Reenlistment- He's choice or ours?

Brittney - posted on 06/05/2010 ( 86 moms have responded )

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When I married my husband he was in the military with 4 years left. He always told me he didnt want to stay in for 20 years but now that his reenlistment is coming up he says he wants to reenlist. Im working around his schedule. I cant find a job because he's always in the field and our daycare only last til 6pm and arent open on weekends. Im okay with it because I knew when I married him it would be hard.
I want him to get out but he acts like it's only his choice. I want a house and to be able to start my career and moves closer to one of our families so that our daughter can grow up with her cousins. I feel if the roles were reversed and my job told me to transfer to a new location it would be a family decision. Is it only up to him? I feel like my life is on the backburner while he goes out and lives his.

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Lori - posted on 06/06/2010

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This should be a joint decision since it will have a big impact on you both. With the economy so bad, secure work would be important.

As for being "resented" for asking him to leave - that cuts both ways. He said he did not plan on doing 20 when you got married: that's a huge thing to suddenly change unilaterally without discussing it!

Stephanie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I was in a very similar situation several years ago and I too felt that I should have some say in my husband’s career even though we got married while he was enlisted and had no intention of reenlisting when his contract was done. Around the time he was due to get out of the Navy we had some pretty intense arguments because I had thought we were not being treated fairly by the military and he wanted to extend his contract by 2 years. I look back now and realize how immature and selfish I was being.

Some things I did not consider at that time were: 1) where would me live once he got out? 2) what would he do for work? and 3) would he be able to find a job where he would be able to provide the family with insurance, a home, and still bring home money to survive on? The short answer was no. He ended up extending for two years so that he could go to a school. It took me a while to get over my bitterness but I did enter this marriage knowing that he was in the Navy. I then considered if I would be so demanding and angry had he been in a civilian position and I realized that I would NEVER control my husband’s career in the civilian world. Not long after he was released from his school I decided I was no longer going to interfere with his career decisions and that I would support whatever he wanted to do. Now, my husband is in a commissioning program and he will become an Officer next summer.

I struggled through a lot of the same issues with childcare and difficulty finding work but I fought to overcome these obstacles. I used the CDH services on base for a while because it was a more flexible day care opportunity. I also made sure I over prepared for my interviews to explain my “job hopping.” I was always well prepared for the questions that they would ask. I was rarely honest about our rotation date because at times it was only a year or so out and I knew I would have to pad it to be a likely candidate for the job. I eventually settled into a 9-5 job (of course this happens now that my husband is non-deployable) and have found my role as a Navy wife to be much more fulfilling now that I am older and look at things from a much more mature prospective.

There are a lot of resources available on base to families and I recommend you look into them. I don’t know what branch you are in but the Navy offers Fleet and Family Support Services, which offers career counseling, and support for families. The Chaplin’s office has been great and I have had some good experiences with the command ombudsman as well. My children are enrolled in the school-age childcare program and I got involved in volunteering at the base library for a while. These all helped me adjust to our most recent move which has been my best experience so far.

I have watched a lot of marriages fail as a result of one spouse forcing another to choose between their family and the military. The family usually wins but only for a short time. Some of those couples were friends who I would have never expected to divorce. Another issue I am starting to see is many service members are getting out and cannot find adequate work if they are lucky to find it at all. This is another issue that has caused many of my friends’ relationships to head south. I believe I have learned by watching what others are experiencing and I have no problem putting my career on hold while my husband continues on his military career. My goal is to one day go to law school and become an attorney but that is just not feasible right now. Law school will always be there and so will my husband’s GI Bill (which I plan to use to help pay for my education).

These are just a few thoughts from someone who has been married to a Sailor for 8 years and has grown to understand the importance of allowing my husband to make the career decisions that will make him happy.

Tiffany - posted on 06/18/2010

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I have to agree with Annie Fife- if you go back and look at your post, it's all about you, how you are miserable, your life isn't going where you want it, etc. What about your husband? Why do his wants not matter? If yours matter so much, then his should too. I imagine this must really hurt your husband, to be told you feel like he's forcing you into nothingness.

Billie Jo - posted on 06/18/2010

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Ok, reading everyone's posts, I can see it both ways. Being a 24year old mother of 2 military spouse, I think it is the decision of the FAMILY. I too was in the same situation with childcare and wanting to further my career. This was a year ago, when I WANTED him OUT. Now I want him in because of the economy and his lack of education.

He wants out so this is the offer my hubby and I discussed....

If he can get his BSN and find a job PRIOR to his separation date, where we can uphold the same lifestyle we have now, then by all means get out. We can go home (20hrs from where we are now) and my 2yr old and 1month old can grow up with family around all the time. (which would make our lives much easier!) of course after we sell the HOUSE we BOUGHT.

Now if he does not have a job, he agreed to stay in for the benefits and stable pay. It would only be better for us as a family because of the decreased stress. Being short on money is definitly hard on a marriage.

About your school situation, did you ever think about getting off your hiney and going online? There are many things to take advantage of as a spouse....MYCAA is one of them. The military will pay up to 6,000 of your schooling as long as it is a "moveable" career. These include things in the medical profession, education etc. Something that if PCS'd elsewhere you can find a job.

Childcare was a problem at first for me as well....I found in home childcare with people I really like and trust. They do childcare 24/7 with some limitations....I work 3 nights a week as a full time RN. They happen to be on the weekend. Yes I hate giving up my weekends but it cuts down on childcare and when I have to use it on the weekends my providers are there. When he gets deployed, most jobs mine included, have a program for spouses kinda like FMLA. You can take leave so you do not have to use childcare when he is gone.

So with all that being said, you should take into consideration everything. PROS and CONS.
I do not like living so far away from family, but it is doable and it seems to be most benificial to our family unit at the moment.

Make sure you all have back up plans to agree on as well as good benefits and a job to fall back on. Remember the economy and everyones feelings and weigh them out. What is the BEST option for EVERYONE involved. Not just U, but Not just HIM. Remember you have kids to think of first!

Cassie - posted on 06/18/2010

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I think it is a joint decision. My husband reenlisted his first time without talking to me and it didn't go over well so he said he would talk to me this next time. We decided to re enlist a 3 time together. In ways your life is on the backburner because his takes up so much and you have to support him but there are ways to have a job or go to school while he is in. You can get a regular day job so you can work while your daughter is in daycare or you can get something part time so there isn't such a demand on you. Something else to consider is whether or not there are jobs available and he can get one. I know out here on the east coast it's hard to find jobs and if you don't have any kind of degree it's even harder. So make sure when you decide what you want you take in all the factors. While yes your life might be difficult now you do have a paycheck, healthcare, and housing allowance. You won't have all of that on the outside. Good luck with everything!!!

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Marguerette - posted on 10/04/2010

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Sorry for the spelling errors and incorrect verbiage, I'm blind with rage unfortunately.

Marguerette - posted on 10/04/2010

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I agree that it should be both your decision. I ma in the same situation now with a reservist husband who is to deploy to iraq in January. For months we have talkedabout how this is difficult, I don't like being a military spouse etc... So he goes for his drill weekend and without calling me, signs re-enlistment papers. With his full time job and mine, we don't see each other very often and the reserves makes it much worse. gone for weeks at a time nad not even deployed. I hate it and have made that clear for the past year. I was livid when I found out that if he doesn't re-enlist, deployment would not happen for him. How DARE he not consult me for this very important, crucial family position. I get yelled at for letting a child sleep over without telling him first, but this is ok??? I refuse to be put on the backburner and I refuse to raise these kids by myself. This is a team, a partnership and how sexist and selfish of him to not even talk to me about it. No woman should ever put up with that. It's disrespectful.

Heather - posted on 09/01/2010

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I haven't read all the posts in this thread, so please forgive me if I repeat a little...so many of us share the exact same experience!
While I would love to say that it's a decision both of you should make, the reality is that he's already made his decision(men do that without asking, very annoying imo ;) ). I definitely think you should talk to him and find out why he's decided to stay in. If it's for the sake of keeping your family stable then those are pretty good reasons. It's also a pretty big sacrifice on his part to stay in because it probably means another deployment and time away from you to keep you safe and secure at home. I don't think it's ever an easy choice, but keep communicating with him.
I'm a third generation army wife, so I'm super prejudiced. :D We may go through hell and back as wives, but we love our husbands and believe in what they do because they're making a difference in our babies' lives.

April - posted on 09/01/2010

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I am sorry Kaylee Bohach, but I must disagree with you...My husband was in 5 or so years before I met him and his goal was to meet the 20 years...We have a daughter together who is almost 3 and I would never make him chose a different job because of us...He loves his job and that is what I care about...when you marry someone who was already in the military you take a vow to never make them chose...I would never make him change his job just because its convenient for us...That would be a major mistake...he will blame you forever until you part ways..even longer if he can...I don't think it is right...I worked many jobs and even hired a baby sitter after hours until I got off work or asked friends to help me while he was deployed...this is one thing that I hate...Woman wanting their husbands to give up their happiness for their own selfish reasons...he married you because you didn't mind him having a job he loves and he loved you more for that...you shouldn't try to change him...a man will change for his own reasons and he may change his career for you but would you be happy knowing it is your fault and that he only did it because it made you happy? I wouldn't I want my husband to be happy and he would never make me chose my job or him...he would work around it...chose hours that work best for both you and your family...he may love you all but how much do you really love him if you make him give up his dreams and goals..my husband has been in almost 4 years and my husband talked about getting out for us, but I told him exactly how I felt that he would be so unhappy with his future life after getting out and wouldn't be the same and that made him understand that I will do anything to make sure that he is happy and meeting his goal he has had since way before me...and I will not let him jeopardize his happiness for the sake of everyone elses...my mom died trying to please everyone else and where did that get her...death...she was always so unhappy with her life but was happy to a point that she made everyone else happy..sorry if you think I am being way too honest but you asked for opinions and this is mine...let him know you love him enough to stick by his decisions as well as him...he had a life before you all and that is what you chose ignore and love him regardless..stick by your man and the goals he has made for himself and allowed you all to be a part of...Don't make him suffer because you aren't happy...the military has hours available for military spouses just put spouse preference when you get a job and let them know the hours you can commit to...I found one a few months back until my miniere's disease and M.S. got worse but I dont' complain I am a stay at home mother and that really sucks, but I am still going to college online for my Bachelor's in Health Administration and there are many things you can do as well...You are your own wall...if that makes any sense...only you can stop yourself...

Colleen - posted on 06/21/2010

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I have read most of the replies and agree with all of them. When my huband and I got married he had just re-upped in the Marines. But when he asked me to marry him, he asked how I would feel being married to a career Marine and I answered " as long as it is what he wanted to do, I would stand behind him, because it was his life he was putting on the line, and I loved him from the first moment I saw him." It wasn't easy, because during the 18 1/2 years we did in the Corps and yes WE DID, we were only together 10 of those years. With West Pac floats and training in the field, schools and then Saudi Arabia, he was more out of our lives than in. We have 3 children all grown now and he retired with 20 yrs in because he did two years before we were married in which time it included 2 tours in Vietnam. Remember to make the decision together and then stay with it. When we retired he had just gotten back from Saudi and I knew it was time and so did he. Good luck and may God bless you both in your decision.

Josie - posted on 06/21/2010

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In our marriage it's totally my husband's choice. No matter what he chooses I will support him in his decision, period. I have a full time job, my son goes to daycare, my husband has been in for 7 years. Yes it is definitely hard at times but we make it work. A lot of other wives make it work. If he does get out, will he have a job? With benefits? These are all things to think about. Unless you plan on supporting the family? I just find it hard to believe that you cannot have a life when I myself am doing it and I know a lot of other wives that are as well. And my husband's job isn't a cake walk either, he doesn't work from 9-5 sitting behind a desk. Yes, I do think you should a small say in him reenlisting but I also don't think it should be for selfish reasons.

Brittany - posted on 06/21/2010

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My husband got out and now we are struggling to stay above water. He is getting unemployment, which runs out in a couple months, and going to school and I am working full time. I miss my kids soooo much, and we are in serious financial turmoil right now. So think twice about begging him to leave the military, unless you are absolutely certain that he has a solid career lined up.

Brittney - posted on 06/19/2010

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Don't base your opinon on you wanting a carrer unless your carrer can offer all that his can as a family. You married into the life style and should have known what you were getting into before you agreed. I always tell my husband when he thinks of wanting to get out (because of having been away from me and the kids for the past 1 1/2 years and still having 6 months to go) what else is going to garuntee a pay check every month, garuntee a roof over our heads, and food in our stomach. With the way the economy is nothing is promising. With 2 small kids that need medical coverage even if he were to get out and become a cop or a mechanic he would start out at less then what he makes now, he would also have a co-pay on doctors bills. Is it really worth it? I always tell him it's his decision in the end because HE DOES IT DAY IN AND DAY OUT NOT ME! But he always says it's our decision. When it comes down to it, it doesn't seem that your happy at all with any of it, be happy your husband does something not a lot of people have the courage to do, fight for our country. I'm proud every day I wake up to be married to a wonderful man and such a strong person to do the job he does, to sacrafice his life away from home and his kids to protect our freedom.

Lisa - posted on 06/19/2010

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It should be a family decision..in our house it's been mine so far...LOL and he is staying in!!!! I like knowing even if the economy is crap we will have some sort of steady income!!

Candice - posted on 06/18/2010

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Eleanor,

That is a great Poem. It really says what a military wife does. Thanks for posting it.

Christine - posted on 06/18/2010

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Although it is a family affecting decision, it is his choice ultimately. He's the one that has to put up with the military bs. You can walk away from it (not that I am encouraging you to), while he cannot. That said, for the sake of peace in the family, it should be a joint decision, if for no other reason than to keep your marriage together. My advice? STAY IN!! My husband separated from the AF on January 31st and he STILL has not found a job (not for lack of trying either). The economy SUCKS so unless he has a guaranteed job on the outside, have him stay. TRUST ME! You think you are stressed and having a difficult time now. Wait until he's unemployed for months and see what it does to your life.

[deleted account]

The Military Wife,
I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens, I am in the Military in the ranks rarely seen. I have no rank upon my shoulders- salutes I do not give. But the military world is the place where I live. I'm not the chain of command, orders I do not get. But my husband is the who does this I can not forget. I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line. But my job is just as tough, I'm the one thats left behind. My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man, and the call to serve his country not all can understand. Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free. My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me. I love the man I married Soldiering is his life, but I stand amon the silent ranks known as the Military Wife.
Author: Unknown
This is on a plaque hanging in my foyer.

[deleted account]

Oh Boy, have I lived this very situation. We are retired military, notice I write "we". My husband is just like yours. It was his choice always. The reason I say this is because he is the one dealing with the military. He is the one who has to go into combat, he is the one who's life is one the line. I agree we should have a opinion but ultimately he is the one that has to do the duty.

Danielle - posted on 06/18/2010

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I have this situation reversed even though i am not on active duty full time i till always have the possiblity of going somewhere when i met my husband i was sent to iraq a year after we met where i still am at and he doesnt want me to reenlist but its hard when you have been in the military for so long you get accustomed to it. so i think it should be a family discussion but u have to look at it from his side also. i know it hard because i have been on both sides of the fence.

Annie - posted on 06/18/2010

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Your life is on the back burner? This comes off as selfish in my opinion, yes living the military life is hard for most, and it has alot to do with how they focus on the issues.
Are you saying that you don't have a life because he is doing his job, and when he gets back from the field, taking care of him, nourishing him, spending as much time as you can with him before he has to go again, and being his love and what for the most part keeps his moral up is being put on the back burner?
If you don't realize it, I am going to tell you that your life and his daughter's life keeps him going, no matter how he shows it or doesn't, you guys are his world, his light, but putting out to him that your life is on the back burner while he does what he has to do to care for you guys and selflessly fight for his country is mean, that can only make a man feel sad and hurt. I don't know his side of the story but yours is not about him at all, it is about you and solely you. Had your question been put out there without the resentment that your life is going no where, then I would say that it is somehting you two should agree upon, I just can't see how your side of it makes logical sense for the future at all. He honestly is making a better choice just by looking at who has the better plan for the family in the future.

Please go back and re-read what you said here, over and over if you have to, if you only see you then you are just as guilty as only thinking it's your choice as well. A future plan that is made using nothing but emotional thinking is sure to fail. If you really want it to be a decision you both make it is very important to hear his side too, we never hear others when we only want to hear ourselves.

I know I didn't say a darn thing you are wanting to hear, but you asked a question and gave my honest opinion as an answer.

Diane - posted on 06/17/2010

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There are a lot of things to consider in this decision. One of them is what will he do when he gets out. Your family still has to be supported. There are not a lot of Jobs out there right now and the family still has to have a income. I have talked to a lot of people in the military and most of them that were going to get out have been reenlisting after the have gotten out because of the job situation now. Also do you have the schooling to be able to get a good job to support the family? Most career jobs are day jobs that do not require daycare after 6:00 or weekends. Sometimes it is tough but you have to do what you can for your family to survive. I have 2 children that are both in the military now and one is a lifer and the other gets out in a year. Both are married and the one getting out is married to a former Marine who has family that own their own business so he know he has a job and she can go to school to make a career for herself. The other is in the Air Force and his wife is going to go to school as soon as they get back to the states so that when the children are in school she can work. Maybe thats what you should be doing now going to school so that when he gets out at least one of you has the education to get a good paying job to support the family while the other goes to school to do the same. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Hopefully you will come up with one that is the best for both and the family. Good Luck I wish you the best.

Mary - posted on 06/17/2010

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My hubby was married to the military and fire department LONG before we got married (enlisted in 1984). But when we got married he was National Guard and 9/11 had not happened (we got married in Aug 2000). I had no idea of what I was joining. He has been deployed 2 times. Once we did not have kids and the 2nd time with 2 and 5 year olds. I respect his right to chose that life style because I know I hold down the fort here whether it is the military or fire dept that calls him away. He had an opportunity to not go to Afghanistan in '08 but I wanted him to decide so he could not "resent" me later. For a person to have been in the service for that long, civilian life can be a difficult adjustment. I will not tell my husband to retire and I would support his decision to do what he feels is right. I would not like for him to tell me I can't do my job. But I would respect his opinion. I think this should be a family discussion but the final decision, in my opinion, is his.

Debora - posted on 06/17/2010

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I was in the military for eleven years and enjoyed every moment of it. My husband was against me to re-enlisted and I got out. To this day how I wished I had stayed in. I do understand about the family but like you said you knew when you married him this is how the military works.

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With the way the economy is, I would recommend he stay in. The wife's career will always be second when it comes to the military. I know, I've been there. Your benefits are much better with the military. I know it is hard no being around family, but the military can be family also. Years ago, we bartered when we needed help with child care. Look at what the base has to offer.
But I recommend he stay in. Jobs are not a dime a dozen these days no matter where you relocate to.

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I grew up a military brat. My dad was Air Force 20 yrs, I joined the Army and met my hubby who was also in the army. He changed branches into the Navy and I got out so we could be together. We make life choices together. When he re-enlisted I know he plans to do 20. He has 9 more to go. He has his days that he wants to just quit, but that's to be expected. I have longed to set roots. I have never had a place to call my hometown. He does. But we have discussed as he is coming close to the end we will look at where we will live to benefit the kids and myself as well. I have in the meantime, went back to school to work on my Masters. With all the moving I have been busy finishing my degree and the girls are enjoying each place we have been. Yes we all miss our family, but my family and his, make an effort to come visit and we do the same. once a year one of us will fly to visit. I don't feel I am on the back burner, I am almost done with my degree and I plan to get a job with the DoD, that way my job can transfer when he transfers too. Find a job on the base where you can fit in. There are a lot of spouse jobs available and many bases make it a priority for spouses to get hired. As for Daycare. I have live in 3 bases overseas and several stateside. Inquire with the daycare on base or a CDH home. They usually have daycare for those who work late hours or grave yard shift. Its the military not everyone works 9 to 5. They are there to assist. Sometimes there is a wait list but inquire. My husband has worked many shifts. When her worked graveyard and I early morning we always had a CDH where we could take our little one too. Ask the Base Child care for help.

Stacey - posted on 06/17/2010

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Ultimately, it is his decision. That is not to say you can't have an opinion, but it's his decision. I have always said that when we got married, I also enlisted...it's a sacrafice that is made when you marry a military person. I also think of it this way...it's job security for him - who knows what would happen in "the real world".

Jacquelynn - posted on 06/17/2010

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This should be a family decision. However, being that he is in the military and you married him while he still had his full enlistment to go before he had to make a decision it is more his choice then yours and this is just my opinion. You should also ask him why he feels like he wants to re-enlist now and not when you guys first got married. There are a lot of reasons why guys change their mind when their re-enlistment comes up. Ask him.

Jessica - posted on 06/16/2010

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I agree, at this point it should be a family decision, but being so close to his 20 you might think that reenlistment is a wise choice. That's the only reason my hubby stayed in. Retirement, plus he's still getting tuition assistance.

You really need to take the time together to discuss all the pros and cons of the whole situation.

Brandy - posted on 06/16/2010

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In my opinion, although it is hard to be a military wife it ultimately has to be his decision. If he does something because you want to, he won't feel like a man and may end up being unhappy. I think its best to voice your own opinion and at the same time, letting him know that its up to him because it is his career. He probably has the best interest of your family in mind here. A man should feel as though he is the head of the household and the decision maker.

Cari - posted on 06/16/2010

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I understand your frustrations. This is definitely a hard decision for anyone to make, but I have told my husband that whatever decision he makes (as it is his career), I will stand by him 100%. He knows what my fears, anxiety, frustrations, etc...are and because he loves me I know that he takes those into consideration!

Sure it is tough, we have four (3 ours, 1 his) children and from 2006 to 2009 we were geographically seperated (he PCS'd and I stayed at the previous duty station because he was going to do fast track deployments...in and out of Iraq every 6mths). We both weren't crazy about the situation, but stability for the kids was our motivation, plus I was fortunate to have a very good job and lots of flexibility (IT Career...just like nursing and teaching...you can pretty much find a job anywhere you go!!!!) and we had a pretty good support network (friends, not family...closest family was 5 hours away) at the time to help me with the kids if I needed it!! We both sacrificed during that time and it was difficult, but we made it through, did the best we could and with minimal resentment *wink*...I'd be lying if I said that we both didn't have our moments.

Marrried military is a whole different world with a whole different set of rules; however, I have learned that military families go extremely out of their way to help other families!!! It's because we all know and understand what everyone is going through. But you have to put yourself out there as a spouse, meet people and definitely hit up FRG meetings!! Something I neglected to do initially at the beginning of our marriage!

My husband has 22yrs in currently...he is tired, a little broken and is ready to get out...As I said, I will support him 100%...even though we are miles and miles away from family in a very small (not a big job market) community, have purchased a home here, but this isn't the place that I wanted to ultimately end up and I would prefer being closer to family. So, when he said that he was going to drop his retirement package...I had new fears, anxiety, frustrations!! Would we make it on my paycheck and his retirement alone? (a family of six) Does that mean I have to live in a place for the rest of my life that I just considered transitory?? Would he find another job in this area, or would we have to move to another place (possibly again away from family)??? etc...etc... You see where I am going with this, but you know what?!?!? We're a family, we're together, we're happy (for the most part, you know everyone has their little grumblings), we're not struggling like so many Americans are!!! Things could be a lot worse!! So, I will sit back, squash my fears, enjoy my husband retiring, plan and prepare for it (it usually takes like a year to retire..) and if we stay here, well...its small town, but there is no crime (really..comparatively) its great for the kids, everyone knows everyone and looks out for everyone! It may not be my "Ideal" place to be, but we're together and home is where you make it!

Good luck in whatever decision is made and I hope that you can make the best out of it...there is always going to be compromise! Sometimes in your favor, sometimes not! Just roll with it!

And also...thank you and your husband for all the sacrifices that you make for this country of ours!

Katie - posted on 06/15/2010

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I think its his choice. I told DH when he joined(after we were married) that I will fully support any decisions about his career and will go where ever he needs to be for the Army. I just wanted to be a SAHM then when my kiddos are in school to be able to finish school. I have chosen a career to join when the time comes that can travel with out hurting me. Sorry I am not much help but My DH does come to me before making any choices and we talk about how it makes me feel even though its his ultimate choice.

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My husband is military and there are jobs that can go with you wherever the military sends you. There are also ones where you can be home with your kids. I know they always need daycare help and the pay isn't bad at all. Anyway we bought a house. I think its his choice but he should get your opinion, you two should discuss it and find whats best but with this economy I think its better he stays in. Everyone is different so you two should sit down and talk it through

Candice - posted on 06/15/2010

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Montika,

Very well put. I agree with everything you have said. Why make your spouse get out with only 4 years. He has come so far and staying is the only thing that makes sense. I do think that a relistment is a family choice BUT, with only 4 years left and he wants to stay, let him finish out his career.

Michele - posted on 06/15/2010

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This is definately a family decision. I have read the other posts and agree you must make the best of it. I was a military wife for almost 19 years and loved every minute of it. I know what it is like to be away from family, i had an 18 m/o and was pregnant with #2 when we were moved 5000 miles away to a foreign country, but I found some of the best friends ever there. My kids are now much older and have friends living all over the country. Anyway, you and your husband really need to look at all the pros and cons of your life in the military vs. civilian life. Military housing may not be the best, but it is a roof over your head and the medical may be frustrating but you still have it when you need it. And even though our men and women in uniform aren't making millions, a steady paycheck is nice. I hope that you and your husband really communicate and make the best decision for yourselves. Good luck!

Montika - posted on 06/15/2010

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I think at this time with the economy's position 4 years to a full retirement with SOME bena's is well worth standing beside him for another 4 years. The job market is not as promising as it once was a few years ago. Sometimes, one spouse makes more sacrifices than the other, so it seems. Presently, he is at 100% guaranteed to retire in 4 years VS starting over in another job where he is lucky to get hired and 20 years for retirement is not guaranteed. Stick by him, weigh your options, and let the 4 years fly! It feels like your life is on the backburner, but what has the accomplishments given the family, your relationship, and your building grounds for the next 20 years? What job is it you are so pressing to do? Are you degreed? Are you looking at entry level? The job you are wanting is it as promising as 4 years with one spouse at full retirement? In 4 years he can receive retirement pay and then the 2 of you can find 2 full time jobs and have THREE pay checks going to the bank!!!!!! : ) Think. . .and Weigh the outcomes!!!!! Also, it doesn't take YEARS for families to connect . . . distance doesn't KILL love!!!!! LOVE is LOVE! You may find that family is not as CONSISTANT as we build our minds to believe . . .we have to work at family relationships just as much as we do with our CORE family; husband, wife and children. . .Best of luck on whatever choice you and your husband decide on this matter. . . .

I am not an expert . . . just voicing my opinion. . .

Candice - posted on 06/14/2010

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FOR SHELLY PRICE.



Im trying to understand why an officers wife is saying, "Many soldiers as well as their spouses have elevated expectations of what military life is like, and unless you are an officers spouse everything is completely different."



Really, unless you are an officers wife it is different? Please tell me why it is different? Because you make more money, have bigger houses, get saluted (even though you do not wear uniform). Try being enlisted and tell me what you go through. As an enlisted wife we go through deployments just like an officers wife. We miss our husbands just like an officers wife. We all go through the same problems when we have to move or a deployment happens.



I can tell you that I have gone through deployments where wives were seperated, Enlisted and Officers and deployments where our CO's wife was head of our Family Readiness Group and we all supported each other.



So regardless of whether you are officer wife or enlisted wife, the military is what you make of it.

Candice - posted on 06/14/2010

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First of all, why would you want him to get out with 4 years left until his retirement. He has done 16 and in only a few years away from still being able to collect a retirement, have medical benefits, and anything the military has to offer him as being retired. If he gets out now. He will have no job, no money and no medical for you and your family. After 16 years of being in the military this is all he knows. The civilian life is very different. He has lived a certain way and has never had to worry about anything. He has always had a roof over his head, food, money if he gets out now what is it say he will have this. He is guaranteed this now. I do not think that 4 years until retirement is to much to ask from his wife. You married him knowing that he is in the military.

Cynthia - posted on 06/14/2010

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You probably aren't going to like what I have to say, but here goes, You married a military man knowing he was one. For a true militray man or woman, it is not a job it is a way of life and the family follows that way of life. I am a proud military wife and daughter. I have spent my whole life in this life and I am proud of what it represents. Yes it is hard to deal with day care in a world of strange shifts and last minute deployment. I would suggest if it is important for you to work at your career at this time to check and see if there are other wives in the same situation that would be willing to make a day care deal with you. In the world and economy we are living in, to ask your husband to end his career and steady paycheck might be more then frieghtening thought for him. I would search your heart carefully before asking him to throw that away, maybe he thinks he is doing what is best for your family.

Ana - posted on 06/12/2010

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It seems everyone does this with reenlistment. Let me say it will be a strain on your marriage if you do not handle this correctly. Let me point out that he is pulling in a decent paycheck. That finding a job may be difficult currently. Most importantly it is scary to leave behind hard work and time in service. It is similar to seniority in a civillian job and can any of us really walk away? The pride is another thing many wives overlook. (myself included) The decision comes down to making a pro con list (both adults) weigh it honestly and without judgement. Say for instance you disagree with is pro NO-BASHING. Listen to both sides. Or see a chaplain. It is a family choice so make it as a family, don't go in with a list of demands and expect him to have a change of heart and remember that his mil command and mil buddies (coworkers) may have a weigh in as well

Tiffany - posted on 06/12/2010

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This is a hard question. There is no right or wrong answer. I have been a military wife for 17 yrs now and I have learned mean will do things that is best for their family BUT they will not say that's the reason they are doing it. Look at it this way. If your husband doesn't reenlist; you will relocate and he AND you amy or may not find jobs with the economy the way it is. You never know even with a degree and experience jobs are hard to come by. He may be thinking he is responsible for your family as the head of household and don't know how to express that since he knows you really want him to get out. I have learned EVERYTHING happens for a reason weather we like it or not and most often it's turns out to the be best for everyone envolved. So it's not about if he gets to made the decision for himself but he does have a resposiblity to take care of his family. I totally understand you wanting your child(ren) growing up around family. I have 3 children myself and the closest we have been to family in the last 17 years was 4 hours away for only 2 years. I wanted my children to be around more and bond with aunts, uncles, cousins, etc... but I must say being in the military my children have met tons of people, diversity and they have gotten to see alot of the world they would have never gotten to see had we not been military. So the military has it's ups and downs we must make the best of what we can.
You stated you were ready to start your career...but on the other hand you are asking your husband to end his???? I pray whatever decision you & your husband makes it will keep your family together and happy.

Becky - posted on 06/12/2010

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It's a family decision. Keep in mind that for soldiers who have been in for a longer period of time, Army is life for them. If you live near a post, see if you can find a position there. Most posts offer child care that is relatively affordable. He could also re-enlist to a unit closer to where you both want to live and travel if needed. As far as housing goes, if your hubby is active duty, you can get a house and more than likely the armed forces will make the payments - there are some benefits of staying in and being active that work both ways for both of you. He could consider the Reserves -- you live closer to where you want and he goes to monthly drills, a yearly AT, etc....

I've been a Army wife for almost 4 years - we have 2 children under the age of 3. Now a stay at home mom (lost job due to economy 18 months ago), I signed up to be part of the FRG -- it's volunteer work but it gives me something to focus on aside from being at home. Your life is not on the backburner -- it's up to you to communicate with your spouse and tell him exactly how you feel. Write down the pros/cons of re-enlisting verses getting out and see what works for both of you. You'll know what the right decision is when you see the benefits/cons of both options are. Good luck :>)

Jessie - posted on 06/12/2010

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it can be seen both ways though it should be taken as a decision you should be included in, as when he is gone you alone have to comfort your LO, while yes he already had his career and all that when you married him. He also needs to consider the fact that it is not just him nor is it just him and you there is a child now involved and eventually there might be more, he needs to sit down w/ u and weigh out all the pros and cons in re-enlistment and take into account how it will affect the whole family. My husband like most was already in when we met and got married. he stepped into a ready made family as I had a son already, so right from the get go he had to change the way he did every thing, while we both agree it is ultimately up to him it is also something we both discuss and we always consider our kids first and what is best for them, right now with the way the job rate is and the economy we both feel he should stay in. he should at least hear you out and ALWAYS put the kids first in something like this

Nicole - posted on 06/12/2010

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My hubby is going for career and we have a long road ahead, but we chose that and re-evaluate together all the time. The hardest job in the military is being a spouse. Sit him down and talk it out. I chose to stay at home and put my career on the side. I didn't let him chose that for me.

Sandy - posted on 06/12/2010

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I believe it is a decision spouses should make together. However, it is often most financially practical to stay in the military unless at least one of the spouses is guaranteed a job after separating from the military. My husband is at 19 years, and we hope they let him reenlist, because there is just not much substantial out there for someone with less than a Bachelor's degree.

Brandy - posted on 06/11/2010

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My response to this is. When you married him he was already in. So he has his career. This is just one of the bad things of being married to someone in the military. Have you thought about finding a friend that could use some extra money to babysit your daughter on the weekends when he is in the field? There is one thing I have learned being married to someone who has been in for 16 years and married for 8 years. If you want a career you pick a career that is easy to get job at where ever you go to. The number one career is either teacher or Nurse. Its something you both talk about but it is up to him if he reinlist or not. Because he is the one who has to deploy and all that stuff. Its like my husband says" If the Marine Corp wanted him to have a family they would have issued him one in boot camp". My children only see there cousin's and both sets of grandparents once a year due to my oldest son being in school. Its something you knew when you said I do. You knew you would have a different life style when you said I do. I don't mean to sound witchy but sweety you knew all this when you got married and he was already in.

Tiffany - posted on 06/11/2010

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me and my husband are going through this right now. at first he said it was his choice and only his choice. but after i told him that if it were me getting transfered or something he would want a say in it. so we talked about it and i told him why i didnt want him too. he had already missed alot with our oldest son and the birth of our second and i didnt want him to miss anymore. he is gonna miss our youngest sons 1st birthday and i reminded him of all the fights we have had because of me feeling like i was a single mom sometimes. and how i have put me going to school to get my degree because he of his military career.

but then pointed out all the things the military has done for us. like it paying for my school. the health benefits. getting to travel. things like that.

so what i told him was it was his choice and when it comes time for him to actually decide i just want him to think of what i said.

i mean if this is something that ur husband loves like my husband does then u really dont want to stand in his way just like u dont want him to stand in urs.

and u can still get a job just try and find one that is monday thru friday and is over with by 6. most jobs are.

but u and ur husband just have to do what is right for ur family. just tell him that when yall talk about it.

i hope i helped.

[deleted account]

what is his mos in the military? my husband was in the navy for 5 yrs, he is now abou to start a 6 figure job w/o degree.. is he worried about jobs?

Brittany - posted on 06/11/2010

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Wow there is a lot of advice here. When I married my DH of now 7 years I knew he wanted to get out even tho I was hoping to change his mind the military life is the only one I know. So we are in the oppiset situation. mine did get out and go NG but I hated him for it. Now life is much harder one co he worked for lost there contract wile he was diployed with the NG so the new co could not take him on. But did end up hiring him when he came home. We pay about 400 a month for medical and it still was not free. We ended up droping it and getting tri-care reserve select and its about 200 a month and still cost out the but with co-pays and 80/20. Plus having all the payments on a house and utilities. He makes the same now as he did as an e-4 and with his pay alone we had maybe 30$ left every 2 weeks for gas and food. Needless to say I had to go back to work to make us ahead but its still hard. And his still looking at layoffs he has now missed them 2 times but there is always a chance he will be picked, This economy sucks, its gettin better then a year ago but its still hard to find jobs that pay enough he has a job that he uses his hands all the time and he is always in pain but he can not just look for something else because there is nothing out there and my job at walmart would never make it. Just something to think about. The military life is a good one and they take care of you with medical and housing. You both just need to talk about it and see if you can come up with something. I have accepted our life now and know what we need to do to keep it going. I know you want to start a career and such, I know on our base at FLW they had home day cares and some did after hours as well. Keep your head up! i said a prayer for you. Behind every good man there is a good woman!

Catherine - posted on 06/11/2010

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It's a family choice. Reenlisting effects everyone in the household not just him. Everytime my husband is up for reenlistment we way the cons and pros about it and go from there it really helps to figure out what's best for your family,

Suzette - posted on 06/11/2010

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You may be right.. That is your opinion. But you do make choices, you decided to stay in, you decided to get out and now to start your career. Again a choice. The Fact of the things is that being an officer wife has nothing to do with it. It is a difficult life regardless of rank. But you do make choices in life, you might regret some, you might not. And good for you guys for getting out.

Shelly - posted on 06/11/2010

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I have finished college and I have three degrees but we live in Kentucky and there are just no jobs to be had right now, so I will keep looking. By the way my degrees are in Social Work.

Shelly - posted on 06/11/2010

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Look Suzette I wasn't saying anything negative about your comment or anyones else's for that matter but to say that you made a choice is not fair either. Many soldiers as well as their spouses have elevated expectations of what military life is like, and unless you are an officers spouse everything is completely different. I knew when I married my husband that things would be hard nothing about life is easy. However, I will still be relieved when he retires. I feel 30 years is enough his entire adult life has been spent in the Army because of the economy and everyting that goes with it. Numerous deployments many nights alone, missing the birth of your children, illnesses, family deaths and so on. He is ready to get out becasue he is tired of the political drama. The military is nothing like it use to be and I for one have supported ever move and decision he has had to make. Now he supports me and uderstands why the kids and I will stay home so that I can't start my career, becasue I have supported him for almost 30 years. With this being said I feel for those spouses as well as the soldiers who are just entering the military or who have been in less than 10 years cause they have a long road ahead of them. Every ones experience is different and depending on what post or station they have been at depends on how good or bad it can be. So no one can tell you the whole truth about what to expect I don't care how many people you speak with. So don't tell me I made a choice cause I know exactly what I did or didn't do.

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