHOICE you have to do it for YOU because that's what you decided you want for your life. You cannot hold something like that over your significant other, that you gave things up for him. We all make choices, we all compromise, but when you do you have to accept your choice and not hold on to what could have been had you made a different choice or you'll end up bitter and arguing a lot. At least that's what I have seen in my lifetime
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    #10
    DH was initially going to just do four years and then get out. I remember when I first found out he was planning on re-enlisting. I got an email from him while he was deployed, this was during our first deployment when I was really struggling.

    I cried, begged him to wait to make the decision. Then I sat back and really thought about it. This is his life, his career, his future.Of course we are married, so I was a part of the process, but you can't take something this big away from somebody. It is still so early and your BF has a lot to experience before he can really make that choice, but some men are just meant for the military. If DH had gotten out, I know we would be struggling big time. It is not easy to find a civilian job that will support a family, military gives men a stable income without the fear of being on the chopping block when company cuts come around.

    However, the biggest difference between my experience and yours was that I knew I could handle this lifestyle, did I WANT it? No, I don't think I could say that, I hate when DH deploys, but I knew I could handle it and it didn't bother me that much. It's tough because I don't want you to tell yourself: "I'll give this a try, I will see if I can handle it.." and then all of a sudden you look in the mirror at 30 years hold and realize you can't handle it. (Sounds dramatic, but time moves so fast!)

    Give yourself time to breathe and reflect, you'd be surprised how much clarity time can give you. Also, your BF still has a ways to go before the topic of re-enlistment comes up, so just give it a little time! Also, not every military family is moving every 2-3 years and constantly on the go. DH and I have been here for 5 years and it doesn't look like we are getting moved anytime soon! It's expensive to move people around, it's easier to just place people where needed as they graduate (if they can). Of course this depends on the job and so many factors, but your BF may get a feel for how often people in his job are getting moved around.

    All in all, just give yourself some time.
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