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Thread: He's leaving, we are staying by choice! Anyone else?

  1. Fresh Newbie
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    #1

    He's leaving, we are staying by choice! Anyone else?

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    Hello!

    New to this whole military life thing.

    A little bit about our situation, husband and I are both "settled" 30 somethings, and the parents of a 4 year old. He recently decided to join the military for a career change. We already own a home, and I have a good job, so I am not leaving. He has not been given a basic training date for the AF yet, because he is awaiting his job choice. Any other people in my same situation? When we sat down with the recruiter for the first time, he looked at me like I had 3 eyes or something, since I was adamant about not going to wherever he is stationed. So, from his reaction, I take it that this is rare?

    Thanks in advance!
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    #2
    Yes it's rare, especially if children are involved at the start of a military career. You'll be separating the child from his/her father much more than necessary. If that's what works for your family, cool, but no it isn't common.

    These are more common in my experience:
    Family moving 'home' early ahead of retirement
    Childless couples living apart for career reasons
    Families moving home during long deployments
    Never do anything halfway unless you want to be half happy.

    Is this a dream? If it is, please don't wake me from this high. I'd become comfortably numb
    until you opened up my eyes to what it's like when everything is right...I can't believe you found me ♥
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LovelyEsq View Post
    Hello!

    New to this whole military life thing.

    A little bit about our situation, husband and I are both "settled" 30 somethings, and the parents of a 4 year old. He recently decided to join the military for a career change. We already own a home, and I have a good job, so I am not leaving. He has not been given a basic training date for the AF yet, because he is awaiting his job choice. Any other people in my same situation? When we sat down with the recruiter for the first time, he looked at me like I had 3 eyes or something, since I was adamant about not going to wherever he is stationed. So, from his reaction, I take it that this is rare?

    Thanks in advance!
    Is the reserves an option?




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    #4
    It's pretty unusual for a couple to decide ahead of time that they will absolutely not be moving together and for the entire career. It's not all that unusual for a spouse and kids to stay behind for one set of orders for one reason or another though.

    Just make sure you've calculated the expenses correctly. I've seen several families get into deep financial trouble over an arrangement like this. You'll be paying for two households. This can get even more complicated if he moves overseas to a place where living on base is required because then he wouldn't even be getting a housing allowance. Likewise, make sure you've calculated, as best you can, the emotional costs. You are setting it up so your child doesn't have a father actively in his or her life for years, and so your husband isn't an active part of his child's life for years. And that doesn't even address the toll on your marriage. All this, and you haven't even looked to see if maybe you could find a good job. It's surprising to me that you aren't even trying to make it work before writing off the possibility.

    Different strokes for different folks, so if this works for you guys, cool. But I've seen distance ruin more relationships than not when you are talking 2+years. Make sure you are thinking through this clearly. Do you actually support his choice, or is it possible some of this unwillingness to even see what might be possible in his new location is based on some resentment or other negative feelings about his choice? Have you guys talked about that? Has he considered the reserves instead, which might give him a taste of what he may be looking for, without cleaving your family in two?
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #5
    I agree with villanelle.

    Once small correction. If he were to go overseas, he could choose unaccompanied orders and he would receive BAH for his family in the US.
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    #6
    Well I guess I have a slightly different perspective as a brat and a child of a mother who also decided to stop following my father to his duty stations.

    I won't lie it was kind of tough on us and my mom because we didn't understand why we weren't going with daddy anymore and could only see him twice a year. But on the plus side we were able to form more stable bonds in the community we lived in. And we turned out to really need those later on in our lives. I turned out fine all other factors considered. I think it was tougher on my brothers not having a constant role model for them. Do you have any male family who might come spend extra time with them to help with this?

    And definitely I agree wholeheartedly, make sure you budget correctly. We ran into problems constantly because my mom did not.

    If you think this is what's best for you guys, go for it. Things can turn out alright in the end. We ended up living all of us with dad after his retirement and whatever issues there were improved. If you can help account for the lack of seeing dad with other male role models and making sure you budget and make the most of the time with you husband when he is home. It's doable I think good luck!
    Last edited by ZirconDragon; 10-05-2017 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Easier reading
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    #7
    My SO and I are 30 and he just joined as well. He is Army National Guard, so a little different, but if it were me and he fully enlisted, I would travel with him. We all know what is best for our family and no one can answer that besides you two. You only live once... why not try it out!?
  8. Pour a little salt, we were never here
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    #8
    Not the same, but my husband and I are living apart by so I can get a transplant. In the military's eyes that is a choicee but obviously I didnt choose to get sick aand the military lifestyle *for me* is preventing us being in the same place for that to happen. It's not ideal but things could be worse.
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    #9
    Thanks for all of the input ladies! Reserves, not really an option because he is looking for a permanent job with no success, so the one weekend a month situation really doesn't benefit him.

    He is actually at a point in life where he wants to change careers altogether, and the military is a good way to get training and immediate experience in a new field, and do a career 180. He only wants to stay in for 4 years, and we can definitely travel to see him occasionally! We had our home built two years ago, live in a great community in a metropolitan area, and I am not concerned financially about being able to make ends meet when he is gone. I appreciate everyone's comments, and I like the alternative perspective that Zircon gave. Also, since I am not going to be a JAG attorney, there are limited options with comparable pay for me in most small military towns. Not to mention, as an attorney, moving from state to state and practicing law is not that simple...

    Maybe this overseas thing is the best bet?

    No doubt, it WILL be different not having him around always, but I don't see it as unbearable, and I like to think that we both have the end game in mind/eye on the prize, which is 4 years and done, with new career training and more civilian opportunities for him!

    Just wishing I could find SOMEONE who has lived through a similar experience.
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    #10

    Dance Sisters in the law

    Quote Originally Posted by LovelyEsq View Post
    Also, since I am not going to be a JAG attorney, there are limited options with comparable pay for me in most small military towns. Not to mention, as an attorney, moving from state to state and practicing law is not that simple...
    Just wishing I could find SOMEONE who has lived through a similar experience.

    Well, I can say that my DH has moved around to more places than I can count and my law license just didn't come with the same flexibility. Want to practice in another state? As you know, in some states that means another bar exam, ethics exam, background check- so yeah, lots of money and 2 years of time.
    What? He isn't there 2 years, OK, well the next state requires you work with another attorney as basically a clerk for an extended period of time first. Wait, he moved again? Next state has some reciprocity on multi-state but none on state essay portion, so more testing, more study books, more money and this whole 5 years you are free of a paycheck.
    Another move? No reciprocity.

    Practicing lawyers were just NOT made to be married to the military or those that retired from military and went to work for 3 letter government agencies, like mind did.
    He is still deployed and his next location is yet to be determined.

    If you figure out a way to practice law in the places he moves, please share it with me!!! lol
    You have my empathy! (as opposed to sympathy.)
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