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Thread: Advice for Spouses Committed to a Career 🙁

  1. Fresh Newbie
    alex2195's Avatar
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    Oct 2017

    Advice for Spouses Committed to a Career 🙁

    So I'm currently in a very committed relationship with my girlfriend who will be commissioning in December as an Active Duty Army Officer. I have no doubt at this point that we will be engaged soon and that we will be getting married eventually. I'm also a University student studying Computer Science and I'll be graduating next year in December. I am a very dedicated student (we met in the middle of my studies) and plan to go on to receive my Master's in Software Engineering after I graduate and be a Software Engineer. My concern comes from the fact that I might not be able to find a job in my field wherever she goes. I also face a lot of amazing opportunities that are extremely hard to turn down (software engineering with Microsoft for example) and that would require us being in a long distance relationship for a little while. Has anyone faced any issues like this before and if so, what would you advise me to do? Is there anything the military offers to help? All the military spouses I know either have jobs that are easily done remotely, are easy relocatable, or are stay at home moms. I don't want to give up my dreams and everything I've been working for but god knows I'm not going to give her up. We're both very career oriented people and have talked about this before and she's very supportive of whatever I choose. I just want to know my options and what people have done in the past and such.
  2. Fresh Newbie
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    Sep 2017
    I understand how you feel. I committed to school and a career before I even met my boyfriend, and we started dating we both laid it out at the beginning that the military was his first goal and graduation was mine. But then we got more serious then either of us thought. He'll be leaving for boot camp in a few months and I'm graduating undergrad and then going to graduate school for my masters. I'm committing to an online program so that I can stay with him. However, we've talked about it a lot, that's all you can do is make sure you're both on the same page. We both agree that we are okay with spending time apart if necessary. A few years apart is nothing compared to a lifetime together. If you ever want to talk, feel free to reach out!
  3. Senior Member
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    Mar 2017
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    I was long distance with my husband so that I could finish school for four years. It is doable. Get your roots strong enough that they will grow elsewhere.
  4. Senior Member
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    Aug 2009
    My advice is to be prepared for hardship. You guys should have some very serious conversations about just what you are willing to accept in your lives. If giving up your career isn't an option, the two of you need to be okay with living apart for several years or more. It's easy to say that will be fine, but you really need to think it through, and consider what it means--possibly only being together once or twice a year, for a couple week. There is also the expense of running two households. Do you want children? Is one parent prepared to have the child/ren live with the other parent, so that the absent parent only gets to see the child a couple times a year? Is the local parent prepared to handle all childcare on top of his/her full time job? Are you prepare to miss most of the pregnancy and maybe even the birth? Are you ready for holidays apart from your spouse? These are very serious considerations. Plenty of people make them work, but many others don't, and because they weren't thoughtful about it in advance, they end up with very messy situations, resentment, and often divorce. So make sure you really think it through and don't just assume that love will be enough to make it work. I don't mean to be Debbie Downer. Plenty of couples or families do make it work. But rainbows and kittens aren't going to magically make it happen. You need an open, serious, on-going conversation about what is in store to make sure you are both prepared for it and ready to accept it, and that you envision it working more or less the same as each other.

    Does she plan on staying in past her initial commitment? If not, are you 100% counting on her getting out? Does she know that and know it is non-negotiable for you? Or is there some other non-negotiable for you, like that she will get out if and when she has a child? Plenty of people say they are going to do one commitment and then get out, and it changes. (It also changes the other way, for those who swear they will be lifers and then get out at the first opportunity.) So again, talk it through so that you guys already have agreements and commitments to one another about what will happen in a variety of situations. Leave nothing assumed or unsaid, as that's where you get in to trouble. If you just assume she will get out no matter what in 4-6 years, or she just assumes that of course kids would live with her if you don't move, or you assume she'll live in the cheapest barracks room or apartment available to her to keep the costs of the separation down, or whatever, that's where this kind of thing goes bad.

    You ask if the military does anything for these situations. What they do is offer to pay for the move to keep the family together. If you choose not to take them up on that, it is a personal choice, and thus not one for which they are responsible, and as such, there is almost nothing they do. They only thing I can think of is that if she goes overseas, she probably can get unaccompanied orders, which means she would get a barracks room and still get a housing allowance for you. That's about it. For everything else, it is no different than a civilian situation where spouses choose to live apart--not the responsibility of the employer. That's the rationale for not really offering much for families that choose to live apart.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  5. "If you don't like my attitude, quit talking to me"
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    Jan 2011
    I work in IT, I started out in Computer Science, and currently am a systems engineer. I have had everything in between from basic help desk, to software engineering, to .. you name it. We spend 20+ years in the military, which started midway through my schooling. I have had zero issues getting a job in my career field. IT is everywhere, what you have to do is be open. Computer science and software engineering cover a broad range of jobs, so don't pigeon hole yourself to one specific job. Understand what sort of jobs you can get with your degrees (which are many) and go with that. The career field you have chosen is very mobile, and lots and lots of opportunity to work from home. I had many milspouse friends that have worked from home (in IT) for the last 10 years, and their company is not even in the same state.

    You should be fine. You may have lower level jobs at first, but that is not because of being a military spouse, its because you are new to the industry. IT is a field in which is customary to have a new job every 2-3 years, its rare to have someone that has been at same position for longer than that (in IT).

    There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't

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