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Thread: Uncertainty is bringing me down

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    #1

    Uncertainty is bringing me down

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    I thought I was doing okay, but after 2 days of not wanting to do much but lie in bed... maybe I'm underestimating my true feelings!

    I am in an LDR with my SO, but we're hoping to change that soon. It's never been possible to be in the same place with his deployment schedule and my career, but we recently mapped everything out and talked about me joining at his next duty station. He left for an assignment as planned, but has been gone a little longer and I have not heard from him in 3 weeks (though I did during the first portion - thank g-d for those messages as I am reading them constantly!)

    I was so proud of myself for booking a trip home to see my parents, but I ultimately cancelled it because I wanted to be able to line up my dates with his time at home. I am also waiting on bated breath to hear his next assignment, when his longer deployment will be, and whether his leave is approved. So many things in my life feel up in the air because it will all change - job, apartment, vacation plans, etc. I feel like I can't move forward and I'm just in this constant holding pattern.

    I decided when we started our relationship that I need to be okay with being flexible and working around an ever-changing schedule if I want to prioritize time together. The alternative is to make my own plans and risk schedule conflicts. Intellectually, I get it and I know what steps I can and can't make right now. Emotionally is another story.

    I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Perhaps even low-level depressed. Every time I plan something for myself, I worry that it is going to conflict with his homecoming or leave and I'll regret it. I have two exciting work trips coming up but they might fall during the only time he is home and I'll kick myself if I am stuck overseas when he is back. If I don't go on them, the situation could change and I'll be left waiting like so many other times.

    How do you handle the constant not knowing? Do you just make plans and then change them, or do you keep the calendar open? And how do you keep your emotions in check during those times?

    I think it's worse for me because, though we've been involved for a while, this the first time we've decided to 'take the plunge' so there are some insecurities popping up (is everything really going to work out? am I going to be left hanging after changing everything in my life?) and I feel more vulnerable than I have in the past when he did his thing and I did mine. We have wanted to be together for so long, and now that it's finally here (but also not not quite here yet) I'm driving myself mad thinking about things.

    Any and all perspectives are appreciated here...
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by WorldIsMyOyster View Post
    I thought I was doing okay, but after 2 days of not wanting to do much but lie in bed... maybe I'm underestimating my true feelings!

    I am in an LDR with my SO, but we're hoping to change that soon. It's never been possible to be in the same place with his deployment schedule and my career, but we recently mapped everything out and talked about me joining at his next duty station. He left for an assignment as planned, but has been gone a little longer and I have not heard from him in 3 weeks (though I did during the first portion - thank g-d for those messages as I am reading them constantly!)

    I was so proud of myself for booking a trip home to see my parents, but I ultimately cancelled it because I wanted to be able to line up my dates with his time at home. I am also waiting on bated breath to hear his next assignment, when his longer deployment will be, and whether his leave is approved. So many things in my life feel up in the air because it will all change - job, apartment, vacation plans, etc. I feel like I can't move forward and I'm just in this constant holding pattern.

    I decided when we started our relationship that I need to be okay with being flexible and working around an ever-changing schedule if I want to prioritize time together. The alternative is to make my own plans and risk schedule conflicts. Intellectually, I get it and I know what steps I can and can't make right now. Emotionally is another story.

    I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Perhaps even low-level depressed. Every time I plan something for myself, I worry that it is going to conflict with his homecoming or leave and I'll regret it. I have two exciting work trips coming up but they might fall during the only time he is home and I'll kick myself if I am stuck overseas when he is back. If I don't go on them, the situation could change and I'll be left waiting like so many other times.

    How do you handle the constant not knowing? Do you just make plans and then change them, or do you keep the calendar open? And how do you keep your emotions in check during those times?

    I think it's worse for me because, though we've been involved for a while, this the first time we've decided to 'take the plunge' so there are some insecurities popping up (is everything really going to work out? am I going to be left hanging after changing everything in my life?) and I feel more vulnerable than I have in the past when he did his thing and I did mine. We have wanted to be together for so long, and now that it's finally here (but also not not quite here yet) I'm driving myself mad thinking about things.

    Any and all perspectives are appreciated here...
    Neither. For the most part, I make plans. During the beginning of our first deployment, everything revolved around him. I didn't want to go to anything because I might miss a call. I didn't plan anything big or more than a few weeks out because it could conflict with homecoming. And it was sheer misery. I quickly realized I couldn't live a life on hold, and he wouldn't want that.

    So I don't keep the calendar open, and while I might rearrange smaller things, I have just come to accept that I am going to miss things. If I planned an amazing girls' weekend and that ended up being homecoming, that's just a one day ceremony.

    For me, accepting that I *would* miss things, but that it beat the alternative of always worrying, keeping everything open, and only planning things that could be changed or canceled.

    You can't change everything in your life for him, or at least you shouldn't. You both need to be doing the sacrificing, and sometimes that means he isn't going to get to see you even when he's available, or that you'll miss a phone call or a ceremony or an event.

    You mentioned waiting to hear about leave and next deployment and next assignment. While some of that is natural, I'd caution you to make those thing lodestones around which you plan. Because even when you get the news, it can and does change. If you make your world about waiting for the phone call with a deployment date, then exhale when you get it, you are setting yourself up for a kick in the gut when the next phone call comes and the dates have moved.

    And to me, that's why I can't and won't leave everything open. Because it's all so uncertain that I'd never have a chance to actually live.

    Tell him work has presented you with some interesting/important/whatever opportunities, and you need to take them up on it so you will be traveling X and Y dates. You hope so much that you won't miss him, but hope he understands that you need to do this, and that you very much love him. If he can't understand that, he's a lousy boyfriend.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #3
    I can relate to you whole heartedly. The not knowing is tough, really tough. It's a tough lifestyle for any SO ... we have to be willing to be flexible and I know for me, I go through stages. For a period of time I'm okay and flexible but then I get angry and want "normal". If that makes sense..... You can't stop living your life or put your life on hold. I would Just explain like mentioned about what days you will be traveling ... you deserve to be excited about your work trips and your life and he should understand this.

    Hugs!
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    #4
    Are you two engaged?
    Sorry for the advice I am about to give but I wouldn't sacrifice much for a boyfriend. Things (and relationships) can change in an instant so why move to be with him if he isn't your husband (or soon to be)?
    I could be coming from a jaded POV and I think I may be older so throw in prior experience.
    If you are engaged, I believe the best way to handle the uncertainty is day by day. Again, things can change in an instant, so have plans A, B and C. I like to overthink so I have plans to my plan's plans. That way if something unexpected happens, I don't freak because I already thought of solutions.


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    #5
    I agree with villanelle.

    You can't live your life around his schedule, his career, or his life. He is already doing that. Live your life around what is important to you. Just remember that he is one of the facets of your life that is important to you. Priorities change and would be different at every stage of your life, so what you should do depends what is the priority at that stage/moment in your life. If other opportunities appear later down the road, then reevaluate the priorities and adjust accordingly.
  6. Old Newbie
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post

    For me, accepting that I *would* miss things, but that it beat the alternative of always worrying, keeping everything open, and only planning things that could be changed or canceled.

    If you make your world about waiting for the phone call with a deployment date, then exhale when you get it, you are setting yourself up for a kick in the gut when the next phone call comes and the dates have moved.

    And to me, that's why I can't and won't leave everything open. Because it's all so uncertain that I'd never have a chance to actually live.
    These parts of what you wrote really resonate with me. All of this is in MY head. He wants me to do my thing, take my trips, and make my plans. I always tell him (when he's volunteering for extra duties -- ugh!!) when you say yes to one thing you're saying no to something else. By me being scared of missing an opportunity with him (one that might not even materialize) I'm saying no to a lot of things I have full control over making amazing.

    And you are very right that no matter what info I get, it can all change. It just makes me relax a little when I have a date - again, all in my head!

    The first deployment I put everything on hold and after 3 months (two of which were an unexpected extension with lack of comms) I was soooooo resentful and it was incredibly damaging to our relationship. It's a good reminder that that's where I'm headed if I don't live now for me.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by armychica06 View Post
    Are you two engaged?
    Sorry for the advice I am about to give but I wouldn't sacrifice much for a boyfriend. Things (and relationships) can change in an instant so why move to be with him if he isn't your husband (or soon to be)?
    I could be coming from a jaded POV and I think I may be older so throw in prior experience.
    If you are engaged, I believe the best way to handle the uncertainty is day by day. Again, things can change in an instant, so have plans A, B and C. I like to overthink so I have plans to my plan's plans. That way if something unexpected happens, I don't freak because I already thought of solutions.
    You're not wrong, ArmyChica! We're not engaged. It's something I've thought about a lot, whether I should draw that as a line in the sand. I would prefer that security before I move, but I'm also okay with having conversations about marriage and our mutual intentions but no ring. In my insecure moments I definitely want to send him a link to a Beyoncé song and tell him I'll move to his crappy Army town when he puts a ring on it, but in the end I think being together sooner will give us a better opportunity to lay a foundation for a life together.

    I like your plans for A/B/C. I am a planner. I can't change that and fighting it kinda drives me crazy. I manage an international project with staff traveling to different countries 2-4 times a month, with plans rarely firm up more than 2-3 weeks out. I have plans A-Z for each of those assignments. Maybe rather than deny my true nature, i should accept that I'm a planner-type and just plan away, and accept the changes as logistical challenges that are a puzzle to solve - just like at work.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kw1214 View Post
    I can relate to you whole heartedly. The not knowing is tough, really tough. It's a tough lifestyle for any SO ... we have to be willing to be flexible and I know for me, I go through stages. For a period of time I'm okay and flexible but then I get angry and want "normal". If that makes sense..... You can't stop living your life or put your life on hold. I would Just explain like mentioned about what days you will be traveling ... you deserve to be excited about your work trips and your life and he should understand this.

    Hugs!
    Thank you so much for saying this, kw1214! Just knowing that I'm not alone in feeling this way really makes me breathe a sigh of relief and validates my response to this situation as at least being a natural one!

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