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Thread: Is He Right for Me? Is This Right For Me? Help.

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    Is He Right for Me? Is This Right For Me? Help.

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    My boyfriend is in the Air Force, currently studying for a Masters in Social Work in order to work as a military counselor. In other words, he will be a commissioned Lieutenant of some degree. While he still has another year of civilian life while he finishes his degree, I am really worried about the effect the military training and life will have on him and our relationship. I apologize, but I will admit that I have never been a supporter of the military or that lifestyle. I am afraid that he won't be the same man after training, that he will become too serious and structured, possibly obstinate. Currently he is one of the funniest people I know, so relaxed. All the things I have read talk about how they "strip you down psychologically" and mold them into something else. I don't want him to be some compliant cog. Furthermore, as much as he says I could follow him if I wanted to, I don't know how comfortable I will be with living the military lifestyle. In addition to my unease with military people, I have no idea how much he will be moving around, where he will be, how I can have a life that's my own. I have always wanted to just move into a city and make a life with permanent furniture and become familiar with all the locals. I realize that I could just stay and "hold down the fort" while he does his thing, but I don't know that it would be a real viable relationship, a man who puts coming home to me everyday above everything else the way I would for him. Overall, I'm just sending this out to you guys, who seem to be really helpful and have first hand experience, because I need to know if I should just give up on being with him. Are my fears justified? I love him, but I don't want to always come second to his military career. I deserve to come first, or at least be able to feel like I have some semblance of the life I want for myself independent of him. I want to be able to shape my life around him, to make plans for us to be together, but it doesn't feel fair to me that he can't give me the same level of commitment. Any thoughts or help is really helpful, it has become a very hurtful topic and I am sorry if it offends anyone.
    Last edited by IsThisMyCupOfTea; 01-09-2014 at 12:54 PM.
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by IsThisMyCupOfTea View Post
    My boyfriend is in the Air Force, currently studying for a Masters in Social Work in order to work as a military counselor. In other words, he will be a commissioned Lieutenant of some degree. While he still has another year of civilian life while he finishes his degree, I am really worried about the effect the military training and life will have on him and our relationship. I apologize, but I will admit that I have never been a supporter of the military or that lifestyle. I am afraid that he won't be the same man after training, that he will become too serious and structured, possibly obstinate. Currently he is one of the funniest people I know, so relaxed. All the things I have read talk about how they "strip you down psychologically" and mold them into something else. I don't want him to be some compliant cog. Furthermore, as much as he says I could follow him if I wanted to, I don't know how comfortable I will be with living the military lifestyle. In addition to my unease with military people, I have no idea how much he will be moving around, where he will be, how I can have a life that's my own. Overall, I'm just sending this out to you guys, who seem to be really helpful and have first hand experience, because I need to know if I should just give up on being with him. Are my fears justified? I love him, but I don't want to always come second to his military career. I deserve to come first, or at least be able to feel like I have some semblance of the life I want for myself independent of him. I want to be able to shape my life around him, to make plans for us to be together, but it doesn't feel fair to me that he can't give me the same level of commitment. Any thoughts or help is really helpful, it has become a very hurtful topic and I am sorry if it offends anyone.
    I have never, in all the years with my husband, felt I came second to his career. As to the military/training changing a person's character -- I am of the belief that the training may reveal or reinforce character that is already there, but I do not believe that it creates character that was not there to begin with. The training does not make the man. As for whether or not this is the life you wish to lead, only you can decide that.
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by IsThisMyCupOfTea View Post
    My boyfriend is in the Air Force, currently studying for a Masters in Social Work in order to work as a military counselor. In other words, he will be a commissioned Lieutenant of some degree. While he still has another year of civilian life while he finishes his degree, I am really worried about the effect the military training and life will have on him and our relationship. I apologize, but I will admit that I have never been a supporter of the military or that lifestyle. I am afraid that he won't be the same man after training, that he will become too serious and structured, possibly obstinate. Currently he is one of the funniest people I know, so relaxed. All the things I have read talk about how they "strip you down psychologically" and mold them into something else. I don't want him to be some compliant cog. Furthermore, as much as he says I could follow him if I wanted to, I don't know how comfortable I will be with living the military lifestyle. In addition to my unease with military people, I have no idea how much he will be moving around, where he will be, how I can have a life that's my own. Overall, I'm just sending this out to you guys, who seem to be really helpful and have first hand experience, because I need to know if I should just give up on being with him. Are my fears justified? I love him, but I don't want to always come second to his military career. I deserve to come first, or at least be able to feel like I have some semblance of the life I want for myself independent of him. I want to be able to shape my life around him, to make plans for us to be together, but it doesn't feel fair to me that he can't give me the same level of commitment. Any thoughts or help is really helpful, it has become a very hurtful topic and I am sorry if it offends anyone.
    I read this all, and what I am getting out of it, is you are not secure in your relationship or in your man to be the same after he joins. Add that to you don't support the military or the life. ME I would suggest you not be with him. No one says you have to support what the troops are doing, you don't have to agree with their actions, but man as a military spouse you need to at least support them.

    Not everyone changes. And those who do would change no matter what as they are easily susceptible to that (imo).

    So, imo, you either need to accept him and his career choice and learn to accept the military and the lifestyle (not love, but accept) OR you need to end it before it goes further.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Grey Mare View Post
    I have never, in all the years with my husband, felt I came second to his career. As to the military/training changing a person's character -- I am of the belief that the training may reveal or reinforce character that is already there, but I do not believe that it creates character that was not there to begin with. The training does not make the man. As for whether or not this is the life you wish to lead, only you can decide that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern-queen View Post
    I read this all, and what I am getting out of it, is you are not secure in your relationship or in your man to be the same after he joins. Add that to you don't support the military or the life. ME I would suggest you not be with him. No one says you have to support what the troops are doing, you don't have to agree with their actions, but man as a military spouse you need to at least support them.

    Not everyone changes. And those who do would change no matter what as they are easily susceptible to that (imo).

    So, imo, you either need to accept him and his career choice and learn to accept the military and the lifestyle (not love, but accept) OR you need to end it before it goes further.
    Totally agree.

    The military doesn't cripple you (as a spouse), IMO, it can enhance you. Yes, you will move around a lot, but this can be very adventurous. You may not know right away where you are going, but you'll know in plenty of time (rarely would it be last minute).

    I have a life and a career, the military never hindered that. I've never felt second to him or to anyone. The military is his career, just like IT is my career. But I agree that only you can decided if you can accept this life, and if you cannot, cut it now before you are both too far invested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Grey Mare View Post
    I have never, in all the years with my husband, felt I came second to his career. As to the military/training changing a person's character -- I am of the belief that the training may reveal or reinforce character that is already there, but I do not believe that it creates character that was not there to begin with. The training does not make the man. As for whether or not this is the life you wish to lead, only you can decide that.
    I agree. My husband & I were together for a year before he enlisted in the Navy. The only real changes I noticed is that he got a little more fit, had shorter hair & was a little more formal in certain situations. And by formal, I mean that instead of holding my hand, I held his arm in public. But really, that wasn't a negative or huge deal to me.

    While yes there have been times where the Navy has come first, in the 16 years we have lived this life, I can honestly say that when the Navy has come first, it hasn't been that major of a deal. Frustrating at times, yes. But not so life shattering that I would wish I had discouraged him from joining. My husband is not so overly structured that it bothers me. He isn't some robot that just follows orders without thought. He is still the same person I fell in love with almost 17 years ago. He's just grown a little older, wiser, lost some hair & put on a few pounds. But all of those things would have happened with or without the Navy. It's a progression of life.

    In many ways, I think the Navy suits us. I like the moving. I start getting antsy after a couple of years of being in the same place. So for me, having the opportunity to move every 3-5 years is nice.

    Many people dislike this lifestyle. Many people thrive in it. How you handle this life, imo, is up to you. But, imo, having a career as a counselor/therapist/other mental health position, is going to be trying at times whether military or not. More than likely, there will be often times horrible work hours, stress, chances of moving, missed family gatherings. I think that is simply the nature of the chosen career path.

    Wishing you well in your decision! But based on what you have said, I feel you have a lot of insecurities that might come about even if he wasn't in the military. I don't mean to upset you by that at all. But I think you have a bad outlook towards the military in the first place & what this path can offer. I think that is highly clouding your judgment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern-queen View Post
    I read this all, and what I am getting out of it, is you are not secure in your relationship or in your man to be the same after he joins. Add that to you don't support the military or the life. ME I would suggest you not be with him. No one says you have to support what the troops are doing, you don't have to agree with their actions, but man as a military spouse you need to at least support them.

    Not everyone changes. And those who do would change no matter what as they are easily susceptible to that (imo).

    So, imo, you either need to accept him and his career choice and learn to accept the military and the lifestyle (not love, but accept) OR you need to end it before it goes further.
    I agree with this, and I will add that some of your fears do have a reason. You may have to give up part of your life goals/wishes for his career. You may move often, and if you want stability in a location (either for kids to go to the same school, or for your career), you absolutely may not get that. Thats one reason my husband is getting out- we want to maximize the chance of us staying in the same location for our future kid(s), and my career is not one that can be moved every 4 years. However, there are some people that it works for. It is not right or wrong to want one life or another, but you need to be honest with yourself about if you would be ok with possibly diminishing your own career or having kids move around a lot, and if you cannot deal with that, then I would suggest breaking it off before it goes further.
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    I think most of your fears are unfounded or simply a situation where you would have to wait around to find out. My experience with DH and his coworkers was not at all what I expected from "military people" (I came into it not knowing much at all about the military, and I had some preconceived notions that turned out to be false in my experience). They are extremely laid back for the most part and DH in particular does not bring the military into his personal life. He isn't rigid, strict, serious, he doesn't care about military standards for hair and having perfectly appearing clothing, except when he needs to for his job. He's good at his job and works hard, but it has not taken over his life or personality. He does the military to get a paycheck, health insurance. He does his particular job within the military because he likes it.

    So in my experience, those concerns are unfounded but in order to find out if your boyfriend would change a lot or stay the same, you'd have to wait and see.

    Other than, you likely will have to move a lot. If that bothers you, it could be a real issue. If you're wanting to decide now, I'd probably say break up. But if you're willing and able to set your fears aside (unless and until they come to fruition), and wait and see, you might end up pleasantly surprised. I had a lot of fears about my DH's job at first. When he was going through tech school, I heard that the guys deployed for six months, were home for six months, deployed again on a regular rotation. In between when they were "home" they were constantly TDY. I was scared and upset and let it cause negative feelings between DH and I. My actual experience has been that DH occasionally has times when he TDYs a lot, but in three years he's been on one deployment and since he got home a year ago, he's had only two TDYs. When I let go of the fear of what if, our life became a lot more calm, peaceful and enjoyable. I was able to see that things are not as bad as I was anticipating, and when they do get bad/annoying, we work through it. It always (so far) has been so worth it to work through the rough times to get to the fantastic times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsThisMyCupOfTea View Post
    My boyfriend is in the Air Force, currently studying for a Masters in Social Work in order to work as a military counselor. In other words, he will be a commissioned Lieutenant of some degree. While he still has another year of civilian life while he finishes his degree, I am really worried about the effect the military training and life will have on him and our relationship. I apologize, but I will admit that I have never been a supporter of the military or that lifestyle. I am afraid that he won't be the same man after training, that he will become too serious and structured, possibly obstinate. Currently he is one of the funniest people I know, so relaxed. All the things I have read talk about how they "strip you down psychologically" and mold them into something else. I don't want him to be some compliant cog. Furthermore, as much as he says I could follow him if I wanted to, I don't know how comfortable I will be with living the military lifestyle. In addition to my unease with military people, I have no idea how much he will be moving around, where he will be, how I can have a life that's my own. Overall, I'm just sending this out to you guys, who seem to be really helpful and have first hand experience, because I need to know if I should just give up on being with him. Are my fears justified? I love him, but I don't want to always come second to his military career. I deserve to come first, or at least be able to feel like I have some semblance of the life I want for myself independent of him. I want to be able to shape my life around him, to make plans for us to be together, but it doesn't feel fair to me that he can't give me the same level of commitment. Any thoughts or help is really helpful, it has become a very hurtful topic and I am sorry if it offends anyone.
    I think the ladies here have given you some solid insight.

    First and foremost, I feel like you are knocking a lifestyle that (from the way it sounds) you really have no knowledge of and are basing your opinions off of the "military spouse horror stories". When spouses come second to the military (I don't really feel like its coming second but others feel that way) its for things like maybe the airman has to deploy.Or he might have a really crappy work schedule. My DH might miss our one year wedding anniversary for a possible deployment, but thats ok. Yea, I'd love for him to be here, but he is following his dream and I totally support that. Airmen are still allowed to make their own choices, have their life how they want it. They just have to be a certain way at work. Everyone has their own personality. They are just more "proper" at work, IMO.

    As for basic changing them forever... No. They are still their own person. They are taught what the military needs them to know. They are not stripped of everything they had before. And I feel the people who do change dramatically either never showed their true colors before, are highly susceptible to "peer pressure" (if you will, I can't think of the word I'm trying to use and this is as close as I can think of to explain), or are suffering from something such as PTSD (crazy and very rare from basic but slightly possible). It will change your relationship. But your relationship will change with or without the military. I feel like the Air Force has strengthened DH's and mine relationship. We have learned to be without each other, but still rely one one another. We are learning to roll with the punches and work out each problems as it arises.

    As for being ok with the lifestyle itself, well that a personal thing. Some people love it, others hate it. While I am bored 90% of the time, I live in Europe (Germany) at the age of 21, with my best friend. I went to three different countries in one week. I am experiencing things I would have NEVER experienced without the military. I am excited to move in 3 years. I get to explore so many new things. I literally get to see the world. The long hours suck, but while he is away working, I encourage myself to try new things, meet new people, make friends, and do things for me. You can DEFINITELY have your own life while being a military spouse. But you do have to be ok with change. (Even though, once again, this is with or without the military.)

    Ultimately, I think you need to get a better understanding about the military and the lifestyle. And as someone else stated, you dont need to support what your airman's mission is (lord knows I dont agree with 90% of the politics going on in our government), but you HAVE to be able to support him. It also sounds like you have a lot of insecurities that have nothing to do with the military, even if they seem directly related from your point of view. I hope you find all the answers you are looking for. Good luck!
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    #9
    If you are completely 100% against military, it will be very hard being with a military man, to be honest. He will look for you for support at times, and if you are against everything he does, it will be hard for you to give that to him. Why are you against it? Is it because you are not familiar with it? Maybe you can educate yourself (I am NOT saying you're not educated, so don't take that the wrong way please)

    As for the change of character, my DB is in the Navy, now mind you, I didn't know him before he joined, but he is one of the funniest people I know. The military did not mold him a serious person, and emotionally strip him down. He is one of the kindest, most caring, loving people I have ever met. He never puts his work before me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern-queen View Post
    I read this all, and what I am getting out of it, is you are not secure in your relationship or in your man to be the same after he joins. Add that to you don't support the military or the life. ME I would suggest you not be with him. No one says you have to support what the troops are doing, you don't have to agree with their actions, but man as a military spouse you need to at least support them.

    Not everyone changes. And those who do would change no matter what as they are easily susceptible to that (imo).



    So, imo, you either need to accept him and his career choice and learn to accept the military and the lifestyle (not love, but accept) OR you need to end it before it goes further.
    100% agree with this.
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